5 ways senior living organizations are reducing benefits costs

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Senior living operators are taking or considering several steps to address high costs related to benefits, according to results of a new survey by Argentum. Among them:

  • Limiting benefits to full-time employees — those working at least 30 hours per week.
  • Requiring part-time employees to contribute more toward their benefits than full-time employees do.
  • Introducing high-deductible health plans and voluntary benefits that are paid for entirely by employees.
  • Implementing a surcharge for employee spouses who sign up for coverage.
  • Increasing the contribution required for coverage of dependents.

Most organizations are not planning to discontinue their employer-sponsored healthcare coverage in the foreseeable future, according to survey results. Rather, companies hope to manage costs through wellness programs that have the potential to improve employee health, among other strategies.

Argentum, which collaborated on the survey with risk management, insurance brokerage and advisory company Willis Towers Watson, said it received 35 responses.

More than one-fourth of participants (25.7%) said their organizations have locations throughout the United States, and an equal percentage said their communities mainly are located in the North Central region of the country (Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming).

Organizations varied in number of employees, ranging from fewer than 100 to more than 10,000. Almost one-fourth of respondents' companies had between 1,000 and 2,499 employees, however.

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