United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Five Tools to Manage Employee Benefit Costs

By Bill Olson, VP, Marketing & Communications at United Benefit Advisors
  Jan 30, 2013 12:12:00 PM

describe the imageWhen it comes to group health insurance, it’s easy to make cost the driving factor in your decision making process. However, to truly manage health care expenditures in the long-run, cost is only part of the picture. Employers should factor in compliance with ever-evolving employment laws and regulations (PPACA), employee communication, plan benchmarking and total cost of risk (COR), including:

  • Losses below a set deductible
  • Losses with a self-insured retention
  • Losses in excess of policy limits
  • Lost productivity
  • The program’s administrative costs, including claims/loss control
  • Retraining expenses

So how do you make plan decisions more holistically? First of all, you may need more than just a broker. A benefits advisor not only shops for the best rates but also consults on PPACA compliance, COR, employee communication strategies, and more. Not sure if your benefits provider is able to give you this more strategic guidance? Use UBA’s free evaluation toolkit to rate your current or prospective broker/advisor. This five-part toolkit includes the following:

  1. Choosing the Right Advisor White Paper: Discusses why a strategy-based approach to benefits is critical and covers characteristics to look for in an advisor. Also reviews how to benchmark your plan to more accurately evaluate costs and effectiveness versus your competitors.
  2. Choosing the Right Advisor Questions and Answers: Covers the questions that employers should ask a potential benefits advisor, questions employers should answer about their internal operations and questions for an advisor’s reference.
  3. Choosing the Right Advisor Glossary of Terms: Industry acronyms and jargon can quickly become confusing even to the most seasoned human resources professionals. This glossary of terms includes definitions for some of the more common terms in the employee benefit brokerage world.
  4. Choosing the Right Advisor Scorecard: Better assists you in effectively comparing advisors, using a checklist to score an advisor's ability, between 1 and 10 (10 being the best), to address issues that are important to your organization.
  5. Top 8 Questions to Ask a Benefits Advisor: UBA Partner Firms have compiled the top eight questions that every employer should ask their benefits advisor based on years of experience working with large and small businesses, across a range of industries.

Topics: health care costs, health insurance, employee benefits, hr consulting, health care, PPACA