Four Reasons to Use a Broker for Your Employee Benefits
If you’re a small business owner or manager, you’re probably used to making important decisions. But when it comes to employee benefits and health insurance, you may not be an expert. That’s why it could be advantageous – to you and your business – to use a broker. Below are four reasons why engaging a broker when shopping for employee benefits is worthwhile.
Just like with an attorney or a CPA who provides you with professional counsel based on years of experience and training, a broker can provide you with guidance on employee benefits and health insurance. He or she will answer your questions and sort out all of the industry jargon which can be confusing and, perhaps, a little overwhelming. An independent broker is just that, independent, so you can expect that he or she will work to find you the best-available plan for your organization, your employees, and your budget. And, a broker can help you evaluate “extras” that might be available, such as optional coverage (like Dental or Vision), online enrollment, or other services (like a Flexible Spending Account, Premium Only/Section 125 Plan, COBRA services, etc.).
2. No Cost
Contrary to what you might think, using a health insurance broker doesn’t cost more. In fact, it may be less expensive because an experienced broker will have the expertise and the technology to help you find the most competitive benefits for your company, while also ensuring you and your employees have access to the doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers you want. (Brokers are paid a commission by the insurance companies or health insurance exchanges they represent, so you typically won’t pay an added fee for a broker’s services.)
Using a broker frees you up to focus on what you need to do: manage your business. A broker will have the knowledge, experience, and resources to quickly research the options available to your group and to present you with the “pluses and minuses” offered by each of the carriers and plans being presented. He or she may also offer online tools and resources, such as those available through California’s leading private health insurance exchange. The CaliforniaChoice exchange, for groups of up to 100 employees, delivers a “Smart Decision Technology” suite that includes an Automated Choice Profiler, which gives your employees the power to compare plans not just based on their premium, but also on doctor availability, affordability, and expected plan use. CaliforniaChoice also offers online enrollment, which reduces processing time, and online search tools for providers and prescription drugs – so enrolled or enrolling employees and dependents know who’s included and what’s covered before selecting a plan or visiting a health care provider.
4. Peace of Mind
When you shop and compare employee benefits plans with help from a broker, you can take significant comfort in knowing your broker will be working on your behalf – and in your best interests – to find the plan that best matches the needs of your business and your employees. It’s your broker’s responsibility to ensure you get the coverage you want at a price you can afford. Health insurance is – and likely will continue to be – a complicated topic, and it’s your broker’s role to understand it and help you and your employees get the most for your premium dollar. He or she will also work with you and the insurance company if there are claims-related issues that come about later – helping to ensure the best-possible outcome for you and your employees.
To learn more about all of the options available to you and your employees, talk with your health insurance or employee benefits broker. If you don’t already have a broker, we can help you find a CaliforniaChoice broker in your area.