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How Successful Companies Manage Health-Care Benefits

Companies with lower-than-average health-cost increases don't make incremental changes that do things to employees. Instead, they make changes with employees.

September 18, 2003
Related Topics: Benefit Design and Communication, Compensation
Watson Wyatt, a global HR consultancy, recently took a look at companies thathave lower-than-average health-cost increases and are meeting or exceedingcompany financial expectations. The research discovered that companies that arelikely to see lower-than-average health-cost increases are those that run theirhealth-care programs like a business. More specifically, successful companies:
  • More directly manage their health-care supply chain.
  • Emphasize employee productivity and overall health as key goals of their health-care program.
  • Have longer health-care strategy planning cycles.
  • Include employee self-service features in their health-care program.
  • Empower employees to take responsibility for health benefits.
  • Provide employees with self-care information and decision support.
  • Use data in health-care decision-making.
  • Make use of the Internet to administer benefits and distribute health-care information.
  • Are less likely to consider reducing or eliminating coverage.

    Perhaps most important, the Watson Wyatt research also discovered thatcompanies with lower-than-average health-cost increases don’t make incrementalchanges that do things to employees. Instead, they make changes with employeeinput.

Workforce, September 2002, p. 34 -- Subscribe Now!

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