A discussion was initiated with a customer who had multiple locations across the region concerning their medical plan renewal. The company received a double-digit increase. This company cared deeply for their employees and over the years resisted moving from their more traditional plans and low employee out of pocket expenses. So while cost control was important, the client also desired to maintain its competitive benefits and reasonable contribution levels toward employee premiums.
We focused the discussion on introducing consumer driven “High Deductible Health Plans”, linked with a Health Savings Account. High Deductible Health Plans, which engage employees as “consumers” in the healthcare process, have over the past few years become a more common method of providing benefit cost control. Different than the more traditional health plans of the past however, the deductibles here apply very broadly to services and “savings” accounts are established to manage uninsured costs, with employees more actively involved managing their health care costs.
The employer resisted at first and expressed a concern about the complexities of the design, especially as its employee population had differing levels of education and comfort with the healthcare system. As a result, thorough employee education was critical to the success of implementing such a plan. In this situation, we developed a package of open enrollment materials that were substantially more robust than traditional carrier plan summaries. Open enrollment meetings were scheduled at strategic employer locations and times to accommodate the various employee shifts. Online webinars were made available and all employees had access to our dedicated line staffed with employees well versed in details about the new plan. We monitored the open enrollment process at all times to ensure a smooth experience for all participants.
The employer was pleasantly surprised at how accepting their employees were of the new plans and everyone was happy with process. Employer costs were controlled and a competitive benefit package was maintained.
Our method of implementing benefit changes centers on collaboration with our customer and customizing the open enrollment process to meet the needs of both employer and employee. That, paired with the significant level of resources we dedicate to the process assures a smooth and successful experience for everyone.