An attractive benefits program is vital for your recruiting and retention efforts, but it is also a significant expense. To ensure you are providing a package that is both competitive and economical, you need to know how your offerings compare to others in your industry. Benchmark data can provide valuable insight for evaluating your benefits package, something that is more important than ever in light of health care reform.
Employer interest in benchmark data has grown over the past decade, as the cost of providing health care benefits continues to skyrocket and companies look for new ways to manage costs.
Analyzing how other companies are structuring their plans and the strategies they are using to cut costs may make your own benefit plan decisions a bit easier.
What Data Can You Benchmark?
The first step to successful benchmarking is to identify different aspects of your benefits and choose which are most costly and which are most important to your business’s success. There is information available for almost any aspect of a benefits program, including:
- Total Costs
- Cost-sharing measures
- Plan design
- Voluntary Offerings
- Paid leave
Using claims analysis, employers can analyze their own health claims for the previous year to see where employees are spending more money or utilizing care above national norms. Once cost drivers are identified, employers can make changes to plan designs to influence employee wellness and spending habits.
Benchmarking can also be a powerful tool to measure your business against the competition. By benchmarking your plans against competitors’, employers can remain competitive in the market while implementing strategic changes—for instance, you may see that your deductible is much lower than other employers’ deductibles in your region or industry, so you may feel comfortable raising it.
Whether you are curious to know how your voluntary disability benefits stack up or are wondering if your paid leave program is comparable to competitors, there is likely benchmark data available.
Health Care Reform Implications
Interest in benefits benchmark data has grown since the introduction and ongoing implementation of health care reform. The regulations and provisions of health care reform require significant changes to benefit plans, and, in many cases, tough decisions for employers.
Employers are responsible for implementing many new rules and absorbing their costs, which will likely mean cutting or shifting costs elsewhere. These decisions can make the difference between maintaining a competitive benefits package and seeing a decline in recruiting and retention of quality employees.
Knowing how other employers plan to address these benefits decisions can be incredibly advantageous for your company.
SIG is excited to announce the launch of the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Benchmarking Survey, powered by Milliman. To compare your benefits programs to similarly sized businesses in your area and industry, click below. For questions, contact Sara Cesky at firstname.lastname@example.org.