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Dr Thomas Parry Discusses How Benefit Designs Impact Employees Differently Based on Income

Low-wage earners in a company face a larger burden in access to care compared with high-wage earners, but not all employers recognize this and design benefits with this in mind, said Thomas Parry, PhD, president and founder of the Integrated Benefits Institute.


Low-wage earners in a company face a larger burden in access to care compared with high-wage earners, but not all employers recognize this and design benefits with this in mind, said Thomas Parry, PhD, president and founder of the Integrated Benefits Institute.

Transcript

How can benefit designs impact employees differently based on their socioeconomic status?

You know, we’re about to release research showing that low-wage workers have significant barriers to care, and therefore those barriers to care reduce healthcare, and lead to more lost time and more lost productivity in the workplace.

I think what employers need to do is to recognize that people’s income have a lot to do with access to care, and they need to change their plan designs to support employees that are at the low-wage end get healthcare that doesn’t burden them inappropriately financially compared to high-wage workers.

Are employers aware of how those benefit designs and strategies might impact their employees in different ways depending on their salary?

You know, I think employers are aware, but I don’t see they’ve done a great deal with regard to changing plan designs to recognize different income levels. And I think that’s really important. I think those employers that understand that all their employees are important—not just the high-wage earners, but all their employees contribute to the success of their business—are the ones that are realizing they have to change plan design to recognize income and give access to care for low-wage workers in a way that perhaps there are barriers today.

 
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