Many companies we work with are suffering from something we like to call square peg syndrome. Don’t worry, it’s not necessarily contagious — and it can be cured.
Square peg syndrome often rears its ugly head in employee benefits. The heart of the problem is this: employee health needs are incredibly diverse — but benefits and HR professionals are tasked with selecting one or two plans that meet the needs of all.
We find that most companies end up with something that looks a little like this:
By trying to find something that pleases everyone, you fall short of finding a perfect fit for anyone.
In today’s world, people have an array of 56 kinds of pasta sauce and 15 kinds of peanut butter readily available at their fingertips. People are accustomed to being able to pick what they like, what works best for them, or what their friends or family recommend.
We believe our clients should have the same kinds of choices to offer their employees when it comes to benefits. Access to health care options shouldn't be limited to the employees of elite large employers — it should be an opportunity for all.
This was the thinking that led us to build Freedom, a private exchange platform that changes the whole paradigm of how benefits are delivered and focuses on individual choice. In a nutshell, here’s how Freedom works:
We compile a selection of pre-negotiated benefits options tailored to your company to provide the great possible choice. This usually includes at least 6 health plans, as well as ancillary products like dental coverage, voluntary disability and more.
You are 100% in the driver’s seat when it comes to controlling your costs. You determine your contribution, so you’re no longer at the mercy of the insurance market and rising rates.
With the funds you’ve contributed, employees have the freedom to select the benefits that matter most to them. You don’t need to compare the minute details hundreds of plans to determine the right fit — your employees will get to make those decisions for themselves.
The immediate reaction of some season HR professionals to Freedom is a twinge of fear. They wonder how they’re going to be able to learn the details of so many plan designs and communicate the differences to employees. So how do you do it? Simple: you don’t.
The employee enrollment experience is night-and-day different with Freedom when you compare it with the traditional enrollment process. We don’t leave your employees high and dry trying to sift through benefits jargon and compare all of the plans during enrollment.
Instead, we ask them "real-life" questions about what kinds of health events they expect in the coming year or what they might do if faced with a large medical bill to pay. From that, we provide a personalized health profile that recommends the best plan for them and give them a ballpark estimate of the costs they can anticipate.
We start the enrollment process by showcasing the dollar value what the employer is contributing to their health, changing the conversation from “what I pay” to “what I get.” Companies that have implemented Freedom have found that this introduces a new level of transparency into total compensation and appreciation for what the company offers.
We believe in Freedom so much that we were our own first customer [click here to hear our story and how people responded]. We’re excited that today we are able to share this with our customers.
Freedom is available for demonstration and exploration now, to implement in plans with coverage effective dates of July 1, 2013, and later. Contact your RM or click the button below to learn a little more about how this would work for your company.