4 Steps to Reviewing Your Benefits Plan to Ensure Effectiveness
By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday October 27, 2020Updated : Tuesday November 7, 2023
An effective employee benefits plan keeps employees happy and healthy and creates a more engaged and productive workforce. As a crucial part of a total compensation package, a benefits plan will also help to attract and retain top talent to keep you competitive in your industry.
However, you may not reap the “benefits” of employee benefits if you aren’t regularly evaluating your plan to make sure it’s working as intended.
Why Review a Benefits Plan?
Reviewing your group benefits plan is one of the most important steps you can take to maintain an effective plan. By regularly reviewing your benefits plan and its performance, you’ll be able to make sure that the plan is:
- Providing employees with appropriate coverage (that they’re using)
- Still meeting your goals and benefits philosophy
- Optimized and capable of growing to meet adapting needs
As workplaces evolve, it’s imperative that you continuously review your benefits plan to ensure it’s working as intended. Here are four crucial steps to reviewing your benefits plan that you’ll need to keep in mind!
#1. Recall Your Benefits Philosophy
Your benefits philosophy is the “why” behind your plan.
Ask yourself, “What am I trying to achieve by providing a group benefits plan?” Your answer to this question will help inform your decision-making processes and better equip you to evaluate if your plan is meeting your goals. If you didn’t have the opportunity to solidify your benefits philosophy when you first implemented your plan, now is the time!
[Free Download] A Guide to Finding Your Employee Benefits Philosophy
#2. Ask Employees for Feedback
Consider asking employees to evaluate their employee benefits plan, with questions like:
- Which benefits do you value the most?
- Which benefits do you value the least?
- Is there any coverage you don’t have but would like to see included in the plan?
These kinds of questions will give you insight into what employees place value in and what they don’t, allowing you to make more informed decisions about coverage. Furthermore, it will also give employees the feeling of being heard and having a say in their benefits plan, and that’s a powerful thing.
#3. Confirm Organization and Employee Needs and Values
Over time, it is natural that the needs of your organization and your employees may change.
Take a moment to confirm that your organizational needs and values are still consistent with your benefits philosophy and your plan on the whole. Consider answers to questions like:
- Is the company culture the same as when the plan was first implemented?
- Has my company experienced any significant changes in demographics?
- Have employees provided any feedback relating to their benefits plan?
- Are there any gaps or needs not being filled that have been identified? (If not, don’t worry — we’ll get there!)
Once you’ve locked down your benefits philosophy, your needs and values, and your employee’s feedback, it’s time to get into the meat of the review process.
#4. Review Claims Experience and Demographics
It sounds daunting, but it isn’t: this is where your group insurance Advisor will shine. Together, you’ll be able to determine which benefits are being utilized, which ones are not being used so much, and which ones are costing the most money.
You’ll also want to look at your workforce demographics, particularly if you’ve experienced significant changes. You’ll be able to review all of this information at any time, but you’ll likely want to begin thinking about this approximately 3-4 months before your renewal.
From there, it becomes an exercise in mapping the results of your review with your benefits philosophy. For example, if you want to provide employees with Extended Health Care (EHC) coverage, but are noticing a spike in usage and cost, you may want to consider changes. Speak with your group insurance Advisor and consider looking deeper into what is driving the claims experience and the cost.
Why You Should Use a Group Insurance Advisor
Utilize the Expertise of Your Group Insurance Advisor
When you’re looking to review your taxes or your medical records, do you do it yourself?
Well, maybe, but an expert would be able to provide you with more insight and information than you would otherwise have on your own. And that’s okay! We can’t all be experts in everything.
Your group insurance Advisor is a resource for you to use in reviewing your benefits plan. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience and will be able to take the information in your renewal, explain how it will affect you and your employees, and make suggested changes.