The benefits industry talks a lot about what benefits can be offered through employers. However, health care benefits for union workers are often overlooked. Glenn Di Biasi, the national health and welfare fund administrator with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union, spoke with BenefitsPRO to share his thoughts on creating better access to health care resources for union workers.

Among Di Biasi’s main pieces of advice when searching for a health care partner:

  • Evaluate the needs of your workforce to better understand the quality of care and services needed from a health care partner. Important factors to evaluate include member services, clinical expertise available and access to health care resources like complex care plans for long-term disease or illness care. You want a partner that understands your membership — it seems obvious, but a union that represents grocery workers is going to have different needs than one that represents teachers, for example, because the population makeup and the demands of the two jobs are so different. You need a health care partner that gets this.
  • Identify a partner that can truly be an extension of your organization — values are of high importance in the decision-making process. When I was evaluating a potential pharmacy benefits management partner, I vetted several PBMs. At the time, we had an existing partnership with EmpiRx Health. After thoroughly vetting through the PBM, I made the decision to continue working with them, and among the top reasons for this was their values and their high-touch service — we literally have a single point-of-contact that my members know they can rely on to help navigate any clinical or service needs. A pharmacy benefits manager, as with any health care partner, holds a great deal of responsibility for your workforce. It’s essential to find a partner whose service model aligns with your workforce and is reliable for your members.
  • Finally, cost is key — you don’t need to sacrifice high-quality care for lower cost. Union leaders and fund administrators should evaluate the cost of premiums, deductibles, and co-pays as well as the overall value of the benefits offered. But this can’t come at the expense of quality care because that wouldn’t meet your members’ needs. It’s not an either-or situation.

Read the full article here.