Managing Population Health

Introduction
For a long time now, employers have struggled with trying to meet the high costs of having to provide their employees with the best health care benefits possible as a way of retaining them. On the other hand, employees have demanded better health care benefits programs that will ensure that they are healthy and highly productive. This situation has, therefore, forced employers to think of other creative ways through which they can ensure that the workforce remains healthy and productive while also paying the least amount possible in the form of health care benefits. This paper seeks to come up with a health care benefits program that will provide incentives to influence the behavior of the employees.

  1. Tiered insurance plans

Insurance plans have become increasingly expensive, and the costs of premiums for the employees are too high on both the employer and employee. Therefore, the employer takes on the burden of paying such premiums on behalf of the employees and subtracts a certain percentage from the employee’s salary. By coming up with tiered insurance plans, the employer can be able to significantly lower the cost of insurance for the employee’s family (Smith, Badr & Wall, 2019). The most common tier insurance plan is known as the family cover, which provides insurance cover to the employee, the spouse, and the children. In this manner, the employer pays tier premiums rather than for individual insurance covers, thereby reducing the overall health care costs.

  1. Providing employees with health risk assessments

It is important for employers to provide employees with health risk assessments as a way of getting to understand their employees better. These health risk assessments provide deeper insight into some of the health issues that the employees are facing and, as such, enable the employers to curate the health care benefits package that will ensure the utmost wellness and productivity of the employees. The use of big data analytics by employers ensures that both the employers and employees understand the different identified risk factors that the employee faces which discharging their services and also the several ways through which the identified risks are mitigated thereby reducing the overall health cost (Smith, Badr & Wall, 2019). A properly curated benefits package that covers particular risks is much more effective at influencing employee behavior than a more generalized health care benefits package.

  • Providing employees with wellness programs

The backbone of a well-designed wellness program is clear communication between the employer and the employee. Effective communication is critical to the successful implementation of health care benefits packages for employees. Employers should have on-site health care service providers to provide preventive care to the employees while still at the workplace. This ensures that preexisting medical conditions such as diabetes remain checked throughout. Employers should also offer better food options at the workplace to ensure that the employees eat healthier meals and remain productive. The employer could also replace junk food vending machines with those that have better and healthier snacks for employees. The provision of gyms and other fitness facilities at the workplace will allow employees to exercise and keep fit and will generally remain healthy and highly productive in the long-run period. The provision of telemedicine and telehealth services to employees increases their access to health care services, and as a result, the employees will be healthier as well as more motivated to work (Short, 2020). The overall health care costs will also be lowered because increased access to health care means that lower healthcare insurance premiums will be paid by the employers.
Conclusion
Through the implementation of the above employee health care benefits, the employer will have provided the employees with incentives that are more likely to succeed in influencing their behavior and attitudes at their place of work.

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