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    Maximizing the Value of Your Employee Benefits Broker Relationship

    Most small business owners are focused on long-term success and business growth, but it can be easy to lose sight of these goals when tasks like managing daily operations with very limited resources come into play. Unlike large-scale businesses, most small business owners juggle everything from administrative duties, payroll, HR, and staying on top of compliance regulations.

    As a result, smaller businesses face a heavy burden when it comes to taking on the task of human resources administration on their own—on top of their long list of existing duties. Not having an onsite team of HR and benefits experts to help navigate this daunting responsibility can leave many small business leaders feeling overwhelmed and uncertain of whether they’re doing the best job. Employee benefits brokers can help provide small businesses with the resources and expertise they need to optimize their business operations, taking a lot of pressure off of the small business leaders.

    Are you getting the most out of your employee benefits broker?

    When you partner with an employee benefits consultant, you gain access to benefit pricing and customized packages that business owners themselves don’t have access to. Additionally, a consultant can help you identify benefits that fit within your budget while still meeting the wants and need of your employees.

    It's important to consider the following topics when deciding if you are getting the most out of your employee benefits broker, otherwise, you could be leaving valuable services on the table.

    Access to a team of experts

    As health benefit requirements for employers are increasing, an employee benefits broker can help your company implement innovative programs, find alternative funding methodologies, and suggest cost-control strategies to help mitigate healthcare cost increases. Brokers can also become a useful resource to small businesses through their wealth of knowledge, guidance, and tools in the industry. Employee benefits brokers who offer the most value to their clients are those that really put in the work and focus on relationship building with carriers, developing custom solutions for clients, and making themselves available for consultation.

    Employee benefits brokers build relationships, not only with their client companies, but also with the vendors and carriers that they work with. These strong carrier relationships can help employee benefits brokers negotiate better renewals for their clients, and having a number of vendor business relationships allows the broker to customize programs on a case-by-case basis, based on their clients' size and goals.

    Brokers also have access to a number of market statistics and benchmarking data that may not be easily accessible to companies that do not work with employee benefits brokers. Having that relationship gives small businesses an upper hand because they’ll know the latest trends and pertinent information.

    An employee benefits broker will want you to get the most out of your situation and will use all of their available resources to ensure the success of your plan, including providing customized communication campaigns to your employees around issues like open-enrollment, benefit education, and population health management.

    Compliance Expertise

    Following all necessary laws and regulations is a critical responsibility for any small business owner, but navigating the compliance landscape can be tricky for someone who isn’t intimately familiar with the industry. Employee benefits brokers help you to implement industry best practices and support your company’s compliance program.

    A benefits broker can help you get a better grasp of the requirements, explain your legal roles and responsibilities, ensure that they’re being met, and keep you up-to-date on ACA and other regulations such as HIPPA, COBRA, FMLA, Section 125 plans, and more.

    With better information, comes better decisions, and better information comes from employee benefits experts. Brokers know the ins and outs of the laws and how they will affect your company. They cut through regulatory complexities and bring you the need-to-know information to prepare you for how it will specifically affect your business.

    Wellness Programs

    Wellness programs started as a perk for large corporations and have since become an attractive employee benefit for businesses of all sizes. Small businesses are a perfect fit for wellness programs because they have a head start when it comes to achieving higher rates of participation. Implementing an effective wellness program can help small businesses reduce healthcare costs, increase worker productivity, lead to more successful recruitment and retention efforts, promote employee engagement, and encourage a healthy and positive workplace culture.

    Employee benefits brokers can help small businesses set up a wellness program that will not only work to keep your employees healthy and active, but will also help improve your bottom line.

    To keep your company ahead of the ever-changing curve, consider enlisting the help of an employee benefits consultant. They can help your company find the ideal employee benefits plan that meets the need of your workforce and is at a price point your company can afford.

    Will Gen Z Redefine Workplace Wellness

    Jonathan Amato

    Jonathan Amato is the Vice President of Sales for SWBC’s Employee Benefits Consulting division. He is responsible for achieving divisional sales goals, recruiting and developing sales team members, and managing several high-level client relationships.

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