Group Insurance – Five Tips to Maximize Employee Benefits
The cost of employee benefit plans has risen dramatically in recent years. That's why it is crucial you work with an independent broker who specializes in employee benefit plans. The right broker can save your company thousands of dollars and create value-added service.
The following five tips will help you to maximize your employee benefit dollars:
- Determine your company's needs. A qualified, independent group specialist can work with you and your employees to identify which benefits offer the best value for your organization. It's important to gather the necessary information through past claims experience, employee surveys and seminars to create the optimal plan.
- Understand the types of coverage. Group insurance contains many components: life insurance, disability insurance, health, dental and vision coverage, and many of these categories have several sub-categories. It is imperative that the employer and employee understand the need and value of the various options. This will help control costs yet maximize the perceived value of the plan to employees.
- Know the insurance company you are buying from. Many group carriers price their products aggressively in an attempt to earn your business, yet when it comes time to renew your coverage they are just as quick to increase your premiums. Other insurance companies prefer to avoid certain types of businesses and price their plans accordingly. Work with your broker to determine which insurance companies are receptive to your type of business and which companies have a hassle-free claims process.
- Work with a trusted independent group specialist who is able to shop the market for you. An independent employee benefits specialist offers you the advantage of comparing the costs and benefits of many group insurance carriers, as opposed to a (captive) sales agent who is generally limited to promoting a single insurance carrier's products. Furthermore, look for an experienced group specialist with proper credentials who comes recommended and is trusted within the business community. Ask for references or testimonials from existing clients.
- Review your plan with your broker regularly. Your employee benefit needs can change with plan usage and with your company's business cycle; your broker can offer recommendations to address these issues. There are many steps you can take to contain your costs, including increasing your deductible to keep in line with inflation, implementing annual maximums on certain components of the plan, and setting a cap on plan dispensing fees.