Employee benefits, especially health and pharmacy, are confusing and costly. The complexity inherent in the system poses a challenge for your organization and for the employees who support your educational mission. The good news is, employee benefits provide great value to your operation that reaches far beyond financial concerns. With the right guidance, they can be hugely beneficial to your company.
Larger organizations typically collaborate with their Employee Benefits Consultant, relying on their expertise to help steer them in the right direction when it comes to planning, budgeting and building the best benefits package for their employees. The right benefits consultant can help you counter cost-drivers and mitigate financial risk while structuring great benefits packages that appeal to your employees.
Evaluating Your Current Employee Benefits Consultant
Below are important areas to consider when evaluating your current Employee Benefits Consultant. These are also valuable for you to review if you’re considering working with one in the future.
An experienced benefits consultant will help you assess the health of your employees while structuring a long-term strategy that encourages healthy habits that don’t exceed your budget. Look for a benefits consultant who:
- is familiar with your organization’s needs
- provides regular advisement on industry trends
- is knowledgeable about your industry culture
- regularly advises on compliance related to your benefits
- exhibits a proven track record of client success
- has strong client references
A good employee benefits consultant should track, analyze, and report your program’s performance on a regular basis to ensure your strategy is performing as expected. They should also identify any areas that are underperforming or need adjustment. With the appropriate strategy in place, improving poor employee habits, like using an out-of-network provider or utilizing the wrong care setting, are both reversible and preventable. Look for a benefits consultant who:
- defines operational goals and objectives (i.e. budgetary considerations)
- identifies program issues and cost drivers
- analyzes key metrics like group habits for utilization in annual plan review
- develops contribution strategies
There are many reasons your plan could be costing you and your employees more money than necessary. Better long-term planning and communication often make a considerable difference in cutting costs, which is why the quality of support from your benefits consultant makes all the difference. Look for a benefits consultant who can assist with:
- billing and claims
- annual renewal negotiations as well as RFPs
- providing employee support during open enrollment
- employee benefits communication and education
Vendor choice is important, you never want to feel pressured into using a specific company because you’re without options. Your benefits consultant should encourage decision-making based on the unique needs of your employees. The goal is to strengthen your benefit offerings by providing greater savings, choice, and flexibility while also offering more affordable, high deductible health plans and ancillary benefits that support employee needs. Look for a benefits consultant who can offer:
- a variety of plan designs and options
- vendor choices
- self-funding options and guidance
When your benefits plan offers customized options to fit individual family needs and budget, employees feel supported. This aids in employee retention. When considering a benefits consultant, look for unique programs that set your company apart from others. A good benefits consultant should offer:
- voluntary benefits
- a wellness program
- incentive programs
The Value of Robust Benefits Package
For organizations in the public sector, employees’ benefits play a crucial role in recruiting and retaining talent. It can also help to reduce absenteeism, improve employee morale and enhance operational efficiencies. Having a robust employee benefits package allows your organization the ability to appeal to a larger employee pool.
For employees, the value of accepting employer-offered benefits (usually at a subsidized cost) is easier to understand. Insurance benefits allow them the ability to protect what matters most: their livelihood, physical and financial health, and the wellbeing of their dependents.
Valley Schools Has Over 15 Years of Experience
Choosing the right benefits consultant is critical to your business. To learn more about formulating a unique benefits package that’s right for your operation, contact one of our experts today.