Budgeting Health Benefits: 5 Questions You Must Ask

This year, when budget time rolls around, what’s going to be your approach to budgeting for employee health benefits?

Are you and your management team going to roll up your sleeves and get after it; or are y’all going to look at last year’s budget and add a small percentage to it– then, just for luck, throw another small percentage at it, because you never really know what the cost is going to be.  This is how many go about budgeting health benefits.

Regardless of what tactic you choose, here are five questions you must answer in order to properly assess your health benefits needs, goals, and strategies.

1. Who will the health benefits program cover?

This question is vital in identifying:  1) How many employees you will offer the benefits to (this impacts budget and strategy), and 2) How many of those will participate (including spouses, and children).

2. What is your health benefits budget?

How much can you (or would you like to) contribute to health benefits? Consider monthly, annually, and long-term costs.

3. What do employees value most?

What types of covered benefits do they value most?  Do they prefer full coverage at a higher cost? Do they prefer a high-deductible plan with an HSA? Would they prefer a healthcare allowance to use toward an individual health plan of their choice? Their input can be invaluable.

4. Who will manage the health benefits program?

Who will administer the health benefits? What capacity do they have (time-wise, etc.) to manage health benefits? Is there a local representative you can rely on if you have an issue?

5. What are your health benefits goals?

Besides the obvious, what other features or goals are important to your health benefits program?  How do you measure your goals? How do you determine if the program is a success?

Let’s face it, in this ever-changing landscape of healthcare it can difficult to plan, let alone, budget for your company’s healthcare needs.

But don’t despair, there are still opportunities for employers to provide current benefits more efficiently and to provide attractive benefit packages that appeal to employees without greatly increasing payroll costs.

By addressing these 5 questions, you’ll have a solid framework for budgeting, managing, and containing healthcare costs while still promoting a healthy and skilled workforce.

IdealMD Can Help

IdealMD’s direct primary care program empowers you to gain more control of benefits costs and provide a wellness-driven primary care solution your employees – and your bottom line – will love.

We separate insurance (which should be for the “big, costly stuff”) from  everyday primary care, with its routine physicals, acute care, chronic condition management, refills, and lab orders (basically 80-90 percent of services that are used most).

The result is a happier, healthier workforce and overall benefit cost savings averaging 10-15%.

To learn more, or to schedule a quick 30-minute assessment of your current health plan, call 844-433-2563 or email us at info@IdealMD.

844-IdealMD (433-2563)

Parts of The HR Professional’s Health Benefits Planning Workbook, by Zane Benefits, was used in writing this blog.

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