Take Control of Your Health Insurance Renewal Process with a Trusted Advisor and Broker of Record

The traditional health insurance renewal process is often a very frustrating ordeal for companies and HR professionals, with short timelines, a plethora of information to decipher, and renewal pressure. It’s even more challenging if you only hear from your broker closer to the renewal deadline. The brokers usually present a few plan options through a combination of lengthy charts, spreadsheets, and presentations. The time frame to compare and contrast different plan designs is short. Moreover, if you make a change to a plan or input different contribution numbers, it drags out the process and requires additional meetings and presentations. All of these issues equal frustration.

So, take control and change this cycle!

Start a different process by exploring a Broker of Record earlier, even right after your current renewal. After all, even if your rates are locked in for the year, there’s nothing stopping you from changing your broker of record at any point during the plan year. Give yourself the time to be strategic and find the best benefits partner for your company and your employees.

Benefits of working with a broker of record

Ideally, a broker of record helps employers take the plan that they already have in place and further improve and build on it through its technology and services Start a different process by exploring a Broker of Record earlier, even right after your current renewal. After all, even if your rates are locked in for the year, there’s nothing stopping you from changing your broker of record at any point during the plan year. Give yourself the time to be strategic and find the best benefits partner for your company and your employees.

  • Employee education: As an employer, you work hard and spend significant dollars to offer your employees the best possible health insurance and benefits. However, inevitably employees are not aware of the different benefits available to them. Your broker partner works with you to empower your employees to get the most out of their benefits for themselves and their families. This includes educating your employees about how the plan works, answering their questions, and maintaining an FAQ document about the plan.
    With a better understanding of how to use their benefits to the fullest comes the peace of mind that the company is providing competitive benefits; that the welfare of the employees and their families is important to their employer. This goes a long way to prevent employees to jump ship in search of better benefits.
  • Employee onboarding/offboarding: Technology is an integral part of an efficient benefits program. Ideally, it should be a one-stop repository for all documents associated with the processes for onboarding and offboarding, such as accounting docs, W2s, I9, and more. Once new employees log into their secure portal, they should be guided in an organized manner to sign up for benefits and make their selections. As an employer, the HR administrators have access to all records.
  • Claim Issues: Your broker of record helps with claim mitigation, making sure that you are not overpaying, goes deep with employees to make sure they are getting all the network discount that they should get.
  • Research: Once you are getting closer to your renewal cycle, the account manager helps to make decision about the benefits by:
    • the best programs for you to consider that get you the biggest bang for your buck
    • Helping you examine the details of all options that are available and how each plan works. This includes getting into the nitty gritty details such as networks, ancillary coverages, voluntary coverages, qualifying events, etc.
    • Explaining the pros and cons of the different option. For example, if you are on a fully ensured plan right now, what would it look like if you were on a self-funded plan, or what if we looked at offering volunteering benefits next year.
    • Making recommendations as to why you should or shouldn’t join a certain plan.
  • Compliance: While COVID-related regulations are top-of-the-mind for everyone (vaccination records, tests, etc.), there are many other compliance issues that employers need to be on top of as well. Depending on the size of the company, there are multiple documents that companies need to distribute to employees every year. For example, if you have a premium-only plan filed in place so that employees can contribute to the plans on a pre-tax basis instead of a post-tax basis. While most people contribute on a pre-tax basis, if employers don’t have a plan document in place then they are out of compliance. Then there is Cobra administration, 1094 and 1095 filing, and more. broker of record can take all this off of the plate of HR and ensure that the company is compliant, even as your firm grows from 50 to 500 employees in the next couple of years.
  • Technology: An intuitive and secure platform enables technology staffing and solutions firms to provide a seamless user experience for employees and consultants as well as take the pain out of the open enrollment process. Such a platform automates the hiring and onboarding workflow so companies can greet their next new-hire with a smile on the first day — instead of a stack of paperwork. This includes:
    • Remote onboarding and offboarding:
      • Sending digital offer letters & hiring packets
      • Collecting digital signatures before the first day
      • Enabling employees to enroll in benefits online
      • Automating and assigning onboarding / offboarding tasks
      • Ensuring compliance with digital I-9s and W-4s
      • Providing streamlined checklists for onboarding and termination
    • Going paperless and digitize all employee documents
      • Add fillable, trackable form fields and e-signature to all HR documents
      • Send and track acknowledgements and e-signatures, individually or in bulk
      • Track document completion status and audit logs
      • Create custom fields and report on them
      • Streamline document-heavy workflows like hiring, onboarding, and termination
    • HR workflow automation: Automate and streamline routine tasks like hiring, onboarding, termination, and more with drag and drop Workflow builder. Some examples of workflows that can be built include:
      • Onboarding and offboarding checklists
      • Expense reports
      • Training course
      • Equipment request
      • Employee surveys
      • Performance reviews

    Conclusion

    Whether you are in the process of renewing your health insurance plan or in the post-renewal stage, ask yourself if you were happy with the process and with your current broker’s deliverables and processes. Does your current broker offer expert guidance and access to technology to help make benefits administration easier? Are you looking for a broker who provides benefits support, employee communications, and personalized service- A broker that has legislative resources and technology that streamlines communications and human resources administration? Is the process helping or hindering your company and growth? If your current broker is not providing you all of the above, then it’s time to take control of the process and change the status quo.