How optimizing your health plan is the only way to guarantee you are buying the right coverage and are making the best use of your money.
Your renewal quote on your employee benefits has arrived and you have received another huge increase.
Scrambling, you call your broker, and request other options. “Any other companies out there? Any alternatives with our current insurer?” You struggle with the vision of telling your employees that, yet again, you are switching insurers and/or cutting some benefits, and/or Increasing their contribution – the amount you will take out of their paycheck. Surely there is a better way, you think to yourself.
Great news. There’s a better way.
Employee benefits costs are probably your largest monthly expense after payroll and rent. Despite the high cost, you still struggle to provide the right benefits without breaking the company. Each year, with spreadsheets in hand, you have three choices, one grimmer than the next:
- Cut benefits,
- The company pays more, or
- You require your employees to contribute more to the premium cost.
It is entirely possible that you will have to do all three! Moreover, you might have to change insurance companies, causing an administrative burden for your firm and, worse, disruption for your employees who may be forced to change doctors in order to incur the least possible out-of-pocket expenses (by staying “in-network”).
Each year, you select an option (or combination of options) and hope that your employees will learn to like the new benefits (or new insurance company) or that your employees will quickly forget about the increase in their contributions (at least until next year’s cycle all over again).
These are the symptoms. What is the cause? Looking at spreadsheets and quotes will only result in similar costs and benefits and increases year after year. You receive news of an increase and your broker reacts generically – they ask you for census data, they ask you for your bills, policies, and latest renewal letters – all clerical – and give no advice in this part of the process. (Even if you have five brokers, they are all going to give the insurance company underwriters the same information.) So, the insurance companies give you generic prices.
Then you review your options, and you decide how much of it is affordable and how much is not (and generally it is not affordable), so you start tweaking, “What will happen to the price if we increase the deductible from $500 to $1,000? What about an increase in the co-insurance? And on and on.” This process is reactive – all you are being offered are ways to react to the prices from the seller (the insurance company). When you ask what a deductible increase is going to save you, you will find out, but what you will not find out is what that means to people who use the plan.
The better way: The HealthPlan Optimizer™
The HealthPlan Optimizer™ is a proprietary process developed by Singer Nelson Charlmers.
Our process guarantees that your firm has the right coverage and is making the best use of its money. And what exactly is the process? Using The Total Protection Program®, we start from scratch. We figure out what parts of your benefit plans your employees are using and valuing. Are there parts that they do not use at all or are under-utilizing? Your employee benefits package is comprised of dozens of costly pieces. Figure out which pieces are used and valued and which are a waste of premium dollars. Determine what benefit design you should purchase.
Armed with the results from the The HealthPlan Optimizer™ process, you can make an informed decision about which insurance company offers the most cost effective benefit structure and pricing philosophy, customized for your group. Now you are turning a seller’s process into a buyer’s process. This is especially critical for small groups (defined as those businesses providing health coverage to up to 200 people). For these “small” groups, insurance companies are not willing to share any claims experience or risk data and this leads to the generic pricing process with no way to learn about any way to look at things differently – except maybe drastic concepts like self-insurance, which may not be suitable.
The old way, is to buy the off-the-shelf product and hope that it works long-term, economically, for your situation. But determining your employee benefits should not be a shot in the dark. The new way, thanks to Singer Nelson Charlmers and The HealthPlan Optimizer™, is to invest in the process upfront to figure out your needs based on meaningful data. Your employees will have better benefits, will be more accepting of change, and it will not have to kill your bottom line.
Only Singer Nelson Charlmers offers The HealthPlan Optimizer™ to its clients, as an integrated component of The Total Protection Program®. Checkout HealthPlanOptimizer.com to learn more about how The HealthPlan Optimizer™ can help you!
Ready to Start Optimizing? Contact Us Now!