Surviving and Thriving: Making the Most of the RFP Process-Blog by Deb Krause, Vice President Minnesota Health Action Group

Overwhelming. Time consuming. Never ending. Frustrating. Political. This is how Action Group members described the RFP process at our recent meeting: Surviving and Thriving: Making the Most of the RFP Process.

But whether you think of Requests for Proposals (RFPs) as a solid business discipline or a burden, they are a reality for benefits professionals today.

Expert meeting panelists at our most recent member meeting included two employers, a consultant, and a health plan representative who shared their perspectives, lessons learned, and best practices for surviving and thriving during the RFP process. Here are the top five tips and observations from each of them to help turn your frustrations into triumphs!

Jon Born, Senior Director of Benefits, SUPERVALU

Josephine Opong-Vaughn, Health Solutions Program Manager, SEGIP

Barb Vasko, Partner, Mercer

Jolene Hunter, Director, Account Management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

In The Action Group’s 2017 Annual Employer Benefits Survey, the top reason cited for changing health plans was cost. Yet, innovation, service, “fit,” and measurable results are also important according to the Survey…and meeting participants.

Meeting evaluations revealed that even the most seasoned of benefits professionals are often left searching for a better way, and by collaborating with other employers, consultants, health plans, and other vendors, even the “overwhelming, time consuming, never ending, frustrating and political” RFP process can be manageable — and even gratifying.

The Action Group’s Member Directory is available through the Member Center on the homepage, making it easy to network with colleagues who can serve as sounding boards as you strive to balance health care cost, quality and access issues on behalf of your employees during the RFP season and beyond.

Deb Krause is Vice President of the Minnesota Health Action Group and Chair of the American Cancer Society Minnesota/Dakota Leadership Board.