As January approaches, approximately 70% of employers who offer health benefits to their employees are getting ready to begin their renewal process. Most organizations feel like they have very little control or insight into why premiums continue to rise which makes budgeting for health benefits very difficult. Experts agree that heading into 2019, the medical cost trend should remain stable around 6%*, however many employers continue to see double-digit premium increases from their insurance carriers. With the right strategy in place, you can keep costs down for your organization and your employees without slashing your benefits program.
1) Know your options and negotiate
Many employers going through their renewal process are faced with the imminent question “to bid or not to bid”. Insurance carriers will often offer a reduction to their renewal if an employer is willing to forgo a market review. But how do you know if you are getting the best deal? If you have access to your claims data and work with a sophisticated insurance broker, there should never be a surprise at renewal time. However, many employers don’t have access to their data or work with a broker who relies on the insurance carrier to do the underwriting for them. Insurance carriers will typically provide very rational reasons for requesting premium hikes such as “you had a large claim” or “your population is getting older” however a good broker should be able to point out considerations the insurance company should take to lower your premiums. In addition, they should be well versed in market trends to ensure you are getting the best pricing, terms, and conditions based on your employee demographics. Plus, they should try to lock those terms in under a multi-year rate guarantee.
2) Consider a refundin[…]