It’s hard to imagine a situation where consumers would make a purchasing decision without extensive research beforehand. Consumers spend an average 79 days researching a major purchase before buying, yet once a year, they’re expected to tick a box that will determine how much they pay for their most critical purchases for the next 12 months without any research at all.
Employers can’t do much on their own to help them. For the more than half of employers who are fully insured, their data is typically owned by the carriers they work with — and the carriers don’t have much incentive to share that data. Any efforts to reduce the amount that insureds pay in premiums will directly impact carriers’ bottom lines. Relying on carriers’ altruism will leave most employers waiting indefinitely.
Advisors are invaluable to employers who want to take control of their health plan costs. One of the most powerful ways to do that is by creating a data and analytics strategy that shows employers exactly where their money is going. There’s a rich environment of data to draw from:
claims data, electronic medical records, care management, social and wearable data, biometrics, wellness programs.
Gregg Peterson, president and CEO of Insurance Program Managers Group, notes that much of this data is personal and protected from this kind of use, but “employers can still identify trends within certain demographic groups or employee populations and modify plan offerings to incentivize change using data to encourage happier, healthier employees.”
Having a platform that can capture this data and turn it into insight is critical. Eighty-eight percent of benefits leaders say data is important to their ability to design and manage effective benefits programs, Artemis Health found, but over half say accessing data is among their top challenges. Advisors who can open the door to useful data and analytics for their employees can strengthen their relationships with clients. In fact, Artemis found 69% of benefits leaders mentioned data as key to a strong relationship with their advisors, including getting better and more objective insights about their benefits and insight into longer-term trends in the industry.