Posted October 20, 2011
Spiraling costs for employee benefits, a taxing economy, and changing health care reform mandates present many challenges for businesses and employees. Working with trustworthy and knowledgeable benefits consultants and insurance partners will simplify the process if they provide current, comprehensive information, innovative ideas, and advice to help you weigh the options.
As you consider your benefit choices, here are some guidelines for selecting the consultants and companies that have your best interests at heart:
- Understanding your business. The right insurance partners should have an excellent knowledge of your industry and business issues to recommend benefit option and design plans that will match the needs of your group.
- A menu of options. Do the partners offer services and products you need, such as electronic enrollment, access to benefits information and quick claims review? Do they provide a wide range of benefit solutions?
- Focus on service. What is the quality of customer service they provide? How long does it take to answer phone calls? How long to respond to online questions and concerns about benefits? Are customer service hours convenient for your employees? Will they be helped by knowledgeable staff members who can easily explain benefit options and resolve problems?
- Innovative products. Employees want a variety of benefit choices. Do your partners have the flexibility and administrative services to provide a spectrum of products and services important to your associates? Do they monitor market trends and identify new options that will meet these often unvoiced expectations?
- Transparent knowledge. Are your insurance partners in the know about health care reform, changes in government regulations and updates in insurance products? Do they recommend benefit enhancements to meet the changing needs of your employee group?
- Win with wellness. Health care costs have spurred continued interest in the savings available with structured wellness and health benefits programs that focus on preventive care, such as dental, vision and hearing. Do your insurance partners make recommendations of benefit plans and options that will support your employee group’s wellness needs? Can they communicate wellness choices in simple ways to help employees understand how to use their benefits to improve their health?
Benefits consultants and insurance companies should want to partner with you in developing plan designs that match the needs of your employee group, help you communicate benefits options to employees and provide excellent customer service long after the sale.
How would you rate the expertise of your benefits partners? Are they knowledgeable about your business and the insurance industry? – Eric Tupper, Ameritas Group