What Happens to Insurance Benefits During a Merger - Zupnick Associates

The New York Times reported that in 2018 global mergers and acquisitions of big businesses hit an all-time high.  Employees often view mergers with uncertainty.

Workers Ask: Will I be Covered by Insurance During a Merger Merger?

Workers want to know what happens to insurance benefits during a merger. When big businesses manage benefits program transition properly, employees feel secure, knowing they will be covered by insurance during a merger.

What Happens to Insurance Benefits During a Merger?

Employees worry about being covered by insurance during a merger process. They also want to know about …

  • Other health and welfare programs

  • Employee contributions

  • Retirement plans

  • Vacation allocations

  • Other perks and benefits

Buying and selling companies with very different benefits programs can experience difficulty transitioning insurance benefactors. Employees of a selling company, for example, may feel upset if they think that their families will lose generous policies.

Planning and Keeping Covered by Insurance During a Merger

Informing employees about what happens to insurance benefits during a merger calms their worries. Here’s what expert big business merge administrators suggest:

Anticipate What Happens to Insurance Benefits During a Merger

Planning and anticipating what happens to insurance benefits during a merger keeps the transition predictable and smooth. Plans for keeping covered by insurance during a merger should begin early on, during the merger feasibility study.

Set Up a Diverse, Representative Merger Transition Task Force

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recommends creating “a merger transition task force with representatives from HR to review transition issues and opportunities.” The task force should involve diverse, representative participants from both companies for relevant, encompassing recommendations with checks and balances.

Due Diligence Breeds Sound Recommendations and Decisions

Knowledge is power:

“The more that you know about the company benefit programs that you are acquiring early on, the better prepared you are to make sure that you have the funding to manage the transition and communicate the changes,” Phyllis Beasley, Regional director of the medical technology company, Symphony Corp.

Task Force Must Address Employee Questions

Your merger transition task force should ensure that employees have answers to their insurance and merger questions. Talent Management and HR (TMHR) listed common questions:

  • What will happen to my …

    • Job?

    • Office?

    • Pay?

    • Coworkers?

    • Role and responsibilities?

    • Benefits?

      • Insurance?

      • Vacation time?

      • Sick days?

  • Will I …

    • Receive a severance package if I’m terminated?

    • Have options if I don’t like my new role?

    • Have a different supervisor?

    • Have new co-workers?

    • Work somewhere else?

  • What sort of company culture should we expect?

Minimize Conflicts with Clear, Transparent Communication

C-suite executives, administrators, managers, HR, staff, and other areas of a company must know about task force findings, recommendations, and follow-up. Poor communication means conflict. Transparency can minimize serious misunderstandings and rumors.

Insurance Benefits Plan in Action Before the Merger Close

Long before the merger close date, the task force should have scrutinized old and new benefit plans via the due diligence process. Task force members should have concluded activity planning and goal setting for benefits management and communication. Task force transition activities should be in play.

Monitoring and Follow-up on What Happens to Insurance Benefits During a Merger

“The first 100 days following the closing are critical. … There is a lot of communication to be done, new benefit offerings to develop, union issues to resolve. For a year following the deal, you’re going to have continued benefit issues,” warned Beasley. Task Force members must monitor, follow-up, reported to employees, leave recommendations for the next fiscal year.

Bottom Line on What Happens to Insurance Benefits During a Merger

What happens to insurance benefits during a merger may mean big changes. You can keep employees covered by insurance during a merger. Involving an experienced insurance broker can smooth the process.

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