I recently read an article in USA Today money section entitled “Americans struggle with financial stress” by Paul Davidson, April 19, 2018.
“About 76 million US households make up the bottom 60% of income earners, with take-home pay of $65,000 or less. Of that group, about a third were “stressed” in 2016 UBS says, near the highest level since the mid-1990s. UBS defines “stressed” Americans as those whose financial obligations – such as mortgages, rent, auto loans and leases, and credit card bills – exceed 30% of their income and don’t have enough cash and other assets to pay their bills for six months in the event of a layoff or other shock.
42.9 million Americans have a medical debt on their credit reports which equates to 1 in 8 Americans, or 12.5% of the population.
In 2015, three surveys were conducted by Kaiser, MetLife, and AFLAC and all three stated there was employee angst over the cost of healthcare and the ability to pay – either at the time of service, or out of their paycheck contribution. The surveys stated that with a annual average wage increase of 0% to 3%, employees couldn’t keep up with the increasing cost of their healthcare or their health insurance. Affordability and Sustainability.
When you think about it, an employer’s second greatest expense after wages is usually health insurance. And the health insurance cost is only a reflection of healthcare costs. If healthcare costs and health insurance costs are going up at a rate greater than wage increases, it’s no wonder that employees and workers are stressed-out over finances.
Historically, when faced with an average to substantial health insurance rate increase an employer only has a few choices: 1) pay the increase and not give employees a wage increase; 2) share in the cost of the rate increase with employees which may eliminate or reduce the ability of a wage increase, and increase the employees contribution (which further increases stress); or 3) raise everybody’s deductibles and/or out-of-pocket expenses (which also increases financial stress); or 4) any combination of the above.
Wouldn’t it be great if an employer could give what would otherwise be a rate increase back to employees in the way of a wage increase or a bonus, rather than giving those increases to the insurance companies?
There are ways to fight the ever increasing cost of healthcare and health insurance – you just need to know where to look, who to talk to, and the techniques available. Our clients are experiencing (believe it or not) 20% to 50% reductions in their healthcare costs – without reducing any benefits to employees.
The savings have been so remarkable that employers are asking me how they can give back to employees through either contribution moratoriums, wage increases, benefit increases, or other means.
If you’d like to know more about how you too can accomplish this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 970-349-7707 for a free, no obligation chat. I look forward to hearing from you!