We’ve usually written about topics that directly translate to money: Designing plans to cost as little as possible without reducing benefits or negotiation tactics with insurance reps that everyone should know. This post does not.
It still deals with the costs of insurance, but the indirect ones. The time, attention, and missed opportunities caused by dealing with paperwork errors and handholding. It is written by our CEO, Charles, who still laughs in delight at how smooth everything is now. He's going to tell you exactly what changed and how important it was for us and our clients. Read till the end, as you don't want to miss the ending.
Five years ago we tested electronic benefits with one of our bigger clients. They had over 150 employees and the paperwork was taking up a ridiculous amount of time for both us, and their HR department. We saw problems that we thought were fixable by doing things electronically so we went with it. We found a benefits platform and implemented it for them free of charge. If anything could reduce the time and attention drain we wanted as little resistance as possible.
We couldn't believe the change at first. A month after the change I called the HR manager, a lovely woman to work with, to see why they weren't sending us anything new after the open enrollment. They told us there was simply nothing for us to do. I didn't believe her and tried to reassure her that even with this new system we're still prepared to do the little problems that crop up. She asked me, with what I imagine was a huge grin, what to send even though she had trouble filling her own day. "My workload is down 75% thanks to this program. I haven't even worked overtime in the past 4 weeks. If I gave you anything to do I would out of a job."
After that ended call I start calling all our other clients about something different we want to do next open enrollment.
So what problems went away that gave us this newfound freedom?
As a profitable side benefit this certainty and speed makes us very appreciated by the Insurance Company reps we deal with, allowing us to extract even more concessions on price, benefits, and claims processing.
This is part of the reason that new clients see an average reduction in their premiums of 9.6%.
I need to go now, I have some new ideas for vacation that I want show my family. I'll leave you with this.
For your future sanity, put a reminder on your calendar for the day in the future you begin evaluating plans. It should read: “Get electronic benefits, and remember that the best brokers offer it free of charge.” You’ll be very pleased you did.
- Charles Best, CEO of BR Benefits, March 2019
The authors of this blog are Charles Best, Daniel Best, and Jonathan Rudnick.