Author Archives: CorpStrat News

How to Encourage Employee Healthcare Comparison Shopping

It’s a tough time for a lot of people out there: inflation is driving up the cost of everything from food to gas and your employees are feeling the sting. But even if this is the case, most Americans don’t realize they can comparison shop to make sure they’re getting the best price for their healthcare services. A survey from AKASA, a healthcare artificial intelligence company, revealed that nearly two-thirds (64%) of Americans have never tried to find the price of a specific healthcare service.

Paying more for healthcare doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality service or better outcomes. This is why shopping around for healthcare is so important, it can result in cost savings for both employees and employers. Today we’re going to talk about strategies employers can use to encourage employees to shop for high-value healthcare, which can help lower your organization’s health care costs.

1. Educate Employees

One of the first steps in helping encourage employees to shop around for healthcare is education. Employers have a unique opportunity to provide data and information to help employees understand the savings potential of healthcare comparison shopping.

Specifically, employers can help employees understand price variation and explain how to best shop around. According to Healthcare Bluebook data, U.S. healthcare prices vary an average of 650% for the same procedure. That’s a huge variance. 

Additionally, the federal government has started increasing price transparency for health care services, which can help with comparison shopping. For example, new rules require hospitals to post pricing online for various services and procedures. Starting next year, health insurers must share their negotiated prices with the public. So, as health care pricing gets more transparent, employers can really help employees better understand these price lists. 

2. Provide Transparency Tools

Employers can direct employees to user-friendly tools that break down pricing. Employers should connect with their benefits partners to understand what resources and transparency tools are already available for their employees. Some of these you’re already paying for but aren’t utilizing. There are also state-sponsored resources that offer tools to help consumers compare hospitals, health care facilities, and other providers in their state.

It’s essential to explain that if high healthcare costs are left unchecked, employees may experience reduced benefits or increased employee cost sharing. Of course, savings can help the organization, but it’s important to highlight how employees individually benefit.

3. Incentivize Behaviors

Another way to help make healthcare shopping top of mind for employees is to create rewards for certain consumer behaviors. Employers can create incentives for employees that use employer-provided price transparency tools to comparison shop for services and procedures.

Some employers may offer cash incentives, while others offer wellness program points. For example, wellness points could be redeemed for health savings account contributions or reduced cost sharing. As with any organizational initiative, employers should consider making it fun. Gamification (e.g., point scoring and social connection) can help facilitate friendly competition and increase employee engagement and motivation.


Healthcare costs are undeniably going to continue rising. Employers will need to take proactive approaches to reduce these costs. They have an opportunity to make employees feel empowered to take charge of their health and actively comparison shop for quality healthcare at the best price. A mix of education, provision of tools and incentivization may be the magic combination to help change employees’ health care shopping behaviors.

If you’re interested in learning more about this, give us a call. We’re here to help.  

Year-End Payroll Doesn’t Have to Be a Mess

Your year-end payroll doesn’t have to be a crunch.

Most Payroll and accounting departments are overwhelmed at year-end — there’s so much to get done and your team might already be stressed going into the holiday season. We think approaching your year-end early can help you be sure that you complete all of the important tasks, leading to a great Payroll close out. Here are our quick tips for a year-end Payroll that doesn’t stress everyone out:

1. Make sure you have all the right information.

A good start is to review all of your employees, and make sure that you have every thing needed for year and filing – addresses updated as well.

2. Keep the right things on your radar.

There is a host of issues you want to consider before year end including but not limited to:

  • Bonuses
  • Sick pay PTO payout
  • Personal use a company cars
  • Group term insurance in excess of 50,000
  • Maximums for retirement plans
  • consider any other taxable fringe benefits
  • Transportation, or moving expenses that are taxable

3. Get retirement plan discussions out of the way early.

Don’t forget partner and owners. Many of them may want to take salaries in order to max out retirement plans opportunities. Be sure to discuss this with your CPA or administrator early to avoid any confusion. 

4. Get started now.

A well thought through year-end plan that starts in early December will help you avoid the payroll crunch of the last week of the year when most payroll companies are overwhelmed and many are on vacation.

Need more tips? Check out our blog post:

7 Tips for Smooth Year-End Payroll Processing 2022:

If you need help with your year-end Payroll, give us a call. We’d love to help.

2023 is Around the Corner: What’s your Benefits Strategy?

Post pandemic, we know that employers are struggling to attract and retain talent. According to Zywave’s 2022 Attraction and Retention Survey, more than 75% of employers consider attraction and retention to be among their top five business challenges. This change in the labor market means the old ways of delivering Employee Benefits are no longer enough to increase retention. Employees now expect fresh healthcare plans that provide value and offer perks. Things that used to be considered “buy-ups” now must be included as core offerings.

So, what is your Benefits strategy? Here are our top tips for building a strong Benefits strategy going into 2023:

1. Be proactive.

Make sure your insurance broker is helping you dissect all your options and choices. Be open to options like changing carriers, it can present a significant cost-saving opportunity. Also, many employees will be happy to adjust if it means they receive better benefits at lower costs.

2. Build an attractive, well-rounded Benefits package.

It’s no longer enough to build a plan that only includes various medical plans. Employees are now expecting Dental, Vision, AFLAC, pre-tax plans, virtual care, as well as Cafeteria Plans for payment of medical expenses and dependent care. The good news is these are nominal expense Benefits, which can round out and add great value to any package. They can be implemented, no matter how big or small your company is. Of course, retirement plans are important as are strategies around adding PTO and flex time.

3. Communicate! Educate! Communicate!

Employees that don’t feel they’re getting the best possible benefits might seek out other job opportunities. You can have the best possible Benefit offerings, but if your employees don’t understand the value of the plans available, the most attractive plan could be rendered useless. Speak up and take the time to educate your employees.  Employers have a unique opportunity to provide data and information to help employees better understand the value of your company’s offerings. Use an internal newsletter to communicate and call out the amazing benefits that are available to them. 

4. Don’t leave out well-being perks.

As many workers reconsider their jobs and lives, they may also look to take better care of themselves physically and mentally. Although many organizations have expanded their employee assistance programs, mental wellness goes beyond access to care. Employers should consider how employees are treated in the workplace and ways to help reduce burnout. Some employers are offering mental health days and flexible working options to help employees take control of their workday and be most productive when they’re able.

5. Include work flexibility.

Hybrid work isn’t going anywhere any time soon. After 2 years in a COVID work environment, 50% of US employees say not including hybrid work is a dealbreaker when it comes to staying with a firm or joining a new company. Most employers recognize this because 78% already provide the option to work from home and 66% offer flexible work schedules, which include options like four-day work weeks.

6. Listen to feedback.

Ask your employees what they want and what they’d like to see. You might surprised to hear what their needs are and how simple those requests can be to fulfill.

These benefits all must be considered as you compete for talent in a environment where there are fewer choices, and most great employees are wrapped up. Be sure you package your programs and communicate them throughout the course of 2023

6 Tips for a Pain-Free Open Enrollment

Is there such a thing as a pain-free Open Enrollment? We think so.

Many employers are under the impression that they have their Open Enrollment process down, but studies show that about 41% of employees feel the Open Enrollment process at their company is extremely confusing. Benefit renewal happens to occur during the busiest time of the year: the holidays. This means employers are taking time off to be with their families, have lengthy vacations planned, and year-end deadlines might be overwhelming them. In short, you don’t have your employees’ full attention and that can make a tricky process even more daunting.

Having a plan for a successful benefits Open Enrollment requires both planning and the proper tools. Here are our top tips to guarantee a pain-free Open Enrollment:

1. Have a clear plan.

Work closely with your insurance advisor to review options and plans and decide what you are going to do for the next calendar year.

2. Clarify employee contributions.

Review and revise any contribution formulas so employees know what their share of the costs are.

3. Review ancillary benefits.

Make sure you have assembled and reviewed all ancillary benefits that you can add to your plan. Plans like AFLAC, Dental, cafeteria, or voluntary insurance programs can really make your plan options vibrant.

4. Utilize technology.

Be sure you are using technology to communicate your offerings. If you are still using paper, please talk to us.)

5. Communicate offerings clearly.

Host a Zoom with your team so you can share the benefits and value propositions you are offering. Employee Benefits represent the second or third largest line item that companies spend. It would be foolish not to take advantage of sharing how great your company’s offerings are.

6. Make sure Payroll is squared away.

Be sure to work closely with your Payroll team to indicate any contributions and review your plans monthly as contributions for dependents can age up during the year.

If CorpStrat isn’t your broker, please be sure to reach out to us and see how we can help you maximize the value of your offerings. Contact us at

7 Tips for Smooth Year-End Payroll Processing 2022

We’re rounding the corner to the last few weeks of the year. Don’t leave your Year-End Payroll to the last minute. Even if you’re a Year-End Payroll veteran, it can still be easy to overlook crucial steps. Sitting idle could be a big mistake, make sure you take action.

What is Year-End Payroll?

Year-End Payroll involves a careful review and verification of all your financial information during the fourth quarter of the calendar year through the first quarter of the following year. Businesses are responsible for Year-End Payroll

Year-end processing ensures your company’s Payroll and taxes are compliant with current federal, state, and local regulations. If your organization isn’t compliant, it can lose money to fees and regulatory costs. Therefore, actively participating in Year-End Payroll processing saves you from future headaches and your organization loss in revenue.

As you close out your Payroll activities and set compensation and benefits for 2023, contact CorpStrat Payroll for a comprehensive check list to help you stay on track. To give you an idea, here are our top year end Payroll information to prepare and decisions to make:

1. Verify Tax Form Information

To reduce the possibility of printing W-2s/1099s with incorrect information, and to avoid penalties for missing or invalid data, please take the time to verify your employees’ critical information. Make sure the employee’s name matches their social security number, that their mailing addresses are up to date, and that the employee is coded to the correct state and local tax jurisdiction.

2. Review Employee Data During Open Enrollment

During this time, it is crucial to verify that employee deductions have been updated to payroll once open enrollment closes. If you are utilizing our benefits solution, we have several reports available to assist you in comparing your data. Regardless of your renewal date, year-end is a great time to review all employee pay data, including deductions. Please contact if you find any discrepancies.

3. Set-up Bonus Payrolls

If you are planning a bonus payroll this year, please email as we will be able to help you determine when you should submit your payroll based upon the total amount of the payroll and the check date. It is always best if you can submit your bonus payroll at least 5 days BEFORE the check date to ensure timely processing of direct deposits and taxes.

4. Add Fringe Benefits

Don’t forget to record any taxable fringe benefits by the end of the year. Email and we can answer any questions you have on this topic.

5. ACA Reporting

Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalents (FTE) are required to complete the mandatory ACA reporting using IRS forms 1094-c and 1095-C. Are you prepared? Remember that 12/23 is the deadline to provide us with this information.

6. Submit Year End Form Amendments, Changes, and Reprints

1/03/2022 by 12 PM PST is the last day to submit 2021 adjustments to ensure accurate filings. Any 2022 adjustment requested after 01/03/2022 will be subject to amendment billing. Please send any questions to

7. Be Aware of Changes Going Into 2023

From Minimum Wage increases to changes in HSA Contribution Limits, so many things are changing in 2023. Contact your CorpStrat Payroll representative to make sure you avoid costly mistakes by missing any of these key changes.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If there’s something you’re not sure about, reach out to your CorpStrat Payroll account manager or email us at