So you’re considering health benefits and you’ve hired a broker to steer you toward benefits bliss. But how do you know if they’re really making health care painless for your team? These seven questions will help you decide.

Is my health insurance broker…

1. Picking the best plan for me?

At first, your broker should have one mission in mind: finding your ideal coverage by evaluating every possible plan out there. Some brokers have relationships with insurance companies that influence the plans they recommend, so make sure you’re working with someone who never plays favorites. In addition to being carrier agnostic, your broker should also look for plans that make sense for your budget, and then explain the coverage options in a language everyone understands.

2. Setting up that plan?

And yet, the selection is just the start. An all-star broker manages every detail of enrollment, from paperless signup all the way to your team’s newly minted insurance cards. Since any hiccup can have a huge impact on your employees’ lives, getting hands-on guidance throughout it all is essential.

3. Making sure I’m compliant?

Deadlines, classifications, tax credits — health care regulations seem to change by the hour. To make sure you’re following the law, your broker should always keep tabs on the political side of things.

4. Doing the day-to-day work?

Your employees’ needs are always changing, so it’s important that you have a dedicated person to handle all those twists and turns. And by everything, we mean everything: new hire enrollments, terminations, address changes, adding and removing dependents, and answering any questions your employees may be curious about.

5. Acting as a full extension of my HR department?

When you bring a broker on board, HR should feel exhilarated knowing they just hired another teammate. By becoming the in-house benefits expert, your broker can free up the rest of the team while making the entire process more personal.

6. Someone my employees can turn to?

If you work at a smaller company, your team might not feel comfortable divulging their private medical history. This happens most often during the enrollment process, when employees have to ask intimate medical questions while making their decisions. That’s why it’s so important to find a broker who is empathetic, kind, and really cares about the well-being of your team. When employees see your broker as another person they can trust, those awkward conversations will become a thing of the past.

7. Making payroll easier?

By blending payroll with benefits, you can nix all the work that comes from subtracting premiums from your employees’ paychecks. Combining the two not only saves you time, but also reduces the likelihood of making a mistake while calculating deductions.

Once you think through each of the questions above, you’ll be better equipped to find a broker that is knowledgeable, helpful, and really cares about providing an amazing experience for your team.

Lauren Humphrey Lauren is a health tech veteran and a licensed producer of accident, health, and life insurance. She previously lead benefits advising and operations at Gusto.
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