The Human Touch
Systems and software are marvels when targeting precise needs. But even the best data technology requires a human touch to produce optimal results. You need the human touch to guide you through the torrent of data.
Trained data analysts will look for consequences in behaviors and risks. They will understand and communicate what actionable information can help change the direction of poor claims. They should understand employee benefits—good analysts are also licensed health and life insurance professionals who exhibit the deeper knowledge needed when assessing employers’ needs.
Consider a company with a higher-than-average use of emergency rooms visits. ER visits are more expensive than visiting a primary physician. Data analysis shows that employees with chronic conditions primarily used ER services. These visits could and should have been made to a primary care physician before employees’ health needs became acute.
A data analyst should be an active member of any employee benefits service team. A skilled analyst can mean the difference between changes your employees will appreciate and changes they dislike.
As an example, Oswald Companies was one of two presenting a health benefits solution to a non-profit group. This organization considered benefits a significant part of its employee compensation package, as many non-profits do. Because the group couldn’t afford robust salaries, it focused on affordable benefits to attract and retain the best talent. Now, this client couldn’t absorb a 15% rate increase. The organization needed to reduce the increase to 5% or less. The competing insurance broker advised the client to shift the entire increase to the employees. However, its analyst crunched numbers within a vacuum and came up with a clearly inferior solution that could have and likely would have prompted a talent drain.