Corporate Compassion, Government & Community Services: An Idea

I was just sitting around pondering things the other day and this idea came to mind. Thought I’d jot it down and welcome comments on the idea. Like I said, merely an idea.

Corporate Compassion, Government & Community Services: An Idea

There is at least one major beauty chain that offers health insurance to its mostly female employees but does not include a maternity rider in its plan. That means, as told to me by a non-disgruntled former employee, if an employee becomes pregnant, she must enroll in Medicaid (assuming she can’t rely on a private or a spouse’s policy) to receive health services for herself and her new baby.

In the current economic climate, it is understandable that eliminating, limiting or reducing employer contributions to health insurance coverage can provide much-needed savings for businesses. But CEOs and human resources managers need to remember that their employees are, as always, their most important asset. A sick employee is of declining (or non-existent, if laid up in the hospital) value. So even if your company can’t afford to offer insurance (or a full complement of insurance, like the firm above), there is great return-on-investment in providing employees with community-based services that can provide such care or serve as complements to the coverage your company offers. A healthy employee is a healthy employee – no matter where he or she receives medical care. But only educated employees know of the services available to them.

Nationally, Texas ranks near the top in the number of un- and under-insured residents. A large percentage of these are working people. Businesses should not be viewed as the enemy of health care, especially in this increasingly polarized political environment, and we can further dispel such notions by actively taking part in our employees’ health and wellness. An easy answer would be to inform employees – at regular intervals, such as insurance policy renewal time – of local government and community-based health care programs available to them and their families.

Not only does the above result in healthy families, but also healthy, productive employees. Indeed, any cost savings will likely quickly override any increase in costs associated with implementing such wellness education, and possibly increase overall profit by more consistently high productivity.

Businesses are owned and run by people. People get sick or injured or have invisible wounds, others need time to focus on their families and, every once in a while, some are afflicted by both. It doesn’t matter whether they work for the smallest Mom and Pop or a Fortune 500 international conglomerate. And both, in lieu of offering full health insurance coverage, should feel responsible to inform their employees of medical and health services for which they may be eligible from other organizations.

How hard would this be to implement? Compiling a list of resources, typing it up, printing it out, making copies and handing it out at the time of employment, during insurance renewal periods or other regular times and again in the event of termination or resignation (just like COBRA paperwork).

It’s that easy. And it’s compassionate business

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