3 Ways to Help Clients Manage Group Health Insurance Costs

Group Health Insurance Costs

With economists’ opinions mixed on whether the country is in or is headed toward a recession, employers are increasingly concerned about health care costs, inflation, and what they can do to control benefits costs for their businesses.

Generally, the definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP). However, that has not happened. The Bureau of Economic Analysis says in a modified, second estimate that Q4 2022 real GDP increased 2.6%. In Q1 2023, GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.3%. The first estimate on Q2 2023 GDP is two percent, although final numbers won’t be available until early Q3.

Regardless of whether a recession is underway, coming, or not going to happen after all, it’s important that your clients understand how you can help them save on their costs. They need for you to show them how they can control expenses – and still offer benefits their employees want and will appreciate.

Here are three valuable tips clients should embrace to manage group health insurance costs:

1: Shop the market.

It doesn’t matter whether your clients are happy with their current plan(s), it’s a good idea to review and compare plans regularly. Using Word & Brown’s proprietary quoting technology, you can prove your value to your client by helping them shop the full market.

WBQuote and WBQuote Lite have built-in safeguards to help you avoid errors, ensure your quotes are accurate, and keep your customers happy. Our quote differs from other quoting platforms.

We deliver a true comparison of your client’s current plan and potential renewal options. We even highlight plan differences. That makes it easier for you and your clients to see what sets each plan apart – speeding up plan selection and expediting your group’s enrollment.

A Word & Brown quote also includes:

  • Automated deductible and Rx update alerts when deductibles apply before benefits kick-in
  • Alerts if you attempt to pair plan packages that cannot be sold together
  • Customizable output – with 30+ layout options
  • Multilingual translations – choose English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, or Vietnamese
  • Wrap quoting – a single quote when two carriers are offered in combination
  • Quoting for Medical and Ancillary using one platform
  • Integrated provider search to ensure clients and their employees get the doctors, medical groups, and hospitals they want in the plans they’re considering
  • A single-page executive summary

If you’re writing Large Group cases (101+ in California, 51+ in Nevada), you can expect:

  • A streamlined RFP process with an easy-to-use census for all carriers
  • Support from Large Group experts with strong carrier relationships
  • Strategizing counsel on the best options for your clients
  • RFP processing assistance and single submission to the carrier(s)
  • A Discovery Call with clients to uncover wants, needs, and concerns not always revealed in a conventional RFP process – helping you avoid pain points like network issues, service concerns, pharmacy benefit questions, etc.
  • Customized side-by-side benefit and rate comparisons
  • Personalized presentation portfolios with your name and agency logo
  • Quote review and rate negotiation with carrier(s) once plan is selected

It’s helpful to remind clients there’s no added cost for them to use of a broker. In fact, using a broker could save them money because you know the market – and the health plans and networks serving your area.

To learn more about employer contributions and average annual costs of coverage, read our Newsroom article, What You Need to Know About 2023 Group Health Premiums.

2: Consider available value-adds.

Because you’re a Word & Brown broker, you have access to a variety of value-added extras that you can offer to your clients at no cost. These include things that your client would ordinarily have to pay hundreds of dollars for annually – or more – if doing business with a carrier directly or when using another broker. Among our no-cost value-added benefits are HR support from Mineral, COBRA administrative services, and a Premium Only Plan (POP). A POP can reduce your clients’ payroll taxes and give employees the ability to fund health insurance premiums on a pre-tax basis.

We also offer online enrollment services (OLE) and carrier, plan, and quote Application Program Interface (API) capabilities– getting your groups enrolled more quickly. Ask us for details.

3: Add Voluntary.

Ask your clients if they are open to adding Voluntary benefits. Offering Voluntary is a fantastic way to expand options for employees without increasing the employer’s cost. It can be for Dental, Vision, Life, Short- and Long-Term Disability, or supplemental health like Accident, Hospital Indemnity, and other coverage.

If your clients’ budgets allow for it, the employer and employees can share the costs – often at a different shared-cost percentage than for Group Health. If the employer is unable to share the costs, making coverage available on an employee-paid basis is still usually viewed favorably by workers.

Service after the sale

In addition to great service up-front, we’re here for you and your clients after the sale, too. Whatever the need – whether it’s help with a billing or claims issue, answers to questions about compliance, or something else – your Word & Brown team will be here for you.

We are the only general agency with in-house experts who are on call to answer any of your – or your clients’ – Compliance questions. We make complicated issues seem simple, and we’ll help you navigate the uncertainty of state and federal laws affecting you, your clients, and their employees.

An ongoing commitment to you

All of us at Word & Brown are committed to helping you quote more, write more, and retain more business – year after year. Contact your Word & Brown rep today. Or, if you’re not already doing business with us, contact us at 1-800-869-6989 or fill out our online form to get started.

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