Balancing the Health Insurance Goals of CFOs and HR

How to Create a Win-Win and Fewer Ups and Downs

A seesaw goes up and down and that’s what makes it fun. But consider the apparent opposing objectives of CFOs to save money, and HR to keep employees happy and motivated: saving money versus spending it. When one wins out, the other loses out. And that’s no fun for anyone, least of all the employees on your group health insurance plan.

Too much emphasis on savings and there’s no money for great health insurance cover, that keeps employees happy and secure in their jobs. Too much spending on salaries and benefits can be costly and means financial loss. So how to solve this apparent impossible conundrum? Here are some examples:

Wellness Programs

The HR Upside: A workplace wellness program is an investment in a healthier workforce. This investment encourages healthier behaviors both in and out of the workplace and takes a big step toward creating a warmer, more caring environment.

The CFO Downside: Wellness programs as an add-on benefit can be expensive, unwieldy and impossible to determine any ROI. And how does the company benefit from healthier employees unless they stay for life? If they leave the company, their next employer gets all the benefit.

The Balanced View: Studies show that workplace wellness programs improve productivity and that means more efficiency for any organization. They also lead to better employee health, which results in less absenteeism due to illness for fewer paid sick days.


The CFO Upside: Adding deductibles results in significant decrease in health insurance premiums.

The HR Downside: Employees typically see deductibles as a sign their employer cares more about money than their health. Introducing a health insurance plan with deductibles can lead to employee resentment and HR nightmares filled with angry, torch-bearing mobs at their office door.

The Balanced View: If deductibles lead to a 15-20% reduction in health insurance premiums, in a medium-to-large organization that can add up to a meaningful amount. Companies can soften the blow and turn it into a positive by awarding an annual “Health Bonus” in cash that adds up to as much 2/3 of that savings. Employees can spend it however they like if they don’t need it for medical procedures. The company still saves on health insurance. And everybody is happy.

Work-place Health Check-ups

The HR Upside: Another way to show staff you have their best interests at heart. By making it easy to receive a cursory health evaluation and screening without leaving work, you show you care while you save them from having to do it in their free time or travel to a clinic.

The CFO Downside: Another unnecessary expense that requires valuable time that staff could be using to do their jobs.

The Balanced View: With a little research, it’s possible to find a healthcare provider willing to conduct the entire on-site health screening process for free in order to court relationships with your company and employees. If you’re working with a good health insurance broker, they should have no trouble setting it up. The employees are happy and there’s a chance you might detect a problem early enough to avert a very expensive claim later.

The Tally of the Teeter Totter

An organization’s commitment to health benefits should reflect its long-term strategy and value system. The value of health insurance and its cost needs to be balanced in those terms as well as in dollars. Along with the equity inherent in such a view, here are more ways the yin and yang of CFOs and HR can achieve organizational harmony:

  • Include HR in strategic planning so they can coordinate talent sourcing, retention and the best use of human capital within a defined budgetary context.
  • Explore areas of common purpose to determine how programs and initiatives may affect staff morale and productivity.
  • Share key metrics associated with top priorities. Short and long-term financial goals from Finance in concert with workplace performance and other metrics from HR will produce a holistic view of the organization’s direction and progress.

With HR as your best resource to maintain understanding of the current and potential strengths of your human capital, the CFO can direct funds toward areas the entire executive team sees as valuable. Together, as we’ve seen through these examples, the balance achieved results in fewer ups and downs for all parties involved. So happy, productive employees with great benefits make your organization’s goals seem like child’s play.

One World Cover can help. We have long-standing and strong relationships with all of the world’s leading health insurers including Aetna, Allianz, AXA, Bupa, Cigna, AXA, GBG, MSH and Now Health, to name just a few. Click here to contact us. Get in touch: [email protected]