Employee Benefits Broker

Tuesday, December 7, 2021 16:28 Posted by Admin
Employee benefits broker

If you speak to any employer, you’d hear how important employee benefits are for both attracting and retaining the best employees. In fact, most people assert that having benefits provided by their employer is very important to them and many would opt for additional benefits as opposed to higher pay.

Though, employee benefits can be very complicated and developing an employee benefits program requires a significant amount of work that typically falls beyond an employer’s area of expertise. For these reasons, most employers rely on an employee benefits broker to create the ideal employee benefits package for their workforce.

What are Employee Benefits?

Before we explore any deeper, it’s important to understand what exactly employee benefits are. Put simply, employee benefits are a form of non-salary compensations that employers provide to their employees in addition to their normal wage or salary. These benefits may include health insurance, overtime, vacation, retirement plans, 401K matching, and disability insurance, to name a few.

Although each state in the United States is different, there are a few basic benefit laws that all employers must adhered to. With that said, some required benefits are as follows:

  • Employees must be given time off to vote, perform military service, or for jury duty.
  • Obey the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
  • Pay both state and federal unemployment taxes.
  • Fund state short-term disability programs, in the states where these programs are present.
  • Observe all workers’ compensation requirements.

On the other hand, employers are not required to provide their employees with:

  • Life insurance
  • Dental and/or vision
  • Retirement plans
  • Health insurance plans (except in Hawaii)
  • Paid vacations, sick leave, or holiday pay

What is an Employee Benefits Broker?

An employee benefits broker is essentially a professional that has access to (and extensive knowledge regarding) a variety of employee benefit options. They are licensed insurance professionals that specialize in employee benefits and can help you narrow down your choices by offering their expertise. Brokers understand what benefits programs are out there, which companies provide them, and how benefit pricing works. When you work with a professional employee benefits broker, they will take the time to understand your organization and then craft a customized employee benefits plan that meets the needs of your company and its employees.

However, it’s important to note that not all employee benefits brokers are alike. While some may work for a single organization, others may not be tied to one company. Those that work for a single organization might be employed by a major health insurance provider, and therefore may be biased – directing you towards only options from that provider. Others that are not tied to a provider may only specialize in one type of benefit or they may have a much larger variety of benefit options, with knowledge of all the available choices. There is much to consider when it comes to working with an employee benefits broker.

What Do Employee Benefits Brokers Do?

When it comes to choosing an employee benefits broker, it’s crucial that you know which of the following topics are most important to you and your business. Once you know, confirm with the prospective broker that they can help you with your unique concerns. Not all brokers provide all of the services below.

That said, here are some of the services that an employee benefits broker may be able to provide to an employer:

  • Knowledge and help with choosing numerous types of insurance, such as life, health, dental, vision, disability, and more. Though, not all brokers offer a comprehensive range of insurance options, but most employee benefits brokers specialize in insurance to some extent.
  • Guidance on how to keep costs low, like how you can reduce total premiums.
  • Compliance information, meaning helping to ensure that employers remain compliant with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and any additional relevant regulations.
  • Help with employee communications regarding benefits enrollment.
  • Review and negotiation of contracts with providers to ensure the best deal possible. Depending on what they offer, the broker may also be able to deliver a personalized insurance package for your business.
  • Assistance with resolving issues. Your employee benefits broker may be able to serve as a middle-man for the employer to address issues with claims or any problems with benefits administration.
  • Exploration of existing benefits and claims to give advice on potential changes based on employee demographics and/or overall cost savings.
  • Direct support for employees who have questions regarding benefits, claims, or coverage.
  • Education for employees regarding the options available to them during open enrollment.

Again, not all employee benefits brokers will be able to provide all of the items on the list above. For this reason, it’s very important to ask in advance what services a broker provides. Generally speaking, the more services they provide, the more they can assist your company and its employees.

Questions to Ask a Prospective Employee Benefits Broker

Finding the ideal employee benefits broker is not any easy feat. Your employee benefits broker will be in charge of helping you select insurance policies and benefits that will directly impact your entire workforce. The health of your company is reliant on spending time to ask all the right questions and request any additional information you may need in order to make informed decisions.

That said, the following are some important questions to help guide your search for the perfect employee benefits broker for your organization:

  1. What is the scope of your services? This question will help you learn all of the benefits that come in a package. Basic health care is as the name suggests – basic. So, are there voluntary benefits such as long-term disability or accident insurance? Your employees may also desire access to auto, renter’s, or homeowner’s insurance through their employer.
  2. Do you offer compliance consulting? There are both state and federal laws and regulations associated with the ACA and the ERISA. Your broker of choice must be familiar with these regulations to help you avoid any associated penalties.
  3. What extra expertise and resources do you offer? Ideally, your employee benefits broker should not be a single individual. Instead, you should have a team of experts in your corner – including underwriters, compliance experts, a medical director, risk analysts, and more.
  4. Do you help with open enrollment? Open enrollment assistance is a must-have service, as these programs are crucial to employee engagement.
  5. What are your brokerage fees? While this may seem like a no-brainer, fee structures vary from broker to broker. An employee benefits broker may charge a flat rate based on number of employees that need be covered monthly or they may charge based on commission.

Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency Can Help!

At Taylor Benefits Insurance Agency, we have been assisting companies like yours for over thirty years. We help businesses offer their employees quality employee benefit packages. Our clients are located all over the country, and hail from a wide variety of industries. We are among the best group health insurance brokers in the nation, specializing in employee benefit plans.

Regardless of the size of your business, we can help you find the right employee benefit plan that fits the needs of your workforce. Best of all, we place our focus on customizing potential plans to the unique needs and budget of each company. So, if it’s an employee benefits broker that you need, contact us today to start developing the best plan for your business.

We’re ready to help! Call today: 800-903-6066