Health Care Benefits Can be Used to Compete for Talent

August 25, 2011 ( - A new Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) study explains that further incorporating health care into the total rewards strategy is one of several ways organizations can use this important benefit to attract and retain top talent and to get the most out of health care spend.

A press release said health care benefits are considered an important part of employee compensation, but 65% of the benefits professionals surveyed say they are not integrated into the total rewards strategy. Employee health and health finance literacy are only moderately emphasized. However, high-performance organizations are much more likely to emphasize health and finance literacy (75%) than lower-performing organizations (45%).  

The study shows high-performance organizations utilize specific communication channels to educate employees on their health care plans.

“Many companies are still taking a wait-and-see approach with health care, but our findings show that making some bold moves now – in how health care is presented and communicated to employees – will lead to a competitive edge in the labor market,” said Amit Mohindra, i4cp’s director of research and author of the report, in the announcement. “We’re seeing high-performance organizations beginning to inject some vitality into their health care benefits approach. This report helps bring their practices to light so other companies in our membership can understand what they’re doing differently.”

Findings in the study report, The State of Employee Health Care Benefits, include: 

  • Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) are the most commonly offered plan type in 2011, followed by consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs). 
  • Less than half of respondents stated that CDHPs are prevalent in their organizations, surprising given the pressure to manage health care costs more effectively. 
  • Despite major changes in health care law, respondents reported virtually no anticipated changes from 2011 plan year offerings. 
  • Only 32% of respondents agree that individual employees are held accountable for lifestyle choices that increase health care costs. 
  • There is little use of incentives to drive employee behavior toward the most appropriate health plan or healthy lifestyle choices. 
The report is based on a study conducted with 138 health care benefits specialists. More information about the Institute is at