When evaluating, expanding and maintaining your benefits, including self-funding, fully insured or voluntary benefits, look for these qualities in a broker:
1. Comfort and trust level: Do you feel comfortable working with your broker? Do you feel they have your best interests in mind? Do you trust their intentions – are they assisting you with meaningful benefits or merely “selling” benefits?
2. Resources: Does your broker have resources to evaluate how your plans are working? Can they compare them to other plans in the marketplace; do they have benchmarking tools? Are they providing any level of HR services or tools?
3. Experience: Has your broker implemented both self-funded and fully insured plans? Have they worked with large groups, small groups? Do they have experience in traditional and voluntary plans? Short- and long-term disability? Long-term care? Do they have a working relationship with various carriers? Enough to know who requires what and who provides exceptional service?
4. Strategy: Is your broker experienced enough to actually think out of the box and provide innovative solutions? Do they have a long-term strategy for your future over a three- to five-year plan, or do they just bring you a spreadsheet with a “pick a rate” strategy for the year?
5. Compliance and Regulation: Is your broker well-versed in all things ACA (Affordable Care Act) as well as the DOL, ERISA, HIPAA and Plan Document requirements, just to name a few?
6. Compensation Disclosure: Do you know each and every year exactly how much your advisor is compensated on each product?
All of these questions should be answered with confidence in your relationship with your benefits partner. You know up front exactly what to expect from your CPA and your lawyer. They are strategic business partners and have responsibilities in the success of your firm. We submit that your benefits is every bit as important, should not your partner be chosen just as carefully?