Why do employers need a Benefits Broker? There are plenty employers out there that provide strong benefit packages. Yet, building and managing the right employee benefits program can be difficult. Building and maintaining a strong relationship with a trusted, professional advisor who can help you navigate through decisions that impact everything from your organization’s finances to your employees’ morale is crucial in this age of healthcare reform.
Your benefits broker plays an essential role in your small businesses. Brokers serve as educators and advisors to your business’ benefits program. It is their job to keep you informed. Here’s a few tips that will help you when choosing a benefits broker for your company.
Comfort & Trust
A broker is a trained professional who has a clear understanding of business success, challenges and culture. Brokers that take a consultative approach that is focused on finding solutions to your challenges rather than on selling products, can provide your organization with the knowledge and tools manage their benefits. Finding a broker that looks out for the best interests of you and your employees will help build a successful, open and honest channel of communication within your organization, they need to be a partner to your business. By spending time educating and encouraging your employees to consider their best coverage options, you’ll foster an atmosphere of trust and employee engagement – which benefits everyone!
When evaluating the merits of a broker or benefits consultant, savvy employers should begin by considering the following:
- How long has the individual (and their firm) been in business and what is their philosophy/approach to benefits?
- Does he or she have the educational tools to assist you when selecting the appropriate components of the benefits being offered? If so, are these “value-added” or is there an extra cost?
- How is the broker compensated?
- What kinds of data do they have regular access to and how do they plan to use it to guide strategic health & benefits decisions for your group?
Look for Value
Benefits brokers are in a position to effect positive change for their clients. Their willingness and capability to provide a high degree of service should be a key consideration. This means looking for a broker that can provide advice to support client decision-making as issues arise throughout the year (not just at renewal or open enrollment). Brokers can and should help you and your employees understand the value of their workplace benefits, especially those who are perhaps not the highest-compensated within their organizations. You’ll want to ensure they are providing the best value and service for your company and its employees by working with a quality organization. “Ultimately, employers are longing for correct information. Brokers have become one of the most trusted advisor for compliance issues. You want your employees to feel satisfied, healthy and safe.” says Steve Jackson, writer of Benefits Pro.
All in all, finding the right benefits broker can be a challenge. However, when it comes to managing your employee benefits, having an expert on your side can be a big help. Don’t forget - knowledge is power!
In that spirit, here are a few additional resources to check out:
- (Society for Human Resource Management) https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/benefitsbrokers.aspx
- (Benefits Pro) http://www.benefitspro.com/2016/02/23/3-ways-brokers-can-add-value-and-eliminate-client?t=employer-paid&page=3