Changing your benefits plan is intimidating. Health plans are expensive and hard to understand, and transitioning onto a new plan requires months of research, education, conversations, and decisions. The status quo feels safe. Even when you know your benefits plan is too expensive for the level of care your employees receive, the temptation to stick with the devil you know is strong. What many don’t realize: Staying with the status quo is the most painful option of all because it subjects you to an 8%-12% rate increase every year. Only an adviser who understands the nuances of your business and its goals can help you cut through the pain and access a better health care plan.
Despite yearly rate increases, deciding to switch to a new plan is a scary endeavor. HR managers fear switching to a new plan because of the disruption, unknown employee experience, and administrative relationships. CFO’s risk upsetting the HR department because it is one of the few allies a CFO has inside a company. Maintaining that relationship is critical for CFOs, especially as the average tenure of a CFO at a Fortune 500 company is 5.7 years, according to search firm Spencer Stuart. For the sake of future generations, a good CFO and a good HR manager must develop a long-term benefits strategy rather than stand by while the benefits plan drains the company’s coffers. Change is necessary for success.
The problem: Change creates “noise,” the discomfort each department feels during a transition. At the beginning, the noise is like a dog barking in your ear. It hurts, but you can tolerate it. However, if the noise grows louder, the dog begins to foam at the mouth, the noise eventually turns to pain. At this point in the transition, you feel tempted to run back to your old benefits plan, where you knew exactly what you were getting.
This pain may feel uncomfortable, but it’s nothing compared to the financial pain your company and its employees have been suffering in the background: high premiums, low-quality care, and yearly rate hikes. To break through the pain of change, partner with an adviser who will focus on developing the best options for your business.
Picking the Right Adviser for Your Team
Not all advisers can provide the same level of care for your business. Different skill levels and competing interests directly interfere with your access to a better benefits plan at a lower cost. To find the right adviser for your team
- Look for a consultant, not a broker, who will develop a long-term, customized strategy for your business. Your adviser should partner with the C-suite to establish a plan that works within your company’s short- and long-term plans. When your adviser understands your financial and human resource objectives, they can deliver a bespoke approach, using baby steps to manage noise levels for employees, not a plan that’s plucked off the shelf.
- Figure out who pays them. If you meet an adviser who works exclusively with a small handful of carriers, think twice before working with them. Exclusivity often means your benefits premium checks will pay for bonuses and overrides your carrier has arranged with your adviser. With fewer options available to your company, you may pay more for less.
- Find someone who will be transparent in their dealings with you. Do they consistently steer you toward low-cost, high-value plans, even when it means less income for themselves?
The right adviser will guide you on a clear path to better, pain-free health benefits. Although you may encounter some administrative challenges through the transition, an experienced adviser makes the conversion seamless, eliminating the discomfort that comes with altering your benefits. Once in place, the new plan will solve your biggest pain of all: the costly waste in your current benefits plan.