Have you ever tried to transform a four-year-old into a grandpa? Trust me, it’s no small task!
My three kids recently celebrated the 100th day of school where preschoolers are asked to dress up as if they were actually 100 years old. This local custom is new to me and my wife. Still, she proudly made plans to transform our youngest child into a sweet old man – courtesy of the Grandpa Kit!
Despite the image depicted on the package, the Grandpa Kit did NOT contain a white wig, white eyebrows or black glasses. My son looked nothing like an elderly gentlemen.
Big promises with unmet expectations are nothing new in our industry. Hardly a day goes by without someone touting the next big thing to “transform healthcare.”
Today, I’m sharing 3 important reminders for all of us who sell and advise in healthcare….
1. Paint an accurate picture
The Grandpa Kit clearly portrays an image that causes people to expect a costume identical to the one pictured. Yes, if you read carefully, the packaging lists only clothing items are included – but a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
When you’re prospecting for a new client or walking through your next renewal, take a step back to ensure there’s no gray area for misrepresentation or misunderstanding…
- When switching to the new carrier with a lower rate, what disruption will it cause the group?
- What modifications will employees need to embrace if the employer goes with an HSA?
- What consumerism tools will employees need to help with the cost burden that comes with a high deductible health plan? (Pssst - freshbenies is a perfect complement to that change!)
Go above and beyond to accurately represent a full picture of solutions you promote.
2. Be candid about risks
There are things we cannot control when it comes to our industry. Employees get sick - sometimes seriously sick. If this happens, a seemingly healthy group can suddenly lose millions because they switched from fully-insured to self-funded.
Was switching to self-funded a bad strategy? Not at all. Healthy groups will almost always perform better on self-funded plans. But, there are always risks involved. As long as the risks of any recommendation are clearly stated and understood by all parties, then nobody should leave disappointed.
I recently saw this post on LinkedIn by Tim Olson and thought it made a lot of sense…
“Is being self-funded best? Yes
Is being fully insured best? Yes
Is having a carrier network best? Yes
Is reference-based pricing best? Yes
All of these are a yes for some groups and a no for others. There are no silver bullets in health insurance. Every company has their own culture, workforce, cash flow, and other unique challenges. What’s best for one company is not necessarily best for another. It’s important that you have a strategic plan in place that addresses the multitude of factors that makes each of these funding mechanisms and provider payor strategies best for your organization!”
3. Be creative and deliver alternative solutions
My son was pretty devastated when he opened the Grandpa Kit. But rather than get angry at the mis-leading packaging or the school for their silly ritual, my wife and I went to work with alternative solutions. I fashioned a stick from our yard into a cane while my wife re-worked a mop into a wig.
In the same vein, make sure you’re offering new solutions and not just presenting routine ideas to your clients. Below are a few ways some of our top brokers are using freshbenies with their clients…
- For groups that have a good year and get a rate pass: While some brokers would choose not to rock the boat, others think it’s exactly the right time to introduce freshbenies to help continue to bend the cost curve.
- For groups with large part-time populations that need to reduce high turnover: This is a perfect time to introduce the freshbenies freshSAVINGS pack. Any freshbenies package is great for contractors, part-timers or employees who don’t opt in to the benefits program.
- For groups that had a great first year on a self-funded plan: Introducing non-insurance services with consumerism tools generates even more savings for employers and their employees.
The point here is that there are a lot of new ideas out there that can help address your employer challenges and complement any benefits plan. The trick is to be on the lookout and start trying a few.
My wife and I made a few costume innovations and we were rewarded with a huge smile from our son. If you bring similar innovative solutions to your clients, you’ll be rewarded too!
Now it’s your turn! What are your thoughts with misleading or disappointing buyer experiences in our industry and how have you worked to address it? Comment below to tell me your story or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.