Bringing Employee Health Plan Benefits into 20/20 Focus! – Blog by Jon Schloemer, Vice President of HR Shared Services, Fleet Farm, Action Group Board Member

Bringing Employee Health Plan Benefits into 20/20 Focus! – Blog by Jon Schloemer, Vice President of HR Shared Services, Fleet Farm, Action Group Board Member

With the New Year comes a new focus on gaining insight into Minnesota health plan benefit benchmarks and employer innovations to inform 2021 open enrollment planning.

The Minnesota Health Action Group Annual Employer Benefits Survey — which is confidential, unbiased, free and open to all employers with employees in Minnesota — is an outstanding resource I rely on every year to add depth to benefits decision making at Fleet Farm.

In my 2018 blog, I highlighted three things that I especially appreciate about the Survey: It is by employers, for employers; it provides valuable insights to support strategic and tactical decisions; and it is timely. Those things are still of high value.

In my 2019 blog, my message was simple: “I’m in,” meaning I never miss an opportunity to complete the Survey, and I gain even more knowledge through collaborating with other employers about the Survey results.

This year, the 10th year of the Annual Employer Benefits Survey, means in 2020 we grow even closer to gaining 20/20 vision about health plan benefits benchmarks and creative solutions that are working for Minnesota employers. While there are other benefit surveys available, I find The Action Group’s Survey particularly valuable.

Amid the many competing priorities and ever-changing vendor landscape, this Survey is a trusted resource that helps me understand what other leading employers are doing — and considering — to deliver high-value, cost-effective health care benefits to their employees.

The 2019 Survey revealed that:

    • Costs in Minnesota are high and far outpace national averages.
    • Employers are ramping up efforts to improve workplace mental health.
    • Employees increasingly value cultures that foster well-being.
    • While many challenges and actions apply regardless of size or type of employer, there is some variation, with larger employers and corporate employers more likely to embrace innovation and change.
    • There is a plethora of design tactics and vendor solutions being used by employers with varying degrees of effectiveness.
    • Efforts to dramatically reduce health care waste are gaining momentum.
    • Employers are ready to make significant health care benefit changes; employees are not on board.

These findings have led me to have lively conversations with my peers about how best to take action to make health care more affordable and accessible for our company and for our employees in ways that complement recruiting and retention activities at a time when competition for talent is at an all-time high.

I am grateful to every employer who takes the time to complete the Survey. The idea that there is strength in numbers is not new; the more of us who participate, the stronger the results. This enables us to accelerate health care improvements in ways that ultimately serve every Minnesotan.

Will you join me in taking the 2020 Survey to gain 20/20 insight? I hope you will say, “YES!” You will find details about this year’s Survey here.
  • SURVEY DATES: January 27-February 28, 2020
  • SURVEY RESULTS WEBINAR: April 8, 2020 (9 a.m.-11 a.m.)
  • View 2019 Survey Summaries here

Jon Schloemer is Vice President of Shared Services at Fleet Farm and serves on the Minnesota Health Action Group Board of Directors.