Now is the time for employers with plan years ending on December 31 to review their 2019 benefits and design a benefit plan that will attract and retain employees while meeting budgetary goals.
Some of the plan limits for next year have already been released. Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions for 2020 have increased to $3,550 for a single employee enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. And for families, the limit increased to $7,100. Both of those limits can have another $1,000 added to their contributions if the employee is age 55 or older.
The projected flexible spending accounts limits for next year also have been released. The dependent care limit is still $5,000 for a family. The medical flexible spending account limit increased by $50 to $2,750.
Make sure to review the usage for each of your benefits. There is no reason to continue to offer a benefit that is not being used. Consider a focus group or survey to better understand what your employees really want in their benefit package.
Planning early and knowing what your employees want is half the battle. But you will need to do some fact-finding. Understanding how your competitors are handling their benefits is key to creating your benefit package. You want to stand out as an employer so you can attract and retain employees. Then you need to partner with your benefits broker/consultant to guide you through your renewal. Hopefully they will provide you with several options and information for your 2020 benefit package. They should be providing a summary of the current claims, trends, and cost-saving options. Do not be afraid to openly share some of this information with your employees so they can understand the potential impact on their benefit packages. We are talking about the planning of your benefits for next year, but this should not be the only time the organization educates and communicates its benefits. You should try to keep benefits in the forefront for your employees all year round. Educating your employees on life events, how to read an Explanation of Benefits (EOB), and when to go to the ER versus urgent care can be done throughout the year. Now, make yourself a checklist and get started planning your 2020 benefit package.