6 things to consider when renewing Group Health Insurance

Thu 29 Nov 2018 00:00:00 UTC

6 things to consider before renewing Group Health Insurance

6 things to do for HRs handling group health insurance

HR at companies often wait until 2-3 weeks before renewal of group health insurance and just go after multiple quotes. That entire process is a little flawed, as it ignores the core purpose of group health insurance(providing employee benefits,healthcare, and improving morale and productivity).

Price will always be a key component of insurance, but it's not a good idea to let that be the only decider. Here are 6 things any HR team should consider when renewing their employee health insurance:

1.Re-evaluate benefits between renewals

Being passive will lead to surprises at the time of renewal, and so its important to stay in regular contact. The main things an HR has to look at are:

Keeping track of the claims that get approved, and those that get rejected. Often a trend gets revealed, showing exactly what kind of claims are frequent, and what age groups(this is usually parents/older employees). It is also a good way to understand which of your employees had a difficult year and could need support.

A high claims ratio will lead to an increase in prices, and it is important to monitor what kind of claims are happening to see how coverage and costs can be controlled; and to avoid surprises. A list of group health insurance benefits and optional covers can be found here

2.Buy with a multi year outlook

Buying on price alone is not a good idea, especially if you’re a growing company. All insurers price based on age, but some insurers have a huge differential in how they price between different age bands, and also how they raise renewal prices once claims start pouring in.

So you might suddenly find yourself with a steep increase the next year, which could prove complicated, especially if you ask for a contribution from employees.

Your employees age profile, and dependent selection will also be affected in deciding future costs.

It is important to ensure that decision makers are aware of the real cost of the cheapest option, other wise what seems good in the short term may backfire in the long run.

You will also want your intermediary to come and showcase the benefits plan and outlook, so you can easily understand and explain to senior management.

3.Not aligning benefits to company profile and organisation structure

Group health insurance is a complex product with multiple benefits, and it’s important to customise your company’s plan to ensure it matches your firm’s age profile. Benefits like maternity, domiciliary hospitalisation for parents, specific capping for diseases/conditions, etc are specially important to consider based on your company’s previous claims history and age profile.

The sum insured and cover available and in many cases, the employees’ own contribution to the premium, is also varied by designation, in accordance with the organisation and compensation structure.

It is important for companies to take utilisation and profile into account before deciding on an employee benefits structure. Get your broker to provide you a report before you start your work for renewal.

4.Choose the right intermediary

There are three intermediary types, agents, brokers, and aggregators. Web aggregators(or aggregators) are online only comparison platforms and they focus on personal insurance(motor, individual health, life, etc). Agents are employees of the insurance company, and represent one insurance company. There are corporate agents, such as banks, who have the licence to represent 3-6 insurers.

Brokers are allowed to deal with as many insurers as possible, and represent the clients to the insurer, ensuring that the clients get the optimal coverage and prices.

As a result, when it comes to claims and administrative support, brokers are by far the best choice for a business, which is why a large majority of businesses worldwide and in india choose to go with brokers.

Brokers also have the most stringent qualification and licensing requirements of the three, as subject-matter expertise is very important. This also means brokers can and should help you plan your employee benefits plan for the long term, down to the individual employee level.

It is Always in your business’ best interest to make sure you can find a broker partner who can provide a comprehensive, holistic solution beyond just insurance

5.Customise benefits to the employee

Different employees will have different health concerns, conditions and family medical histories. Luckily, Group health insurance doesn’t discriminate against pre-existing conditions or set unwieldy waiting period, like individual health insurance.

It is important for the emotional well being of the employee(and the productivity of the company) for him/her to be able to get the required amount of cover.

It is also important for employees to stay fit and monitor their health, in order to increase fitness, improve productivity, and reduce their long term health risks.

All this means it is important that you have an employee wellness program, customised to each employee, delivered directly to the employee, without disrupting work spaces.

Work to evolve your plan to be more holistic now! And keep in mind that this necessarily doesn’t involve more expenses, in fact it could end up saving your firm money in the short-medium term!

6.Adopt technology for administration and management

Tracking every claim by phone and email, individually handling the reimbursement claims, and collating data to do an analysis is time consuming, which is why you need a dashboard to see at a glance how much your cover is being used, and whether it is a right fit for your company’s current profile.

Technology also provides other benefits, such as enabling employees to manage their cover and claims themselves, using wellness tools, understanding benefits, and requesting changes in coverage(as far as the policy allows). This creates a truly flexible health insurance plan, which then results in greater morale, productivity and retention. To get an overview of how technology can improve your employee benefits experience, check out our employee benefits platform, emplify.