When it comes to addressing their benefits plan, many leaders find themselves falling into the same painful cycle year after year, repeatedly locking into the same wasteful, expensive plan. The results are always the same: The company coffers are drained by an ineffective health care package, and employees are left with an unwieldy plan. The only way to stop the cycle is to put your foot down and pursue a better option.
Instead of permanently blocking the cycle, many leaders find themselves going through the same motions each quarter:
- Q1: After battling through another painful, costly renewal cycle, most leaders spend Q1 taking a break from benefits.
- Q2: During the second quarter, leadership begins to hear complaints. Employees struggle to use the plan because it is too difficult to understand and too expensive to use. At the same time, the Finance team begins to notice how detrimental the latest price hikes have been to the company’s bottom line. The company’s leaders make a note to revisit these issues during the next renewal cycle.
- Q3: Most leaders intend to get a headstart on their benefits planning by Q3, but they struggle to find the time. They have too much work to do, so they push it aside for later.
- Q4: When the fourth quarter arrives, leadership realizes they must act quickly. When they start to dig into new health care plans, they realize they lack the time to feel comfortable with a radical change from the status quo. Although they hate the idea of another round of premium increases, they want to avoid taking big risks without completely understanding their options. The result: They renew their current plan with a rate increase and resolve to revisit their package next year.
Leaders exit Q4 with the best intentions, but then the exhaustion of Q1 creeps in and the whole cycle repeats itself.
Challenge the Status Quo
If a meaningful change to your benefits plan is important to you, your business, and your employees, now is the time to take action, not Q3 or Q4. The effort is worth it, as a well-planned benefits package:
- Attacks the rising costs of health care. By eliminating the 8%-12% annual increase companies have grown accustomed to, your company is left with more resources in its coffers.
- Heightens the employee experience to improve recruiting and retention. A better benefits package improves employee satisfaction.
- Allows you to leverage new strategic opportunities for your business. With the extra savings, your company can afford to explore new growth strategies.
By blending the right tools, health care plans, and pricing strategy, businesses can develop customized care that meets or exceeds the needs of their workforce at a lower price point than they currently pay.
This path is possible, but leaders should be wary of insurance companies that promise these benefits without a clear path to a lower price tag with better care. These companies aren’t in the business of losing money. Instead, their job is to do everything possible to generate additional profits for their stakeholders year over year. Although they frequently present benefits packages as cost-saving strategies, many of these products are not optimized to create meaningful savings for the businesses they serve or their employees.
The only way to unlock better services at lower rates is to challenge the status quo today. Leaders need to break free from the vicious benefits renewal cycle to access better care for their employees, but the only way to do that is to take action. Start the conversation today to take your company down a new path to healthy living.