Employee Benefits Cost Management Lessons from the Public Sector

Of any industry, the public sector must find a way to simultaneously keep employee health care costs low, yet attractive enough to recruit and retain the best public service talent. However, with exponentially increasing health insurance premiums, this is a daunting task.columns

In fact, according to the United Benefit Advisors’ 2012 Health Plan Survey, premiums have grown by 134 percent between 1995 and 2012. 

The upside though is while costs are indeed soaring, government workers are not likely to see their health benefits disappear, but they are likely to face a lot of other changes as public employers struggle to control costs.  That’s one of the key findings in a study by the Government Finance Officers Association and Colonial Life

The study researched some of the most impactful and effective strategies local governments are using to decrease healthcare costs.  Not only has the research helped the public sector, but these practices definitely apply to any type of organization. 

The study, which will be the feature of an upcoming UBA-hosted webinar titled, Lessons in Cost Management From the Public Sector: What Organizations of All Types Can Learn,” researched 17 cost savings strategies in four broad-stroke categories  public sector organizations are using to manage benefits costs including:   

  1. Cost-Sharing. Structure the health plan so that employees bear an equitable share of benefit costs
  2. Supplier Management. Getting the most bang-for-the-buck and supplier expense shifting.
  3. Plan Governance & Optimization. Maximizing value from your plans and accruing every possible benefit from them.
  4. Wellness. A healthier employee population can bend long term cost-trends. 

The webinar will dive into the details on some of the top cost management strategies from each of these categories, identifying which are most widely utilized and recommended, and just as important, which strategies are not being utilized and their hurdles to execution.  Case studies and savings illustrations will also be presented. 

Be sure to register for this event, taking place on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 from 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET.