Five Questions You Should Ask Prior to Your Renewal

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Open Enrollment is Around the Corner

It’s almost fourth quarter, and many organizations are about to make a decision about their health insurance renewal.  Whether your organization is entering this period or has just completed a renewal, are working directly with a carrier, or have an insurance broker, you may consider asking yourself (and your agent/broker/carrier rep), the following questions:

  1. Should we look at other carriers?
  2. Should I offer more than one health plan option?
  3. What about using an online benefit administration system?
  4. Where are the gaps in my benefits package?
  5. What new concepts have come to my market since my last renewal that can save time, money, or improve care?

Should we look at other carriers?

Even if you are happy with the level of service you’re receiving from your current carrier, you should consider asking your broker to quote with others as well. If, for no other reason than to know whether you are getting the best price or not. The health insurance marketplace is consistently changing, and new plans and product models are added regularly. It is a good idea to know what options are available to your organization and scope out the marketplace so if your organization does decide it’s time to make a change, you know what is available.

Should I offer more than one health plan option to give my employees a choice?

First of all, did you know that you CAN offer more than one health plan? Some organizations provide a variety of health plans to their employees that enable them to choose the plan that best fits their individual or family needs. For example, some young and/or healthy employees may benefit from having a high deductible health plan that allows them to pay less premium. Employees with medical conditions that require regular visits to a doctor or prescriptions to maintain their health may appreciate having a plan with low co-pays. Depending on how you set up these plan choices and payroll deductions, you can allow your employees to choose plans that best fit their medical and financial needs.

Are you overwhelmed with paper applications at open enrollment? Have you thought of using an online benefit administration system?

There are many reasons why your organization should explore a digital benefit administration system, and who better than your broker/agent to assist you in researching your options? Your broker/agent should be able to recommend a platform that best fits for your organization’s needs. If you are not currently using a benefits administration platform, some of the advantages of using such a platform include:

  • Simplifying Open Enrollment and On-Boarding Process
  • Eliminating Redundant Paperwork
  • Expanding Benefit Offerings
  • Providing Employees 24/7 Access to Benefits Information
  • Streamlining Access to Documents and Information for Employees

*Read more about how an online benefit administration system can positively impact your human resources team during their most stressful time of the year

Where are the gaps in my benefits package and how can my broker/agent help fill them?

It is almost impossible to fill all of the gaps in a company’s benefits package, but you can customize your package to provide your employees access to additional perks, benefits, or care opportunities. Have you thought about what would happen to your key employees and their family, your organization, your clients, etc. in the case of an employee’s death, disability, high cost medical conditions, or so on? There is a wide variety of insurance and benefit options available that can help you show your employees that you are looking out for their best interests.

Common gaps in coverage:

  • Ancillary Coverage (i.e. Dental, Vision, etc.)
  • Voluntary/Worksite Benefits (i.e. Accident, Critical Illness, etc.)
  • Special Benefits AKA Fringe Benefits (benefits not typically found in a “standard” employee benefits package i.e. free lunches, gym memberships, gas cards, etc.)

What new concepts have come to my market since my last renewal that can save time, money, or improve care?

New concepts may look different for every organization. In the EHRC, some of the new concepts we share with groups we interact with are the following:

  • Level Funded Programs
  • Fully Self-Funded Insurance
  • Direct Primary Care
  • Reference-Based Pricing
  • Domestic Medical Tourism

Your broker/agent should constantly be researching new ways to tackle the problems you and your employees are facing. You never know what you might be missing out on or what solution you might find if you keep an open mind and are curious about what other organizations and brokers are offering.

Interested in learning more about some of the cool employee benefits concepts on the marketplace today?

Check out our blog posts:

What is a Flexible Savings Account?

What is a Health Savings Account?

3 Mobile Apps that are Helping Employees Stay Healthy