As J.K. Wall points out in his article “Messy Math,” [July 11], in a few years employers will have the option to drop health insurance coverage, pay a penalty and encourage employees to buy insurance through government-regulated exchanges. While Wall does a good job of crunching the numbers, he failed to include some of the most important variables.
Employers need to consider the impact that cutting health insurance will have on the bottom line. However, they should not make the decision on the expense side of the equation alone.
Companies will need to consider the impact that cutting health insurance will have on their culture, their ability to draw talent, and the health and productivity of their work force. The benefits they offer, including health insurance, are an important component in creating such an environment.
Tom Easterday, executive vice president of Subaru of Indiana, touches on this in the article when he mentions that healthy employees are more productive. Eliminating health and wellness benefits may lead to less-engaged or less-productive employees.
Maybe the sample numbers Wall presents will add up. But employers should be sure that they’re factoring in all the costs and they arrive at their decision based on better math.
Andrea Cranfill, principal