How to Reduce Costs Without Changing Your Benefits Plan

BY Jim Blachek
How to reduce costs without changing your benefits plan
Employers often operate under the misconception that getting a better benefits plan means getting a new benefits plan. While big changes are sometimes necessary for big improvements, some business owners may shy away from looking at new opportunities for their plan because they don’t want to get rid of their current plan or benefits broker. The truth, however, is that working with a benefits advisor can help increase the quality of your benefits and reduce your costs without requiring you to stop working with your broker or completely change your plan.

Here are some ways your advisor can help you do more with the plan you already have:

Team up for high-quality, low-cost benefits

Many business owners assume that they have to fire their broker in order to work with a benefits advisor. A great advisor, however, may be willing to work with your broker to help improve your existing plan instead of dismantling it and starting from scratch.
This enables you to:

  • Adjust your plan piece by piece, making changes more palatable for you and your employees
  • Maintain your relationship with your broker if you’ve been happy with their performance
  • Create savings with minimal risk through a performance-based guarantee

Not everyone wants to make the full switch from their existing broker to a new advisor, and that’s fine. Your advisor and your broker can form a team that can help maximize the positive impact your benefits plan can have on your business.

Measuring your progress

The only way to truly tell whether or not your benefits plan is really saving you money is to track your progress over time. Your advisor should have a multi-step process to be able to objectively look at how your benefits plan is impacting your business:

  • Gather and analyze data
  • Create and implement a solution
  • Review and evaluate the results

Many traditional plans stop at step two, only revisiting the process when it’s time to renew. Your advisor, however, can work with you throughout the year to develop solutions that evolve with your business. By enhancing what works and adjusting what doesn’t, they can make your existing plan more dynamic, increasing its efficiency as time goes on.

Eliminating wasteful benefits spending

Completely dismantling and rebuilding your benefits plan isn’t always necessary to increase its efficiency. Your advisor’s goal should be to reduce and eliminate unnecessary costs and procedures, which are probably more common than you think if you currently have a traditional benefits plan. For example, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) estimates that up to 30 percent of all surgeries are unnecessary. Imagine how much you could save if your plan helped just two of your employees find less stressful, lower-cost alternatives to invasive operations.

Many business owners don’t know that these savings opportunities exist at all. Your advisor can work alone or with your existing broker to find and eliminate excessive spending within the plan you already have, helping you and your employees spend less while maintaining (or even increasing) quality of care without requiring drastic changes to your plan.

Finding problems, building solutions

You can change your benefits plan without changing your benefits plan. By working with your existing broker, measuring the progress of your plan, and searching for savings opportunities in the plan you already have, your advisor can help you make your current plan more efficient and cost-effective. Sometimes, unlocking your plan’s true potential is all that’s necessary to transform it from a regular benefits plan into a strategic advantage for your business.
Original article from Benefits Pro.

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