Employee Benefits should be a breeze—if you partnered with right broker. With the wrong broker however, benefits can be an overwhelming nightmare. So, ask yourself,
“Are you partnered with the right broker for you?”
The landscape of insurance and benefits is constantly changing, from rules and regulations to strategies for containing cost. As an employer, it’s incredibly important you partner with a broker who is just as dynamic as the landscape itself.
Your broker’s motives should be aligned with your company’s goals when negotiating with carriers and developing a plan tailored to your employees. However, there may be a point when your broker no longer meshes with the goals or demands of your company. You might be averse to making a change, over fear the process will be too complicated—transitioning brokers isn’t as complicated as you think, and it could have an ROI beyond comprehension.
There may be many reasons for you to consider switching brokers, but essentially, a change should be contemplated when your broker no longer aligns with the goals/plans of your company. Some common reasons employers decide to make a change are:
- Your company has begun to outgrow the capabilities of your current broker—lacking the technology or HR support to bolster growth.
- You’ve come to realize your broker only offers “typical broker services” e.g. quoting plans, billing assistance, and renewal negotiation—and goes no further (ONLY SHOWING UP AT RENEWAL).
- Your HR staff is left to provide compliance and employee education materials to your employees on their own.
- Or your broker has created an environment with misaligned incentives, where your carrier is actually working against your company, and you’d like to explore the advantages and transparency of self-funding or level-funding.
These are just a few reasons for making a change—if one of the concerns above sticks out to you, the next question to ask yourself is,
“How complicated would making a change be?”
Were you aware that ALL you need to do to make a change is to submit a Broker of Record (BOR) letter to your existing carriers? The BOR notifies your carriers that you have given authority to solicit and administer your group benefits to a new broker. Your current carriers will notify the existing broker the change has been made. With your new broker, you may keep your existing plans with your existing carriers, if you wish—the BOR simply allows your new broker to mediate with carriers on your behalf. You do not need to wait for a specific time to be able to make this change. You can submit a BOR at any time.
In closing, your broker is the catalyst as to whether or not your benefits package is an asset or a liability. Don’t leave this major role to an underperforming broker just because, “we’ve known him for a long time” or because you believe changing is, “too complicated.” Employee benefits are a daunting process but partnering with the right broker may allow you to recover wasted capital and enable you to reinvest it back into your employees and your business.