HR Case Study Assignment Help on Employee Benefit Package

Introduction

Employee benefits programs are vital to hire and retaining top talent. Employers often have the ability to provide certain employee benefits programs to their employees to secure high caliber recruits and to give more security to their employees. This security is plays an important role not only in their work but also personal lives. Health insurance is a valuable benefit for employees, which is given by their employers (Royalty, 2008; Merrick, Hodgkin, Hiatt, Horgan, Greenfield, & McCann, 2011). It can often be easy and relatively cheap to provide and can play a major role in helping to attract and retain good quality staff.  Health insurance programs allow workers and their families to take care of essential medical needs.As per HR business assignment help experts, health plan can be one of the most important benefits provided by an employer (Dulebohn, Molloy, Pichler & Murray, 2009).

As a HR Director:

Selection Process

In order to make the most cost effective and employee friendly decision regarding health benefits, a clear and Business Assignment Helpsuitable approach should be adopted by HR director of a midsized company. A wellness program should be adopted and implemented through a proper selection process. There are different insurance provider companies in insurance sector. All provides different plans for health insurance of employees. On the basis of pro and cons of offered plans by those companies and cost involved, the best one choice should be approved. Availability of a good range of services offered and pre-existing conditions are basic requirement for selection of major one choice (Royalty, 2008).

HR director can select a health insurance plan and then invite his employees to enroll. Other than these companies, State Department of Insurance, health purchasing alliances and association plans are other choice for this benefit package. These plans allow small businesses to purchase insurance as part of a larger group, thus HR director can get some discount and other benefit over this. HR director can also check with trade, professional and other associations to see, if they offer group health coverage. Apart from this, HR director can offer high deductible health plan, known as an HDHP. As an alternative to traditional self-funded and managed care plans, more companies are considering implementation of a high deductible health plan, known as an HDHP, alongside an HSA or HRA (Sinaiko & Hirth, 2011).

Information Needed

HR director needs the information before implementing any health insurance plan as employee benefit package. Information related to age and family background of employee, wage level, etc. play a crucial role in constructing a benefit plan for employees. Additionally, marital status, existing insurance plan, willingness of employee towards health insurance, etc. are other factors that should be considered (Lehrer & Pereira, 2007; Dulebohn, Molloy, Pichler & Murray, 2009).

Income level and marital status of employee has an impact on willingness of employee towards taking insurance plan. Information about family history or genetic test results indicates risk of developing a health condition. Information related to medical condition (both physical and mental illnesses), claims experience, medical history, genetic information, evidence of insurability (including conditions arising out of acts of domestic violence) and disability are also very essential for employer (Heim & Lurie, 2009).

Another major factor that influences the availability of all benefits is whether an employee is a full-time or a part-time worker. Employees, who enroll, are more likely to be male, work full time and belong to a union. Unionized employees are much more likely to work for firms, where health insurance is offered. Information associated to the laws is also needed for avoiding future interruption in implementation of plan. Laws such as COBRA, HIPAA, ERISA, FMLA etc. should be considered throughout the implementation of plan (Royalty, 2008).

Ramifications of Decision

Health care insurance is expensive, particularly if employee is buying it owns self or if employer does not contribute to the cost. Some employees consider that health insurances are very beneficial because it is a financial safeguard. Without insurance, there is possibility of the risk of being financially wiped out by a serious illness or accident. Without the benefits paid by insurance, they may find the cost of quality health care too high to afford. In views of some employees, offered plan HDHP may be very beneficial for them. Its purpose is to lower health care costs by pushing plan members to analyze their health care decisions, while making insurance premiums more affordable to everyone (Pizer & Prentice, 2011).

Since HDHPs do not offer extensive health coverage, they offer lower premiums to the consumers. With higher deductibles, it’s thought that plan members are less likely to see a physician unless it’s medically necessary. It’s also thought that patients will seek out costly health services. Some of employees may consider this plan less beneficial because it doesn’t provide flexibility since the plans usually allow self-referrals to specialists and decent out of network benefits, while providing a preferred network of doctors with negotiated rates. Although anyone can sign up for an HDHP, employees must meet eligibility requirements to qualify for the supplementary Health Savings Account (Gardner & Stowe, 2007).

As an Employee:

Factors influence the selection

The factors that influence selection of a package may be income level, marital status and age of employees and no. of workers. In terms of plan, cost factors and quality factors are very important that influence the selection process. Cost factors include premium, co pay and deductible, co insurance and out of pocket maximum. On other side, quality factors involve   network, quality of coverage, covered services, limitations and exclusions. All of these factors should be weighed before making a final decision regarding the purchase of a health insurance policy (Gruber & McKnight, 2003). There is need to check the deductibles and co-insurance rates and to investigate claim payment history and to compare pricing, services, service areas and lists of physicians.

The impact of a workforce’s age structure affects employer cost when the employers claim experience is considered. Small employers with predominantly low-wage workers are much less likely to offer health insurance. Costs of insurance, employee share of health insurance premium cost or size of employee premium, Medicaid, real incomes, and price-consciousness among workers are the other factors that influence the decision related to selection of plan (Merrick, Hodgkin, Hiatt, Horgan, Greenfield, & McCann, 2011).

Impact of Cost on Decision

The cost of providing health benefits to employees continues to be a burden for many employers that are already struggling with tight finances. Now, more than ever, offering competitive benefits is an important tool for companies seeking to recruit and retain employees, but, it is becoming more difficult, as health benefits often account for one of the top three expenses for a business. As a result our assignment help says that balancing value for employees with cost management can be a challenge. “As the cost of benefits continues to rise, employers are looking for ways to manage those costs, while still remaining an attractive employer of choice. Employers and health plans may have data on total plan costs for their employees, but those costs always omit what is not covered by the plan (Lehrer & Pereira, 2007).

Possible Alternatives

Other than offered plan HDHP assignment help, there are other alternatives like traditional plan, HMO and PPO. With a traditional health coverage plan, employees will have the most flexibility. They can see the doctors they want to see, go to hospitals all over the country, and change doctors whenever they want to.  With traditional health coverage, employees will have to pay a deductible before the insurance begins paying anything. HMOs are basically prepaid health plans. With an HMO, employees can only go to specific groups of doctors that are either owned by or have contracted with the health maintenance organization. Members are limited to receiving care only from providers within the HMO network, except under rare circumstances and medical emergencies (Sinaiko & Hirth, 2011).

PPOs combine some of the characteristics of HMOs with the flexibility of traditional fee-for-service plans. PPOs offer a specific set of doctors and hospitals that the member can choose from to get discounted rates. PPO members are free to see any in-network provider at any time. Members can also see doctors, who are not in the network, but the co-insurance payment for those doctors will be higher. Maternity benefits are not usually included on PPO plans (Gardner & Stowe, 2007).

Conclusion

On the basis of above discussion by HR case study assignment help experts stated that selected employee benefit plan may be very effective for employees of organization. An HDHP with an HRA or HSA may be an attractive option, if employees are looking for a tax-free way to save money for future medical expenses or if they wish for greater flexibility with the way they use their medical benefits.

References

Dulebohn, J. H., Molloy, J. C., Pichler, S. M. & Murray, B. (2009). Employee benefits: Literature review and emerging issues. Human Resource Management Review, 19(2), 86-103.

Gardner, S. F. & Stowe, C. D. (2007). PMH27 Stimulant Utilization in Children under a State Employees Benefit Program. Value in Health, 10(3), 79.

Gruber, J. & McKnight, R. (2003). Why did employee health insurance contributions rise? Journal of Health Economics, 22(6), 1085-1104.

Heim, B. T. & Lurie, I. Z. (2009). Do increased premium subsidies affect how much health insurance is purchased? Evidence from the self-employed. Journal of Health Economics, 28(6), 1197-1210.

Lehrer, S. F. & Pereira, N. S. (2007). Worker sorting, compensating differentials and health insurance: Evidence from displaced workers. Journal of Health Economics, 26(5), 1034-1056.

Merrick, E. L., Hodgkin, D., Hiatt, D., Horgan, C. M., Greenfield, S. F. & McCann, B. (2011). Integrated employee assistance program/managed behavioral health plan utilization by persons with substance use disorders. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 40(3), 299-306.

Pizer, S. D. & Prentice, J. C. (2011). Time is money: Outpatient waiting times and health insurance choices of elderly veterans in the United States. Journal of Health Economics, 30(4), 626-636.

Royalty, A. B. (2008). Estimating workers’ marginal valuation of employer health benefits: Would insured workers prefer more health insurance or higher wages? Journal of Health Economics, 27(1), 89-105.

Sinaiko, A. D. & Hirth, R. A. (2011). Consumers, health insurance and dominated choices. Journal of Health Economics, 30(2), 450-457.

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