What does the small to mid-sized business want from their broker?

Fundamentally, many small and mid-sized companies are looking for benefit brokers to lead them through the complicated maze of employee benefits plans. They want leadership, and want someone who will ensure that employer and employee needs are met, that costs are lowered, renewal rates are contained or minimized, and that these tasks are managed going forward.

Of course, benefit costs are driven at many different levels, the most overt being the bottom line cost of a company’s premiums from an insurance carrier. Because carrier rates don’t often decrease, companies can expect some kind of increase during the annual renewal event.

It is the broker’s job to act as a leader, to be someone who inserts themselves between the company and the carrier offering the company advice, market expertise, knowledge and an understanding of compliance issues and technology solutions. The broker works to keep a client informed about options and pointed in the right direction, so that a company can make the best decisions on behalf of its employees.

Simply having a broker around to negotiate the terms of insurance premiums is a value to an employer, however in addition to lowering an increase by five to ten percent, an employer will also benefit by increasing his understanding of the layers of cost associated with health care.

Through the help of a broker, an employer can come to understand that by communicating and administering employee benefits efficiently, it is possible to drive health care cost efficiencies and at the same time increase office productivity.

Maximizing employee satisfaction with health care benefits should include a gauge of how happy and knowledgeable employees are about current benefits and whether those benefits are viewed as having intrinsic value. Overall employee wellness, including healthy lifestyle choices, can make a huge difference in terms of cost as well.

Happier, healthier employees who value their benefits and work environment ensure a healthier bottom line for the company.

A broker in a leadership position, who strategically organizes opportunities and solutions for a business to maximize its health care plan, is a highly valuable commodity for today’s small to mid-sized employer.