It is prudent for employers to review their employee benefits programs on a regular basis, usually every 3-5 years. But many clients wonder why they need to do a group benefits review at all. If your plan seems to be functioning well and employees are happy – why bother? And, what exactly does a benefit review process involve anyway? Is it going to take a lot of my time and are there costs involved?
The problem is that there is no standard group benefits review process that exists in the employee benefits industry. The process varies greatly depending on the advisor that you are working with.
We wanted to share what our group benefits review process looks like, what’s involved, and what outcomes clients can expect.
Benefits Review Discovery
This is our most important step where we take the time to learn as much as possible about your current benefits program. Your benefits program is more than just the benefits plan design and premium rates. We dig deep to ensure you and your organization are not facing any potential liabilities or administrative gaps. By the same token, we help you identify areas that need improvement. It’s important to ensure that your benefits plan fits the needs of your employees today. is flexible enough to adapt to changes, minimizes liabilities and takes advantage of the latest technology available.
We start with gathering your feedback:
- Do you have any concerns or frustrations with the plan, with the administration of the plan, or the service that you are receiving?
- How happy are you and your employees with the plan design and claim reimbursement process?
- Have you kept up to date on industry developments including new benefits that carriers have been offering over that last few months?
- How is your organization protected against liability issues surrounding group benefits?
During our group benefits review process, we suggest possible solutions to any of the above issues you currently have.
Next, we would collect details about your employee group, your policy and contract. This information allows us to review your plan design. We will be able to see how your premiums have changed over the years. We can also determine how fair the rate changes have been. Finally, an audit of your group life insurance and disability benefits will tell us if the Long Term Disability (LTD) maximums are adequate for the earnings. We will also be able to tell if the Non Evidence Limits (NEL) are where they should be for the group size, and if there are individuals who have been held at the NEL.
Group Benefits Market Review
Once we’ve gathered the data and generated our initial analysis, the next step is to provide the information that group insurance carriers require in order to provide us with a quote/ proposal for your plan. Being a benefits specialist, we have access to all Canadian carriers including a specialty carrier that has chosen to look at benefits differently and has unique offerings within their benefits product line.
The advantage of working with all carriers is that our clients can make informed choices by comparing different options. Generally, we would present 3-4 proposals for you to consider. We would select those carriers that we have seen be appropriate for your industry, employee population and group size. It is imperative to ensure that any savings that are presented are sustainable long term.
Once we receive the proposals back, we put the information together in a straightforward presentation that would cover all the items we reviewed in our audit and a transparent comparison of carriers in rates, service and offerings. We help clients ensure that the recommended proposal is properly priced and funded.
What Happens Next?
Based on the information we presented, you may decide to either: change your benefits carrier, stay with your current carrier but make tweaks to plan design, structure or funding. You may also decide to keep the status quo. Based on your choice, we can help implement the changes necessary for your group benefits plan. This does not necessarily require changing providers.
Finally, what good is a group benefits plan if no one is there to support it? We pride ourselves on the level of support we provide to both employees and plan administrators. We take the time to provide continuous education to you and your teams. If/when a new plan is chosen, we are here every step of the way when it comes to the rollout and plan communication.
How much does it cost?
There is no obligation on your part for us to complete a group benefits review for you. There is also no charge for us to complete this process. If you feel we have brought you information beyond what you have received before, and if you choose to make a change in carriers, we hope that you do so using ourselves as your advisor going forward.