Sutter Health Plus News & Trends

A news blog for brokers, employers, reporters and the community.

2017 Large Group View from the Top

Posted by on Nov 30, 2017 in News, People

Rob Carnaroli, Sutter Health Plus Vice President of Sales, was recently interviewed for an article published in the November 2017 issue of California Broker. The following are his responses. You can read the full article here.

What are some major trends affecting large groups?

Millennials are the largest generation in the labor force today. Attracting and retaining quality talent from this pool is changing how we think about employee benefits. Even the way employers communicate with employees is changing—from social media to text messaging, information should be instantly accessible from a smartphone.

Employers are also looking to give employees access to care beyond the traditional primary care office setting. For example, we’re seeing on-site clinics and retail clinics gaining popularity. While telehealth hasn’t taken off like many expected, it remains a viable option for seeking convenient medical care.

Finally, some trends continue to be top-of-mind, such as higher cost-sharing plan designs, high-deductible health plans, defined contribution options and private exchanges.

How smooth was the transition from large group to small group for the 51-100 segment?  Were there unexpected consequences? 

Brokers who specialized in small group and the smaller-sized large group market understood the change in the market, the rating implications, and the differences in benefit designs. Their expertise in helping their clients understand the changes and preparing them for the transition was key. Fortunately, there was a long enough lead time to adapt, and as a result, the impact was minimal.

How are you advising brokers to deal with all the uncertainty about health insurance reform?

While the situation with the ACA is still very uncertain, the most important factor in any future proposal is that it protects health care coverage and keeps the existing reforms that have positively transformed health care delivery in place. Employers expect their brokers to quickly understand and explain any changes on the horizon that will affect their business. Brokers who do this and don’t allow the current environment to detour them from the role as their clients’ trusted advisor will do well.

What are the most effective ways to sell to large groups?

Successful brokers communicate early and often—large groups need timely information from a trusted advisor to navigate the ever-changing marketplace.  When brokers are present, transparent and practical, they demonstrate the value they bring to their clients. It’s also important for brokers to invest in the latest technology available to access, process and manage data—knowing how to leverage that data is a key driver to success. Large group clients are sophisticated buyers, and brokers who offer solutions that help them increase employee satisfaction, productivity and loyalty are precisely what they want in a benefit advisor.