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Posted by Eide - 216.577.5579, Philip at Saturday, 07/21/2012 5:16 pm
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
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2.9 from 26 votes
For Brokers it's never easy to negotiate with the Employer to obtain a new Voluntary/Worksite Benefit Account. They have competition from other Brokers, Agents representing specific Insurance Companies, Consultants, Enrollment Companies, and even some Payroll Companies. Brokers must clear hurdles with the CEO, CFO, HR Department and sometmes Unions.

It is even more difficult for Brokers to walk away if they are unable to negotiate the good Working Conditions essential for optimizing Penetration and Persistency! After years of experience working with Brokers and negotiating with Employers, we at BenefitPlace.bizand have found 15 Reason that Brokers should walk away! Any one of these could cause a disaster. A combination of these factors almost guarantees a bad experience for all involved - The Broker(s), Employers, Employees, Insurance Companies, Enrollment Companies, TPAs, etc. Here they are:

Respect -- The Employer shows no respect for the Employees
Hidden Agenda -- The employer has a hidden agenda for utilizing your services, ie. Free Enrollment of Core Benefits, Free Section 125, Free Medical Reimbursement Accounts, Free Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts, etc.
Core Benefits -- The Employer does not offer or contribute to at least a basic Health Insurance Plan.
Menu of Benefits -- The Employer will not offer a menu of benefit "Choices" that meet the needs and "Price Points" of the Employees"
Integration -- Employer is unwilling to integrate Core and Voluntary/Worksite Plans to avoid duplication and waste of Employees dollars
Unearned Commission Broker Splits -- The Employer authorizes or forces you to split commissions with a Broker/agent who is not contributing to the effort
Payroll Deduction -- The Employer will not allow for Payroll Deduction of the Plans, Programs and/or Services to be offered
Pre-Taxing Qualified Plans -- The Employer is unwilling to pre-tax qualified plans (Section 125 of the IRSC) to reduce benefit costs for the Employees
Buy-In -- The Employer will not assist in getting the management and department heads to understand and participate in working with their Employees by having Managers Meetings.
Time and a System -- The Employer will not provide adequate time and a system for the Education, Communication, Enrollment, and Data Management processes
Preliminary Group Meetings -- The Employer will not provide time and space for providing information to the Employees - and preferably their family members - prior to the enrollment period
Working Hours -- The Employer will not provide the Employees time during working hours to make their decisions
Pulse Meetings -- The Employer will not permit periodic meeting during the Enrollment Period to iron our problems being reported by Managers and Employees
Data Systems and Payroll - The Employer will not allow the time for a Payroll "Dry Run" for checking Plans and Employee Deductions
Deduction Follow-up -- The Employer will not have someone available at the time the first paychecks come out following the enrollment and first deduction.

Voluntary/Worksite Employee Benefit Accounts are only as good for all parties to the Plan Strategy - Employers, Employees, Broker(s), Insurance Companies, Enrollment Companies, TPAs, etc. - as the negotiated Working Conditions! Employers, Managers, and most traditional Core Benefit Brokers do not understand what it takes to have good participation (penetration) and to meet the needs of the Employees so they remain on the Plans, Programs and/or Services offered (persistency). If the originating Broker compromises on the above, they will be compromising the success of the Benefit Strategy and Design.

Please share your experiences by commenting -- Email - or Call Phil 216.577.5579. For more discussions Join our Linkedin Group, Insurance Forum

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