You are the eyes, ears and heart of a company and how do I know this?
I work with people like you every day.
Another thing I know about the people I look after is they are time poor. There are never enough hours in the day and someone is always knocking on the door.
So wouldn’t it be good to have a new member to your team, dedicated to helping you for absolutely no cost?
Before we get to the stage of you having a dedicated person who’s there to help free up some of your time, I want to show you what is important and what you need to know about group schemes.
Just access is not a benefit
Offering access to an insurer is just not good enough in today’s climate. Your employees deserve more than to be mined by an insurer. An employee can go online and get the same information they would receive by sitting in front of a sales rep from an insurer. They would not get unbiased, impartial advice. They won’t receive a break down of their options from one insurer to the next and an honest appraisal of the benefits one insurer offers compared to another.
At the very most they will receive a small discount on their premiums, nothing to have a song and dance about.
The very best systems and services, what to look for…
So when looking after a workforce and trying to put together the very best systems and the very best services for your employees, what should you look for in a good group scheme.
From start to finish the advice you and then your employees receive needs to be reliable and from a person who is also an expert in their field. The field needs to be wide enough to include more than one insurer because no matter what you have been told in the past, there is more than one insurer out there.
You look after people and from our experience you need a person looking after you. The systems we help you put in place will only streamline the experience for you and your staff but there is no substitute to having a person sitting in front of you and your employees solving problems.
So the first and most important thing a group should have is quality advice. Otherwise how would you know what options you have, how would you know if the scheme you currently run is the best it could be or the group scheme you are about to put in is as good as it gets?.
Voluntary Vs Subsidised
Next we are going to have a look at the difference between Voluntary and Subsidised group schemes.
Voluntary Group Health Schemes
A voluntary group scheme is where there’s no financial commitment from the company to subsidise part of the employees premium.
In this scenario the company is merely providing access to preferable rates. Gone are the days where you can get other concession like existing conditions covered through a voluntary group scheme.
So if the main benefit you are offering to your employees is access to discounted premiums you need to add value to this offer.
In our experience this comes back to advice and service.
The discounts some insurers offer in a voluntary group are not ground breaking. The discount itself can also mean little when comparing one insurer to the next. In some cases the discount will not make the premium any cheaper than another insurer’s standard premium, depending on plan chosen and age/gender of the employee.
So if the premium can be cheaper in a voluntary group but it depends on the stars aligning as to whether it will be of benefit to your employee then what should your employees have access to in a voluntary group?
We are in the business of providing advice and information so our clients can make a decision on what’s best for them and their family. Only receiving information on one policy or one company in a voluntary group is not a benefit. Insurance policies and companies are not one size fits all.
Never too many options but what’s right for me?
There are options in today’s market for your employees to combine cover and receive a discount, add alternative health benefits, have a quality hospital cover on its own or include dental cover. There are options to cover drugs which aren’t funded by our public health system and a range of structures including the ability to cover large scans on your hospital cover.
With so many choices out there, and each decision affecting your employee at their most important time (claim time), the best thing you can give them access to, is quality advice.
Subsidised Group Health Schemes
Subsidised groups can be as small as five policies but the concessions we can negotiate become far more attractive if we have twenty or more subsidised employees.
Best Subsidy Structure
There are several ways to structure a subsidy for your employees. We look after groups who subsidise to a dollar amount and others to a plan level. Some companies just cover the employee and others subsidise the employee’s family.
We recommend subsidising to a plan level, this will give the employee a base to start from.
We do not recommend the base level be an 80% plan.
We have taken over groups who have subsidised their employees to an 80% level. When we walk into the company more than 50% of the employees have taken the 80% plan because all they had was the insurance company sales rep signing them up.
By the time we had taken over the group they had only 2% on the 80% plan because we had sat with each and every employee, explained the plans and benefits and helped them understand what would happen at claim time.
For a more detailed description of health plans and information on choosing a health plan to suit you (including the danger in having an 80% plan) call me and I’ll send you a free information pack.
You need access and advice!
So the advice you receive for a subsidised group is just as important as the advice you receive in a voluntary group. When making decisions that will affect your ability to actually use the cover your employer is paying for you need to be informed.
Without first being offered and then having help choose the right kind of cover the benefit to all employees is lost.
Time you and your employees don’t have.
Leaving an employee to make the right decision alone in our experience is not a good benefit. It takes time to sit down and read policy documents, and then find information on line to see what the average cost of an operation might be. It then takes time and experience to weigh up those choices and work out what you should have the cover for. Choosing the right cover is not straight forward, you and your employees deserve the care and attention needed to help make those decisions.
Assuming an employee will be able to find a few thousand dollars (the short fall of an 80% plan) is also not providing them with a good employee benefit. I have come across employers who provide an 80% plan for their employees but don’t have one themselves…why?
The answer is they shouldn’t. They should have access and advice to help them choose the right cover.
If you want to add value to your employee benefits and wish you had extra attention and help in running your group scheme then give us a call. 0800 222 511.