With health care reform legislation taking effect, waiting until your annual benefit renewals to learn your benefit costs have increased or that you are not compliant based on your current workforce is often too late to shop for better alternatives.

Health care costs continue to grow faster than the economy. The past five years have seen employee benefit costs escalate an average of 7.29% annually straining both employer and employee budgets. According to the National Federation of Independent Business nearly half of small businesses that provide insurance spend at least 7.5 percent of payroll on health care. Considering how benefits play a major role in recruiting and retaining quality workers, the traditional approach of negotiating prices with vendors is no longer effective, and simply passing more costs onto employees has reached its limits.

In today’s environment, it is important for employers to do what they can to provide solid benefits, retain and grow employees and take control of their benefits costs. With so many components to a well-designed employee benefits program, many small to mid-sized employers with limited in-house expertise will look to outsource their benefits administration with a HR service provider.

A benefits evaluation provides you with recommendations best suited for your business, employees and budget. The process looks for gaps due to old plans or dated benefit strategies. Most importantly it gives you information needed to weigh plan features against costs.

When analyzing your current benefits, an effective process will include the following steps:

BUSINESS CENSUS

  • Review current employee benefits and identify issues or gaps
  • Gather and organize business and employee data
  • Establish budget for premiums and per employee costs

BENEFIT REQUIREMENTS

  • Identify health care provider, specialist, pharmaceutical and hospital needs
  • Determine scope and type of coverage

PLAN ANALYSIS

  • Contact brokers or agents
  • Research insurers
  • Weigh benefits versus costs
  • Identify additional fees outside of premium
  • Understand cost saving strategies
  • Review final recommendations and price quote

PLAN ROLLOUT

  • Compile required documentation
  • Communicate plan choices to employees
  • Complete enrollment

ANNUAL REVIEW

  • Review changes in plan and premiums
  • Identify cost saving strategies if necessary
  • Review recommendations and changes
  • Renew plans

Ready to update your benefits strategy to match your current business strategy? Principle Strategies provides strategic Human Resources and Business Solutions services. To learn more how we can optimize your business to save you time and money call us at (757) 626–3533 or email Solutions@PStrats.com.

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