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Top Five Questions Every Nonprofit Leader Should Ask Heading into Renewal Season

Aug 31, 2017

As one of the biggest line items in any organization’s budget, employee healthcare should be a central conversational point for all nonprofit leaders, especially in the months leading up to renewal. Understanding the details of the current plan, as well as creative alternatives that might provide better benefits for less money, are critical to ensuring the financial health of the organization and the physical (and financial) wellbeing of employees. Leaving these discussions to the last minute – or not having them at all – can leave everyone vulnerable to the rising costs of healthcare.

Starting the conversation begins with five questions that examine the organization’s relationship towards healthcare, how the current broker is supporting the organization, and how the existing plan is serving employees: 

  1. How am I, as a leader in this organization, ensuring that our healthcare benefits are as equitable and valuable as they possibly can be for the money we spend?

    This question might just be the most important one you ask at your next leadership team meeting, as it should kick-start a conversation around feelings of accountability towards the organization.
  2. What is our mission or values when it comes to employee healthcare?

    Clearly defining what the leadership team values when it comes to employee care will help guide all future discussions, including understanding what the current plan offers and what other options might be a better fit.
  3. Why did the organization choose our broker originally?

    The answer may surprise you – perhaps the broker is someone’s uncle or they sponsor a highly-desired event in your community. These are nice reasons but they do not ensure a broker that is invested in your business.
  4. What benefits has our current broker brought to your organization in the last few years?

    Set aside the unrelated perks (e.g. golf matches) and home in on how the broker has helped ease both financial and administrative burdens for your staff. If they haven’t, it might be time to shop around for other brokers who better meet the needs of your organization.
  5. How do our employees feel about our current plan?

    This is a great place to have HR and department managers involved in the discussion. Leadership teams should have their finger on the pulse of everyone in the organization and understand if the current healthcare program is truly meeting the needs of employees. 

Being involved in employee healthcare decisions is both an ethical and fiduciary responsibility for nonprofit leaderships teams. It’s imperative for the growth and sustainability of your organization to begin these conversations as early as possible to ensure that the best possible healthcare choice is made for the organization and its employees. For more details on how leadership teams can become more involved in employee healthcare decisions, please download our guide Three Steps Nonprofits Should Take Before Renewing.

The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources believed to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. This communication does not constitute a legal opinion and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended educational purpose.

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