Four Considerations In Evaluating A Benefits Broker

Selecting a new benefits broker can be a daunting task. Benefits rank up near the top of employers’ expenses, so working with the right broker never has been more important.

There are four main considerations that should be at the top of your list when you are evaluating a new broker.

No. 1: Service

You want a broker you can count on, and one that responds to your inquiries and issues in a timely manner. To this effect, check references. There is no better way to find out what type of service you will be getting than to call existing clients. Beware of the broker who refuses to provide references – those with good service normally are more than willing to share a list.

No. 2: Resources

You need someone who will do what they say they are going to do. Typical services may include taking employee calls, handling COBRA administration, analyzing your claims usage, doing a full marketing of your benefit plans and keeping your plans legally compliant. Doing all of these things may be possible for a broker that’s a one-man or woman shop – if you are their only client. If you’re not, you may want to keep shopping around for a broker with the resources to keep all their promises.

No. 3: Client size

You want to pick a broker who works regularly with employers in your size range. A small employer with 20 employees will have greatly different needs than a midsized employer with 500 employees or a large employer with 2,000. You want to ensure that your broker understands the challenges faced by organizations at your size and knows the marketplace.

No. 4: Relationships

Brokers are often the middle person between the employer and the carrier. You want to ensure that the broker you select has good carrier relationships that will help get issues resolved and the best rates possible.