I first must apologize to any women reading this since I will be using another sports analogy. Most sports enthusiasts know that players and coaches regularly watch their game film to improve, correct, or better understand their opponent. When a team wins a championship, it’s very common to hear them say “this is the result of a lot of practice and watching a lot of game film.”
One of the many results from the rising price of healthcare and conversely our health insurance has been the increased willingness for employers to consider other options, in regards to their employee benefits package. Over the past few decades we’ve seen small incremental price increases that now when you look back are astounding. It reminds me of the parable of how you boil a frog alive . And during this time period of “small” price increases, most people just kept renewing their existing coverage without paying much attention to their claims, and switching vendors every 3 to 5 years when another insurance company offered a less-bad renewal. This was especially true with companies that had a fully insured group health plan. In this format, an insurer doesn’t provide much explanation as to where your money is going or why you got a good or bad renewal. It’s as if you went through an entire season without seeing your game film. Regardless of the outcome, you would still have no idea how you got there. For years, this was acceptable since health insurance was still considered affordable (or at least the deductibles were low).
Today, even if your plan is not a self-funded or level-funded plan design, it’s still crucial to analyze your claims data and see what you can learn from it. For example, if you notice that most of the medications prescribed are for high blood pressure or are stress related, you may want to evaluate the atmosphere at the office. In this regard, there are many ideas you can consider, such as improving communication among employees or encouraging them to share their viewpoints with management (even if that goes against the norm). A scary issue for companies is to give the employee as much time off as they want. Why, you ask, if the goals and expectations are clear to everyone and are being met, empower your staff to manage their time accordingly by allowing them to have a work/life balance? Aside from this, health conditions are a direct result from eating habits. Why not educate your employees by having a nutritionist, dietitian, or physical trainer give a seminar on foods to avoid? You could also look at offering healthy snacks or meals at the office or implementing simple high impact workouts. Incorporating a wellness plan should be high on your priority list. Incentivizing a higher contribution to their premiums or HSA will have a huge impact on participation. Because there are a hand full of laws you will have to comply with, it is also important to consult with your broker or HR manager.
Watching game film allows a team to consider everyone on the field/court since it’s very easy to focus on a single player and what individually they’re trying to accomplish. Once they see the bigger picture, everyone can see how each one contributes to the overall success of the organization. A company needs its employees to be healthy, and employees need its employer to stay in business. When both parties understand how crucial each one is to the other, something special happens. The employee is truly working toward the ongoing success of the company and not just for their paycheck. Also, the employer views each employee as an asset, not just a body to complete a task.
Every company is different and unique. What may work for some may not generate the same results for others. It’s important to work closely with your HR Director and Broker to figure out the right course of action based on the outcome the data tells. We at A.G. Insurance Agencies do this every day, which is why we welcome the opportunity to hear about your company and share what we can learn by watching your game film.
About the author: Angel joined the AG team in 2016 after partnering with us on several projects for mutual clients over the course of the last decade. Now he brings his charisma, his big brain and his desire to make a positive impact to our collective team of industry leading consultants. Oh, and he is already a published author with the University of Texas Press before he ever picked up a pen for our humble AG Blog.
About AG Insurance: AG Insurance (www.agiainc.com) helps employers and their employees with solutions focused on positive organizational impact and improved employee experiences.