Associations are finding themselves in a tight squeeze these days. While the industries that associations operate in are varied, their problems garnering membership seem to be the thread that runs through the majority of associations’ struggles. For members, connecting with like-minded individuals is as easy as hunting someone down on LinkedIn or performing a quick Google search, and corporations are battling decreasing budgets and resources that are more readily available free of charge.
To stay competitive, associations need to differentiate themselves and start getting creative about how they solve their members’ pain points. Instead of looking at industry-specific problems, associations should address the issues employers face that make running their business harder.
At ConnectedHealth we’ve had the opportunity to work very closely with several associations across the country and have helped them add to their value proposition and bolster their membership through our private exchange technology. Here are a few things we’ve learned.
First, the associations we’ve partnered with have recognized that employee benefits are a huge pain point for employers everywhere. Benefits costs are commonly the second highest expenditure for employers, second only to salary; not to mention the drastic administrative toll it takes on business small and large. Employers are constantly looking for ways to cut costs while still offering competitive benefits and stay compliant with the ACA. The reporting and compliance components of the ACA have become another large hurdle that employers are frantically trying to solve. Second, today’s HR professionals have a lot of responsibility and their duties extend far beyond just benefits. As HR gets pulled into more and more directions, it is imperative to find efficiencies where possible, and some of the most obvious are automating the benefits process.
So, how do associations help meet these needs?
- Allow small business owners to find easy and affordable healthcare options, either on a group basis or on individual basis.
- Group insurance gets companies off of paper enrollments, frees up hours of time in HR as the processing becomes automatic, and allows for extensive reporting.
- Individual insurance would allow employers to drop their group coverage all together while ushering employees to an easy solution for their healthcare needs.
- Help take administrative burden off of all businesses, especially HR. From automating Open Enrollment and new hire elections, to running reports, and syncing with payroll, automating benefits can be a huge time and cost saving measure.
- Partner with a technology solution that simplifies the benefit selection process for individuals, solves the reporting requirements, and eases the administrative burden on HR and administrators.
The bottom line is that insurance is an area where businesses small and large are struggling; it is a very real tax (no pun intended) on their time and resources that distracts them from the job that they are in business to do. If associations can bring a solution to the table to help solve for this business need, they stand to make themselves a valuable resource to their members. Providing a technology solution that makes insurance easy is a great way for associations to differentiate themselves as they compete for membership. Choosing the right partner to help solve the problem is imperative.