Improving Your Company Benefits Package Without Increasing Cost: Part 5
For many U.S. employers, offering health insurance as a company benefit is now a legal requirement. However, for those companies smaller than 50 full-time-equivalent employees, the decision to offer benefits – and generous, high quality benefits at that – can be one of the best business decisions you ever make. However, the cost can be prohibitive. This series takes a look at ways to continue to improve your benefits package without substantially increasing your costs – and in some cases, decreasing your costs.
Method #5: Get More From Your Broker!
In this series we have talked about methods to improve your benefits package by changing or adding plans or contribution levels. There is one final step that will help you to offer the best benefits package to your employees while keeping your costs in check: get the absolute most you can out of your broker, and make sure you are using the right benefits broker for your company.
I want to loop you in a couple insurance industry truths that might not be known to most employers:
- Health insurance rates for small groups (1-100 FTE Employees) are the same based on your chosen carrier no matter what broker you go to. For example, you can get quotes for a Blue Shield small group from 5 different brokers, and your 5 different quotes are going to be identical. There is no way to get a better rate on the actual product by changing brokers, unless they are changing your carrier or plan.
- Insurance brokers are paid a small commission by the carrier for all plans they sell and manage. A broker should never charge you for a service related to your coverage; this should just be part of what they do for you.
I am a firm believer that you should get the most you can out of your broker. At Benefit Experts,we aim to take as much work off a company’s plate as possible in managing their benefits. Here’s a quick (and not complete) list of services we provide free of charge:
- Management of all employee enrollments, including reaching out to each new hire and introducing them to the company benefits package, overseeing and following up on their enrollment process, submitting enrollments to the carriers, and following up with the carrier to ensure the enrollment has been completed correctly. For local clients, we will even come down to your office and do a benefits on-boarding meeting with each new hire if you want.
- Management of terminations: all the employer has to do is tell us the day someone did leave or will leave. We will take care of their termination with the carrier and follow up to ensure it has been completed, resolve any billing issues, and send out COBRA notification to the employee.
- Management of changes, such as adding a new baby or spouse to the plan, changing an address, etc.
- Customized online on-boarding websites for each company, which can tie in with an HRIS, payroll management, etc. for a completely electronic on-boarding experience.
- Doctor searches for employees at their request. This is especially useful for a new hire who has not used a PPO before and needs help finding a doctor in their area.
- Full-time client services team available for employee support – give your employees our information and empower them to go straight to us with issues regarding billing, plan changes, understanding benefits, etc. We will sit on hold on the phone with the carrier so they don’t have to, and we will use our expertise to fix any issues with their coverage.
- Calculation of payroll deductions for each new hire: we will interact directly with your payroll company to ensure payroll deductions are started and stopped at the correct dates, and changed as rates change.
Throughout this series you will find 5 methods to improve your benefits package – but each company is different and may have unique needs. Please feel free to reach out directly for a complimentary benefits evaluation to review specific ways your company can improve your benefits package and save money in the process:
Benefit Experts Insurance Agency