Choosing the right employee benefits broker for your organization is something you really want to get right. After all, making the wrong move here could wind up costing your company beaucoup bucks in healthcare as well as productivity costs, since sick employees can’t work. What’s more, you could wind up with strained relationships with insurance providers. In that light, here’s what you need to know about choosing a benefits broker, and more.
What is a Benefits Broker?
Let’s start there. Such a broker is a licensed insurance pro whose specialty is employee benefits brokerage services. The right broker will spend time understanding your enterprise and craft a tailored plan, using the right vendors for the right prices, for your workforce.
In addition to providing a suite of benefits products, top brokers also offer consultative help that can save organizations time, trouble, and money. Increasingly, brokers are expected to be able to answer questions regarding compliance and human capital issues and provide things such as HR tools and personalized informational materials – pamphlets and the like.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a Benefits Broker
These days, employers are seeking more benefits expertise from their brokers. To get that, you need to ask candidates the right questions before bringing them onboard. And make sure you speak with multiple brokers before settling on one. In any case, here are some questions to pose to benefits brokers:
How Will You Help During Open Enrollment?
You want to have the right benefits strategy in place during the open enrollment process. So, what you want is a benefits broker that has the proper tools, resources, and best practices – all derived from their expertise.
What’s Your Communications Strategy?
Gone are the days when a benefits broker’s sole job was to design a benefits plan, with perhaps a few suggestions about updating benefits materials tossed in. Nope, brokers these days must also possess a well-honed communications strategy so that employees are sufficiently apprised, and at the right time, of what they need to know.
Find out what the candidate’s communications objectives are, what methods they use, and whether they have tools to smooth out the process.
How Will You Help Keep Healthcare Costs Down?
Since healthcare costs continue to rise, you want a broker that has sound ideas for containing them. Perhaps it’s selecting more manageable plans, promoting wiser employee decision making, or coming up with innovative ways to save money on payroll taxes, you want a broker who is all over this stuff.
How Would You Help Me Pick the Right HR Software?
You want a broker who can help you choose the proper technology for HR functions. The right one will be able to offer sound recommendations.
How Will You Help Me Stay on Top of HR Regs and Compliance?
HR regulations are constantly changing; there are always updates that you need to know about. This is where a good benefits broker comes in. To help you operate in compliance as well as more efficiently, top brokers will provide you with access to resources such as attorneys and HR consulting services, and perhaps even industry reports or white papers.
Now that you know what you need to know about choosing a benefits broker, perhaps you’ll consider the consultant Mercer, the top such broker for the last several years. Mercer can offer advice and year-round support to help you make smarter decisions and can also provide you with improved deals and savings opportunities for your health and benefits programs. After all, healthy employees are productive employees.