There is a record number of American workers leaving their old jobs for new ones. And the biggest reason? Better benefits! This is a problem for all employers, but it’s particularly concerning for higher education.
Forbes calculates the economic impact on colleges and universities due to Covid-19 to be over $120 billion. Yet with tuition costs up 54% on average over the past 10 years, the need to stay competitive in terms of faculty and staff has never been more important. It’s very difficult to expect students to pay more but get less.
Are you the CFO or HR director? This is for you.
You have likely looked into all of the health benefits options for universities and colleges and have hit a dead end. Multiple times. You’re not where you are for a lack of trying.
You likely feel stuck with what you have. And of course, you are doing the very best you can. Right? You need to be! In order to find and keep the top talent you need in such a competitive hiring environment, this is crucial. So keep reading for my top two ways you can guarantee that you really are offering the best.
1. Educate Them
The first thing you need to do in order to make sure your faculty and staff have the best health benefits for higher education is to educate them. Yes, that’s right—learning isn’t just for the students!
Americans do not understand the core 4 terms of health insurance (to be specific, 96% of us have no idea what all of these crazy words mean). For example, the difference between a deductible versus a max-out-of-pocket. Or perhaps the two similar terms copay versus coinsurance. They sound so similar but make a dramatic difference on how much someone is covered and will pay. This is complicated stuff!
But it’s beyond just understanding the terms. There are also a bunch of free things included with their plans—free things that you are helping to pay for—that they don’t even know are included. And how can someone ever think their benefit is any good if they don’t even know what they have?
An annual check-up, for instance, is included for free. But most people won’t go to the doctor unless they get sick because they’re worried about how much it’s going to cost them. In fact, only 8% of Americans actually use their free, preventative services.
The best way to make sure your team knows they have the best is to provide coaches and consultants to sit down with them and walk alongside them all year long. That way, they can understand all that they have and know how to use it to keep themselves safe and healthy.
2. Medical Dollars
The second thing you need to do to make sure your team has the best health benefits for higher education goes beyond just the insurance plan itself and moves into medical dollars.
What do I mean by this? Well, it’s great to have health insurance to protect you against the millions of dollars of bills you would have if you were entirely exposed to a catastrophic medical event. But what about when you have to go to the doctor—where does that money come from to pay that bill? Or worse, what happens when you get the infamous referral to a specialist? Who is going to pay for that expense?
And sure, there may be a copay to help throttle the cash flow. But what if it’s a specialist who is not covered under a copay? And even worse, what if you have to go to urgent care or the emergency room—where are those dollars coming from? But let’s move beyond just the anecdote. Because the actual data is even worse.
The stark reality is that 2 out of every 3 personal bankruptcies in the United States are still because of medical bills.
And the data shows that many of these people had insurance, but simply did not have the money to cover the bills even after insurance paid. This means that without medical dollars, any sort of medical event can pose as catastrophic for most people.
This is where you can come in as the employer and make a huge difference. You can give the best health benefits options for universities by giving your faculty and staff medical dollars for their medical bills when they happen.
You can do this using Health Reimbursement Arrangements, also called HRAs. Or you can do this using Health Savings Accounts, also called HSAs. You can even do a combination of the two. But the most important thing to remember is in order to stay competitive and give the best health benefits for higher education, it takes more than just the medical plan—you need to also offer medical dollars!
Group health plans are dying today like pension plans did in the 1980s.
You’re probably a bit skeptical, thinking that this may all sound well and good but there is no way you can actually accomplish all of this. What if I told you there are newer, better, cheaper ways of accomplishing the goals you’re looking for and that they have been time-tested for a decade now?
Of course you probably like the idea of bringing in a team of consultants to help your team understand what they already have, and then also giving them support all year long—so they can really understand how good they have it from you! And you probably really like the concept of giving people medical dollars to actually pay for their medical bills when they happen.
But where could you possibly be able to find the resources for this? And how on earth could you find anything at a lower price point when group health benefits have just gone through the roof in their costs over the past decades! This is the exact sort of question we asked years ago, and we’ve been perfecting the answer ever since.
The new delivery style for health benefits. Just like 401(k)s for retirement.
There’s an updated and better style of health benefits. It’s very similar to the way pension plans were replaced by 401(k)s for retirement benefits. And on average, it is 51% cheaper.
What does 51% cheaper look like for our customers? It looks like over $68 million going back toward their missions. It looks like an employee finally being able to have the money to get that procedure done. It looks like a mom not being scared to go to the doctor to take care of her kiddos. It looks like giving raises for the first time in a long time. It looks like being able to restart that construction plan after getting through such a difficult past few years. That is what it looks like to step into the future of health benefits.
But don’t just take my word for it. I’d love to help you learn. Go to remodelhealth.com/webinar to register for my next free training session. Education is your first step to really understanding what you can do to start caring better for your team and making an impact toward the best health benefits.
Important Notice: Remodel Health does not intend to provide specific insurance, legal, or tax advice. Remodel Health always recommends consulting with your own professional representation to properly evaluate the information presented and its appropriate application to your particular situation.