Thursday, March 31, 2016

Benefit Insights: How to Win Clients & Deliver Results with Wellness


Benefit Insights blogs are written to help the modern Employee Benefits Adviser navigate the world of benefits and wellness. #healthinsurance #employeebenefitsadviser



In today’s competitive market, the challenge as a benefits adviser is providing unique, results-driven differentiation. A key tactic you can leverage is workplace wellness. When integrated with benefits it can work as a powerful tool to not only win clients, but also deliver results that make your new partnership a lasting one. In this blog, we’re going to highlight how one of our partners, Forsite Benefits, is doing just that.

Professional Fabrications, Inc., a fabrications shop based out of Northeast, WI, has a middle-aged, predominately male population who were not focused on wellness until the CEO was sold on the concept through local broker, Forsite Benefits.

When we asked Benefits Consultant, Drew Leatherberry, to elaborate he said, “What they bought into was the concept of using wellness as a long-term strategy to reward their population through premium differentials... Insurance rates and cost are the same between brokers. What we do different is creatively use their budget as a tool to drive healthy behaviors; creating financial incentives for people who want to engage in healthy actions.”

When asked why they chose to select Forsite Benefits and myInertia, the wellness program, HR Director, Erynn Hector said, “ - Our company was facing increased health insurance premiums year after year with little to no explanation, and we knew that the only way to try to control those costs was to engage our workforce in an easy-to-use wellness program. Forsite in partnership with myInertia allowed us to tailor the program to our unique workforce to ensure high levels of participation with minimal costs to both the company and our employees."

Leatherberry also highlighted the importance of not only selling the wellness concept to prospects, but having the right tools to deliver it. He accomplished this with the fabrications shop by bringing in myInertia to help refocus the culture. The three companies worked together to create a simple, yet effective, plan to engage employees in healthy behaviors. The program features an online portal where employees could earn points for events like activity challenges, annual physicals, monthly weight checks and more. The points add up to a $150 incentive, either an HSA contribution for a qualified plan, or gift cards if you are on the traditional copay insurance plan.

The new platform quickly gained interest by offering a $40 reimbursement towards an activity tracker if you participated in the 1st kick-off activity challenge, The Winter Classic. During the challenge, employees had to reach a total of 70,000 steps in two weeks. . 64% of participants accomplished the task earning 25 points towards their overall incentive goals in addition to the device reimbursement.

Currently, over 70% of the employees have signed up for the program which has physical activity as a core focus. The average daily step count for wellness program participants is now 7,800 - equivalent to close to 4 miles of walking.

Hector further explained how their new wellness program is positively impacting their culture, “Immediately following the wellness program rollout meetings I started seeing employees monitoring their own (and their fellow co-workers) activity levels on their mobile device and at our company kiosk. The employees have always been a very competitive group so I wasn’t surprised when the employees began their own challenges, trying to best each other on a weekly basis. I’ve now been bombarded by several employees looking to upgrade their device so they can begin monitoring more than just their activity levels and this kind of intrigue has sparked interest in a couple of employees who had been holding out on participating in the program. Overall the program has challenged our employees to make better choices regarding their activity and has made them accountable to each other – from groups of employees walking during their lunch breaks, to others heading to a local gym to workout.”

Overall, by properly leveraging wellness Forsite has been able to not only differentiate themselves from other brokers to win clients, but have also helped deliver value add in terms of engaged, happy and healthier employees. Leatherberry expects this to have the added benefit of retaining clients for many years because he is providing a strategic solution beyond simple “rates and plans.” You can accomplish the same by implementing a wellness strategy into your current sales & delivery plan.