Employee benefits and insurance are one of the top business expenses. It makes up around 30% of your compensation costs, just behind payroll which is around 60%. These programs have the potential to directly affect your organization. Benefits are often integral in employee retention, the quality of talent you attract, employee turnover, productivity, and more. With so much riding on these decisions, you don’t want to leave it to change. An employee benefits broker can help select the best programs for your business and help with sign up and information dissemination. However, selecting a benefits broker should not be taken lightly. Before you hire your next broker, ask these questions.
1. What is your experience in the industry, and can you provide references?
Employee needs vary from one organization to the next, as well as from one industry to the next. Look for a broker who has experience in your industry and can provide quality references to attest to not only that experience, but also build a positive track record.
2. Do you have a dedicated account manager?
Accessibility is so important throughout an organization and the employee benefits broker is no exception. You need to know that if you have a question or have difficulty making a claim, they are there to help. A dedicated account manager can do that for you.
3. What services do you offer and what should I expect?
Before you ask this question, do an assessment to determine what your organizational needs are. This will help guide you in selecting a broker. You need to know what to expect and what they can do to meet your company’s needs regarding employee benefits.
4. How do you handle renewals?
Most renewal periods begin around 45 to 60 days before the actual renewal date. Of course, you expect your broker to show up then, but you also want them to be available and working on your plan all year long.
5. What processes or methods do you use to control healthcare costs?
This is the big question. A good broker will provide your HR team with professional advice regarding benefits costs strategies. They will negotiate with insurance carriers in order to get your employees the best rate possible.
6. What strategies will you use in supporting my employees and company?
Look for an employee benefits broker who makes it a point to be available for questions beyond enrollment as well as provide support for issues related to benefits. They should be committed to ensuring that your employees fully understand all of their benefit options.
7. What support will you provide to my HR department?
You want to find a benefits broker who will partner with your HR team, acting as a total solution provider. They should be committed to your success and offer the necessary tools to achieve that, including specialized software, online enrollment, and other services.
8. What tools do you offer for enrollment and management of plans?
Your broker should offer you a fully integrated solution that is tailored to meet the needs of our company and employees. Online enrollment should be at the top of the list, but they should also offer other products and services as well.
9. What measures do you take to ensure your clients remain in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations?
A good broker will take the lead in this area, providing you with all the information and tools that you need. You should also have access to a representative, dedicated contact, or switchboard where you can call with concerns or questions.
10. How will you determine what plans are most beneficial for my employees and company?
Over time, the benefits and insurance needs of your employees will change due to external and internal causes. Your employee benefits broker should monitor the needs of your business and employees so that they can stay up to date with what you need and serve you better.
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The experts at Innovative Broker Services can provide your HR team with the support it needs. Contact us or schedule a call 916-932-2864 to talk to one of our representatives and find out how we can help you with your needs.