Offering the right mix of benefits to employees is a daunting task for almost any company.  Yet most business owners understand the importance and value a strong employee benefit portfolio has on their company’s growth and overall success.  But choosing the best benefits is only part of the story.  Choosing the right insurance carriers to provide those benefits is not only the other part of the story, but an often undervalued aspect as well.

When evaluating different carriers for benefit plans, there are several things employers should consider prior to making a decision.  While working with a benefits broker or consultant will greatly simplify this process, it is ultimately up to the business owner to assure the carrier selection is the best fit for their company.  Here are a few points to consider:

Carrier Credentials…In addition to checking that carriers are licensed to do business in any state(s) with client locations, decision makers should also seek assurance that the carrier is financially sound and meets all state requirements such as those involving required premium reserve levels. 

Diversity of Products and Services…Most companies today, especially those with more than a few employees, tend to offer multiples plan options for their employees to choose from.  The right carrier should have a wide portfolio of plans available for any group.  Which of those plans should be in the company benefit package?  That should be based on the specific demographics of each business, the health care needs of that population and the company budget.

Provider Networks…Prior to including a plan in the company’s benefit portfolio, the decision maker should be assured that employees and their families will be comfortable choosing from the physicians and hospitals within the provider’s network.

Cost Competitiveness…This is obvious, but with all other factors being equal, the plan premiums for both the company and it’s employees are a major factor in any decision to choose or bypass a carrier.

Level of Technology…Online access to health information, digital tools and monitoring and other technology can assist in the management of health issues, taking stress away from employees seeking enhanced well-being and providing employers utilization based savings in the process.

Customer Service Experience…Research the level of personalized customer service that the provider offers members.  Especially in smaller businesses, where there are fewer if any human resource personnel for employees to turn to for help with claim issues, a friendly, responsive and effective call center can make or break the employee experience.

My Benefit Advisor (MBA) guides employers of all sizes through planning, communicating, and managing a successful employee benefits program. We are ready to help you find the solution that fits your needs, from group insurance to individual coverage. For more information about MBA, contact us.

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