What Employees Want from a Health Insurance Plan

Employees are more likely to accept or stay at a job because of the health insurance plans. These plans can either bring them peace of mind, or just be a costly expense. Ensuring employees have what they need and want in a health insurance plan is a great way to increase employee satisfaction and longevity.

Reasonable Premiums

An insurance premium is the amount that needs to be paid to the insurance company to receive health insurance coverage. Other costs are associated with healthcare, so having a reasonable premium is an important feature of a health insurance plan. Employers can cover health insurance premiums, or part of them, which will ensure employees pay a reasonable amount in premium.  Without employer coverage of premiums, a low premium will generally mean more costs should the employee need to receive care.

High Deductible Plan Options

High deductible plans have lower premiums, but higher deductibles. The deductible is the amount you pay for health services before insurance will start to cover expenses. A high deductible plan option can be a great option for employees who are generally healthy, don’t have any chronic health conditions, and don’t have to do many doctors or other healthcare visits in a year. This would lower the cost of premium for employees while also giving them healthcare coverage. This also works well if the employee is single or has a small family. A high deductible plan can be paired with an HSA in which the employee can contribute earnings pretax to put money toward deductibles or pay for healthcare. Employers can also contribute to an HSA.

Vision and Dental

Health insurance plans can help employers hire and keep employees. Employees want health insurance plans that have benefits they need. Vision and dental are key benefits that can help with employee satisfaction in a health insurance plan. Vision and dental care are part of essential needs. When these needs are met, employees are happier and healthier. Vision and dental care can also help improve health by catching problems early on like tooth decay or checking for vision changes. Having vision and dental as part of the health insurance plan can help employees feel more satisfied with their employer, because they care about their needs.

Access to Specialists

Healthcare isn’t just limited to a primary care physician. Therefore, health insurance shouldn’t be limited either. Most healthcare plans should provide specialized care such as dermatology services. This is especially important for employees with family, or if there is a chronic health condition. This would give them more access to the providers they really needed. Health insurances can offer a network of providers that employees can go see. A PPO, preferred provider organization, plan can give more access to specialists. This plan allows you to go to any provider, even if it is not in a network. An HMO, health maintenance organization, plan will also give you a network, but will require referral from a primary care physician to see some specialists. A PPO plan may cost more, but it gives the flexibility of being able to seek care from any provider.


Including prescription coverage is part of a comprehensive insurance plan. Many people take prescriptions, and the prescription plan on employees’ insurance can make a difference. There are different ways that prescriptions are covered on insurance. Copays are set amounts you pay for the prescription based on the tier of cost of the drug. Coinsurance means you pay part of the cost, while the insurance pays the rest, based on a percentage split. Prescription deductibles are just like insurance deductibles, where you need to meet the cost before the coverage begins. Integrated deductible includes prescriptions in the overall deductible. Out-of-pocket maximum includes prescriptions which caps the amount you pay out of pocket. Having a copay or coinsurance would be a beneficial aspect of company insurance.

Preventive Services

Healthcare plans should include preventive services. Preventive services include a yearly health screening as well as shots. Preventive services help screen for diseases or illnesses and can help employees catch health problems early. This includes screenings for certain conditions like blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, etc. These screenings can depend on age, medical and family history. Preventive care as part of health insurance can be fully covered, or there may be some cost like deductibles or copayments. This is a great way to ensure that employees are staying healthy and is something they want in a health insurance plan.

Family Health Insurance

The affordable care act requires that large employers have coverage for their employees and their dependents. This can exclude spouses and it doesn’t require that they pay any of a premium for dependents. However, many businesses do offer better plans than this. They will offer plans with spouses covered as well as dependents, while also covering a portion of the premium for the family. This is something that employees want in their health insurance plan. It may not matter as much for your single employees, but for employees with families, big or small, offering coverage for spouses and families makes a big difference.


Telehealth used to be a nice add on, but experience has shown that telehealth can be a useful tool, and a permanent part of health benefits. For some health services, telehealth can provide an effective and efficient way to access healthcare. Telehealth can be especially helpful for areas like behavioral health, where employees are less likely to face stigma. It can also help cut down on costs with access to 24/7 triage which can help assess the right level of care. It can be a great tool for primary care. This will help employees have greater access to the care they need.

Because employees are more likely to stay at a job because of health benefits, it is important for them to have options. They should be able to choose a plan with options that they want. It should be able to work for their circumstances while also being as affordable as possible.  

Read this next: How to Enhance Communication in Your Workplace


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