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A Conversation With: Marty Traynor Interviews Aaron Eaton of Marsh McLennan Agency

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Published On: August 4, 2022

With over 50 years of experience, Omaha-based consultant Marty Traynor is an expert in the world of insurance and employee benefits. Recently, he interviewed other industry experts to get their perspectives on everything from the insurance world to corporate leadership and beyond.  

In this interview, Traynor spoke with Aaron Eaton, the Director of Sales for the Employee Health & Benefits Practice at Marsh McLennan Agency for the Upper Midwest Division. Eaton worked as a Benefits Consultant at Gallagher Insurance, Risk Management & Consulting for several years before transitioning to Marsh McLennan Agency.  

In this conversation, Eaton and Traynor examine vital considerations for employers when designing benefits plans, as well as how to reassess workforce needs in a “post-pandemic” workplace. 

Key Takeaways

Eaton advises employers to better educate their employees about their benefits options by keeping benefits communication relevant year-round instead of just during open enrollment. He also suggests employers have conversations with employees about ways to keep medical bills and prescription costs down by opting for clinics and generic brands when possible, saving money for both the employer and the employee.  

Eaton also stresses the importance of benefits benchmarking, advising employers to do this regularly to ensure they are in step with their competition. Eaton goes on to underscore how benchmarking can be instructive when looking to hire employees in other states, especially as the benefits landscape can vary significantly depending on location.  

During the interview, Eaton also explained how employee benefits can, in part, help create or define a company culture–especially in the new world of hybrid and remote work. Offering benefits such as mental health benefits, pet insurance, or paid parental leave could make a strong statement about a company’s values that health insurance may not.  

During the interview, Eaton also discusses the following:  

  • How to balance the cost of health plans against employees’ needs and desires. 

  • How to stay abreast with the constantly changing government mandates when constructing employee benefits plans. 

  • How to adapt your plan to serve an over-stressed workforce and advice on creating a “pandemic playbook.” 

  • Suggestions for ways employers can communicate about benefits year-round and not just during open enrollment. 

  • The value of income protection programs. 

  • Best practices for enrolling in employee benefits programs. 

For more advice and insights, watch the video below for the full conversation, and stay tuned for future “A Conversation With” interviews led by Traynor.   

Looking for more exclusive content? Check out what’s trending on the Mployer Advisor blog, including recent webinar recaps and show notes from Mployer Advisor’s new podcast “This Week in Benefits.” 

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Sarah Ann Johnson

Marketing Analyst, Mployer Advisor


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