WHEN TO SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR BENEFITS BROKER
The process of choosing and administering a Health Insurance Benefits Plan can be daunting.
Traditionally, Benefits Brokers offer assistance in choosing plans at renewal time, but typically lack the solutions that help companies operate more efficiently, saving more money.
Ultimately, a Benefits Broker should make the job of the business owner and the company’s human resources (HR) department easier. If a broker is not achieving this goal, it may be time to investigate options for a new broker.
What Your Broker Should Be Doing (and PS - it should be free!) Establishing a comprehensive health insurance package for employees can be a challenging task for any business owner. The array of choices can seem endless. Enrollment procedures, legal requirements, and compliance dictates are ever-changing and quite complicated. Even seasoned HR professionals may find the tasks overwhelming - which leads many companies to turn to a Benefits Broker.
Taking advantage of a Broker’s expertise in Plan Options, procedures, and rules is a smart choice for business owners. A good Benefits Broker will ensure that a client has the best Benefits Package for their needs and budget, while reducing the burden on HR by handling the plan’s administration, enrollment and other paperwork.
Having a Plan to Find the Right Plan
When it comes to selecting a Health Insurance Program, an Independent Broker has access to a variety of products and plans offered by a number of carriers. Brokers with limited options cannot respond to their clients’ requirements, leaving companies with Health Insurance plans that are too expensive or fail to meet their employees’ needs.
A good broker consults all possible carriers comparing, contrasting, and using creative planning to reduce Employer and Employee contributions. Carriers rise and fall against each other, in terms of competitiveness. For example, Blue Cross might have the best Gold HMO plan in the First Quarter of a given year; Aetna might have a cheaper version of an identical plan in the Second Quarter of the same year; United might win the day in the Third Quarter.
A good broker assists their client not only in the selection of a Health Insurance Plan; a good Broker administers the plan, providing year-round support.
Beyond Choosing a Plan
An experienced Independent Broker brings more to clients by way of leverage, including the ability to help troubleshoot challenging situations that may arise throughout the year.
Your Broker should be a phone call away throughout the year, answering questions and handling complicated claims for you and your employees.
If an Employee wonders why her ID card hasn’t arrived yet, the Broker should be able to assist.
If an Employee has a major health problem or life event, the Broker should be able to assist.
If an Employee experiences difficulty of any kind, the Broker should be able to assist year-round, not just when it is time to renew their plan.
Avoiding Fees and Fines
If a Broker is not assisting with Compliance, your Company may be penalized with fines for not filing the correct forms with State or Federal Government. If you do not get the proper notices to Employees, your Company may be penalized with fines. Your Broker should be assisting you in communications with your employees.
If a Broker is not assisting you with navigating the IRS tax codes, your Company could be missing fast and simple opportunities to lower your tax burden.
The world of Healthcare Benefits is continuously evolving; laws and market conditions make it hard for the average business owner to keep up. Finding a Broker with experience and knowledge of the Affordable Care Act is key.
You should not have to face the complex world of Employee Benefits alone.
You Should Be Focused On the Business of Your Business
Instead of spending time investigating whether or not the Health Insurance you offer your employees achieves the “minimum value” necessary by law, you should be focused on what is really important -- running your business smoothly and profitably.
Instead of wondering when the IRS needs your 1094/1095 forms, you should rest comfortably in the knowledge that your Broker has it under control.
Your broker should be assisting in Human Resource needs such as a custom website for Employees to access their Benefits plans, or calculating payroll information, access to employee handbooks, and communication tools. Utilizing these tools could help an employer avoid claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment.
Is It Time For a New Broker?
Unlike traditional Brokers, the experienced Independent Brokers of today realize that Benefits are more than just complying with the law, more than providing a mere safety net. Benefits can be an invaluable recruiting tool, a way to improve Employee satisfaction and retention.
If a Broker is not offering a range of plans across Carriers, your Business might never become aware of lower-cost plans or similar-cost plans that fit your needs better.
If the range of plan options your Broker presents you with at Renewal time seems lackluster…
If it is difficult to get in touch with your Broker, other than at Renewal time…
If you are being bombarded with Regulatory and Compliance issues…
If your Employees are complaining that they lack access to information regarding their Benefits…
If your Benefits Broker is not making your life easier...
...It might be time for a new Broker.
If you are not getting the answers you need from your current broker, or you do not even have a broker, please feel free to contact Gerry Dugan at The Broker Network, not only an independent broker representing all insurance carriers but also a PPACA Certified Provider.
800-555-6396 or email GDugan@BNinc.net