Marsh & McLennan Agency's Robyn Bartlett was recently published in the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ February 2019 edition of Benefits Magazine. You can read Robyn’s article to learn more about the importance of strong ancillary networks.
Experienced benefits professionals know that switching from one medical carrier to another is an enormous undertaking that often creates anxiety and uncertainty throughout the workforce. In the months leading up to the change, plan sponsors and their advisors engage in many activities designed to understand the scope of the new provider network and to reassure plan participants that, “yes, your doctor is in the network.” Like all major benefits initiatives, the goal is to over communicate the details surrounding the change, to provide a solid education on any new concepts and to lessen the possibility of employee surprise.
In spite of good intentions, however, plan sponsors may forget one critical part of the network—ancillary health care providers such as physical therapists, urgent care centers and home health care providers. Plans should evaluate whether a change in medical carriers will disrupt the relations participants have with these providers.