Top Eight Questions


Top Eight Questions Employers Should Ask their Benefits Advisor

With a decade of experience responding to the ever-changing health care industry, United Benefit Advisors understands the biggest pain points facing employers offering health care coverage to their employees. Drawing on their experience in responding to their clients' needs, UBA Partner Firms have compiled the top eight questions that every employer should ask their benefits advisor. These questions are based on many years of experience working with large and small businesses, across a range of industries.

Surprisingly, there are still ways to achieve cost-containment and even savings on health care expenditures. It takes careful plan design, carrier negotiations, and employee education, but it can be done. In fact, UBA data shows its employer customers save on average 6 percent a year.
When you are looking to balance costs with attracting talent, it is critical to know what other employers in your region, size range, and industry are doing when it comes to offering health care coverage. This granular benchmarking is far more critical then comparing your plan with national or carrier data.
While the media portrays these plans as the best opportunity to save, UBA advisors have a decade of data that shows this isn’t always the case. Often, adjusting the deductible on a PPO plan provides the same savings without all the disruption of switching to a CDHP plan.
While on the surface it may seem easy to just wash your hands of health benefits altogether, your benefits advisor should help you fully assess all the tax, reporting, recruitment, retention, financial, and other ramifications of this choice.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is prompting many advisors to talk even more seriously to small and midsize employers about taking the plunge into self-funded health care plans. While the trend has been building for about a decade due to the increased control employers have over plan dynamics, even employers with 100 employees should look at this option because it may offer some compliance and cost relief associated with reform.
With public exchanges largely undeveloped and private exchanges just emerging, not to mention complex rules around coverage through these vehicles, your advisor can help you best determine who in your organization can be best served through these very different types of exchanges.
Whether you are considering wellness programs, dental, short-term disability, long term disability, auto, home, or life insurance options, you should base your decisions on solid data around factors such as return on investment, individual vs. group coverage, and what other employers are offering in your region, size range and industry.
Your benefits advisor should provide a simple checklist of your obligations each year under the law. In addition, they should stay on top of the coverage requirements, grandfathering rules, and supply the latest tools for educating employees about your plans. Your advisor should also keep you informed as new rules and clarifications are issued for review and implementation so you can prepare, lobby and act accordingly.