The bottom line to all of the talk about Employee Benefits or Group Health Insurance for smaller companies is this….they really have to make sense for you, as an employer, to have them available to your employees. I’ve been introduced to so many owners of companies that don’t see the value in Employee Benefits being offered to their people. When I hear things like that, my usual response is, “sounds like this would not be a good fit for you” Employee Benefits are expensive, confusing, and can be a pain to manage, but they ARE one of the most sought after employment pieces, second only to wages.
Group Benefits and Employee Benefits are confusing and expensive
All of the employers I speak to on our first meeting, I let them know that the relationship they have with their broker is paramount. I recommend that they do their due diligence on so called “experts”, and find out what experience they’ve had, and what their agency culture is like. Employee Benefits is a niche field. An agent that is not a specialist, or lacking experience, can screw things up, in a bad way. There are tons of people running around trying to advise employers on Employee Benefits, and some are taking a stab at explaining the super complicated Employer Mandate compliance laws of the ACA. Do your homework on these folks!!
There are compliance aspects for all employers that offer Employee Benefits to their people
Even if your company is under 50 employees, there are some major liability issues associated with Group Benefits and the responsibility of employers. One of the biggest issues I’ve found is the required notifications for new hires, as well as terminated employees for Cobra. Missing a filing or not being timely can cost companies dearly. In the 15 years I’ve been in business, I think I’ve taken on so many companies that had a “generalist” as a broker, that were unaware of so many of these compliance issues. Being a new agent back in 2003, there were tons of things I did not know, but nowadays the liability and complexities of Employee Benefits, Group Health Insurance and Group Benefits is staggering.
Find a broker that specializes in Group Benefits and do your due diligence.
Steve Brauer, Principle-Broker, Brauer Insurance Services LLC, www.brauerinsurance.com (877) 421-4325