HFI Benefits Inc: Employee Benefits Advisory

Based out of Edmonton, Alberta, we provide employee benefit advisory and support services in the greater Edmonton Area, Alberta and British Columbia.

Who We Are:

HFI Benefits is an Edmonton based employee benefits advisory with over 70 years of combined industry experience.

We take a progressive approach to benefit plan design and claims funding by utilizing partial, insurer-backed, self-insurance ASO (Admin Services Only), in combination with an optional combined HSA (Health Spending Account)/WSA (Wellness Spending Account) (with a smartphone app available for Android and iOS), called QubeFlex with myHSA.

This is the direction benefit plan design has been going for many years. With the recent advent of smartphone application technology, HSAs and WSAs can now be easily and effectively implemented, at a low cost, for companies of any size.

We utilize ASO and flexible benefits to provide the most progressive, comprehensive and flexible benefit plan for the money, and we ensure it stays that way, year after year.

Our Services

ASO (Admin Services Only)

For HFI Benefits, ASO is a tool that reduces the processing, inflation and risk expenses of a group plan while also eliminating ultra-conservative insurer reserves.

Benefit Plan Reviews

Over the years we’ve found the best way to ensure you have the most progressive and comprehensive benefit plan possible is to complete a two to three-year financial analysis along with a full plan design review.

Health and Wellness Spending Accounts

Our flexible HSAs and WSAs are administered through web and smartphone applications. Your employees receive “flex-credits” (dollars) which they are able to allocate according to their own needs. They then submit claims through the QubeFlex website or myHSA smartphone applications.

We Consistently Negotiate Significant Employee Benefit Plan Savings:

Many company’s looking for employee benefits coverage think they can simply call an insurer up and request a plan quotation, like getting a quote for hardwood, inventory items, etc. The reality is, you will always be referred to either an internal direct representative (as with Alberta Blue Cross) or a preferred group employee benefits broker that works with that particular insurer. Unless that broker has the tools, experience, and expertise to be able to provide you with a proper, apples-to-apples plan comparison from every relevant group benefit insurer, you will end up receiving 5+ different plan designs, with 5+ different cost structures, from 5+ different insurers. For this reason, and many others, it is best to enlist a knowledgeable and experienced group benefits broker/advisory from the start. A skilled and experienced group benefits broker will be able to provide you a true apples-to-apples quotation from all relevant group insurers, as well as common sense & current era alternate plan options which will very likely be missed by a generalist broker.

As a general rule, no nationwide group employee benefits insurer will quote directly to companies. Even Alberta Blue Cross, a provincially based group employee benefits insurer, has direct representatives, but they still incorporate standard advisor compensation into their rates for the sales employee that will be the account manager of the plan. Why would you limit your options by only dealing directly with one insurance company option, when you could get access to the entire group insurer marketplace by dealing with an established employee benefits brokerage/ advisory?

Group employee benefits insurance is really the only financial or insurance service that can still be effectively negotiated in a way that yields significant savings because of the many variables in play that impact the pricing of the various coverage’s provided, but it takes the technical tools, experience, expertise and connections of a credible employee benefits broker/advisory to do so.

At HFI Benefits, we start with a group employee benefit plan review for companies that already have a plan:

Allowing us to complete a no obligation ‘lay of the land’ benefit plan review is the simplest, no-risk way to determine where you currently stand, so we can advise you on any changes or additions that should be considered. All we require is an electronic copy of your most recent renewal report and the plan summary or booklet if not already included in the report. No letters are signed, nor any phone calls made to any current supplier. If you don’t currently have a benefit plan, all we need is a completed employee census data sheet and a general idea of what coverage options you’re looking for in order for us to secure quotations for you.

See our benefit plan review page for more details:

Ancillary benefit coverage and services that HFI Benefits provides:

  • Employee and Family Assistance programs or EAP’s or EFAP’s
  • FollowMe or CoverMe individual Health & Dental plans
  • Out of Canada or Emergency travel insurance plans
  • Group Critical Illness (CI) plans
  • Group Optional Life insurance plans
  • Group RRSP & company Pension plans
  • Employee and Family Assistance programs or EAP’s or EFAP’s
  • FollowMe or CoverMe individual Health & Dental plans
  • Out of Canada or Emergency travel insurance plans
  • Group Critical Illness (CI) plans
  • Group Optional Life insurance plans
  • Group RRSP & company Pension plans

Frequently Asked Questions:

HFI Benefits Inc. was set up as a separate specialized employee benefit entity with Phil Jones as President in February 2007. Phil spent 26 years in the financial services and employee benefits industries before setting up HFI Benefits Inc. The founder of the HFI Financial Group of companies, an initial partner in HFI Benefits Inc. was one of the first to start offering partial self-insurance (ASO) for Extended Health Care (EHC) and Dental group benefit clients in the late ‘80s.

We have the optimum combination of industry knowledge and technical experience with a consistent, dedicated and responsive team. The majority of HFI Benefit employees have worked extensively on both the insurer and broker sides of the industry and have the in-depth knowledge and expertise that most other employee benefit consulting/advisory firms don’t have. We know our stuff.

Generally, group benefit plans have an advisor compensation structure automatically built-into the plan rates: either a tiered compensation scale that reduces as annual premiums become larger or, flat % scale(s) of the policy’s total annual premium (or paid claims in the case of ASO plans). Some large employer plans are charged based on a fee-for-service hourly rate. Any insurer that provides direct benefit plan quotations to a business will build-in the same compensation structure to their plan rates that a benefits broker would. With a broker you get access to the entire insurer marketplace which ensures you’ll be provided with the most competitive rates and service offerings, unlike when dealing with only one insurance company’s direct employee representative. 
Experienced Employee benefit brokers have access to all relevant group insurance companies in the marketplace, so they can provide unbiased advice and composite, ‘apples-to-apples’ comparisons of these insurers as opposed to being limited to one in the case of a captive insurance agent or direct quoting insurance company sales employee.
No – regardless of whether or not you are receiving your benefit plan through an employee benefits broker or directly from an insurer, the compensation structure built into the plan rates are the same; the difference is the internal representative of the insurance company – who only represents that company – will receive the compensation instead of the independent and unbiased employee benefits broker/advisor.

In our opinion, a core conservative insured (or with ASO EHC & Dental for larger groups) benefit plan through an established group benefits’ insurer that provides the fully insured pooled benefits: Life, Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Short-Term Disability (partially pooled), Long-Term Disability, as well as core Prescription Drug, Travel, and dental coverages in combination with a flexible HSA (Health Spending Account), WSA (Wellness Spending Account), which includes the option to use these funds to contribute to a personal RRSP plan (if there is no company sponsored group RRSP or Pension plan is in place). This is the optimal benefit plan design these days.

For us, ASO (Administrative Services Only) is a term used to describe an EHC (Extended Health Care including Vision) and Dental claims funding option through an established group benefits insurer whereby there is no insured component nor the additional costs for it, for common everyday EHC and Dental claims. Out of Canada Travel coverage and above average per insured Prescription Drug coverage are generally still insured components of the plan.

Certain insurers have more competitive pricing than others in certain industry sectors; and there are indeed differences in the technology and service offerings of insurers. Also, insurers have certain industries that they will not provide quotes for at all. An experienced employee benefits broker/advisor knows & understands the strengths and weaknesses of each group benefits insurer.

We Provide Expertise, Recommendations, and Ongoing Service & Support:

Are we the best employee benefit brokers in Edmonton & area?
Our clients think so, and we think you will too.

Get in touch with us for a benefit plan QUOTE, existing plan 2nd opinion Review & Analysis, a STAND-ALONE Extended Health Care & Dental plan quote or a Stand-Alone out of Canada travel Quote: