We are rapidly approaching the half-way point of 2021. It will not be too much longer before insurance brokers start working on new benefits packages in anticipation of annual enrollment. As a company owner or manager, your broker will be contacting you within the next few months. Here is a question you should probably be prepared to answer: what is your company’s biggest employee benefits pain point?
BenefitMall, a Dallas general agency representing more than 100 carriers, defines a pain point as “a recurring problem that causes inconvenience, irritation, or annoyance.” They go on to explain how pain points affect employers trying to offer decent benefits packages to their workers.
Insurance brokers deal with these pain points all the time. They have the unenviable task of trying to come up with adequate products that meet client needs without putting too much stress on their budgets. Needless to say, what they do is a thankless job.
Pain Point: Annual Premiums
Even without citing scientific data, it is a safe bet that the number one pain point among U.S. employers is money. Simply put, annual premiums go up every year. They just do. Rate increases are higher in some years than in others, but increases are virtually guaranteed.
What makes this particular pain point so annoying is the fact that companies know how much it bothers their employees. Workers do not like higher premiums any more than their employers do. Yet at the same time, employers cannot keep absorbing the entire cost of higher premiums alone. They have no choice but to pass at least some of the increases on to employees.
If there is any good news here, it is the fact that rate increases may be kept in check for 2022 as a result of all of the savings realized by health insurance companies during the coronavirus crisis. But any such relief will only be temporary. Higher rates will be back the following year.
Pain Point: Changing Coverage
Health insurance policies are adjusted every year. That’s normal. But thanks to coronavirus, health insurance could be in for some substantial changes for the next several years. Constantly changing policies are a pain point inasmuch as employers have trouble keeping up. They want to know they are offering employees the best benefits they can afford, but sometimes they just don’t know.
Most health insurance plans were modified for 2021 to cover costs related to coronavirus testing and treatment. How many modifications will remain intact next year? How many new modifications will have to be made to provide adequate coverage in what is a continually evolving healthcare scenario? Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. Hopefully, your insurance broker will have some answers for you at renewal time.
Pain Point: Poor Customer Service
Perhaps your company’s biggest pain point has nothing to do with money or coverage. Maybe it’s more about poor customer service. You have an insurance broker who doesn’t seem to know the answers to your questions. Maybe he doesn’t seem enthusiastic or fails to return your calls and emails. Regardless of the reasons for your dissatisfaction, you are now in the market for a new broker.
It is extremely frustrating to rely on an insurance broker who doesn’t seem interested in taking care of you. You have enough on your plate without having to worry about babysitting your broker.
Employee benefits are an essential part of modern business. However, they are not without their pain points. How well your insurance broker manages those pain points influences how you feel about your company’s benefits. So, how do you feel?