For many companies, employee compensation and benefits
represent over a third of operating costs. Managing this
investment is critical to financial performance, and doing
so effectively can add to the bottom line.
But often, the annual health insurance renewal process is just that – an annual event. Why do we
spend so little time managing such a significant area? Why does the process feel so transactional?
Maybe it’s because we feel limited, or like we ultimately lack influence over the outcome. As a
result, health insurance costs become something we worry about – a process we simply try to
safely land each year.
There’s also an overwhelming amount of information to consider, and a lot remains unsettled
because of constantly changing regulations, tax policy, and market conditions.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Managing and controlling your organization’s health insurance
investment can become one of your strengths. This article provides practical steps for navigating
Maximize the Broker Relationship
By far, the most impactful step is to maximize your broker relationship. Due to the complex and
ever-changing aspects of health insurance plans, and the markets and regulations that impact
them, you’ll likely never become a true expert in this area. Therefore, consulting third-party
expertise is essential.
Managing your broker relationship is not always straightforward. While you can and should
reduce the amount of time you spend navigating this maze on your own, you must invest time
in nurturing your broker relationship.
Knowing what to request from your broker helps ease the process. Broker fees are usually based
on the size of your plan, not on the level of service you receive – so be sure to maximize those
To do so, don’t rely on your broker to tell you what services you should be receiving. The ideal
broker must not only know the construction industry, but also understand the
unique features of your business and employees. He or she should understand
the work your company performs and how that work impacts employee health. In
addition, your broker should be well versed in:
• The demographics of your employees and their family members who
are covered under your plan;
• Your company’s past claims and trend projections;
• The types of coverage your competitors offer and at what prices; and
• The types of coverage your employees actually want.