3 Signs Your Health Benefits Strategy Is Costing More Than You Think

by
Mike Zarrillo
Updated
February 3, 2021
4
min

by Mike Zarrillo, Chief Revenue Officer, Brella Insurance | February 3, 2021

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to employers that financial stress is a leading cause of anxiety for employees. Because of the coronavirus, finances are tighter than usual for a lot of people. In fact, income is still below pre-pandemic levels for 42% of households.

What may come as a surprise, however, is that this financial stress might be related to gaps in your company’s health benefits strategy. If you’re like most employers, the unrelenting increases in the cost of your health benefits has forced you to make some tough decisions in order to gain financial control. Those tough decisions often result in insurance plans that simply can’t offset the high cost of healthcare for your employees. What may seem good for business isn’t actually good for the people in it: Plans with higher cost-sharing and deductibles burden employees with prohibitive upfront costs that lead to more financial stress.

In turn, employee financial stress can have negative effects on your company. The sleepless nights caused by this kind of stress make employees 10 times more likely to leave daily work tasks unfinished, nine times more likely to have problems with their co-workers, and two times more likely to look for a different job.

So how do you know if your health plan is adding stress to your employees and costing them — and your business — too much? And what should you do to fix it?

Your health benefits strategy might be causing your employees financial stress if...

1. Your employees are delaying healthcare.

Preventive healthcare services are crucial in catching health issues early and keeping more costly treatments at bay. Yet employees are putting off treatment due to the high cost of medical bills. In 2020, 33% of Americans reported either putting off treatment for a medical condition or knowing a family member who had done so in order to save money.

If your health benefits strategy includes higher deductibles and cost-sharing, many of your employees may be forced to do the same thing. With additional COVID-19 concerns in 2020, look out for more claims in 2021 to get an idea of just how common it was for employees to delay care.

2. Your employees are absent or less productive than usual.

The high cost of healthcare doesn’t just impact employees’ stress — it also impacts their productivity. How exactly can financial stress affect employee productivity? The more expensive it is to get treated, the more likely employees are to delay getting care for unresolved or chronic health issues. This, in turn, pushes the stress and health issues to even greater heights.

That’s not a formula that empowers your team to do their best work. Instead, it leads to reduced productivity and increased turnover costs of anywhere between 13% and 18% of your yearly payroll. That means employee stress isn’t just a morale issue — it could be hurting your company’s bottom line.

3. Financial stress is leading to employee health issues.

For many people, the high cost of healthcare is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to financial stress. Worry over credit card debt, student loans, and rent or house payments plague many employees. Add to this the fact that half of adults in the U.S. worry that “a major health event in their household could lead to bankruptcy” and you have a cumulative effect that harms not only employees’ happiness in their personal lives and their productivity at work, but also their health.

People dealing with financial stress are six times more likely to suffer from panic attacks and seven times more likely to suffer from depression. Chronic stress has serious effects on a person’s physical health, too. Not only can it cause headaches and digestive problems, but it can also have more dire repercussions, like increased risk of heart disease. Financial stress and health are inextricably linked, for better or worse.

Brella is here to ease employees’ financial stress.

Fortunately, there are innovative options for mitigating the effects of financial stress on the health of both your employees and your company.

Adding a supplemental health insurance plan like Brella can help employees handle unexpected medical bills. Brella eases the burden of out-of-pocket costs by offering cash-on-diagnosis for more than 13,000 conditions — from broken bones and pneumonia to heart attacks and cancer. Brella can even be added off-cycle so employees don’t have to wait until next year to get help.

We make it easy to file a claim with just a few photos of documents employees usually have on hand after they receive their diagnosis. They’ll be able to file a claim online or via the Brella app in minutes. Once approved, they’ll be paid by Venmo, PayPal, or directly to their bank account within hours, not weeks. 

And we didn’t just make things easy for your employees. Implementation, enrollment, and ongoing administration are 100% paperless, so employers can offer superior supplemental coverage without administrative headaches.  

Together, these changes can put your employees on the path to becoming healthier, more financially supported, and ultimately more productive. That’s not only good news for them — it’s good for your company’s bottom line, too.

If you’d like to learn more about Brella, have your broker get in touch with us at sales@joinbrella.com today.