By definition, FORUM Credit Union exists to benefit its members by providing low-cost financial services; however, the organization’s leaders know that sometimes doing what’s best for members means doing what’s best for employees. With that in mind, they sought to improve the benefits offered to their team. Like every organization, though, they faced continually increasing health care costs. Hoping to strike the right balance between members’ interests and employees’ needs, FORUM asked FirstPerson to review its offerings and recommend changes.
Essentially, what FirstPerson brought to FORUM was a three-step process: evaluation, option assessment, and implementation. In Step One, FirstPerson reviewed FORUM’s existing programs and identified weaknesses and opportunities, especially in the areas of plan design and employee utilization. In Step Two, FirstPerson worked with vendors and providers to assemble the best plan. “They went to bat for us with a couple of health care providers and told them about the challenges we faced, and asked what kind of program we could craft,” says FORUM’s Jenny Budreau. FirstPerson even went beyond the expected parameters and recommended a plan that would provide coverage to part-time employees, a key part of FORUM’s workforce. In Step Three, FirstPerson helped FORUM implement the plan, communicate its key features to employees, and tailor the plan for greatest impact.
They’ve been innovative with regard to the programs that we could establish and how we could implement them.
—Jenny Budreau, Chief Operating Officer, Forum Credit Union
The short story is this: FORUM Credit Union’s health costs are down, which means more resources are available to support lower-interest-rate loans, compound interests and other member benefits. But behind that story is a whole series of successes. Wellness incentives led to employees who are more engaged in their health. Increased engagement led to healthier employees, which led to fewer health insurance claims and reduced benefit costs. Improved programs led to higher participation and happier employees, which led to higher employee retention. All of which leads to reduced operating costs … and more resources available for member benefits.