At Cambria Benefits Group, our experience in the benefits industry has shown that organizations continue to fight never-ending battles to control their benefit costs and never seem to escape the same boiler-plate strategies that have become worn out and less effective over time. We believe our competitive advantage lies in our ability to deliver fresh ideas and true innovation to each of our client relationships.
Why Choose Cambria?
Our experience in the benefits industry has shown that organizations continue to fight never-ending battles to control their employee benefit costs and never seem to escape the boiler-plate strategies that have become worn out and less effective over time. Everyone knows if you raise employee deductibles, co-payments and out-of-pocket costs, you will reduce your premium increases if fully insured or claims payments if self-funded. This is known as “blocking and tackling” in the industry. At some point, if employers continue to rely on this same old strategies, particularly if they cost shift to employees above the rate of normal cost of living wage increases, the employee population becomes financially stressed to the point of increased “presentism” to the employer’s detriment. Yes, we have to increase cost sharing to employees from time to time, but this should only be done after the organization has explored and implemented advanced cost containment strategies in order to minimize the draconian cost shifting to employees that has typically taken place.
You should look at the average wages of your employees and decide on a reasonable amount of cost sharing that is realistic based on your industry. A benchmarking study will help. If average employee wages are $40,000 per year pre-tax and deductibles are raised to $5,000, what will happen to employees if they cannot shoulder the cost? They will become less effective at work due to financial stress. No one wins.
At Cambria, we have taken our clients through the rituals of cost shifting to employees, installation of disease management programs, wellness programs, precertification requirements, employee communication campaigns, etc., only to find at the end of the day that medical inflation continues to minimize efforts to control costs. Yes, the organizational costs would have been higher had those programs not been implemented, but we have to do better. If organizations are smart, they calculate the ROI’s on these strategies to see if the methods being used are creating financially sound results. Some of the ROI calculations can return nebulous results, particularly if your organization experiences high employee turnover rates. By the time you get your employee educated, they are off to work for another employer.
We argue that you need to take a very close look at the strategies and resources in place to mitigate the ominous cost increases that are taking place, particularly in corporate group medical benefit plans. What was the last, really effective strategy or resource tool implemented that proved to have a significant impact on your plan costs? What if there was a way to change all this? What if there was a resource that could literally transform the way your medical plans operate? Would that be something worth looking into?
Organizations that are large enough can hire talented folks to research and implement advanced cost containment strategies. Small to mid-size companies typically cannot do this and must rely on their benefits broker or consultant to make the recommendations necessary to improve plan performance. If you feel your organization is not being exposed to new strategies and leading resources/tools to bend your health care spend downwards, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere.
Changing brokers or consultants is not always pleasant. Change is scary. You may like them. They may be a friend. You have an investment in the relationship. We get it. And if all these factors are in play and you are getting the best available guidance and consultation, you should sit tight and enjoy the ride. But if your business judgment has been impacted by the fact that you like your broker and aren’t getting the results for the organization, at some point you have to make a business decision about what is best for your organization and your employees. Take a hard look at what is happening now in your company. Do you really know with certainty that you are doing the best you can to control costs and improve employee satisfaction? Are you absolutely sure that you have explored every viable measure available? Are you tired of listening to your employees complain and moan about the incessant cost shifting you are forced to deal out every year at open enrollment? You might be interested to know that in 95% of our first meetings with prospective clients, most of them articulate they have never heard of many of the resources and tools we use to improve plan performance. While the common perception is that brokers and consultants are pretty much all the same, we think you will see very quickly that we aren’t cut from the same cloth. We think differently. We advise differently. And, quite frankly, we get better results for our clientele.
We will invest time with you to listen to your objectives. Our tenured experience in the industry has served our clients well. We have been through the school of hard knocks. We know what works and what doesn’t.
Want to find out more? Contact us today!