There are few employee benefits as important as health insurance. This is also to say, as an employer, healthcare benefits is one area you do not want to skimp on. Offering your employees competitive health insurance benefits can be the thing that gives your business an advantage. It can help you retain quality employees, attract new talent, and grow your business.
If you are an employer in the process of looking for a dependable health insurance provider, you have likely come across various options, brokers, agents, and more. And as you’re probably realizing, not all packages are the same. The same can be said for insurance providers because just as important as the insurance itself is where you get your insurance. To help shed some light on this issue, in today’s blog, we at Sensible Benefits would like to provide you some information to help you make the best decision regarding your health insurance benefits.
Insurance Broker vs. Insurance Agent
For those not familiar with the insurance industry, you may think that broker and agent can be used interchangeably. This is not true and to keep it simple it will suffice to say: insurance agents work for an insurance company, whereas insurance brokers do not. They are industry professionals who function as advisors and consultants on topics like health insurance, employee benefits, and risk management. Unlike insurance agents, brokers are devoted to their clients and strive to do what’s best for their clients—not simply do what’s best for the insurance company they are representing.
What Should I Expect From Insurance Brokers?
One key advantage of partnering with an insurance broker is that a good one will work with you to identify specific risks and help you find individually tailored solutions that will best address these potential pitfalls. Although some insurance brokers will offer comprehensive insurance packages and employee benefits, some will focus on one specific area, like health insurance.
When searching for the right broker for you, it is important to remember that anyone can stare at a screen and read off a list of plans and numbers. Be wary of any insurance broker who is solely selling and has no emphasis on educating and providing you with an in-depth understanding. When you partner with a health insurance broker, for example, you should expect them to focus on your unique coverage needs and for their questions to be guided by a number of factors, including your budget, business, and number of employees.
As we mentioned, brokers function as consultants and partners to your company. When it comes to health insurance, they will walk you through every step of the health insurance enrollment process. From researching the very best option for your exact business to guidance on how to manage your plan, insurance brokers can take the hassle out of enrolling in a plan.
Do I Really Need an Insurance Broker?
Brokers are insurance experts. Day in and day out, they work with various insurance entities. This affords them a skill set that most business owners do not possess. Quality insurance brokers will leverage this expertise to negotiate terms with insurance companies and help identify a policy that offers their clients maximum benefits. This is a fact that most business owners can attest to. If you are friends with other business owners, test this theory. Ask them about their experience working with insurance brokers. As most will tell you, working with an experienced broker can alleviate a great deal of stress and worry, as well as ensure that you are getting the best possible deal and the best possible coverage for your employees.
Before you choose an insurance broker, take the time to ask them some important questions, such as:
- How many plans do they offer?
- What can they offer to address your specific needs?
- What other types of businesses have they worked with?
- How much experience do they have?
- What can they do to ensure you remain compliant with all regulations?
- Do they seem interested in your specific circumstances?
This list of questions is truly just the tip of the iceberg. However, it should get you pointed in the right direction, and based on their answers, you should get a sketch of an idea for how transparent, collaborative, and genuine your prospective broker is.
Where Can I FInd a Reliable Insurance Broker?
As we mentioned, there are a lot of options out there. From online options to brick-and-mortar shops, there is no shortage of insurance brokers. If you are looking for a team of brokers that offers expert guidance, advice, and the security that comes with choosing a personalized health insurance plan, contact us!
At Sensible Benefits, all of our insurance advisors have gone through a rigorous screening process and extensive training, and they are poised to tailor packages and help you avoid costly pitfalls. In addition to being able to guide you through insurance policies that are often laden with jargon and that almost seem to be designed to confuse, we can also provide you with employee benefits statements. We do this because we know that benefits can be a lot like a hidden paycheck. To keep these benefits at the forefront, we provide your employees with employee benefits statements—and we do it free of charge.