Building a benefits strategy

All companies – small, medium and large – need to have an employee benefits solution strategy in place. Many smaller or mid-sized businesses may feel like they don’t have many options – or that all of their options are undesirable. They may simply postpone thinking about the pending double-digit increase until renewal time comes around once more.

Those negative options may include higher employee contributions and watering-down of benefits, such as higher deductibles and lower co-insurance. Every year it becomes more and more difficult for the smaller company to wade through the options presented to it.

But negative options are not a strategy – and an employer needs clear cut goals when it comes to employee benefits plans. He or she must decide what kind of benefits package to offer. Should the package contain several options – HMO, PPO, a high deductible plan – or just one rich plan – one medical plan that offers high benefits and zero deductible. Once those goals are fine-tuned, the employer must try and stick to them.

In order for an employer to meet those goals, it is important that individual health insurance brokers provide those options that fit. Because an employer may not know or understand all of the available options, it becomes all the more important that the broker be able to highlight the most suitable choices.

For an employer, both the benchmarked data itself and determining how to use that data become very important. An employer must decide whether he wants employee benefits insurance from the top echelon or the median, and how to appropriate the data in terms of renewal.

Smaller companies may be at a disadvantage in building a benefits strategy – a large business certainly has the means and the manpower to perform an all-encompassing analysis to determine and execute its goals. Anything less than a large corporation will likely need to rely on a health insurance broker to determine goals and create a plan to adhere to them.

Johnson & Dugan provides a proprietary service for its clients to provide each with the roadmap to project its unique vision, goals and benefits over a 12- or 24-month period. The plan consists of several components: efficiency, compliance, employee communication, and cost benefit analysis.

Each tailored roadmap will help ensure not only that a strategy is in place, but that it does more than assist the client. The roadmap creates a clear vision and goal for a company’s employee benefits plans.