"An educated consumer is our best customer." That clever slogan popularized by New York clothing discounter Syms might work just as well as a catchphrase for benefits administrators aiming to influence the way employees use their company health plans this year. When employees at Ruby Tuesday are prescribed a new medication, for instance, they're encouraged to go online, either to the company's internal Web site or to that of health benefits administrator Cigna Corp., to weigh the pros and cons of using a generic version. With the lower-priced option, employees can fund up to $10 of 10% of the total price, instead of the minimum 25% co-pay.
The company--which has a large number of 20-somethings in its hourly workforce--offers a high-deductible consumer-driven health-care plan (CDHP) for corporate staff and management while subsidizing a stripped-down, dollar-a-day health program for servers typically earning under $2.15 an hour. Non-smokers employed by the Maryville, Tenn.-based restaurant chain get a 20% discount on healthcare premiums. It's all part of Ruby Tuesday's plan to get its workers covered--and motivated to reduce costs.