• Jenn Williams

What Do “Workplace Changes” Mean for Healthcare?

There have been many changes in the workplace over the past few years, and one major recent change is in the employer-provided healthcare system. Many companies are now offering their employees healthcare plans, and there are several different options to choose from. While giving employees choices creates more flexibility, it can also be confusing for people trying to decide which plan is best for them.


 

Workforce Shortages


Wage-earners have the power, and many are not just looking for higher salaries. Almost 80% of job seekers ranked workplace benefits as essential, and 55% of job seekers would consider taking a lower-paying job if that job offered better healthcare coverage in today’s economy. 59% of employers offer this benefit, which has held steady at around 60% for the last five years.


More Inclusive Plans


Offering health benefits can be an excellent way for large businesses to demonstrate their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Employers covered infertility services in 61 percent of cases, which may help not only heterosexual couples but also same-sex or single employees alike! Transgender inclusive policies have also gained traction with 21 percent, and it is clear that inclusive healthcare is on an upward trajectory.


Contractors are Employees


Gig workers and their employers have been waiting for this moment. In April 2021, the Department of Labor declared that most independent contractors in America should be reclassified as employees with all benefits, including health insurance coverage if they work over 40 hours per week or more regularly provide services on behalf of someone else. This change could have significant implications since 25 percent of self-employed people lack any form of healthcare, according to data collected from 2014 to 2017.


Employer-Based


Health insurance becomes a problem for people when they lose their job and access to an employer-sponsored plan. This became sharply evident between February 2020 — just before the pandemic hit — and June of that year, as seven million workers were laid off with full benefits due to lack of coverage from previous employers who continued paying some portion on premium payments even after going out of business. While 41 percent think it is unethical to tether healthcare access to employment status, 77 percent adopted employer-based insurance when offered.


Mental Health


Nearly three in five employees would give up free food to access mental health services. According to Psych Central, the demand for treatment of host disorders — including anxiety and depression — has increased during the pandemic, as psychologists report that more people are seeking help from these professionals. Since the pandemic began, businesses with 5,000 or more workers saw a 46% increase in employee access to healthcare; this may result from employers recognizing how necessary providing resources can be when dealing with employee stressors.


Unvaccinated Costs


Companies have tried many ways to incentivize employee vaccination. Delta Air Line's approach is charging unvaccinated workers on the company health plan with a $200 monthly surcharge starting in November 2021, which has been successful as vaccination rates surged from 75% when this policy was announced back in August to 90% more recently.


Professional Employee Organizations


One way to manage the cost of healthcare is by partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO). These companies offer similar plans and coverage as those offered by larger firms but at lower prices due to their ability to provide multiple services instead of just human resources management — which would be impossible on such small scales. Over time, there has been steady growth within this industry; more than 6% of 1099 employees use them now compared to last year’s 5%.


Subsidies for Consumers Without Affordable Employer Insurance


According to President Biden, Medicare for All will slow down the growth of healthcare prices. The American Rescue Plan (ARP), which he signed into law in March 2021, increases premium tax credits and allows people with incomes above 400 percent poverty level to qualify for subsidies for the first time — meaning most American households will save money when purchasing plans.


Finding the right healthcare plan for your family can be difficult. While you want to ensure that you are getting the best possible coverage for your family, it is often hard to know where to start.


If you want to learn more about finding the right health insurance plan for your family, we can help directly link you to one licensed agent. The Trusted Referral Network is here to help!




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