How To Spot Value In A Benefits Plan

Jul 03, 2012

A new client recently asked “How do you spot the value in a Benefits Plan?” It was a great question and we thought we’d share a few ideas about it.

While it’s not realistic to go into all the ways that a Benefits Plan can be beneficial, there are a couple of further questions to ask.  Are the core provisions really what matters? Is it the “cool extras” that make the plan valuable? Or is the real value derived from something else?
There are thousands of people across the country that can get you a “plan”. The real value in a Benefits Plan isn’t in the plan itself, but in the design that went into it. The real value comes from the interplay of :

  • Leadership
  • Relationship
  • Creativity

This might seem like a bit of a tangent, but it’s actually central to the entire idea of Benefits Consulting. 

To have a Benefits Plan that is relevant, useful and cost-effective requires leadership. That includes leadership from both your Benefits Consultant and from you. When there is a conscientious, forward-looking view of how Benefits should be handled appropriately for your firm, a plan can evolve that handles the demands of today, and the goals of tomorrow.

Relationship is also critical. For example, if the relationship with your benefits consultant is sporadic or scarce, when an important claim needs to be handled, it can be difficult to get the advocacy you may need with an insurance carrier. Also, a close relationship with your Benefits Consultant helps ensure they stay in sync with the changing needs of your company.

Finally, great plans show their value through the creativity that was brought to their design. That creativity requires a disciplined process and years of experience so that the best design opportunities can be built into your firm’s plan.

The value isn’t in the sizzle or the steak, it’s in leadership, relationship and creativity. The question to ask is, “am I seeing all three in my Benefits Consultant?” If you’re not, talk to someone else.

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