The recent ruling of PPACA has created even a greater need for accurate benchmarking data proving the age old adage that if you can’t measure it then you can’t manage it. Advisers armed with information that drills down through national, regional, state, industry and company size will be better prepared to assist larger employers with employee acquisition and retention, and helping smaller employers make intelligent decisions on whether or not to pay or play.

Let’s say you were a midsize technical design firm in California competing with other private-sector companies within the state for quality employees, and you want to demonstrate the value of your PPO plan. Let’s say your single cost is $489. If you use national numbers to compare your rate, you’d be $50 per month more than the national average. However, when compared to other PPO plans in California, your cost is actually $24 per month less expensive than the average. 

This same kind of data is also helpful in looking at smaller employers existing plans and comparing their costs to other options and the competition. Even if the employer is not worried about retention, using accurate benchmarking data with the advice of an adviser can help them compare plan costs to other options and possibly save their organization and their employee’s money by retaining and offering coverage. The cost of not accurately managing a health plan or helping your client bend the cost curve will be a 40% Cadillac Tax starting in 2018. 

Mangan is CEO of United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the nation's leading independent employee benefits advisory organization with more than 270 offices throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K.


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