We are an established employee benefits advisory with more than 70 years of combined experience. We have experience on both the broker side as well as the insurer side of the industry. Over the years, we've refined our approach to employee benefits. We take a novel approach to benefit plan design and claims funding by using partial, insurer-backed, self-insurance, ASO (Admin Services Only), with an HCSA (Health Care Spending Account)/WSA (Wellness Spending Account) that has both web-application and mobile-application (iOS and Android) interfaces. We believe this light-weight, flexible, approach is where modern employee benefits is going. By utilizing modern technology, good-quality, low-cost benefit plans are now easy to implement with an experienced and technical advisory.
Employee Benefit Specialists
Like most industries, the employee benefits insurance industry has become more specialized over the years. One major reason for this is the fact that insurance companies use different metrics and formulas to determine their own cost structures. Add to this: taxation, changing technology, the need for HR liability protection, and changing legislation, and employee benefits can get very complex very quickly. This is why you need an employee benefit specialist.
When it comes to high-quality employee benefit plan advice, the days of the generalist broker are gone. Life insurance generalists that "also do employee benefit plans" can no longer provide high-quality benefit plans because they simply don't have the expertise. They may be great life insurance agents, but it's easy for us to tell if a generalist has put your plan together when doing a review for you. Employee benefits is the largest and most complex type of insurance under the employee benefits, general insurance, and life insurance umbrella. You can choose to be really good at one thing, or be mediocre at many... we choose the first approach.
Financial Analyses and Benefit Plan Reviews
Experience has taught us many companies simply don't know if they have a good benefit plan or if they're paying too much, so the best way to ensure that you have the most progressive and comprehensive benefit plan you can possibly get, while protecting you from large rate increases on your next renewal, is to complete a 2-3 year financial analysis in conjunction with a complete benefit plan review. By completing a full review of your plan, we're able to assess where your plan currently stands and where savings and improvements can be made.
Although there’s an investment of our time when doing a benefit plan review, we've learned over our 70 years of combined industry experience that a long-term win-win working relationship is much more profitable than getting "low-ball" first year rates and a quick sale, and it's how we prefer doing business. We strongly believe in developing a win-win working relationship. And, we want our skills and expertise to be maximized in helping our clients grow and prosper their businesses. They key to success is building on top of a strong foundation. We have good relationships with everyone we deal with because we believe a win-win philosophy is the most beneficial for everyone at the end of the day; we benefit when you benefit.
Insurance companies are businesses; they are looking to make a profit. As a result, they make many assumptions and over simplifications like basing rates nationally when there are huge provincial differences, especially in Alberta. We know what all of those assumptions and over simplifications are.
Our reviews provide comparisons of your current plan to what your current plan could be without insurer assumptions and oversimplifications, as well as some suggestions on how it could be improved with various additions and subtractions. We also think partial self-insurance ASO (Admin Services Only) for Extended Health Care and Dental claims funding, together with our WSA (Wellness Spending Account) and HSA (health care spending account), QubeFlex 2.0, is a great way to give you more control over how much you have to pay into pools. We have a best value for the money approach; we think that insurance companies charge as much as they can get away with and we've found ways to leverage our knowledge and modern technology to keep your costs more reasonable.
A "lay-of-the-land", second opinion, review of your current benefit plan financials and offerings provides you with the insight you need to decide if what you're getting is worth what it's costing you: most of the time, it isn't. This does not require and Agent of Record (AOR) letter nor is any contact to your current advisor or insurance provider made. We simply give you a no charge, no obligation, expert second opinion, and we're confident our knowledge and expertise can help.
Our approach ensures that a prospective client will be provided with a relevant and credible ‘lay of the land’ review. The following are some of the steps taken as part of our review process:
- A financial fairness analysis of rates and premiums paid: claims + expenses + reserves (for Insured plans) + trend.
- For insured plans with over 25 employees, a 2 to 3 year comparison to a partial self-insurance/ASO arrangement is completed.
- If age volume tables are provided, a comparable year over year demographic rate assessment to what is being charged by the Insurer is completed.
- Alternate plan design options and applicable pricing are provided.
- Potential liability issues around benefit plans are identified with internal HR policy solutions recommended.
- A summary recap with next-step recommendations is provided which may include the recommendation to market the plan to the full group insurer market.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does a current status ‘lay of the land’ benefit plan review make sense as a first step towards getting the most out of your company’s benefit plan?
A company can't know where their benefit plan should be if they do not have a complete financial and design review with logical options to consider as a starting point.
Why don’t you just market the plan to the group insurer marketplace for cheaper rates like many other Benefit Brokers do?
The pricing of a group benefits plan, through important, is only one aspect of a company’s goal is to achieve the most progressive and comprehensive benefit plan for the money for them and their employees year after year.