Leveraging PGx to raise your value proposition in group benefitsGil McGowan
If you’ve seen the movie Wall Street, you’ll remember the part when Charlie Sheen confronts the gregarious Wall Street money machine Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). Douglas glares at Sheen and says, “OK, pal, tell me something I don’t already know!” Timeless. Let’s talk about pharmacogenetic (PGx) testing, a form of Precision Medicine, and some things you may not already know about how it fits in your value proposition as a benefits advisor.
Whether you’ve been selling group benefit plans for a while or just entering the group market, it’s important to define what your particular value proposition is, and what makes you different from the rest of the advisors out there.
On the surface, the whole concept of introducing pharmacogenetic testing seems simple. Employers are able to offer a unique cutting-edge benefit. The fact is over 30% of disability claims are due to mental health. What percentage of a plan’s drug spending is on ineffective medications? Pharmacogenetics can be the best solution for a group.
The availability of pharmacogenetics within a plan is a win for all involved. It’s a win for the employer – the introduction of this new benefit can provide a boost to the whole employee compensation package, which helps attract and retain talent. It’s a win for the employee – Employees feel better sooner and avoid taking medications that don’t work. It is a win for insurance providers that cover the cost of those initial prescriptions – and others that follow, until the employee finally gets relief. And it’s a win for advisors as well. Lower the rising cost of drug claims over time with positive results and healthier employees.
Health and Wellness is front and centre today considering COVID – 19. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the workplace are also top of mind for many organizations. Pharmacogenetic testing is a largely untapped market. Introducing this new benefit to your current clients or using it as a door opener to start a conversation with a prospect is sure to get attention.
So, what’s that magical “value proposition” that earns you the right to play in this space? After more than 40 years in this business, I can say – it all goes back to basics. I’m probably telling you something you already know, but it still rings true. In all honesty, the biggest win or door opener is having a relationship with a business owner. That relationship gives you an opportunity to do your 3-minute elevator speech. What to say to help this owner and/or management team decide to introduce pharmacogenetic testing?
Lowering costs for plans
The cost of a group life and health plan is skyrocketing and at times seems out of control. A solution could be to review the monies allocated to health benefits and show your clients how pharmacogenetic testing will impact their premiums over time. Possibly introduce it through a health spending account or as an executive perk!
Investing in the equity and health of employees
What do you bring to the table as an advisor? Think like a business owner. It may be a cliche to mention walking in another person’s shoes but it’s a cliche for a reason — it works. Try to see the needs of their business as if they were your own. These businesses face challenges unlike big corporations do. There’s less money to go around but there’s more closeness. Offering pharmacogenetic testing will help attract new talent and retain key employees. Embedding it in the workplace helps close the gap between good intentions and actions. The job market is very competitive, and retention of good solid dedicated employees is top priority
Bottom line – the easy administration, a digital service, active communication coupled with the introduction of pharmacogenetics with a simple DNA drug response test to ensure employees get the right medication the first time – avoiding the cost of multiple medications.
Differentiating your value proposition with PGx
Having a good working knowledge of pharmacogenetics is essential, and it’s not hard to do. Making yourself comfortable and confident is a large part of your overall value proposition. There are experts in this field. Take advantage of their skills and knowledge before your competition does!
Here’s some food for thought – you are your own value proposition! Understand who you are and feel confident about what you can bring to the table.