As your partner, your health benefits advisor can become a critical asset to the success of your business. Although the average company pays roughly $6,000 per employee per year on company health benefits, your advisor has the resources to change that. By keeping benefits costs low and plan value high, your advisor can increase company profitability while assisting with employee retention. The potential is there, but don’t expect to see these results immediately after you start working with a new advisor. To unlock such powerful advantages, offer your advisor a clear window into your company and its goals.
Getting the Most From Your Advisor
Your advisor can only work with the information you give them. To get as much value as possible from your advisor, try the following:
1. Bring the right people to each meeting. Ideally, your advisor should meet with someone who is intimately familiar with the company’s finances and its employees. Sometimes this is the owner, sometimes this is the CEO, and sometimes this is the CFO. HR can provide a valuable human perspective, but they often lack sufficient oversight of the company’s finances to provide a complete picture of the company’s needs. If necessary, pull multiple team members into meetings with your advisor to create a clear picture of the company’s finances and its personnel.
2. Be clear on your goals. Before meeting with an advisor to discuss plan changes, consider these questions:
- What are your business’s short- and long-term goals? Where does your company want to be in six months? Where does it want to be in five years? Your benefits package may need to evolve accordingly.
- What do you want your plan to accomplish for your company? Do you need to slash operational expenses? Do you want your plan to assist in employee retention?
- What do you want your plan to accomplish for your employees? Do you want plans to have access to inexpensive care? Do you want your employees to have access to outstanding medical facilities?
Your advisor should understand these details so they can help you design a plan that truly meets your needs.
3. Know the important details of your current plan. No, you don’t need to know how much a knee replacement costs on your plan, but you should be familiar with some of the high-level details, including:
- Your rate history (How much have you paid for your health benefits plan in each of the last five years?
- Your current carriers
- How many people your plan covers
With these details in hand, you can have an in-depth conversation about your plan while giving your advisor a good baseline to work from when considering improvements to your plan.
4. Aim to build a relationship. Open and honest communication with your advisor is critical to receiving as much value as possible. When they have the data they need to make valuable decisions and recommendations for your business, you and your employees come out on top.
Rethink Your Advisor Relationship
Your advisor likely has the skills and know-how to help your company drop below the $6,000 the average company pays to cover each employee every year. Your advisor can’t do it alone, however. When you work to become an active partner in your health benefits plan, you give your advisor the information they need to make valuable benefits decisions that support your company.