How to Evaluate Employee Benefits Brokers/Consultants

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1 It s easy to ask the questions if you know what they are Do you have an employee benefits broker/consultant but you aren t sure if they are providing the services and expertise you deserve? Employee benefits are now the most important form of compensation to your employees according to many surveys. How can you be sure your benefits broker/consultant is the best possible fit for your organization? It s hard to know the questions to ask if you aren t intimately familiar with the employee benefits business. This tool is designed to provide you with the list of the services and benefits of using BSI which can be used to compare to your current broker/consultant. Experience - BSI Benefit to Client BSI Current Specialize and focus only on employee benefits since Most brokerages focus on many lines of coverage. By specializing you are assure we are experts in what we do for you. Privately held, family, locally owned agency. We work only in the client s best interest. We are not working for a better share price or stock holders or carriers. 98% client retention. Most brokers retain only about half of what they sell because they aren t as focused on service or pass the service to another in the office after the sale 100% of clients are references. Because we work only for the client and because we have enough time to do a great job they are happy and want to refer us. Every employee licensed and fully trained. You can be sure everyone you work with at BSI is licensed and well trained. We believe we are students 1 P age

2 of this business and therefore always learning. Appointed with 100% of the market. The carriers appreciate us because Cynthia is the only broker/owner that has worked at a carrier in town. We understand the details that other. Brokers/consultants do not and therefore we are able to be appointed with 100% of the market regardless of volume. Emphasis on proactive consultative This translates to almost no issues approach. with benefits. We work to take the surprise out of everything by asking questions, listening and pro-actively managing expectations and solutions before a problem arises. Experience Cynthia Cameron Benefit to Client BSI Current Licensed since years of well rounded experience in Portland Metro area. Employee Benefits Service Specialist MONY Began benefits work right out of college as a small group broker s service representative. Employee Benefits Broker Calhoun Corporation Account Executive Lincoln National Completed Underwriting Training Senior Account Executive Qualmed/HealthNet Tried working for the family s brokerage but needed to go out into the world first. Moved to San Francisco to gain experience not available in Portland or Seattle. Completed group school which is like a master s degree in employee benefits through Lincoln. Invaluable indemnity (PPO/POS selffunding) experience not available today. At HealthNet worked with national companies such as AT&T, Bechtel, Citibank & Delmonte. Gained valuable experience in managed care: provider relations, claims payment, 2 P age

3 Senior Account Executive United Healthcare Sales & Service Representative Benefit Specialists, Inc medical management, wellness and capitation. Moved back to Oregon to start the United Healthcare office. Learned the details of the Oregon/SW Washington market. With much experience Cynthia was ready to join the family business again. President Benefit Specialists, Inc current. Currently serve on Cigna & United Healthcare Broker Board of Directors. Only independent agency owner with Underwriting and Carrier experience that also specializes in Self-funding. Cynthia helped her father retire by buying the business. She has never enjoyed her career as much! The clients are our friends and family. Being invited to serve on a broker board of directors is recognition of our level of experience and expertise; especially for national carriers like Cigna and UHC. Our clients benefit from the additional education, insight and relationships built. Our clients benefit from the relationships we have built over 28 years with our carriers. Having been on the carrier side for many years we are told all the time how much they appreciate our attention to detail and expertise/knowledge. This translates to better rates and service for our clients. We work with the most experienced representatives and that means that our clients are assigned to the best teams the carriers have to offer! Services - Financial Be Benefit to Client it to CU BSI Current Customized work designed to be an extension of the Finance department. As an independent, privately held company we only answer to the client s needs. This means a much 3 P age

4 Full marketing review with intention for negotiating pricing and educate client on new product/service offerings. Monthly claims experience reporting package (applies to groups with 100 or more enrolled employees with one carrier). Quarterly pro-active meetings. Mid-year review of experience with full reporting and renewal evaluation. enrolled employees with one carrier) Pre-renewal strategy meeting to prepare for marketing. Renewal time table... Employee contribution modeling. Benchmarking tools. Creative recommendation not necessarily product (sales) focused. higher level of service than typically is available in the market. The client is assured that they have the lowest possible price every single renewal. They are also updated on new products and services from all the carriers. Peace of mind. Summary experience charts make it easy to compare month over month, year over year. Quarterly face to face meetings give us a consistent and predictable opportunity to stay up with your business so that we can stay proactive. Very important to have a meeting to discuss plan performance to date. Claims drivers and renewal calculation. This meeting takes the surprise out of the renewal and sets clear expectations for the review meeting. Our clients love the renewal time table because it clearly outlines the tasks and due dates for each of the review steps. No surprises. Employers have a budget. They have a strategy we work with you to take the work out of contribution modeling not just for this year for multiple years if we can. Employers want to know how their plan compares to others. Our benchmarking tools help you know where you stand. Our clients are like family. We work with your satisfaction in mind not our 4 P age

5 bottom line. You can be assured you are getting honest and creative solutions that fit your needs. Trend surveys. Healthcare inflation (trend) has been in the double digits for over a decade and not anticipated to slow down any time soon. Trend surveys help you know which carriers are doing the best job of containing costs. Carrier financial rating surveys. We do not believe it is in our client s best interests to have a carrier with a low financial rating. We survey for you and disclose rating prior to purchase for your protection. Services HR Support Benefit to CU BSI Current Customized work designed to be an extension of the HR department. As an independent, privately held company we only answer to the client s needs. This means a much higher level of service than typically is available in the market. Our goal is to be your benefits department. Employee Benefits intranet site designed and maintained by broker/consultants office. Electronic enrollment. Discounts for HR Answers outsourcing. Open enrollment meetings. Invaluable site designed to contain 24/7 information specific to your organization so that members can avoid asking HR general questions about their benefits. Electronic enrollment helps make the process of Open Enrollment efficient. HR Answers is also an independent, privately held local company dedicated to the highest level of service related to HR outsourcing. We have a complimentary relationship that benefits our clients with a discount on their services. This is a courtesy to all of our clients. We design, coordinate and run the open enrollment education offered 5 P age

6 Employee open enrollment communication. Monthly new hire employee orientation to benefits meetings. Health fair designed and coordination. Wellness program design and coordination. Carrier orientation/education. $500 annual credit for Employee Benefits Institution of America (EBIA) education. to your valuable employees each renewal. Because benefits are intangible, proactive education from a third party such as BSI is critical to increase awareness of your generosity. We take the pressure off of HR to create the Open Enrollment handouts. We will create a draft for edification designed to communicate the changes, why and the cost. New hire orientation to benefits can be a daunting task for HR. As your benefits department we will take this task off of HR or assist if preferred. Health fairs can be small or large depending on your goal. We help design and coordinate vendors from beginning to end. This takes the task off of HR and has a high appreciation rate from employees. Wellness programs can be small or large depending on your goal. We help design and coordinate vendors from beginning to end. This takes the task off of HR and has a high appreciation rate from employees. Thorough training from the carrier representative is often overlooked but can prevent issues and improve effiency. BSI works to assure your HR department that they are well trained and are aware of their carrier resources. Some brokers provide seminars usually designed to sell you more products. Our solution to continuing 6 P age

7 Unlimited one on one advice and education. Unlimited employee help with benefits questions with follow-up summary to HR. Unlimited employee help with claims questions with follow-up summary to HR. Employee benefits council design and coordination. Health Risk Assessment design and coordination. education is a credit for webinar classes on any topic specific to benefits such as: HIPAA, COBRA, Flexible Benefits, PPACA etc. We work hard to read between the lines, ask questions and work as an extension of your organization. If you need us we are here and we answer you right away not 24 hours later or through someone else. We understand that employee questions about benefits take up a lot of HR s time and energy. If you refer your employees to us we will answer their questions for you and then cc you on the response so that you have a record. We understand that employee questions about claims take up a lot of HR s time and energy. If you refer your employees to us we will answer their questions for you and then cc you on the response so that you have a record. Many organizations have developed an employee benefit council as a way to involve and engage the employee representatives in the benefits decision. We have lots of experience with this and enjoy the rewards it offers. Health Risk Assessments are provided by the carriers usually for no charge. We help design and coordinate the program so that you can take advantage of this valuable service. This takes the task off of HR and has a high appreciation rate from 7 P age

8 employees. Total compensation statements design As a service of BSI we offer total and coordination. compensation statements. When employees see what they really take home their perception changes for the better making them more appreciative more productive partner. We help design and coordinate the program so that you can take advantage of this valuable service. This takes the task off of HR and has a high appreciation rate from employees. Services - Philanthropy Benefit to Client BSI Current BSI donation and auction support. We believe in social responsibility. Especially for those we have strong relationships with. As your partner in business we offer our support to the best of our ability. Carrier donation and auction support coordination. As your broker/consultant we have the carrier relationships needed to help persuade their support as well. We consider this role an important one when it comes to the success of your organization. Support of other company philanthropic efforts. We believe in social responsibility. Especially for those we have strong relationships with. As your partner in business we offer our support to the best of our ability. Services - Compliance Benefit to Client BSI Current Proactive PPACA compliance assistance. Do you like healthcare reform? We do not really but we will keep you posted so that you are always in compliance! COBRA compliance assistance. COBRA used to be easy...not anymore. With COBRA subsidies COBRA administration has taken on a 8 P age

9 life of its own. We are here to help every step of the way. HIPAA compliance assistance. HIPAA is tricky. The rule of thumb here is no good deed goes unpunished. We help you HIPAAproof your HR department and more importantly anyone who has access to benefited employees! Schedule 5500 compliance assistance. Did you know you that if you have more than 100 employees you are subject to ERISA? Do you wonder why the carrier sends you schedule A 5500 statement? Well it s because you are required by federal law to disclose your benefit plans and broker compensation. We can help. Non Discrimination Rules and IRC Sec. Did you know that as of May 23 rd, 105(h) compliance assistance health plans need to be tested for non-discrimination coinciding with their renewal? That is part of PPACA. We can help you understand your responsibilities and direct you to experts if needed. HSA/HRA Banking compliance assistance. Do you have an HSA or HRA and feel left out there with the banking arrangements. We can help make sure you are well connected and understand where your responsibility begin and end. Customized legislative updates.(ppaca, We always say that our legal advice is COBRA, HIPAA.etc) free and you get what you pay for but we are serious about making sure 100% of our clients are kept up to date with legislative updates and one on one consulting. Services - Products Benefit to Client BSI Current Medical Fully Insured 9 P age

10 Medical Self funded Medical Refunding/Participating Rx Fully Insured Rx Self funded Rx Refunding/Participating Dental Fully Insured Dental Self funded Dental Refunding/Participating Dental Voluntary Vision Fully Insured Vision Self funded Vision Refunding/Participating Short Term Disability Fully Insured Short Term Disability Self funded Short Term Disability Refunding/Participating Short Term Disability Voluntary Long Term Disability Fully Insured Long Term Disability Self funded We have tried to list all of the many products we sell and service. We may be missing a few. For the purposes of comparing note that we are one of a few brokers that design and sell self-funded plans. Selffunding is only available to groups with 100 or more employees (in general) because this is the size which you become eligible for access to your claims experience. We are intimately familiar with all the products available in the market. We spend a minimum of 200 hours a year dedicated to carrier product education. We are students of this business and with that perspective we are always learning. 10 P age

11 Long Term Disability Refunding/Participating Long Term Disability Voluntary Life Insurance - Term Life Insurance Whole Life Life Insurance Voluntary AD&D - Term AD&D Whole Life AD&D Voluntary Long Term Care Fully Insured Long Term Care Voluntary Health Savings Account (HSA) Health Reimbursement Arrangement ( HRA Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Premium Only Plan Health Care Spending Accounts Dependent Care Spending Transportation Employee Assistance Programs ( EAP) Medical Bridge coverage Cancer coverage Critical illness coverage Accident coverage Life balance programs Identity Theft Pre-paid Legal Travel Assistance 11 P age

12 Ex-Patriot coverage Kidnap & Ransom Insurance Wellness programs Consolidated billing Executive Benefits Life/AD&D Disability Long Term Care Deferred compensation 401k We hope that this tool helps you evaluate your current services. If during your review you discover a deficit we hope you will allow us the opportunity to review your program with the intention to improve your current levels of service. If your current levels are being met or if there are services being provided currently that you do not see listed we pride ourselves on being students of this business and would appreciate the opportunity to learn what those service are so that we might include in our standard offerings as well. As a privately held company we work only for our clients. We love a new great idea!! To your good health! Cynthia C. Cameron, RHU President 12 P age

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