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Challenges of Renewing Healthcare Benefits

Offering competitive healthcare benefits to your employees is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent. However, the process of renewing healthcare benefits can often be challenging and complex. Understanding the challenges can help you navigate the process more effectively and ensure your employees can access the best possible healthcare coverage. Let’s explore some common challenges employers face when renewing healthcare benefits.

Rising Costs of Healthcare

One of the employers’ most significant challenges when renewing healthcare benefits is rising healthcare costs. Healthcare expenses continue to increase at a rate that outpaces inflation, which strains employers’ budgets. Finding affordable options that still provide comprehensive coverage for employees can be complicated.

Employers must carefully evaluate different healthcare plans and negotiate with insurance providers to address this challenge. This involves analyzing each plan’s costs, benefits, and network options to determine the best fit for your organization and employees. It may require making trade-offs between cost and coverage, which can be a difficult decision to make.

Evolving Regulations and Compliance

Another major challenge in renewing healthcare benefits is navigating the ever-changing landscape of healthcare regulations and compliance requirements. Healthcare legislation is complex and subject to frequent updates, making it difficult for employers to keep up-to-date with the latest requirements.

Failure to comply with healthcare regulations can result in severe penalties for employers. Therefore, staying informed about new rules and ensuring compliance is essential. Employers must allocate significant time and resources to monitor changes in healthcare regulations and adjust their benefits plans accordingly. Partnering with a knowledgeable HR partner or consultant can help navigate these regulatory challenges and ensure compliance.

Employee Education and Engagement

Renewing healthcare benefits is about more than finding the right plans and complying with regulations. Another challenge that employers often face is effectively communicating and educating employees about their healthcare options. Many employees may need help understanding the benefits available to them or how to make the best use of their healthcare coverage.

Employers must take proactive measures to educate employees about their healthcare benefits. This includes conducting thorough employee communications campaigns, providing clear and concise information about available plans, and offering resources to help employees make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. Employee education and engagement are crucial to maximizing the value and utilization of healthcare benefits.

Limited Access to Care

Another challenge faced during the renewal season is limited access to healthcare services. Clinical staff shortages can worsen affordability challenges and affect employee healthcare benefits. This can lead to gaps in health coverage, difficulties in accessing health care, and unhealthy lifestyles that contribute to poor health outcomes. Employers can address this challenge by partnering with payers, pharmacy benefits managers, or providers to push for system-level changes that address cost pressures, improve care, enhance the employee experience, and increase productivity.

Meeting Diverse Employee Needs

Employees have diverse needs and preferences when it comes to healthcare benefits. This poses a unique challenge for employers when renewing healthcare benefits. It is essential to offer a range of healthcare options that cater to the diverse needs of employees, including different coverage levels, network options, and specialty services.

Understanding the needs and preferences of your workforce can help you tailor your benefits offerings to meet their specific requirements. Conducting employee surveys or gathering feedback can provide valuable insights into the types of benefits employees are seeking. This information can guide your decision-making process when selecting healthcare plans for renewal.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Apart from the challenges mentioned above, there are several common mistakes employers should avoid during the renewal process:

Automatically Renewing Their Plan Without Reviewing It

Failing to review the specifics of the group plan renewal can result in premium increases and affect the quality of coverage for employees. Employers should carefully evaluate their current plan and compare it to other options to ensure they provide the best coverage at the most competitive price.

Not Utilizing Combination Plans for Medicare and Subsidy-Eligible Employees

Overlooking these options can lead to missed opportunities for cost savings and better coverage. Employers should explore combination plans that cater to Medicare and subsidy-eligible employees to maximize cost savings and provide comprehensive coverage.

Waiting Until the Last Minute to Renew

Delaying the renewal process can result in higher costs and coverage options that don’t meet the group’s needs. Employers should start the renewal process early to allow ample research, comparison, and decision-making time.

Not Researching Newly Introduced Plan Options

Failing to explore new plan options can lead to missed opportunities for better coverage and cost savings. Employers must stay informed about new healthcare plan options and consider them during the annual renewal process.

Not Providing Educational Outreach to Employees

Employers should ensure that employees understand their benefits and how to make informed choices during the renewal process. Providing educational resources and support can help employees make better decisions about their healthcare coverage.

Not Ending Open Enrollment on Time

Delaying the end of open enrollment can confuse and lead to employees missing deadlines or making uninformed decisions. Employers must establish clear deadlines and communicate them effectively to avoid confusion and ensure a smooth renewal process.

Employers can navigate the renewal process more effectively by avoiding these common mistakes and addressing the challenges discussed earlier. Reviewing plans carefully, exploring all available options, working with experienced agents, and providing clear communication and education to employees during benefit renewals are essential.


Renewing healthcare benefits is challenging, but employers can navigate the process successfully with careful planning and proactive steps. Rising healthcare costs, administrative burdens, limited access to care, navigating complex insurance systems, and streamlining renewal processes are critical challenges during the renewal season. However, by addressing these challenges and avoiding common mistakes like automatically renewing plans without reviewing them or not researching newly introduced plan options, employers can ensure that they provide the best coverage at the most competitive price.

Working with knowledgeable and experienced agents, starting the renewal process early, providing educational outreach to employees, and establishing clear deadlines are all essential steps to take during the renewal process. Additionally, employers should stay informed about new healthcare plan options and explore combination plans for Medicare and subsidy-eligible employees.












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