The past few months have forced changes upon people around the globe as COVID-19 has impacted our health, employment, and general way of life. As a result, many employers who were hoping to make positive changes in their business have experienced “COVID paralysis,” or concern about making additional changes when there’s already so much instability and uncertainty due to the pandemic.
If improving your benefits plan was on your to-do list, though, that shouldn’t change even in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Indeed, working with your adviser now can help provide your employees with a sense of stability and comfort that can help make this tough time a bit easier on them.
Avoiding the Inevitable
Whether you were already planning on changing your benefits plan before COVID-19 hit, or you’ve just become more frustrated with paying more for your benefits every year without seeing any improvement in the quality of your plan, waiting to make improvements won’t solve your problems; it merely pushes them farther down the road. In fact, putting off improvements to your plan now could mean waiting even longer to see the impact of those changes.
Some of the ways the pandemic may impact your plan and business include:
- Higher carrier rates – up to 50 or 60 percent – because of a feared increase in cases
- Increased time for important decisions within your plan
- Additional employee absenteeism due to illness or taking care of loved ones
While no maintainable positive changes will take effect immediately, getting started on improving your benefits plan as soon as possible can give your plan the boost it needs to help your employees and your business as a whole.
Putting Savings Where They’re Needed Most
Your employees are the engine within your company, and they may be experiencing anxiety about their employment and financial status as layoffs and pay cuts take place around the country. You can work with your adviser, however, to use the funds saved through your benefits plan to reduce cuts and keep your employees and their families from having to worry about their economic stability at home.
For example, the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that approximately 25 percent of healthcare spending in the United States is wasteful, with up to $101 billion of that waste going toward “overtreatment or low-value care.” Your adviser can help eliminate this unnecessary spending within your own plan, and you can then reallocate those funds to avoid layoffs or even hiring new employees who may be newly out of work due to the pandemic.
Savings for Safety
Great healthcare is more important than ever in the midst of a global viral outbreak, but your plan can and should do more for your business. Consider how the savings accrued through a more efficient plan could help keep your employees safe. Digital solutions such as telehealth can keep your workers away from a waiting room full of sick patients. If your employees must work closely together, perhaps your savings could be used to invest in equipment and devices that reduce the risk of transmission of the virus.
Whether these investments are permanent or temporary, the impact of having additional protective measures when they’re needed most can keep your employees safe and working. Additionally, this shows that your workers that you value their health, which is an attractive quality in both current and prospective employers.
Stability in a Time of Uncertainty
While changing your benefits plan during constantly changing external circumstances may seem like a big risk, it can actually provide you and your employees with much-needed security. Working with your adviser to make improvements to your plan in the time of COVID-19 can get your business started on developing benefits that will keep your workers employed while also implementing measures that will protect their health, safety, and financial security.
Contact us today to learn more about why fear of change could be holding your benefits plan back from its full potential.