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Who benefits from your benefits?

It’s getting to be that exciting time! It’s the time of year many companies relook at their benefit offerings for the next year! Wow! Most owners can’t wait to see how much money will be spent trying to retain their employees through insurances! Well, that may be a little bit of an exaggeration . . .

But when have you really thought about the money you or your company is spending on insurance and other benefits? Are they being utilized? Do the employees care about them? Are you and they spending money wisely? Or are they stressed because the cost is so high and the coverage isn’t what they need/want?

If you can get utilization reports from your benefit companies (or brokers), do so; if you can’t, get with companies who provide that information! Find out what’s really being used in your coverages. Maybe you’re on track and doing the right thing. Maybe you’re paying for something no one is using. It’s good to know, either way.

Talk with your managers. What are the employees saying? Talk to the recruiters, have the benefits mattered when hiring?

We’ve become accustomed to certain benefit offerings in medical, dental, vision and life, and that’s what sometimes gets us in trouble. We just expect them to be what they are. Ask yourself why? Can you increase deductibles and/or co-pays, save money and increase satisfaction with your staff? Or should you add benefits that your staff have wanted but never had?

Those are not strange questions. If you reduce the cost of benefits and put the money you save back into the employee pockets, for instance, through retirement or emergency or health care savings or even compensation, they may be thrilled! Alternatively, if you have employees who utilize your plans and/or want/need better or different types of coverage, they may be willing to pay more for that, especially if it saves them in the long run or gives them more options in the meantime.

You’ll never know if you don’t ask. Demand options from your vendors. Find out what the employees care about and put your money there so you know it’s going to the right place. There are lots of different types of benefits out there and various structures within those offerings. Make sure you’re paying for the ones that matter in your company.

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