Doing Workers’ Comp Insurance Right

Recently, Trion Solutions renewed our agreements with 2 major insurance companies to continue obtaining Workers’ Compensation insurance through their firms. In both cases, it marks the third successive annual renewal.

That may not sound like a big deal – but it is. Here’s why.

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you already know about the risk and expense that Workers’ Compensation insurance and claims can pose to your company. Unless you have incredibly deep pockets, claims mean trouble – usually in the form of skyrocketing premiums, and sometimes the inability to obtain affordable coverage, or even any coverage at all.

Considering that the cost of almost all types of insurance is steadily and dramatically rising, it is especially striking that Workers’ Comp insurance remains a dominant concern among business owners and management. Health care, liability, property and other insurance rates have gone through the roof for many businesses, but none of these pose the direct existential threat that workers’ comp often entails. When it comes to worker’s comp, companies need predictability, stability, and a reasonable cost structure—not to mention an appropriate level of coverage. More and more often, they’re finding that these aren’t easy to come by, even when they’re working with a PEO.

Unfortunately, most PEOs haven’t been successful in truly stabilizing the insurance environment for their clients. As with other companies, the volatility of the workers’ comp landscape finds many PEOs scrambling every year to secure affordable, reliable coverage. Even when they find it, switching between providers causes confusion and disruption, contributing nothing positive to their clients’ comfort levels.

Trion Solutions is proud to be an exception to this rule. Thanks in large measure to the best practices processes we’ve put into place, our strong track record in effective Workers’ Compensation management, and the leverage afforded to us by our size, we have been able to forge enduring, sustainable relationships with our insurance providers. These days, it’s pretty much unheard of for a company of our type to maintain positive successive multi-year relationships with insurers, but once again we’ve managed to pull it off.

So far as our clients are concerned, that means a lot. It means that they will continue to enjoy the same high level of protection, the same manageable costs, and the same processes that they’ve gotten used to. It means that for another year, Workers’ Compensation insurance is something they don’t have to think about or worry about, and they can focus on other, more productive aspects of their businesses. And they can be confident in knowing that any concerns are being capably, effectively, professionally handled by people who know what they’re doing and who can be counted on to act in their interest.

We’re glad to be working once again with some of the most reputable, solid companies in the Workers’ Comp insurance industry, and we are pleased to be able to say that at Trion, we’ve built the strong, enduring relationships it takes to do it right. We’re betting that our clients are pretty happy about that too.

Major Insurers Leaving Small Groups Stranded

These are difficult times for benefits administrators—especially those working for smaller companies. Costs seem to endlessly rise; the regulatory environment continually changes; and a combination of market forces make it harder and harder to manage what seems to be an increasingly nightmarish health insurance marketplace.

Unfortunately, HR professionals aren’t the only ones finding the environment challenging. Major insurers are too—and it’s too the point where some major national companies are pulling up stakes and abandoning the small group market altogether.

This is a severe blow to smaller companies and their employees. There are fewer coverage choices available; those that remain offer diminished number of options, and plans are becoming more expensive. Employers are left with the unappealing prospect of signing on for higher-cost, lower-value plans, and then having to explain themselves to dissatisfied employees.

At Trion, we’ve been able to help some of these employers out. While remaining with a company’s prior insurer may not be an option, we are able to help companies abandoned by their insurer to find roughly equivalent plans elsewhere while containing costs—and sometimes even reducing them. The key is economy of scale: As a major Professional Employer Organization, Trion is eligible to obtain large-group benefits that are beyond the reach of small and medium-sized enterprises.

Access to a broad range of lower-cost large group plans enables us to offer client companies a range of benefit choices that are usually better than those they’d received from the insurers who had left them behind. Our larger size also gives us increased negotiating strength: We are able to leverage our large-group eligibility to attain more favorable terms and increased plan customization. As a result, clients often find that the disruption created by being “fired” by their insurer of first choice leaves them better off both financially and in terms of employee morale.

We don’t believe that it’s going to be particularly smooth sailing ahead in the insurance marketplace—far from it. Both larger and smaller insurers are caught up in a whirlwind of fast-paced change as the marketplace evolves, as new Affordable Care Act mandates come into force, and as industry consolidation takes place. Whether they like it or not, benefit professionals are going to have their work cut out for them as the ripple effect of these changes makes itself felt in their companies.

In our roles as our clients’ trusted consultant and as a PEO, it’s part of our job to try to make these types of changes ultimately work to the benefit of our clients, however initially disruptive they may be. We’re happy to help any company whose insurer has outgrown them find a solution that works for them, their employees, and their bottom line.