BY BEN CONNER
Health insurance should be designed to solve problems and unlock new business opportunities, both for employers and employees—regardless of whether everyone thinks about it this way. On the employer side, health insurance should be cost-effective and protect the company’s most valuable resource—its people. In turn, this should improve retention rates by strengthening the overall benefits package. For employees, health insurance should not only be affordable, but it should also be meaningful—the right coverage with the right level of support.
These potential rewards are driven not only by the benefits plan itself, but also by the advisor helping you implement, manage, and refine it. Without an engaged advisor, a plan loses value quickly, including in:
- Bottom line savings
- Employee experience
- Employee out-of-pocket expenses
Every business should search for a health insurance provider who can show consistent value while leading the way in regular engagement—both for the employees and the employers. This ongoing human involvement increases value and improves the program’s long-term results.
Providing a Human Touch for Employers
As an employer, look for the brokers who provide a human touch, who resist the health care industry standard of selling a product and immediately moving on to the next prospect. From very early on in the relationship, your provider should integrate a team of individuals who will regularly service your account each month. These professionals should provide hands-on engagement to ensure your company is using its health resources to the fullest.
In addition, these individuals should be prepared to answer questions. Most importantly, they should be capable of explaining where the value of the program comes from. For example, a health portal is a nice feature, but it’s useless if it doesn’t provide a desirable outcome. Insurance brokers must use normal, everyday language to explain how the outcomes of their programs set them apart from the vast field of competition.
Providing a Human Touch for Employees
Health insurance is often confusing, especially for employees. So, even when a company offers a great health care package, leadership struggles to show the value. Instead of consistently educating their employees, they’ll discuss health care once a year at open enrollment. During these meetings, they’ll hype the benefits and get people excited. But a month or two after open enrollment, the excitement is gone. People often overlook the options within their plan, and many of them forget what types of service they’re entitled to.
To combat this, health insurance providers and employers must partner to promote health benefits throughout the year in ways that actually resonate with our team members. Health insurance agencies should partner with employers to create sustainable platforms for consistent, ongoing outreach.
For example, sending an email blast reminder about your health insurance’s coverage of flu shots in late fall is a quick way to get the message out, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s going to read the message. Leadership should regularly explore new, effective ways of spreading health care messages through modern means like ringless voicemails and text messages—methods that reach people the way they already use to communicate most effectively.
Insurance Payoffs Beyond Better Health
A human touch is important for your business because it matters to your employees. With an engaged health insurance provider by your side, your employees will remain aware of the incredible value your health coverage can truly provide. In turn, you’ll likely see retention rates increase, slashing HR costs for years to come. With an engaged workforce, your business is positioned for success.