As noted in our “5 Ways to Win the War for Talent” white paper, 22% of the US workforce (roughly 36.2 million people) is expected to be fully remote by 2025. While some organizations may always prefer an in-person, on-site work environment, there are perks to working remote, for both employers and their employees, including:
- Fewer distractions or interruptions. Employees can maintain a focus by controlling their own work environments, allowing for efficient execution of tasks.
- Increased recruitment and retention of top talent as well as increased morale. When employees have more say on when, how, and where they work, there’s a sense of autonomy, ownership, and greater responsibility. Many employers are going so far as to offer the opportunity to work remotely as a new signing bonus or sorts.
- Controlled costs on space, technology, and ancillary expenditures. With fewer in-person meetings, office upkeep, supplies, etc., overhead costs decrease. For instance, telecommuting in 2015 alone saved employers $44 billion.
This trend was certainly expedited by the COVID-19. The global pandemic forced nearly every non-essential business to immediately shut its traditional office doors and transition into a remote, or work-from-home, model. While this pivot was initially met with reduced staffing, for a variety of reasons including fear of economic downturns, employment quickly rebounded, leading to nationwide hiring sprees.
So here, we have two powerful trend forces intersecting. One force represents the need to hire more top talent quickly. The other force is a widespread acceptance, comfortability, and all-around preference of remote work. Now, employers can reach well beyond their local talent pools when looking to fill positions with proven efficient distributed work processes having been implemented out of necessity. In short, employers can hire the best candidate available—not the best candidate in a specific area code.
On paper, this is advantageous for all parties involved. When it comes to providing health benefits to this new employee population, however, it becomes convoluted and difficult. As these individuals are out-of-network, there are innate disadvantages to working remote, all of which are new to employees who have always worked near where they lived and employers who have always hired and insured employees within local networks.
Let’s see how this plays out for Jane Doe.
Jane lives in Ohio. She recently accepted a position with Acme Widgets based in NYC. She’s making more money—especially compared to average salaries in her hometown. However, Jane is only being offered a health plan through a NYC-based carrier—Anthem. Because Anthem does not offer any plans in Ohio, whenever Jane or one of her dependent’s visits a doctor, they are required to pay out-of-network rates. Extrapolated over the course of one plan year, these out-of-network or out-of-area costs pile up, placing financial stress on Jane and her family. Jane also begins to realize that the difference in salaries between an Ohio-based position and one operating out of NYC is essentially washed out by increased out-of-pocket healthcare expenses. Jane ultimately decides that she’s better off NOT accepting her new employer’s health benefit offering and remaining on her in-network health insurance. However, with traditional group health plan offerings, it’s hardly feasible for her employer to facilitate this option.
Enter YourWay Frontier.
How do we allow Jane to keep an in-network plan? Simple. We empower her with the means to select health coverage that fits her needs.
By leveraging YourWay Frontier from OneBridge Benefits, these two steps are now possible. Acme Widgets provides a set contribution amount based on employee classes, and OneBridge handles everything else.
The best part? Any unused funds are portable, and can be used for any and all future qualified health-related expenses, turning a typical annual plan into a revolutionary lifetime benefit.
With millions of individuals like Jane, now is the time to empower them to take full advantage of pre-tax Frontier funds, and obtain the coverages that best fit their individual financial and health needs.
Take the first step today in modernizing your coverage by speaking with our YourWay Frontier implementation specialist, Ben Indelicato.