We all know that the cost of employee benefit programs — and especially health insurance — has risen to the point where companies are now managing costs from the C-suite in conjunction with HR.

Not only is it important to focus on providing great benefits, but also management of costs. It is critical that value be maximized.

Also see:10 common questions employees have about benefit options.”

All CFOs like to understand their return on investment, whether it be the implementation of a new benefits technology/administration platform or implementation of a consumer-driven health plan.

This is where a written strategic plan can be helpful. A knowledgeable broker can use historical data to project future cost increases and recommend strategies through plan design to level out the trajectory of these increases while being ever mindful of the need for the business to maintain a robust plan offering that attracts and retains good employees.

A more effective plan
This allows the business, over a specified period of time, to achieve a more cost effective plan that evolves the behavior of employees to a more consumer-driven approach (“skin in the game”)while informing them of what is ahead and helping to educate them to be prepared for future plan changes.

Also see:How to hire producers who actually produce.”

Rome wasn’t built in a day and likewise, most employers find it difficult to make dramatic changes to the benefit programs without providing significant education and advance notice. A plan can serve as a roadmap that can be shared with employees so they can be engaged in helping the company achieve long-term cost control goals with the assurance the company is not going to throw them under the bus or abandon them.

In short, the long-term plan sets the stage for change implemented over a specified timeframe based on employee involvement and trust between all parties. A “win/win” for all.

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Suzy K. Johnson

Suzy K. Johnson

Johnson, MBA, CEBS, RHU, CLTC, is president, owner and employee benefit specialist at Employee Benefit Advisors of the Carolinas.