Prudential Insurance recently released its employee benefits report Ninth Study of Employee Benefits: Today and Beyond.
I found it very curious that the study/ survey found that benefit brokers top business objectives in 2016 are:
- Retaining current customers
- Increasing productivity and efficiency
- Increasing customer satisfaction
- Providing high quality service
- Deepening relationships with current customers
- Deepening current carrier relationships
These objectives varied somewhat from past study results. I would say these are good objectives, but they are “soft” and not finance focused.
According to the same study, employers (buyers) were more focused than ever on employee benefits cost savings and in particular health care costs.
“Despite changes in the broker outlook, employers’ priorities were more consistent with those identified in past studies. Just like in prior years, most employers said controlling health care costs was highly important. Because this continues to be a major concern.”
Although employers by 62% have installed wellness programs and in general have concern about the general well-being of their employees, they continue to cost shift health care payments to employees via consumer driven health plans (61%) and are increasing the employee share of contributions to the overall costs of the employer sponsored health plan (59%).
The broker objectives seem to be somewhat in conflict with the objectives of employers. Simply stated “better customer service and relationships” in contrast to “reducing health care costs.”
I believe this divergence is where Axion RMS finds itself more in line with the objectives of its clients and prospective clients. Cost containment, strategic planning, budgeting, financial analytics, and risk management equate to exactly what employers are seeking, “controlling health care costs.”
With private health care plans increasing at close to 10% annually, Axion RMS’ aggressive cost saving strategies and tools result in medical costs settling prospectively at close to CPI (2%).