If you are CEO running a big U.S.-based business, one project sitting on your desk right now is probably labeled, "manage health insurance in 2015."
Well, 2015 is right around the corner, so it's time to make some fast—but smart—decisions about how your company can successfully adjust to the health insurance changes in store for the coming year.
Two Things You Need to Know
In order to masterfully handle the insurance dilemma with decisive action and measured, positive results, there are two things you need to know.
This information will help you to not only navigate the insurance plan minefield, but may even help you to chart a course for better health care for your employees for years to come.
1. As the following article shows, the cost of health care premiums varies wildly by where you live. For example, whether or not you think it's fair, people pay less for health care in Utah than residents of Washington, D.C. Insurance companies will tell you that they come up with premium costs based on complicated algorithms that calculate complicated factors like population density, pollution indexes and crime rate. But for the average employee, the increased premium isn't offset by an increased salary to help pay for the premium.
The bottom line is, relocation of your company could be a viable way to provide lower health care costs to your employees. If region isn't a condition of your company's success, and enough employees would be willing to make the move with you so that you wouldn't have to start all over again with new people, relocation isn't an option you should quickly dismiss.
2. It isn't that bad. The fact is, limited choice plans and higher premiums just aren't that bad. The health care providers who contract with insurance companies in exchange for taking a higher volume of patients are still fully educated, certified and trained providers in their field. Insurance companies aren't asking patients to give up their specialists and go consult a witch doctor instead.
Regarding the higher premiums, they seem to be a fact of life no less surprising than the ever-increasing price of breakfast cereal or butter. If everything else is going up in our economy, why would insurance premiums be the exception?
Put a Positive Spin on the Matter
As a CEO, you've had to break bad news to your employees in the past.
Your best odds for a receptive reaction are to put a positive spin on a seemingly negative situation. Leading change in the workplace must be one of your skillsets or you wouldn't be where you are today.
Use your vast experience with people and systems to find a way to make your health care plans work for the employees who need them the most.
This plan may involve offering a low-cost benefits plan to employees to help bear the burden of increased premiums. Some ideas include: a childcare cost subsidy, free lunch on Fridays, more frequent bonuses and more.
Now that you get the picture, you'll be able to come up with even more ways to turn this whole insurance premium problem into a genius PR move.
About the Article: Kate Supino writes extensively about best business practices.