During an Employee Benefits Network presentation in Chicago, Delia Vetter, senior director of benefits for EMC Corp, commented that healthcare is a “shared responsibility” between the employee and employer. I couldn’t agree more.
Historically, however, the weight of this responsibility has been borne far more by the employer than by employees. Of the various reasons for this disproportionate sharing of responsibility, the greatest cause has to have been employees’ failure to realize that most healthcare expenditures (and the resulting insurance costs) are a direct result of their lifestyle behaviors – not the relative generosity (or stinginess) and/or choices made by their employer.
During Open Enrollment time, what about putting-up posters around the office asking the question, “What’s driving our company’s healthcare costs?” and then having a small mirror just below. I know, we’d never get away with it…and not everyone is problematic…but it would make the point.
If we’re ever to solve the problem of escalating healthcare costs in our country (and transform ourselves into a healthier, happier and more productive workforce), we each need to accept our share of responsibility, look into that mirror every day and decide to take the necessary actions to improve our own health.