Aflac | Workforces Report | 2013 - page 13

At a critical crossroads
Companies are at a crossroads as to how they
choose to handle the transition to a consum-
er-driven model within their own organization.
The health care model a business adopts isn’t
as critical as how the business handles the
adoption to the health care model. Given the im-
portance of health care protection and the risk that
mismanagement poses to employees’ well-being
and financial stability, employers may need to retain
control over several aspects of health care benefits
delivery for a while longer.
Helping workers learn how to effectively manage
their health care choices presents an opportunity
for employers to demonstrate they care about their
employees, and to curb potential absenteeism, low
morale and low productivity. Workers may well be
the ones responsible for their health care decisions
but the wrong choices can greatly affect their per-
formance and state of mind in the workplace.
Nearly 4-out-of-10 workers (37 percent) attribute
their inability to work to financial or health prob-
lems. The potential for increased medical expenses
due to mismanagement of health care decisions or
lack of understanding of consumer-driven options
is very high. In fact, 62 percent of workers believe
the medical costs they will be responsible for will
increase, while only 23 percent are saving money
for potential increases.
Impending health care reform will only exacerbate
the issue. Workers have little understanding of how
new legislation may impact their lives, nor have they
prepared for such changes. And the real crux of
the situation is this – workers are looking to their
employers to help bridge that gap.
Aflac research finds that 55 percent of workers
have done nothing to prepare for possible changes
to the health care system. Simultaneously, a full
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