Employees have been told that they can expect to see better benefits coming soon.
Sears and Darden Restaurants – the company that owns the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains – has recently revealed their intensions to change the way health insurance benefits will be provided to the workers at those locations.
Employees will now have the opportunity to purchase their own plans.
The restaurant giant has stated that instead of choosing the plan on behalf of their employees, it will pay them directly in order to allow them to use an online health insurance exchange in order to purchase the plan that they would like the most. This intention to form a private coverage marketplace is a simple one, but it could significantly alter the way that plans are sold.
The aim of this effort is to place the control over health insurance into the hands of the workers.
It is hoped that this private health insurance exchange will give employees the opportunity to get exactly what they want from their benefits. Those who want more comprehensive coverage will be able to pay more for it, but those who would like to pay less will be able to choose less coverage for a cheaper plan.
Furthermore, it will provide the restaurant’s workers with the chance to see exactly how much coverage they have and how much the plan costs. The intention is to equip them with the information they need to make smarter choices for their coverage and with their money.
As per the existing health insurance regulations for group coverage, the workers will still not be charged higher premiums if they should ever become ill, and if they change jobs or switch to the individual policy market, they cannot be denied coverage, provided they do not allow their plans to lapse.
This effort to create a private, employer based health insurance marketplace is also an effort by the restaurant company to ensure that it will keep the cost of coverage as low as possible. It takes advantage of the concept of the online exchange, which positions them to ensure that the best coverage can be identified for the lowest price, but without having to pay any additional taxes or change the way that regulations are followed.