Give Your Employee Benefits Renewal the Time You and Your Employees Deserve

August 29, 2022

Like taxes and Michigan road construction, your employee benefits renewal is inevitable and may often be unaddressed until what feels like the last minute. This is rarely going to lead to the best possible outcome (just like all those annoying asphalt road patches aren’t the best response to the jarring holes in our roads). Yet every year it may feel like you’re rushed for a decision around an item that is among your business’s top three expenses.

When we ask most employee benefits decision-makers when their renewal process starts, they often tell us it’s two to three months before the renewal date. We ask them if this is enough time, and they almost always say no. Most carriers require 30-45 days to implement a change. If you get your rates two to three months in advance, there is almost no time to vet options or develop an effective communication strategy to help your employees fully understand their benefits.

Why do organizations keep putting up with this?

When employee benefits decision-makers are rushed, they may feel like there aren’t a lot of other options to consider. They may make simpler choices, which makes it easier on their consultant (who is not living up to this designation). Companies are convinced that this is the way it is for everyone, and it isn’t going to change, just as we accept potholes in the road. Luckily, this is absolutely not true.

What should you expect instead?

If your health plan provides health data (which is usually available if your organization employs at least 50 people), your consultant should be able to provide a close estimate of your renewal six months in advance. If you have this estimate and can work with your consultant, you can create a game plan and a timeline. It should be a necessity, not a luxury, to have enough time to think about:

  1. A variety of plan options
  2. Opportunities for negotiation
  3. Multiple funding possibilities
  4. Cost-saving options that don’t change your plan
  5. Ways to market your plan to employees and educate them and their spouses in a way that doesn’t feel forced

We all know you can’t make the best decisions when you’re rushed. The Oswald employee benefits team wants our clients to have plenty of time and information to create the best plan for their renewal. This is what produces the most favorable results.

Isn’t this what you and your employees deserve?

If you haven’t experienced this approach, please reach out to a member of the Oswald employee benefits team. We’d like to show you how to take control of the renewal process while protecting your greatest asset—your employees—and improving the bottom line, too.

For more information, please contact me directly or learn more on our Employee Benefits page.

Joe Curtis
VP, Director of Group Benefits, Michigan


Note: This communication is for informational purposes only. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Oswald makes no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held liable for any outdated or incorrect information. View our communications policy.