Businessolver Blog

Peeps in the Pool – 3 Ways to Ensure the Health of Your Insurance Groups

Peeps in the Pool – 3 Ways to Ensure the Health of Your Insurance Groups
Posted on Thursday, May 17, 2018 by Seth Hall
Peeps-in-the-poolBenefits offered through multiple employer arrangements have gotten some press recently, with an ongoing disagreement between a company that makes iconic Easter candy and its union over its retirement offering grabbing headlines. 


Bethlehem, PA-based Just Born, which cooks up millions of bright yellow peeps each year, wants to shift new employees to a 401k, effectively no longer funneling new contributions to the multi-employer pension plan it participates in with 200 other companies.

The health of the multi-employer pension relies on new plan entrants to fund the pensions of retirees. If Just Born pulls out of the plan, the larger group’s financial foundation could be severely undermined. The company is trying to avoid paying a multi-million dollar required penalty for leaving a multi-employer pension plan. This would leave the door open for other employers to jump ship and redirect employees to a new benefits approach.

While this unfolding saga is taking place in the retirement arena, the risks and lessons for pooled insurance groups are not dissimilar. At the end of the day, a pooled group needs the continued participation of its members to remain viable and solvent. Attrition or lack of growth can significantly undermine the success of a pooled group, driving up costs and driving down service.

This is a risk unique to pooled groups. Benefits managers on the corporate side have their own set of challenges, but attracting and retaining members isn’t one of them.

Here are three ways pooled insurance groups can help ensure and maintain the health of their pool:

  1. Choose a benefits technology partner that is scalable. As you add new groups, their onboarding experience offers that first impression of how their benefits will be administered. Picking a solution that can quickly and painlessly add members and groups serves as a strong foundation for ongoing satisfaction.
  2. Offer the ability to brand the user experience. Even though they are part of the pool, groups have their own brand and identity, and their own employee base. Being able to provide an online experience and communications that identify the member organization is a strong differentiator.
  3. Focus on accuracy. With multiple groups in one plan, data and reporting accuracy is key. Nothing erodes confidence more or creates more downstream headaches than carrier billing gone awry. A single-source platform helps ensure that member data is in one location, coverage dates are accurate and carrier billing is appropriately allocated to each group. Financial transparency is a must-have with pooled groups.

The pooled insurance group space is unique, and while it shares some of the same challenges and risks faced by conventional employer-provided plans, there are some significant differences. Growth and the health of the pool is one of them. But, there are others.

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