Author Archives: CorpStrat News

What Can You Do about Rising Healthcare Costs?

Healthcare costs are rising. Experts are predicting a 5-7% increase by the end of 2022. 

Over the last couple of years during the pandemic, most people deferred health care services. Elective treatments like knee surgeries or hip replacements were either postponed by their doctor or hospital or were cancelled by the employee. Combined with the early part of the pandemic when the federal government was paying for all COVID related claims, taking employees off the liability of the insurance company, you now start to see why we’re seeing a humongous increase in consumption of healthcare across the country. Government’s no longer paying for COVID and people are beginning to access care they’d previously put off.

This increase in health insurance premiums is happening at exactly the wrong time, as employers are trying to attract and retain talent in one of the tightest labor markets ever. So, what can you do as an employer who’s looking to balance the rising costs of healthcare with wanting to provide rich benefit programs to attract and retain your staff?

Here are four strategies we think should be considered:

1. Partial Self Funding

Take a fresh look at partial self funding. This is a newer approach in California and they’ve traditionally been limited to larger employers, but they’re now being offered to companies with as low as 25 employees. In these programs, employers and the insurance company agree to share in the basic cost of care and administration, with the opportunity to reduce claims and save money. These are a great option for employers who are interested in being proactive in helping their employees be healthy, stay healthy, and manage their health.

2. Newer Companies in the Marketplace

A new insurance company has come into the marketplace and has really a different approach to offering healthcare; we think it’s what the future of healthcare looks like in this country. It may not be for everybody but for the right employer, this could be a great fit. Learn more about it here.

3. High Deductible Health Plans

HSAs and high deductible health plans, as they are referred to, are currently being used by almost 50% of employees across the nation. On the surface, these plans might seem unattractive in a tight labor market because they come with $4-5K deductibles. But there are a lot of different strategies out there an employer can put in place that can soften those deductibles. They can also put in other benefits to make up the difference, contact us to learn how.

4. Wellness Programs

No matter what industry you’re in, what size your company is, or what demographic you employ, integrating wellness programs is going to impact your population both culturally and physically. In the long run, this is going to provide more opportunities for your company to potentially leverage wellness as a cost savings tool as health plans evolve. Currently, insurance companies are talking about changing health plans to include lower rates if companies include a wellness program.  It hasn’t been implemented yet but it’s on the horizon.

Early indications are that we could see increases of up to 20% in both the employer and individual market in the coming year. That’s a huge cost. So, don’t have this conversation at renewal when you’re staring at a 20% rate increase, trying to figure out what to do. Have the conversation now so you’re working with someone you can trust who knows the market well and has a solid strategy going into the renewal.

If you’re interested in some new ideas in healthcare, consult with us today to learn more about how we can make these plans work for you and your budget. Email us at or give us a call at (818) 377-7260 today.

Why Is It So Hard to Find Workers Right Now?

Why Is It So Hard to Find Workers Right Now?

Employers across the country are facing a huge issue right now: too many open positions and not enough workers.

On its face, it seems like there are simply not enough workers available for jobs, but that’s not actually the case. The unemployment rate is hovering just below 5%, translating to roughly 7.5 million unemployed Americans (source: Bureau of Labor Statistics), which tells us there are people available for work.

At the end of Summer 2021, it looked like unemployed Americans were going to return to the workforce in droves. This was when several key COVID-19 initiatives ended—expanded unemployment benefits ceased and children returned to in-person classes. Puzzlingly, while some individuals did return to work, many others quit in record numbers, leaving employers in the lurch.

Below we share what we believe is happening in the current labor market. We lay out potential reasons why individuals have been slow to return to work despite available positions. We also included some suggestions on how you can better attract some of these workers.

Factors Impacting Labor Shortage

1. Fear of Contracting COVID-19

One obvious reason for the labor situation may involve COVID-19-related fears. Some workers are simply afraid of contracting a serious case of COVID-19 at work. To some, remaining unemployed longer outweighs the risks of taking an in-person job. However, as more Americans get vaccinated, this may become less of a concern.

2. Comfortable Savings

During the pandemic, much of the country was in some sort of lockdown, with restrictions put on travel, gatherings and business operations. In effect, many activities people enjoyed were suspended for nearly a year. That meant all the money that someone might spend on eating out, going to the movies or attending concerts all went into personal savings. Plus, individuals received generous stimulus checks and had access to enhanced unemployment benefits during this time, which also contributed to savings.

Now, some workers are relying on those accrued savings to remain out of the workforce. Essentially, they are using their assets to hold out for a desirable job. Under normal circumstances, these people may have taken the first available position. But, with a savings safety net, they are able to wait longer.

3. Reprioritized Worker Desires

The COVID-19 pandemic caused workers to reevaluate their priorities, contributing to the labor shortage. Suddenly, workers began to rethink their priorities and the value of their labor. As the pandemic endured, a common thought was, “Is this job worth my mental and physical health?” Now, even as employees who were laid off are offered back their previous positions, the answer among many has been a resounding, “No.”

Paired with accrued savings, workers are now able to be more discerning with the jobs they accept. As such, a significant number have chosen to quit their current jobs while they search for more fulfilling options.

According to several surveys, employees are looking for the following advantages when job hunting:

  • Scheduling flexibility and/or telework options
  • Access to better employee benefits
  • Greater compensation
  • Job fulfillment

4. Continued Caregiving Duties

Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected the labor market through child care issues. While many schools have returned to in-person learning, some have not. On top of that, some day care facility rates have shot up due to staffing shortages and an influx of parents seeking child care.

For some parents, the costs of day care or the risks of in-person learning are too great. It may be more cost-effective to remain an at-home caregiver a bit longer instead of returning to the workforce right now.

Employer Takeaways

The current labor shortage is due to several overlapping factors, many stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s not a traditional labor shortage in that there are still many unemployed individuals. The real crux seems to be that workers are leveraging the moment to obtain better jobs.

It’s unclear how long workers will remain selective with their labor. Realistically, savings only last so long and, with ample vaccine availability, the pandemic may be under control soon. Workers may be compelled back into the workforce sooner rather than later. It’s in an employers’ best interest to listen to the desires of unemployed workers, namely with flexibility and benefits. Understanding these drivers will be critical to attraction and retention efforts.

At the end of they day, if an employer turns a deaf ear on what employees are looking for, they may be limiting the applicants they receive—both in terms of quality and quantity. This can severely impact an organization’s ability to grow and succeed.

Need help attracting and retaining your workforce? Reach out to CorpStrat for more attraction and retention guidance. Email us at

This Company Is Changing the Employee Benefits Game

Are you an employer looking for a new and innovative health insurance plan to offer your employees? Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a new company in the market that actually did something different from all the traditional insurance carriers? Well, we think there is.

There’s a new kid on the block with a really different approach to Employee Benefits. It’s a publicly traded company built by some of the brightest minds in America: venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. They’ve already partnered with one of the biggest health insurance companies in America to leverage an A+ rating. Also, they provide access to a network of doctors one million strong. With these forces combined, they’re able to offer a completely new approach to healthcare that both empowers employees and makes health insurance better.

This may sound too good to be true. So how do they do it? They use technology and mobile apps to create telemedicine that actually works.

Through the app, you’re able to

  • Talk to a doctor anytime for zero copay
  • Refill prescriptions with the push of a button
  • Gain access to a network as big as the blues
  • Specialist referrals are not needed

By partnering with one of the biggest insurers in the nation, they’ve created great leverage on healthcare providers to push the negotiated rates down. There are also a host of tools baked into the app, designed to incentivize employees to be healthier. Think things like walking rewards, amazon gifts cards for buying healthy groceries, discounted gym memberships, and access to a huge behavioral health network.

What are you waiting for? Give your current and prospective employees a benefits package to brag about. We can help you get set up today!

We think the future of Employee Benefits is here. If you want to hear more about how this could benefit your business, please reach out to us at

Open Enrollment is Over…Now What?

2022 has presented employers with a unique set of challenges. With healthcare costs rising due to inflation, employees opting for unconventional careers post-COVID, and the Great Resignation hanging over their heads, employers need to work harder than ever to attract, retain, and reward their team. Most employers can’t afford to lose anybody. In order to keep their teams intact they need to actively seek out how to make their benefits package more enticing for current and prospective employees.

Here’s a quick hit of the things employers should be doing right now to ensure they’re delivering the best benefits without going over on cost.

1. Are your employee benefits offerings delivered online?

If they’re not, you’re way behind the times. This is an easy way to bring your benefits, delivery, and communication into the 21st century. (Curious how you can get your benefits up to speed, learn more about your Employee Benefits Audit.)

2. Have you done a great job of packaging your offerings to attract employees?

Can you show a new prospective employee what your offerings are, easily and digitally? Beyond medical insurance, employees should be able to easily access the status of and information about their PTO hours, 401K, and remote work options. This is all part of the package employees will look at and consider during the hiring process and the easier it is to understand, the more likely they might be to sign on.

3. Is your HRIS up to speed?

Since the start of the pandemic, the majority of employees are opting for full-time or hybrid remote work. This means your HRIS System needs to be able to manage remote workers effectively and accurately.

Ask yourself:

  • Do my employees currently have an easy way to clock-in, clock out, sign documents, and request PTO from home?
  • Can they view their hours worked or PTO availability?
  • Are all the rules being followed on meal breaks? Would I know if they weren’t?

If the answer to any of these was “I’m not sure”, let’s talk.


4. Have you looked at low cost ways to expand your benefits?

Healthcare costs are rising and this can be a headache for employers. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, take a look at voluntary plans that you can add to your benefits package. Benefits like dental, vision, life, disability insurance, and AFLAC are all great benefits that employees they can’t get on their own.

5. Take time mid-year to review the market and assess how you can improve your offerings.

Contrary to popular belief, renewal is not the best time to reassess what your benefits package looks like. Your broker should actively be helping you find ways to improve your offerings throughout the year. Get strategic with your broker. Now is the time for them to shine.

If your broker is not a valuable part of your business planning team, give us a call at 818-377-7260 or email us at

5 Hidden Attributes in Health Insurance Plans

Many people don’t even think about their health insurance plan until they get sick. The fact is, it also means many people aren’t getting the most out of their plans because they don’t know how to unlock hidden benefits. We firmly believe that a good health insurance plan can do something powerful for everybody. Even if you’re not sick or injured, a good plan can put you on a path to optimal health with the right type of support along the way.

Today we’re sharing some of the most popular hidden attributes in health insurance plans.

1. Alternative Medicine

That lingering back pain might be a thing of the past. Most insurance plans provide some benefits that cover chiropractic care, massage therapy, and acupuncture treatment as a means of alleviating pain or assisting with an injury or illness.

2. Weight Loss & Smoking Cessation

Many insurance companies have moved the needle on preventative care and are incentivizing people to lose weight and get healthy. They have outreach programs that support those struggling to quit smoking and lose weight. Some even subsidize health club memberships.

3. Mental Health

As part of the Mental Health Parity Act of 2010 in the ACA, all insurance companies are required to provide equal benefits for mental health. Let’s face it, in these crazy and uncertain times, we can all use a little mental therapy. If you look closely, there are benefits available to you designed to help you cope and deal with life’s challenges. These benefits include access to psychologists, psychiatrists, and both in and out patient care.

4. Telemedicine

Stay healthy and alleviate concerns, all from the comfort of you own home. The pandemic accelerated virtual healthcare visits and most insurance companies have moved towards allowing people to have consultations and doctor’s visits virtually. Many people have this benefit without realizing it, be sure to login to your benefits platform to take advantage of not needing to go to the doctor’s office.

5. Disease Management

People that are diabetic and asthmatic can benefit from full-fledged programs that include blood sugar monitoring and consultations. These diseases may require round the clock support so having resources to aid in disease management is key.  Don’t be afraid to ask your plan if they sponsor blood sugar management tools.

Insurance companies are adapting to become much more consumer-centric. Reach out and find out what’s available. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities there are.

If you have any question, reach out to us at or 818.377.7260