There is one incredibly important question you should be asking yourself and your leadership team at your next board meeting. Are our employee health benefits as equitable and valuable as they possibly can be for the amount of money spent on them?

Board members and leadership teams often shunt this question — and the whole process of choosing employee health care — to human resources departments, who are usually so busy that renewing plans year-after-year without exploration of alternatives often becomes the standard response.

According to the National Council of Nonprofits, “board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the nonprofit has adequate resources to advance its mission.” With employee health care benefits typically one of the largest spends of a nonprofit’s overhead budget, board members have an ethical and fiduciary responsibility to be intimately involved in the process before signing off on budget approval.

So the question really becomes: How am I, as a steward of this organization, ensuring that our health care benefits are as equitable and valuable as they possibly can be for the money we spend? So how do we do it?  How do we make employee health care purchasing an in-depth, creative, and collaborative process?  Well, it starts with us, the board of directors. There is no doubt in my mind that board members need to be more proactive in understanding the ins-and-outs of employee health care and in driving these critically important conversations.

Companies like Collective Health, Zane Benefits, and Nonstop Administration and Insurance Services have created unique approaches to self-insurance — some designed specifically for nonprofits — allowing for premium savings and better support for employees.

Read the full article about employee health care by  Mike Wurtsmith at BoardSource.