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Posted by: Altura Benefits in Insurance
A solid employee benefits plan can give your company an edge. An employee benefits broker can help you develop an attractive employee benefits program without straining your company’s resources. Here’s a look at the important role of an employee benefits broker.
Employee benefits brokers are licensed insurance professionals who help employers secure the health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and other employee benefit products that they need to develop an effective employee benefits program.
Unlike captive insurance agents who work for one carrier, employee benefits brokers have access to multiple carriers. This makes it easy for employers to compare the benefit options from multiple carriers at once in order to find the best match.
Your employee benefits package can have an enormous impact on your employees, their wellbeing and their workplace engagement.
The U.S. Job Market Report: 2022 Trends from Joblist found 80% of job seekers think employers need to re-evaluate their benefits, 67% say that benefits are more important to them now than they were before the pandemic, and 54% would consider accepting a job that paid less if it came with a better benefits package.
Your company needs to compete against other employers to attract top talent. If you’re not offering the benefits that workers want, you’re going to have a harder time convincing them to join (and remain loyal to) your company.
Your benefits are important to your employees, and your employee benefits broker plays a key role in developing your benefits package. That alone makes the role of a benefits broker pretty important – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
An insurance broker can help you assess your company’s employee benefits needs and find the coverage options that match.
Doing this on your own might be easier said than done. Shopping for insurance takes time, and time is money. According to a report from Deloitte, the time that brokers save business clients amounts to a savings value of more than $230 million.
Benefit options can be complicated and comparing one plan to another can be like comparing apples to oranges. For example, you might think that the health plan offers a great deal – until you realize that the network is tiny and that many prescriptions aren’t fully covered.
A good employee benefits broker will understand the ins and outs of coverage and know what to look for. This puts the broker in the ideal position to assess your needs and advise you on coverage choices. A broker can also help put together a customized plan that supports your company’s retention and recruitment goals. Ultimately, your broker isn’t just a salesperson. Your broker is also an employee benefits advisor.
Health insurance costs keep rising. According to the KFF 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey, the average premium for single coverage increased by 20% between 2016 and 2021, and the average premium for family coverage increased by 22%. During this same time, inflation increased by 11%.
As healthcare costs rise, insurance cost containment strategies become increasingly important. You need to stay within your company’s budget. You also need to think about your employees’ budgets. If employees cannot afford their out-of-pocket costs, they won’t be able to utilize their benefits.
A broker can help you secure a good deal for your company and your employees. This may be traditional insurance through a carrier, or it may be a self-insurance or partially self-funded option.
Many employees don’t understand their benefits. As a result, they may not get as much value from their benefits as they should.
This is terrible news for everyone involved. The employer is spending money on benefits because benefits can help the employees and, in turn, the employer – but none of this happens if the benefits aren’t actually used.
Employees may also need help navigating coverage issues and claim disputes.
Let’s say an employee comes to you about a denied claim. The employee has already contacted the insurance carrier, but with no success. The employee believes the claim should be covered and doesn’t understand why it’s not. Because it’s job-based coverage, the employee feels that the employer has some responsibility in the matter.
Brokers can help in situations like these, both by explaining coverage so that confusion can be avoided in the first place and by assisting with claims and coverage disputes. Your broker may have resources and tools that can help your employees make the most out of their coverage.
Good brokers provide support to their clients throughout the year.
For example, let’s say the federal government passes a new law that impacts health insurance and employee benefits. When this sort of thing happens, employers can be left scrambling to try to understand the implications and their responsibilities. A broker can assist by providing resources and tools to help employers understand the new requirements.
Brokers can also be a valuable source of resources for various issues related to employee engagement, retention and recruitment. As experts in employee benefits, these brokers can provide key insight on everything from how to support employee mental health to how to deal with the Great Resignation.
A year can go by quickly. It can also bring significant change. The benefit package that worked for you last year might not be the best option for you anymore.
A broker can reassess your company’s needs and advise you on whether you should stick with your current plan or consider new options.
Employee benefits compliance is complicated. On top of federal requirements – including COBRA and the ACA – employers also have to deal with constantly evolving state laws. For multistate employers or employers with remote workers in other states, compliance issues can be especially complicated.
Many brokers offer employee benefits compliance and administration support. This can be a lifesaver for companies that simply don’t have the resources to devote managing employee benefits but know they need to offer a package in order to stay competitive.
The services available will vary, so if compliance and administration support is something that an employer wants, it’s important to look for a broker that offers it.
A good benefits broker can be just the resource you need. Here’s what a good broker can do for you:
The role of an employee benefits broker is an important one. Do you need an employee benefits broker who can help you create a customized, cost-effective benefits package that meets the needs of your workforce? Altura’s brokerage services can help. Learn more about our Utah employee benefits programs.
Are you a company looking for benefits or an individual seeking insurance? We are here to help. Answer a few questions and we can get you a quote. Get started by filling out the information below.