We recently welcomed Jeff Faber, Employee Benefits Chief Strategy Officer of HUB International to the show for a conversation about what’s next in employee benefits for 2024.
We asked Jeff to shed light on how employers and their benefit advisors are navigating this environment with impactful benefits and smart strategies that can improve both the employee experience and the bottom line.
He delivered with both thoughtful insights and empathy.
Here’s a peek at some of the conversation:
The impact of deferred care on the health of the workplace.
“Deferred care is a ticking time bomb within the population health of an organization, and the longer that we go without maintaining it, the easier it is to go in a state of non-maintenance.
So therefore, you're no longer repairing, you're replacing, and it's very hard to replace a heart and hard to replace the other parts of the body that make things go. So from a repair standpoint, that lack of continued care and maintenance really hurts employers. Especially those that have lower turnover, longer employee longevity, and loyalty because those ticking time bombs within the organization.
A heart attack doesn't know it's in a PPO versus an HMO, but the one way you can create a healthy population, really the only way, is to have healthier employees. So deferred care and maintenance is probably one of our biggest concerns.”
What strategic themes are clients working through this year and into next?
“There are three different perspectives: the employee, the employer, and the vendor space.
From the employee perspective, we have to get in front of them and let them know that we see this as an issue. We can look at claims within a population and see there are shadow claims that never actually hit the claims line, but we know that they exist. These people are either not going back to the doctor after a heart attack for post heart attack care because that's the deferred care that that ticking time bomb we talked about.
And what we know from the entire book of business and large health systems is to be able to inform an employer that there is this issue within their employee workforce, we have to ask: How do we get there? How do we get that employee to care? It starts with communication, trust, and openness. You need a higher trust organization to make sure that you're communicating that this is important for people. I'd rather have you here than not here, and the most expensive employee that you have is one that isn't in their chair. So that's the key I think from a vendor perspective.
And Paytient is one of the easiest ways to allay that concern because my initial pushback if I'm living paycheck to paycheck is to find ways to offset, right? So if my daughter breaks a bone, and I need to pay $700 for an X-ray, certainly I'm going to do that. But what else in my life am I going to sacrifice if I'm living paycheck to paycheck?
That's where Paytient steps in and really helps offset and allay those concerns.
The last thing from an employer perspective is that they need to look at the different parts of their population that are most vulnerable to the economic upset of the last year or two, and you can only do that through advanced analytics. You can only do that by pouring through your workforce to find different demographics that are susceptible to some of the inflation concerns and the social determinants of health that we talk about so often.
5 % of your population is driving 95 % of your costs now, and it's no longer 80/20. That is something that you can certainly manage, but what you don't see are the people that are either not using care, not affording care, or are waving care because of those financial constraints and hurdles.”
Listen to the full discussion via the podcast player below or by clicking this link. If you'd like to connect with Jeff, you can reach him via LinkedIn or learn more about HUB at hubinternational.com.