Controlling Group Health Care Costs in Your Business

Consider these tips when figuring out ways you can keep this significant expense in check while also ensuring that it satisfies your employees’ health needs

Interested in Business?

Get Business articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Business + Get Alerts

For small-business owners, there are obvious advantages to providing decent employee health benefits. Among those advantages: improved employee morale, potentially fewer sick days, and more attractive perks to entice new employees.

The problem, of course, is that group health care costs can be sizable. Fortunately, there are some proactive strategies that small-business owners can take to curb some of their health care expenditure, without leaving their employees in the lurch.

1) Start with your pharmacy strategy.

Employee pharmacy benefits can be exorbitantly expensive, especially when employees need access to specialty drugs. Some of the most cost-effective group health care plans mediate this problem by steering employees away from hospitals and toward clinics and doctor’s offices, where specialty drugs aren’t as prevalent or as costly.

2) Incorporate wellness programs.

Some employers balk at the notion of workplace wellness programs. For example, programs designed to help employees meet their personal dietary, weight loss, or exercise goals. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that these programs can not only boost employee satisfaction, but also decrease sick days and doctor appointments. Wellness programs can be useful preventive strategies, helping reduce the need for costlier health care interventions.

3) Provide plenty of options to your employees.

Another important strategy is providing employees with at least a few different options, allowing them to customize their health benefits. Give employees the opportunity to determine the health benefits they actually need, rather than forcing everyone on the team to conform to the same plan. This can help you and your employees reduce unnecessary health expenditures.

4) Encourage telemedicine.

Telemedicine allows doctors or nurses to perform basic diagnostic services, and even call in prescriptions, without the requirement of a full medical visit. Employees appreciate the convenience of telemedicine, and these appointments are also far less costly than full medical appointments. By informing employees of their telemedicine options, you can potentially generate some notable cost savings.

5) Consider the available data.

Over time, you should develop some significant data about your employees’ health claims, where you’re spending money, and where your employees are not taking full advantage of their benefits. All of this data can be useful to you as you tailor your employee health care plan, ensuring you’re spending only where you really need to.  

6) Consider case management services.

Do your employees experience any barriers to receiving the care they need? Case management services can help identify these barriers and offer some ways to overcome them, which can lead to more effective benefits utilization.

Pursue Strategies for Reducing Your Health Costs

Group health care can be a source of vexation: It’s an essential perk, but also a significant source of spending. With the right strategy, employers and HR leaders can strike a happy medium, furnishing employees with benefits they will actually use, all while reducing their own costs. Pursue the strategies that make the most sense for your team, and develop a health care plan of real value to everyone.

About the Author

Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic, a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and she's currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California and Dublin. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects; often engages in content and social media marketing; and drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.