Operating Under a New Paradigm
Under the Affordable Care Act, carriers are forced to compete for your business, which means offering you better rates on group health benefits. But if you don’t have a broker who is an expert in the field of employee benefits—and particularly the Affordable Care Act—you are doing your company and quite frankly, your pockets, a disservice. Under the old paradigm, several brokers might have had access to all the same plans and rates. Now, some brokers will have access to better products than others, so it’s especially important to be discerning in your selection of a broker, and to choose only one. In the current marketplace, there is no competitive advantage to having several brokers searching for insurance. Health insurance companies are no longer willing to negotiate with multiple advisors on behalf of the same client, so having multiple brokers may even bring negotiations to a standstill. Since insurance is now on the open market, having one well-qualified broker negotiating rates for you will bring you the best results.
With this understanding, what are the smartest questions to ask to ensure you find the right broker for your company’s size and particular needs?
A Guidepost and a ‘Plan’
At Bridgeport Benefits, our mission is first and foremost, to always be a resource for you to make the right decision for your company. Not content to simply be a sales house, we start with your needs first and then design the plan around you. We suggest that you start by finding a broker based on a very stringent vetting process.
Below is a resourceful guide-post of questions to start with—we have included our answers— to help you on deciding the best broker and ultimately best group health plan.
1. How long has the company been in business?
Determining the breadth of experience is a very important part of choosing a broker. Do they have the track record to handle certain complexities involved with designing a plan that only experience can match?
For our part, Bridgeport has been in business for over 25 years with a proven track record among mid-market and larger groups. We also have expertise in working with companies that have businesses in multiple locations. Bridgeport is made up of experts on employee health benefits programs, and we continue to keep the focus on a high-touch approach with an emphasis on service, communication and caring. Incidentally, we are happy to provide references.
2. Does your broker have proven relationships with insurance carriers?
With experience and a proven client track record comes long term relationships with insurance carriers. If you want to assure the best possible plan and rates, you must have confidence in the broker’s relationships with various insurers.
At Bridgeport, having a decades-long proven track record means we have also dealt with more than 100 vendors. So not only do we have proven relationships with carriers that will ensure you are well taken care of, but we can also ensure the strongest negotiating position on your behalf.
3. Are you a company benefits specialist?
Ask the company about who among the existing personnel is both an employee benefits specialist and has a very clear understanding of the new law and the compliance issues that come with it. In essence your representative should be able to simplify the complex issues surrounding the ACA and other benefits so that all key people in your organization easily understand them. Employee benefits shouldn’t read like a foreign language.
As employee benefits experts we will help you determine the right fiscal plan that allows your company to remain competitive, comply with complex ACA regulations, and still yields manageable premium costs.
Finally, one of the most important question to ask…
4. Who is the person in the company who will be designing the plan? And is s/he the right person for your needs?
Do the research – it’s your duty to provide the most competitive and comprehensive plan for your employees while remaining fiscally responsible to ensure the future success of your business.
Bridgeport Benefits is a thought leader in the insurance industry and a proven leader in the field of employee benefits. Additionally all the service members make it our number one mission to provide you with thoughtful solutions to your specific concerns and needs. It is our main focus to maximize all of our resources, give you the best benefits, and design the optimal plan for your company.
Ultimately, we are a resource for you to make the right choice for your business. We know you make the well-being of your employees and your business your first priority so we make it a top priority to take your business very seriously. Ask us, we are here to help. For more information on anything covered in this article or if you need a resource for your group health benefits plan, contact Bridgeport Benefits today.