Expense Recovery and Cost Reduction – How Much of Yours Is Going to Waste?

Businesses hemorrhage funds for a variety of reasons. Among the most substantial are overpaid invoices, poor utilization of tax incentives, improper filing classification, and related expenditures. These are relatively easy to correct through expense recovery and cost reduction programs like Stryde. The real question is – then what? Savings yields have become trivial, conservative stock portfolios don’t do much better, and more aggressive avenues tend to present significant risk.

This is where Business Owners’ Retirement Plans become so valuable.

  • We represent Commercial Lenders willing to lend your business $1,000,000 or more on an “interest only” basis.
  • These funds are then deposited into an Index account, for the Owner’s benefit, free from market risk, growing tax deferred.
  • At retirement, the Owner can receive lifetime proceeds “tax free”.
  • At the Owner’s death, the loan is repaid and any remaining funds are distributed to the Owner’s beneficiaries, tax free.

A key component of saving for retirement in this manner is how the money interacts with taxation:

  • Tax Deferred Growth
  • Tax Free Lifetime Distribution
  • Tax Free Distribution At Death

To learn more about leveraging your business to retire well, contact Chelten Consulting.

Four Critical Strategies in Combating Rising Benefits Costs

employee benefits graphicEmployers are facing ever-increasing challenges in controlling costs while attempting to offer competitive benefits. A recent study indicates that healthcare costs will continue to grow faster than inflation at a rate of over 4%.

While there’s no silver bullet in combating rising healthcare costs, there are a variety of factors that can be identified. Knowing what’s driving up your healthcare costs can help in finding ways to control these costs without gutting your benefits offerings. These include the rising costs of procedures, especially among specialists, the increasing cost and quantity of prescription medications being dispensed, the advent of newer and more refined technological aids, patient inclination to seek out rapid care, and more. But what can we accomplish with this information?

Understanding where these excess costs are coming from will allow you and your benefits advisers to identify specific coverages or elements of a plan that can be reduced or eliminated. Often the amount you save will be significant enough that some of that money can go back into the benefits system for other, less costly services. It’s certainly a strategy of balance, and of finding ways to make your dollars go as far as they can for the company and those who work within it. Four of the key benefits choices to control costs include:

1. Level-funding company healthcare costs.
2. Provide a proactive wellness initiative.
3. Use a flexible contribution arrangement (FSA).
4. Use deductible exposure mitigation vehicles (HRAs).

Does your executive team and/or HR department understand these strategies and what they offer your organization? Are you aware of which ones you’re already using? Do you know which aspects of your benefits program prove least and most effective in terms of dollars spent? These are critical questions that should be asked and answered frequently. To learn more about benefits challenges and strategies to combat them, contact Chelten Consulting Group.

HR Objective: Increasing Health Plan Satisfaction

shutterstock_174875483 - CopyOne of the most common and challenging goals for human resources departments is increasing levels of employee satisfaction with health plan options. In a vacuum, this should prove a simple task – but it’s equally important to control costs. One of the best solutions to balance these often-conflicting ideals is to borrow a page from the book of senior healthcare. Seniors obtain GAP coverages that allow them to select which areas they find likely to need additional care. This allows them to obtain relatively little coverage in other, less relevant areas. The strategy reduces the cost of the program while keeping an astounding 94% of senior satisfied with their coverage.

But GAP coverages aren’t exclusively for seniors. Leveraging this model is possible in a wide variety of different organizations and coverage paradigms. The best bet to control employer costs and employee costs is to start with relatively bare plans – bronze or MEC (minimum essential coverage). This helps to reduce excessive coverage for any plan participants. Then participants can elect individual GAP coverages to enhance their plan, making it suit their needs while also improving their understanding/familiarity with it. This can not only help to control costs and increase employee plan satisfaction, but also reduce the burden of benefits communications procedures – especially useful in larger organizations.

To learn more about improving employee plan satisfaction while controlling costs, contact us.

HDHP Supplements – HSA versus Group GAP Coverages

shutterstock_252811903 - CopyHigh deductible health plans (HDHPs) have become popular since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act as a means to secure basic coverage and avoid noncompliance penalties. But these plans clearly leave their claimants vulnerable to a wide variety of costly health issues. Most employers and human resource directors know this, but the challenge is finding an affordable solution that benefits everyone. Spend too much of your HR budget and you risk dragging or company into the red. Offer too little in coverages and you’ll have difficulty retaining highly qualified employees.

For many years, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have been the defacto supplement to HDHPs. But these accounts have proven unattractive to employees for a variety of reasons, from complexity of use to perceived value. Group GAP coverages, however, have begun to change the way people think about health insurance. Here’s an example from our own consulting experience:

Challenge:  Workers were offered a high deductible health plan (HDHP) along with a Health Saving Account (HSA).  Employees were urged to put away monies to cover deductibles and cost sharing expenses. However, the company was facing poor employee participation and employee morale was low.

Solution:  At renewal, the Employer offered a second plan option for employees: a HDHP with Doctor’s Office Visit and RX copays PLUS several GAP insurance plan options employees could “pick and purchase” to fill in high deductibles and cost sharing expenses.

Result:  Enrollment response was overwhelming with the new Bronze/Group GAP plan, that the following year, the employer dropped the HSA plan and kept the HDHP with Doctor’s office visit and RX copays and GAP plan offerings.

To learn more about how your HR team can control costs and improve employee morale with GAP coverages, contact us.