Human Resource Challenges Essay

883 words - 4 pages

The job of the human resource department in any organization is to conduct job analyses, plan job labor and recruit candidates, orientation and training of employees, performance appraisal, management of salaries and wages, providing incentive and benefits as well as communicating with management and employees (Dessler, 2011, p.2). Amid this myriad of responsibility they must still face exorbitant challenges that engulf them also. Two of the challenges that are facing many human resource departments across the country are the rising costs of health care as well as the strategic planning needed to manage a diminishing workforce in this recession. As health care costs continue to escalate, employers are offering financial incentives to encourage workers to embrace high-deductible insurance plans that will hopefully bring prominent savings by lowering premiums (Williams, 2011). At Atlanta Medical Center, more than half of its workers are now in a high-deductible health savings plan, versus 15 percent in 2010. The hospital was trying to transition its 1,100 employees who elect benefits into a high-deductible plan, so it boosted its contributions to employee health savings accounts by hundreds of extra dollars per account (Williams, 2011). Instead of paying an insurance company for care they may or may not use, employees can save tax-free money in a health savings account to pay for future medical expenses (Williams, 2011). While many consumers save money under the plans, meeting high deductibles can create havoc for some people, especially low-income families (Williams, 2011). At the beginning of this year, my husband and I took longer than a usual to decide which health care plan from which of our employers was best.
We are a median-income family with 3 kids in college including myself. One of our daughters has Crohn’s Disease and requires maintenance medication which is eight pills per day. The lower payroll deductions were attractive but higher deductibles were unimaginable. We took a 17% increase on our health care deductions in order to sustain the level of care we have become accustomed. However, there are many single parent and lower-income homes that are not afforded the luxury of choice. The human resource department has the task of securing a healthcare plan that will be affordable to the employees as well as the company. According to Paul Fronstin, head of health research at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, high-deductible plans are quickly catching on as 22 million people are now enrolled nationwide (EBRI, January). New legislation that extends healthcare to members of a family up until age 26 have also contributed to high healthcare costs. New findings by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) show that both employers and workers say they are not very knowledgeable about health reform, but that employers say they are likely...

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