Imagine a job interview in which a prospective employee asks, “What do you offer for benefits?” and the interviewer replies, “What do you need?” At companies using Advanced Healthcare Strategies and offering point solutions as part of a Total Rewards program, that scenario is more than plausible.
Advanced strategies that include point solutions offer a proverbial win-win for employers and their workforce. Employers win by:
- Differentiating themselves from competitors in the employment marketplace by offering benefits customized to each employee’s stage of life;
- Managing costs by paying only for benefits that employees use, rather than investing in costly offerings that look good on paper but are under-utilized;
- Contributing to employee wellbeing — physical, psychological, even financial — and thereby ensuring a healthier, happier and more productive workforce;
- Containing healthcare spend by supporting and maintaining workforce health.
Employees win by:
- Having access to benefits tailored to their stage of life — whether they’re entry-level hires prioritizing career development, parents in need of daycare, or older staff planning for retirement;
- Receiving tools and resources that lead to good physical, mental and financial health;
- Containing personal health costs by limiting the need for spending on deductibles and co-pays, and, when applicable, by having access to tools for finding the right physician and making provider and price comparisons.
What Are Point Solutions?
Let’s start by stating what point solutions are not. They are not a one-size-fits-all approach to employee benefits plan design.
Broadly defined, point solutions are additional support tools that enhance an organization’s core benefit offerings, targeting specific conditions and pathways to care. For example, one employee may be working to manage their diabetes. Another may be struggling with depression. Someone else might have issues with fertility. In each case, the right point solution — customized to the needs of the employee — is an invaluable benefit. For the employer providing the benefit, the potential return on the investment is not only a healthier and happier employee but also a helpful case study to share when recruiting prospective hires.
Standing Out in the Employment Marketplace
When Alera Group conducted its 2022 benchmarking survey, only 30% of the more than 2,500 businesses that participated said they offer point solutions through their group health plan. Another 9% said they offered point solutions through an outside vendor. A considerable majority — 61% — said they don’t offer point solutions at all.
Companies who do deploy the advanced strategy of using integrated point solutions gain a competitive advantage in the employment marketplace — as innovators who provide benefits employees can access and use to address their most urgent needs. Solutions range from mental health services to DEI initiatives to adoption and surrogacy support to treatment of chronic conditions such as obesity, a leading cause of diabetes. For employees who are diabetic, point solutions may involve maintenance tools to help support blood sugar regulation, or programs to help alleviate the high cost of insulin and other diabetes-related medications.
Other point solutions may address even bigger financial challenges — paying off college debt, for example, or buying a first home. Advanced strategies involve looking at healthcare and benefits differently, broadening the scope of what a Total Rewards program can be while managing costs and enhancing the employee experience.
To learn more about what the strategies employers in your industry and region are utilizing — and to gain insight to how you can differentiate yourself in the employment marketplace — read Alera Group’s “2022 Healthcare and Employee Benefits Benchmarking Report.” You can obtain your copy by clicking on the link below.
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About the Author
Gretchen Day, MPH, MCHES
VP of Health Innovations and Advanced Strategies
AIA, Alera Group
Through her role at AIA, Alera Group, Gretchen Day satisfies her passion for public health by working with businesses and their employees to improve workplace culture and influence change in their healthcare delivery system. Ultimately, her goal is to help individuals access better quality healthcare, while advancing innovative thinking to bring about change in the way healthcare is delivered. Gretchen earned her Master of Public Health degree from the Penn State College of Medicine and Master Certified Health Education Specialist certification from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing.