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The 5 questions you need on every RFP

On an RFP, a handful of smart questions can deliver a lot of insight. Here are five questions you need to have.


It’s that time of year again—RFP season. At Collective Health, we’ve seen RFPs with over 1,000 questions—and some with just a few dozen. Along the way, we’ve realized something: a handful of smart questions can deliver dramatically more insight than 100s of legacy ones. And let’s be honest—do you really have the time to go through a hundred pages of detailed answers, anyways?

So, what are the smartest questions to include? Here are five that we think unlock the most dramatic insights.

  1.  How will you provide a seamless, integrated member experience across our entire health benefits program?Why? Many health plans talk about innovation and use buzzwords like machine learning, AI, and blockchain when describing their products. However, underneath the promises of groundbreaking technology, the actual product, user experience, and pace of innovation are lacking. Focus on the question that matters: how is your technology going to simplify how members understand and access their benefits? After all, your members aren’t ever going to actually use the benefits you’ve generously given them if the basics are unclear.
  2.  How will you help our benefits team work more efficiently and more strategically?Why? Many employees expect confusion and frustration when they call their health plan. As a result, employees turn to their benefits team to help get answers to their questions. If you’re paying for customer service, you shouldn’t end up having to do the job yourself. How will your partners build trust with members and free your time to focus on your benefits strategy?
  3.  How will you help us capture the potential power of point solutions?Why? There are hundreds of innovative digital point solutions for some of the most pressing issues in healthcare, including fertility, musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions, and mental health. Employers can strategically use these solutions to reduce their costs and meaningfully impact outcomes, but without proper integration into their larger benefits landscape, these programs can go unused. What are your partners doing to integrate these solutions, generate member awareness, and track utilization? After all, true integration means way more than “just adding a link.”
  4.  How can you connect all of our data (across our plans, partners, and programs) to unlock all the potential insights?Why? Health plans collect a tremendous amount of data from claims, member engagement, eligibility files, and more. While they have access to all of this information, they often miss the mark when it comes to packaging it up in a way that enables benefits teams and consultants to generate meaningful insights. Your partners need to show you how they’ll support your organization in measuring the value of your health benefits investment
  5.  How will you define a successful partnership?Why? It’s important to make sure that, even if all of the other answers sound great, you and your potential partner are on the same page in terms of the goals you’re working towards. Any strong partnership is built on mutual respect, shared accountability, and trust. What steps will your partners take to earn your trust and support you and your consultant in building the right benefits for your people? How do they measure their success and incentivize their teams to be the best partner possible?

Health benefits are complicated, but your RFP shouldn’t be. Ask fewer, more insightful questions and put the pressure on your potential partners to explain the true impact they will deliver.

If you’re ready to expect more from your health benefits, we should chat. Schedule time with our team to learn more about how Collective Health is simplifying employee healthcare.

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