Consumer Every Year Economic Agents Term Paper

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Scenario B -- the organizational staff member

4. Evaluate the factors that influence your selection of a package.

As an individual employee, impacted by the decision regarding the medical package, the staff member would be influenced by the following factors:

The extent of the medical coverage in order to reveal and assess its ability to serve the healthcare needs of the individual.

The costs involved by the coverage -- detailed throughout the following section.

The evolution of the current plan as opposed to the previous one. A negative evolution would traditionally trigger dissatisfaction, whereas a positive evolution would manifest as a motivational force.

The ability to actually influence the final decision regarding the healthcare plan. This factor is specifically important as it reveals the role of the individual in the decision making process. If the employee is listened and his opinions valued and integrated in the decision process, this is motivational, whereas an opposite situation in which they are not integrated is demotivational.

5. Analyze to what extent the cost of the program influences your decision.

The cost of the program plays a decreased emphasis in the decision and perception of the employee, but only in the scenario in which the cost is covered entirely by the employer. In this situation, the employee militates for a comprehensive healthcare plan which is best able to serve as many needs and wants as possible. They will as such emphasize on a costly plan and will not consider the expenditures involved.

In a different scenario -- and traditionally the more common one -- the costs of the medical coverage are only partially covered by the employer and partially by the employee as well. This distributed responsibility and the high costs have contributed significantly to the creation of the current health care crisis in the United States (Krugman and Wells). Regardless, when the employee has to pay for their own medical services -- or the healthcare plan -- the cost is a major factor in the final solution. In this order of ideas, the employee will seek an efficient balance between cost and quality of the healthcare package.

6. Explain possible alternatives if you were to choose not to participate in the benefits package for the upcoming year.

In a context in which -- generally for financial reasons, but others as well -- the employee would choose not to participate in the healthcare program offered by the employer, they are presented with two alternatives. The first is that of not using any medical insurance and relying on free clinics whenever medical problems are incurred.

The second alternative is that of purchasing an individual health plan in the form of private medical insurance. Such a solution would seldom seem more financially appealing especially as bulk programs purchased by economic agents are more cost effective. It would nevertheless reveal the advantage of being better controlled and customized to fit the specific needs of the employee.

In a context in which the business community becomes more competitive and more dynamic, the multitude of products and services from which to select those that best fit one's needs and wants increases. This context creates additional complexities for the economic agents looking into healthcare plans for their staff members. As the analysis above has revealed, the managers and the employees consider both similar as well as dissimilar factors in the selection of a healthcare coverage plan. Based on these findings, it becomes obvious that a comprehensive and fully satisfactory healthcare plan is one able to serve the combined needs of both employees as well as employers.


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