When the going gets tough, the best employee benefits brokers get creative. They are aware of industry-leading trends and will help you stay ahead of the curve. The cost of health benefits continues to increase, a benefits partner can help your company implement innovative programs, alternative funding methodologies, and other cost-control strategies to help mitigate healthcare cost increases.
What does this look like in practice? I’d like to share three illustrative examples of how our team of employee benefits experts was able to help clients drive down the cost of their medical claims and achieve strategic goals.
Being Business Partners—Not Just Brokers
A true benefits consultant acts as a partner to suggest changes for the betterment of their client companies. The knowledge and experience a benefits broker possesses enables them to navigate a number of industry challenges, regardless of how complex the obstacle.
For example, we worked with a company that wanted to provide bonuses to their employees, but they didn’t have the revenue to do so. Our benefit consulting team assessed their benefits offerings by conducting an employee survey to gain feedback on which benefits they found actual value in.
Through this research, our team discovered that some of the benefits the company was paying for were not, in fact, valuable to their employees. Based on this information, we were able to redesign the company’s benefits package in a way that would be more impactful to their employees. Implementing this strategy enabled the company to reduce the costs of their benefits and redistribute the employer funds to the new bonuses program—achieving their overall goal!
The Value of Wellness
The cost of employee medical claims is a major driver of the overall cost of benefits. In analyzing data from one of our clients, our team found that a significant portion of their employee population was filing claims related to hypertension.
Our team of experts, including our wellness manager, was able to put together a strategy that targeted the hypertension issue by providing educational resources for the company to send out to its employees specifically informing them about managing hypertension. We also tailored features of their wellness program to target this issue. This “knowledge is power” approach drove down the company’s overall cost of claims year-over-year.
Education and Communication are Key
We often work with companies whose medical claims are going up—and they are unsure about why this is occurring. Recently, while assessing the data for one of your new clients, we discovered that employees were using the emergency room at a higher-than-average rate and not pursing less expensive avenues for care.
Armed with this information, our communications manager was able to create and implement a communication plan for the company to help their employees understand when it is appropriate to visit a doctor’s office, urgent care clinic, and emergency room for medical care. With that educational communication plan in place, employees at the company started utilizing the appropriate level of care for medical visits, which helped decrease the cost of claims decreased for the business.
When evaluating brokers for your company, make sure to consider the total value of the services they provide, as well as their strategy for bringing comprehensive services to you and your employees. Not only will they likely save you time and money, they will also build awareness and education around associated regulations to help you remain compliant. That means you can continue to focus on running your company while they navigate the regulatory complexities.
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