By Will Morey, Senior Benefit Consultant, Benefit Commerce Group
- A recent Harris poll showed that 4 out of 5 American workers would rather receive a benefits upgrade than an increase in pay.
- A Randstad study revealed that 61% would take a job with a lower salary for a better benefits package.
Your company’s health insurance plan and other employee benefits have become one of your prime tools in attracting and retaining quality talent. And with the low unemployment economy, there’s never been a more important time to be sure that your benefits are competitive.
So…what’s the best way to determine the group health insurance strategy for your employees?
First of all, you don’t want to go it alone. It is critical to find a benefits consultant that knows the industry and has the ability to design a plan that is in sync with your business objectives and your workforce.
But all benefits consultants/brokers are not created equal. Here are a few features you should look for:
– Thought leadership – You need a team that is ready to serve your needs and that stays up-to-date with new ideas that can help you down the road. Typically, health insurance is one of the top five highest expenses for employers. Working with a consultant that knows and can execute best practice strategies can mean an improved bottom line for the employer and more savings and satisfaction for employees and their families.
– Strategy – Don’t settle for a cookie-cutter approach. Every employer is unique, and you need a strategy that will work for you this year and that will be sustainable 3 to 5 years into the future.
– Plan design expertise and carrier leverage – Your consultant should be able to design a program that meets your objectives, is in sync with your culture, and then be able to get you the best deal with the insurance company chosen. That comes through knowledge and relationships.
– Compliance information – Employers have an increasing number of regulations to follow. Be sure your consultant has the expertise and HR resources to help you with compliance information, guidance, reminders of deadlines, and employee training.
– Communication & employee engagement – Explaining your benefits to your employees and getting them engaged in their own healthcare as informed consumers is vital to having a quality benefits program.
– Benefits Benchmarking – You need to know how your benefits stack up to the competition and where you may need to make changes to remain an “employer of choice.” A consultant that can provide benchmark data for your region, size, and industry peer group can help you accomplish this.
– Well-Being programs – The only sustainable way to control health care costs is to improve and maintain the good health of your employees. There are programs available that are of no cost to the employer that will deliver guaranteed reductions on annual renewal increases based on employees participating in basic wellness activities, i.e., getting their annual physical exam.
– References that want the same things you do – Your consultant should be able to provide you with contact names of other companies like yours, so you can ask for first-hand experience with the firm.Sound like a lot to ask for? I don’t think so. After all, it’s what you and your employees deserve. If you want to learn more, contact me at or call (480) 565-7453.