In the United States, employment and health insurance are inextricably related. The panel speakers examined this hot topic and outlined issues that all directors should discuss with management. Each year, corporations spend hundreds of millions of dollars to provide healthcare to their employees. But because the healthcare picture is changing—in part due to the Affordable Care Act—what should directors be watching for and what should they be worrying about and asking management?
1. The Affordable Care Act will create uncertainty for a period of time. The main challenge for companies will be to find a way to stay focused on employee healthcare and manage employee costs while being competitive in the marketplace.
2. For companies, there is a direct correlation between healthcare economics and work productivity. Some companies are being proactive to address employee healthcare risks. They are analyzing data to identify healthcare trends and finding innovative ways to overcome the barriers to healthcare access and costs. These activities can translate to bottom-line benefits.
3. Directors should discuss with management what the company’s policy will be for employee insurance and ask whether it will move toward private exchanges. They should also discuss what actions the company is taking to significantly reduce healthcare costs, and how the company is helping employees and retirees to obtain healthcare at lower costs.
Jeffrey M. Cava
Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
Molly J. Coye
Chief Innovation Officer, UCLA Health; Director, AETNA
Senior Vice President, Global Compensation and Benefits, American Express
David L. Rosenblum
President, NACD Southern California Chapter; Vice Chair, Library Foundation of Los Angeles; Trustee, Wesleyan University
This summary provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers.