W6 discussion human resource strategies

What About Child and Elder Care? Wellness Programs?

Question A

Many organizations are concerned about the rising cost of employee benefits and question their value to the organization and to the employees.In your opinion, what benefits are of the greatest value to employees? To the organization? Why?

Question B

To live a healthy life, medical professionals say we need to identify those things we currently do to that either impair or contribute to our health. Discuss with your classmates a way to develop a lifetime program for a health program. 


W6 Lecture 1 “Make the Benefits Package Good Enough to Make Your Mother Smile!”

Human Resource Strategies

Make the Benefits Package Good Enough to Make Your Mother Smile!

Many years ago, if someone had a really nice job with benefits, medical, dental, vision, among a few others like a 401K plan, it seemed as if you were set for life. Nowadays, these are considered basics and employees want more than the basics.

I can recall years ago, in 2007, my husband was retiring from the United States Army Reserve in the month of April after 26 years of military service.  We had our two and half year old daughter and we were expecting another baby. At that time, my husband did not have us on his insurance plan with his civilian employer because my plan seemed to have better premiums per month.

Then, around September/October timeframe that same year, my premiums went from 225 dollars per month to around 465 dollars per month.  I was floored and I couldn’t believe that this happened because I really didn’t know about it until I saw my pay stub and saw the huge deduction. There wasn’t anything that could be done.  The major rise in the number of claims for the company I worked for resulted in the rising cost of my medical benefits for everyone. I felt like I was blind sighted and needed to take my concerns over to management.  

“Why such a huge increase in our monthly healthcare premiums? How could this happen?” I mentioned these questions to management.  The reply was “it really couldn’t be avoided.”

I stated that I just can’t afford this premium for too long, and I feel like need to shop around for better rates. It was only a couple of months away from arrival of my daughter, and this did not seem like a scenario that I would wish on my worst enemy.

The rising costs were due to factors like an aging U.S economy, things like high obesity rates, among a host of other factors.

What can be to get a grip on this situation? Companies can take some measures in mind to contain rising health care costs.

Value-Based Health Initiatives are what employers are turning to so that premiums can be more reasonable. But it is not that easy. However, companies find strategies that go beyond cost cutting. What are some of the leading conditions that played a role in the rising health care costs? Diabetes is one of the six medical conditions that contributed to the premium spike.

Taking a look at what employees were suffering from, and incorporated the value-based initiatives to have them see treatment for their diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma so that severe complications would occur later on. This result in fewer emergency room visits and people actually feel better, and thus more productive.

Wellness Programs, which are typically employer sponsored, get workers engage with healthier living alternatives.

Required Benefits

When it comes to benefit packages, around twenty five percent of benefits are legally required.

What do they include?

  • Social Security
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Worker’s Compensation 
  • State Disability Insurance

One of the heavy hitters, Social Security, is one of the hottest subjects among my discussion forums.

Social Security taxes pay for three types of benefits:

  • retirement benefits  
  • disability benefits
  • survivor benefits

There is another category of benefits which involves payments for vacation days, paid holidays, sick leave, and severance pay, and even sabbaticals. 


Required textbook reading for this week:

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