To serve clients’ needs, it’s important for brokers to understand them.
A great way to start? knowing what keeps your clients awake at night. The better you understand these three main concerns, the more prepared you’ll be to address them.
1.) The Worry: Employees’ Inability to Afford High Deductibles
There’s no denying the high-deductible plan is here to stay. But, can your clients’ employees afford it?
According to the Guardian Workplace Benefits Study, “three in five respondents admitted they’re unable to pay a $3,000 out-of-pocket medical expense, triggering concern that neglected care could develop into catastrophic medical and disability claims,” wrote Bruce Shutan for Employee Benefit News. To afford such an expense, respondents said they’d need to set up a payment plan, charge the expenses to a credit card, or take out a loan.
Possible solution: Financial wellness programs are growing in popularity, as are voluntary benefits that could help fill gaps in high-deductible plans. Offering choices like these can provide important resources to employees.
“As many brokers and advisers have turned their attention to selling more than medical coverage, [there’s been] a gradual shift toward some supplemental health products,” Shutan wrote. “The objective is twofold: fill coverage gaps for employees and diversify their [brokers’] business.”
2.) The Worry: Low Employee Satisfaction
Your clients spend a lot on their offerings, but are employees really happy with their choices?
A study from Transamerica Center for Health Studies found “a strong disconnect” between employers and employee benefit satisfaction, writes Curt Olsen for Employee Benefit News. “When it comes to overall health care satisfaction, … 94 percent of employers said employees are satisfied with the health insurance plan their company offers, while only 79 percent of employees said they are satisfied with their health plan,” Olsen wrote.
Possible solution: “Brokers can help their clients get past this disconnect,” wrote Valerie Bolden-Barrett for HR Dive, especially by encouraging workers to answer surveys. “Sometimes, polls are the only vehicles employers have for uncovering and rectifying these differences,” she wrote.
3.) The worry: Employees Don’t Know Their Options
All the unique and useful offerings in the world won’t help employees if they don’t know about them. For example, Transamerica Center for Health Studies found “more than half of the employers surveyed say they offer wellness programs to their staff, yet some employees seemed to be unaware…” Olsen wrote.
Possible solution: Issues like these can be solved with better client communication to employees, and brokers are well positioned to share best practices in this area. “When carriers, brokers, and HR teams are putting together benefits packages, they need to think like marketers,” wrote Erin Moriarty-Siler for BenefitsPro. “They must adapt their messages to a mobile, impatient audience, while still supplying enough information so that people know what they are getting into.”