As we get settled into 2016, there are a few things employers need to know about benefits. First, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is alive and well. Required notices to employees are different if employer-sponsored health plans are offered. Watch out, the details are many and tricky at best, and the potential for litigation abounds if employers are not following the rules. But, there’s good news! We have an inside scoop on what your employers want to see in their benefits package, and a few ideas on how to make it happen.
First, do not get rid of vision and dental benefits. Although these may seem like the easy choice to put on the chopping block first, the reality is that these two benefits can save the employer money in the long run. How?
- ER visits are drastically cut down when vision and dental insurance are offered. Costly emergency room trips for issues related to eyes and teeth are very minimal when employers offer vision and dental coverage.
- Routine eye and dental exams can be extremely beneficial in reducing the costs of problems later on. Preventive care is instrumental in diagnosing and treating problems before they become too expensive (significantly reducing both out-of-pocket expenses for the employee as well as overall health plan costs for the employer).
- According to @HRMorning, when vision and dental plans are set up correctly, the ACA regulations do not apply to these benefits. By creating separation vision and dental plans, these premiums will not fall into the threshold set for Cadillac taxes coming your way in 2018.
Of course, keeping your employees happy is just an added bonus because both MetLife and SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) conducted separate surveys in 2014 with the same results. Employees want to see vision and dental benefits on the table. SHRM reports that 83% of employees opted for vision coverage when offered (up from 78% the prior year) and MetLife reported that 76% of employees were interested in voluntary dental coverage if given the choice. The people have spoken…and the ACA cannot regulate. Win, win!