The Value of Health Insurance in a Total Rewards Strategy

May 7, 2024

Jay Kirschbaum

Quick Summary: This blog assesses the critical role of health insurance within a comprehensive total rewards strategy, focusing on its importance for both employee satisfaction and business success.

  • Comprehensive Approach: Integrating compensation, benefits, work-life balance, recognition, and development.
  • Employee Benefits: Health insurance is crucial for financial security, work-life balance, recognition, and career development.
  • Employer Benefits: Attracts top talent, enhances retention, boosts engagement, and aligns with business goals.
  • Strategic Value: Health insurance is essential in a total rewards model for maintaining a productive workforce and fostering a positive work environment.

In today's competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent goes beyond offering a good salary. Traditional thinking was that employees did not place a significant value on employee benefits. Recent experience has changed that perception. A total rewards strategy, which is a blend of direct compensation, benefits, work-life balance, performance recognition, and development opportunities, plays a critical role in this.

Among these components, health insurance, in particular, is deeply valued by employees for the security and well-being it provides.

Today, we explore the integral role of health insurance within a total rewards strategy. We will highlight how it not only enhances employee satisfaction and loyalty but also serves as a strategic lever to achieve business objectives.

Understanding the Total Rewards Strategy

It is no secret that employee benefits are important for attracting and retaining talent. According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 60% of employees rated benefits as a “very important contributor to job satisfaction.”

Offering the right benefits packages can make or break an organization.

A total rewards strategy takes a holistic approach to benefits. As SHRM defines it:

A total rewards strategy is a system implemented by a business that provides monetary, beneficial, and developmental rewards to employees who achieve specific business goals.”

Essentially, this strategy goes beyond simply paying a salary. It's a comprehensive approach that considers all the financial and non-financial rewards an organization offers its employees. Beyond strictly compensation, it emphasizes personal growth and aims to enhance the employee experience to create a productive, motivated work environment.

A total rewards strategy, for example includes things such as:

  • Compensation: Base salary, bonuses, commissions, and stock options.
  • Benefits: Health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and wellness programs.
  • Work-life Balance: Flexible work arrangements, childcare assistance, and programs that promote employee well-being.
  • Recognition: Programs that acknowledge and celebrate employee achievements.
  • Development: Opportunities for learning and career advancement, including training programs, tuition reimbursement, and mentorship.

Creating a total rewards strategy means understanding how these individual perks are better together to create more value for employees and should be considered as a package rather than one-off items.

Representation of a total rewards model using blocks

Benefits of a Total Reward Model

A well-crafted total rewards strategy offers a wealth of benefits for both employers and employees.

For Employees

  • Financial Security: Competitive compensation and benefits packages that include robust health insurance provide employees with a sense of financial security and well-being.
  • Improved Work-Life Balance: Flexible work arrangements, childcare support, and wellness programs help employees achieve a healthy balance between their professional and personal lives. This is essential for reducing stress and burnout.
  • Increased Recognition and Appreciation: When organizations acknowledge and celebrate employee achievements, it fosters a sense of value and belonging, boosting morale and motivation.
  • Enhanced Development Opportunities: Investment in training programs or continued education equips employees with valuable skills and knowledge to benefit their career growth.

For Employers

  • Attract Top Talent: A compelling total rewards package positions your organization as an employer of choice and attracts highly skilled individuals.
  • Improved Employee Retention: By addressing employee needs beyond just salary, you create a work environment that fosters loyalty.
  • Increased Employee Engagement: When employees feel valued, they become more engaged in their work, leading to higher productivity and better business outcomes.
  • Alignment with Business Goals: A strategic total rewards program can be designed to incentivize behaviors and skills that directly support your organizational objectives.

Health Insurance as a Core Component of Total Rewards

With so many benefits, including voluntary benefits to choose from, it can be difficult for organizations to know where to start building their total rewards strategy. At World Insurance, we recommend starting with health insurance.

Health insurance is a cornerstone of a successful total rewards model. Time and time again, healthcare proves to be one of the most desired benefit offerings among employees. According to a recent study conducted by Forbes, 67% of employees and 68% of employers believe employer-provided healthcare to be the most important benefit in a compensation package.

Health insurance is a strategic investment in your employees' well-being and a critical component of a successful total rewards strategy. Let’s take a closer look at how health insurance fits into the total rewards framework:

  • Balancing Financial and Emotional Needs: Health insurance provides a safety net for employees facing unexpected medical expenses. This priceless peace of mind allows them to focus on their health and recovery without worrying about the financial burden.
  • Supporting Work-Life Balance: With health insurance, employees can proactively manage their health. This reduces the need for unplanned absences and allows them to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Fostering a Culture of Care: Offering comprehensive health insurance (physical and mental health included) demonstrates your commitment to employee well-being. This creates a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported.

Benefits of Integrating Health Insurance into a Total Rewards Strategy

Quality health insurance significantly impacts employee satisfaction and retention. Here are just a handful of benefits of this investment:

  • Reduced Turnover: Employees who feel their health needs are addressed are less likely to leave their jobs for companies offering better health benefits.
  • Increased Productivity: By promoting good health and reducing stress, health insurance can contribute to a healthier and more productive workforce.
  • Enhanced Reputation: A company that offers robust health insurance plans becomes more attractive to potential candidates.

Remember, health insurance is just one component of an overall total rewards strategy. It serves as a foundation for fostering a positive, productive work environment but is made better when combined with other important benefits. Make sure to elevate your total rewards model with other perks, recognition programs, and more.

Ready to enhance your employee benefits? Reach out to the team at World Insurance today to learn more about how our team can help modernize your program and employees’ experience.

About the Author

 Jay Kirschbaum

Senior Vice President, Director of Benefits Compliance

  • Jay has 30+ years of experience as a tax attorney, specializing in employee benefits programs.
  • Responsible for helping World's clients keep their benefit plans within the boundaries of all applicable laws and regulations while simultaneously enhancing the experience and plan results