I admit it. I have never seen any of the Transformers television shows or movies despite the fact that my kids played with volumes of Autobots and Decepticons when they were younger. However, when the latest Transformers movie was released this summer, it reminded me of a theme I often include in my blog posts and in conversations with my clients— change!
While one of the only constants in life, change—is never easy. Fortunately, I work for a company and with a group of people who have thrived on change over the years. Our ability to think creatively and proactively, anticipating market conditions and transforming with them—has positioned us as a market leader and a trusted advisor in our industry for many years.
- We offered to our clients Benefits Administration—COBRA administration, eligibility management, communications, and more—as value-added services ahead of the rest of the market.
- We promoted and offered to our clients health and wellness strategies and resources when most organizations viewed health and wellness as a fad.
- We smoothly and thoroughly transitioned clients and their employees to more cost-effective plan designs such as Consumer Directed Health Plans (CDHPs), which increases employee engagement in the healthcare purchase decision, while the majority of our peers focused on status quo strategies such as renewal negotiations and RFPs.
In short, we did not rest on the laurels of our early successes. Instead, we challenged ourselves to continuously transform from a transactional partner to a trusted advisor to our clients. We also challenged our clients to forego the trappings of the status quo and to take charge of the healthcare cost issue. This ability to transform with the market has made us one of the best at what we do!
Recently, we added another level of transformation by joining forces with OneDigital, resulting in one of the best in the industry getting better! Our combined forces now equate to the following:
- A higher level of strategic thinking and consulting for small and large group clients
- National leverage with carrier and vendor partners
- Access to a private exchange
- A multitude of value-added programs and services for our clients
As a trusted advisor with new found capabilities, we define success as our ability to solve for the five things that employers need most:
- Good employee benefits
- Lower cost trends
- Healthier employees
- Reduced administrative headaches
- Compliance with Healthcare Reform
We solve these needs through a number of different strategic pathways, each of which we have developed, managed, refined and proven with our clients over the years. These include:
- Pay or providing support to drive employees to public exchanges.
- Empower or setting up a private exchange (ours is called the Digital Benefit Marketplace (DBM)) where employees can shop for benefits that best meet their needs.
- Perform or investing in the productivity and health of employees through an integrated strategy tied to plan design, funding, and health improvement.
- Accelerate or combine the features of a private exchange (Empower) with the investment in plan design, funding, and health improvement (perform).
Optimus Prime once said: “If a new source of energy is not found, no one is going to win this war!” Employers and many of us in the benefits business have been waging a war to control costs for many years. Healthcare Reform has provided a catalyst for a new paradigm, a transformation from a highly transactional, very status quo industry to one that requires new energy, ideas and resources. We have transformed our business to meet the five things that our clients want and need and have laid out strategic pathways to win the war. Which path is the right one for your business, your employees, your culture, and your growth goals?