Characteristics of a good employee health plan

Characteristics of a good employee health plan

Characteristics of a good employee health plan

One of the best ways to keep employees happy is to offer a generous health insurance plan. A study by showed that more than 75 percent of workers would rather have a better insurance plan than receive a pay raise. That begs the question: What makes a good health insurance plan? The answer is not as simple as naming off specific benefits. A series of factors determine how employees evaluate health insurance plans.


Employees tend to focus on what the premium will cost them out of every paycheck, which may not be the correct number to focus on. It’s more important that an employee pay attention to is the percentage paid, compared to the percentage the employer pays. Most employee benefits packages will include the percentage somewhere in their materials, so it may take a little reading to find it. On average, employers contribute 72 percent of the cost of a health plan for a single employee.

Employees also look for choices in price through a tiered plan offered by their employer. The more tiers offered, the more cost saving options available to the employee. This includes options when it costs less to add children without adding the spouse.


The benefits offered by a health insurance plan are the meat and potatoes of what makes a good plan. Employees want to make sure they are getting the best coverage for their contribution to the premium, so offering choices is a good way to make your employees happy. Since the needs of employees can differ greatly, offering multiple choices is important.

Health plans should offer coverage for a variety of services, ranging from general health checkups with a primary care physician to access to specialists for those who need care for a complex medical problem. This need for diverse coverage emphasizes the importance of offering tiered choices to your employees. Allowing your employees to choose between two or three plans, which begin with a simple plan covering the basics and top out with one that covers specialty services and treatment, will keep them happy and healthy.

Employees also care about which providers they are allowed to seek care from with the coverage provided. Employees are more likely to choose a plan that that includes their own health-care provider or a plan that doesn’t charge for going out of network.


Health insurance today is offering more and more “perks.” Health insurance carriers now offer coverage under their “wellness” programs. These include coverage for family leave, fertility treatments, exercise classes or diet and nutrition counseling.

The idea behind wellness programs is that if an insured takes care of his or herself, then he or she will be healthier, thus saving the health carrier money on future claims. Employers who offer plans that include wellness programs can encourage their employees to take advantage of such programs by offering workforce challenges, which increases the sense of community among employees.

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