Who We Are
Approach and Philosophy
HFI Benefits Inc. (HFIB) is an Edmonton, Alberta based employee benefits advisory/brokerage/consulting company whose staff have over 70 years of combined industry experience. We take a progressive approach to benefit plan design and claims funding by utilizing partial self-insurance, ASO (Admin Services Only), in combination with an HCSA (Health Care Spending Account)/wellness flex spending account add-on we call QubeFlex 2.0. This is the direction modern benefit plans has been trending. With the recent advent of smartphone application technology, an HCSA/wellness flex spending account can now be easily and effectively implemented, at a low cost, for companies of any size.
Our fundamental philosophy is to utilize ASO and flexible benefits to provide the most progressive, comprehensive and flexible benefit plan for the money and to ensure it stays that way year after year.
Like many other industries, employee benefit insurance has become very specialized. This is largely a result of how the group benefits insurance industry is set up; Each insurance company comes up with their own cost structure, using their own metrics, for 5 or more categories under each group benefit policy; there are no industry standards. Add to this a changing legislative landscape, taxation, new technology and the need for HR related liability protection and you can see why a group benefits specialist is now a necessity. General life insurance has effectively had its day; attempting to be all things to all people (companies) is now impractical. This is easily borne out in any review analysis done by an employee benefits specialist. As with many industries, you can choose to be really good at 1 thing or be mediocre at many. We choose the former.
Why a Group Benefits Specialist Makes Sense
Many companies looking for employee benefit coverage think they can simply call insurers and request a plan quotation, like getting a quote for hardwood, inventory items, etc. The reality is, they will always be referred to either an internal agent/direct representative (Alberta Blue Cross) or a preferred broker/consultant/advisor. And, Unless the broker they’re put in touch with has the tools, experience and expertise to be able to give them an 'apple to apples' plan comparison from each insurer because the insurance industry is not standardized and each insurance company calculates their rates and premiums based on their own metrics, they’ll end up getting 5 or 6 different plan quotations from 5 to 6 different insurers/agents/brokers. Therefore, it is strongly advisable that the company enlist a knowledgable and experienced benefits specialist broker from the start. A good quality group benefits specialist will be able to give you ‘apple to apples’ quotations from all relevant insurers and alternate options that you likely would not have considered.
No major group benefit Insurer will quote directly to companies. Alberta Blue Cross is the exception, but they incorporate the same advisor/broker fee into their rates, so why would a company ever want to deal directly with an insurance company?
Furthermore, employee benefits insurance is essentially the last financial/insurance service that can still be effectively negotiated in a way that yields significant savings, but it takes the technical tools, experience, expertise and connections of a credible benefits specialist to do so.
No Obligation, No-Risk, Benefit Plan Review
If you don't know where you stand, it's difficult to move forward in the right direction, and that is why we start with a benefit plan review. Allowing us to do a no obligation, ‘lay of the land’, benefit plan review is the simplest, easiest, no-risk way to determine where you stand. All we need is an electronic copy of the most recent renewal report and the plan summary or booklet. No letters are signed nor any phone calls made to any supplier at any level. See our benefit plan review section for more details.
Q: How long has HFI Benefit’s been around?
A: HFI Benefits Inc. was setup as separate specialized corporate entity with Phil D. Jones as president in February 2007. The founder of the HFI Financial Group of companies was one of the first to start offering partial self-insurance/ASO to his group clients in the late ‘80’s.
Q: Why should I deal with HFI Benefits vs another Employee Benefit Advisory/ Broker?
A: We have the optimum combination of industry knowledge and technical experience with a stable, dedicated and responsive staff.
Q: How are group benefits insurance advisors/agents/consultants/brokers compensated?
A: Generally group plans have an advisor compensation structure automatically built into the group rate base. This scale is reducing as annual premium becomes larger or a flat % of annual premium, or claims in the case of ASO (Admin Services Only) plans. Although, some large employer plans are charged a fee-for-service per hour rate. These structures also apply to any direct quote from an insurer to a company; regardless of whether or not a broker is involved, a compensation structure is included, so it does not make sense to deal directly with an insurance company.