HR Support on Providing Employee Health Plans

Editor's Note: Balance quality health plans with costs.

Tracy MorleyOverview: Employers use health care benefits as a means to attract and retain good employees. These benefits are generally viewed by employees as an important part of their total compensation package.

Typical benefit packages generally include coverage for medical and prescription benefits, but many employers provide more comprehensive benefit programs that include coverage for dental and vision benefits as well. Given the tax advantages, flexible spending accounts (FSA's) continue to be a popular choice for employees.

Rising health care costs continues to be a concern, and employers are on the lookout for ways to manage this cost. Educating employees to help them make informed benefit choices suited to their individual needs provides employers with a means to start controlling costs. The continuing movement toward consumer driven health care can help employees get the care they need while making them more knowledgeable, engaged consumers.

Trends: Change is the new norm in the landscape of health benefit plans. Health Care Reform poses significant challenges for HR professionals and its requirements will affect how both employers and employees view health benefit plans.

Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor

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