We often ask employees to be innovative. To develop and implement new ideas and concepts so we can promote growth in our schools and churches. We want our students and community to know that change doesn’t have to be scary but empowering.
But when it comes to healthcare insurance and employee benefits this strategic asset can be overlooked. In fact, we come across many opportunities to improve program designs but are met with employers who are hesitant to make changes, despite the cost-saving potential.
Sympathizing with the challenges of change.
Employers can feel hesitant to make changes to their benefits programs for a variety of reasons. Some feel changes to the program will be too time-consuming or the disturbances caused by a change, big or small, may outweigh the advantages. Others may worry about how change could affect employees and company culture.
Those employers who are interested in innovative solutions to better their program may have brokers who aren’t. Brokers who are more comfortable being reactive with plans and sticking with what they know, instead of being proactive and producing a strategy that better fits the needs of the organization.
This can make even the most innovative employers reluctant to change.
Recently we were able to improve a client’s plan by coming in 20% below the broker’s current rate. We were able to strengthen their plan and reduce the costs by using a unique solution their broker was not aware of, leaving the current broker at a loss because the new strategy was better in every regard.
In these situations, brokers often engage with employers, telling them to remain skeptical while they search for answers. This can be confusing and stressful for employers and can cause them to question their decisions, delaying or even denying changes to their program that can improve employee experience and lower costs.
Helping employers feel more comfortable in these scenarios is important. Innovation comes naturally in all areas of our workplace, except when it comes to healthcare and employee benefits. This is a problem.
The proposed changes will save this organization money. And because costs aren’t getting passed onto employees, their employees will save money too. There are no holes in what we do. We were able to offer rebates, contracts, and bulk purchasing to help lower costs. With bulk purchasing you can save up to 10 to 15%, which was a big part of the savings we established for this organization.
We are confident in our strategies and we are used to discovering innovative, effective benefit solutions. We also know how important culture and mission are for employers and how difficult change can be. Managing your benefits program in a different way can be intimidating, especially if your broker isn’t familiar with the mechanisms.
Gain the confidence you need to improve your benefits program.
If you find yourself in this scenario and are worried about a new solution for your program, there are steps you can take to ensure you’re decision:
- Talk to your broker and/or advisor about the benefits and risks until you truly understand the strategy.
- Talk to your peers who are trying this kind of innovation and see what results they are getting with their plans.
- Ask for references. An advisor or broker who is suggesting an innovative change should have case studies, success stories, and clients who are willing to share outlooks.
Being innovative with your benefits program can be intimidating. Talk to your peers, talk to your advisor and when you have the information, data, and references you need, take another look. Improving efficiency, lowering costs, and gaining a competitive advantage can be done with appropriate changes.
If you are looking for more information about innovation in your benefits program, let’s chat. We want you to feel comfortable with all of your benefit decisions.