If you’ve been frustrated with the quality and cost of your current benefits plan, you may have considered working with a benefits adviser. What gives many business owners pause, however, is the idea that they’d have to terminate their relationship with their broker in order to bring an adviser onto the team. Abandoning the idea of the adviser in favor of the theoretically “safer” option of sticking with a broker may seem like the best solution in the face of uncertainty, but avoiding any kind of change altogether could keep your benefits plan permanently subpar.
Here’s why taking a risk by working with an adviser and your broker can pay off for your plan:
Same Solutions, Same Problems
Despite the fact that healthcare costs continue to go up while healthcare quality continues to go down, many employers are still willing to stick with the same broker and benefits plan year after year. In fact, Pricewaterhouse Coopers’ Health Research Institute (HRI) is anticipating a greater cost increase than ever before for 2020 at 6 percent.
These cost increases have become so commonplace in the industry that many business owners believe that the best thing they can do is ask their broker to get them the lowest possible cost increase when the time comes to renew their plan. Even though there are other options available to them, the fear of change (and losing their broker) keeps them stuck in the same benefits rut, paying more while receiving less.
Avoiding Broker Breakups
Particularly when one broker has been working with the company for years, searching for a new adviser can feel like a form of betrayal. There are ways, however, to shake up your benefits plan for the better without severing your relationship with your broker.
Your benefits adviser can work with your broker as a consultant, finding the right people to turn your plan into a strategic advantage for your business. In this case, your adviser doesn’t need to take on the job of your broker, but instead connects the appropriate healthcare industry experts to get your employees the best care at the lowest cost. Much like the conductor in a symphony, your adviser brings all of the individual players in your plan together to create something that both you and your employees can enjoy. Some employers later decide to have their adviser adopt their broker’s role in their plan anyway, but by taking your adviser on as a benefits consultant, you take more control over your broker’s involvement in your plan.
Fixing Problems From The Outside In
Some employers believe that using their benefits adviser as a consultant is a redundant use of their time. After all, your adviser should be well educated on all of the factors that comprise your benefits plan, and bringing in outside experts might seem unnecessary at first.
Beneath the surface, though, this strategy makes perfect sense when it comes to ensuring that your employees are getting the best quality care for the best possible price. In fact, many businesses already bring in outside experts to help with situations within their business. Maybe your company has an in-house legal team, but there may be certain situations in which you need an outside legal team as well. Similarly, your adviser may want to dig beyond their existing knowledge of certain aspects of your benefits plan, and by working as a consultant, they can incorporate the wisdom and experience of outside experts to maximize the impact of your plan.
The Power of Change
Although loyalty is important when cultivating relationships within your business, the solution to your benefits challenges won’t likely be found by doing the same thing with the same people over and over again. By working with a benefits adviser as a consultant, though, you can open up a new realm of possibilities for your plan. From there, the decision to move on from your broker or find new ways for them to build up your business is up to you.
Contact me today to learn more about working with a benefits adviser can be just the right amount of change to help your plan reach its full potential.