alone-513525_1920Healthcare is changing. Employee benefits are changing. It can be a lot for an HR manager or small business owner to keep up with.

The first step is identifying exactly what your biggest challenges are, and a recent survey by Benefits Selling did just that. Here are the top 4 issues employers reported, along with some strategies for dealing with each of them. Even on a small business budget.

1. Increasing costs

In the survey, less than 1/4 of employers said the cost of the benefits they offer had stayed the same. Instead, 40 percent said costs had risen some, and another 35 percent said they had increased significantly. Almost 2/3 said they planned to ask their employees to help pick up the difference.

Shifting the costs to employees is one option for combatting the rising costs of health care benefits, but there are others. Some examples are switching to a more consumer-driven health plan, launching a health savings account, or implementing a wellness program.

2. Changing benefits

If your method for cutting costs was to change some of the benefits you offer, then you’re basically swapping one headache for another. But there are plenty of strategies for effectively communicating these changes.

The most important one is employee education. Your workers need to understand why and how the company is making changes to their benefit offering. They need to know how much they’re valued by the company and that their satisfaction and understanding is key.

3. Working with an advisor

Due to all the recent changes in the world of health care and employee benefits, employers are finding it increasingly helpful to work with a broker or benefits advisor, with 63 percent of those surveyed saying they had consulted with their broker about the PPACA requirements.

These professionals can be an invaluable resource for information and options. If you don’t have one, or aren’t getting the help you need from the one you do have, you might want to give us a call.

4. Understanding PPACA

Employers continue to struggle to figure out the Affordable Care Act and its implications on their business and their benefit offerings. The good news is that, for those who employ less than 50 full time workers, they don’t apply. At least, not yet.

Again, with so many changing regulations, it’s best to work with a benefits advisor to fully understand what is or might soon be required to comply with the PPACA.

No matter the challenges you face, there are strategies that can help you deal with them effectively. If we can help you navigate the changing climate of employee benefits, contact Sequoyah Group today. We listen. You benefit.