ASO (Administrative Services Only)

We have over 70 years of combined industry experience which includes many years on both the insurer and broker sides of the industry. We take a progressive approach to benefit plan design and claims funding. By using insurer-backed partial self-insurance, you can significantly reduce the costs of your plan. We also provide an optional combined HSA (Health Spending Account)/WSA (Wellness Spending Account) that can be accessed with both a web based application and mobile phone application(s) (iOS and Android), and can be added to any plan, for a company of any size.


We Provide Expertise, Recommendations, and Ongoing Service & Support
ASO (Administrative Services Only)
780-705-7800
Employee Benefits Advisory
Edmonton Office
#200 - 6904 Roper Rd NW
Are we the best employee benefit brokers in Edmonton & area?
Our clients think so, and we think you will too.
Please contact us to arrange a no-risk, no obligation employee benefit plan review.


Experienced Employee Benefit Specialists

The employee benefits insurance industry has become very specialized over the years. Generally, each benefit policy has five or more benefit coverage categories and group benefit insurance companies use their own metrics to come up with their own cost structure for each of them. With changes in legislation, the introduction of new technology, the need for benefit plan related liability protection, and ongoing changes in taxation, it's easy to see how complex employee benefits can get. This is why it's important to have an employee benefit specialist on your side. Company's often come to us for a benefit plan review and it's very easy to tell whether or not the advisor who helped design their plan is an employee benefit specialist. There are many generalist insurance or financial planner type agents who choose to make employee benefit insurance plan support a secondary offering, but employee benefit insurance tends to be the most complex of the 3 primary areas of insurance that individuals &/or families have i.e. life insurance, employee benefit plans and general insurance (home & auto).

It's important to enlist an employee benefit specialist advisory to help you with your ongoing employee benefit plan needs. We often hear of companies who think they can save money by going direct to the insurance company to request a plan quotation, but the reality is, you will always be referred to either an internal direct sales employee or an agent of the insurance company. And, unless the internal direct sales employee or agent has a strong understanding of employee benefits and also works with many group insurers like a broker does, they will not be able to provide you with the same quality plan comparison of all relevant group benefit insurance markets as a benefits specialist broker can. In the end, you generally end up paying for an inferior plan and receive deficient service & support than what you could have received if you'd dealt with a specialist. All for the same cost that is included in the same quoted rates.

We Negotiate to help support the Long-Term Success of Your Business

When you employ an experienced group benefits specialist advisory, you know you're getting consistently fair & reasonable rates year-after-year. Often non-specialist brokers or insurance company agents will secure 'low-ball' rates for a prospective client thinking they're saving them money over the long-term, but this is simply a tactic insurance companies use to initially acquire business as they know it's a hassle for a company to change insurers every one or 2 years; they offer low rates for the first year, then over the next renewals, 'jack-up' the prices to recover their initial quote driven investments. Be aware as well that generally group insurance companies will not quote on the same company plan more than once every 3-4 years as they know they will never retain a 'transient plan' long enough to get it into a profitable position. Experienced employee benefit specialists understand this, and will consistently negotiate fair rates for your company year-after-year.

Why You Should Consider a Partial Self-Insured ASO Plan

ASO (Administrative Services Only) claims funding arrangements, primarily for EHC (Extended Health Care) and Dental claims, have been around for decades for larger companies; however, larger employee benefit plan insurers have only been offering this option to small to mid-size companies for the past 10 years or so. In fact, a limited number of insurers will now allow an ASO funding arrangement for companies that have as low as 20 employees, depending on the average annual claims amount. There are various reasons for this change: increased competition from smaller group insurers & TPA's (Third Party Administrators), technological improvements in claims processing systems, more varied in Canada stop-loss/ Large Amount Pooling (LAP) arrangements and more skilled & experienced specialist advisory brokerages which have all helped reduce the risk for the insurer so they're now more willing to offer this claims funding option to smaller companies.

We use ASO to reduce insurer based processing, inflation, and risk expenses. We also use ASO to eliminate the ultra-conservative insurer run-off reserves built into a the traditional insured benefit plan rates. Our application of ASO significantly reduces the EHC and Dental rates by having the company take on a small part of the plan’s claims risk which we help mitigate through a prudent plan design. Insurance protection remains in place for the potential catastrophic risks like out of Canada travel or high in Canada drug or medical claims.

How We Administer Partial ASO Plans

At HFI Benefits, ASO policies are always through insurers and generally through the same insurer that holds the pooled or primarily pooled (as with WI/ STD insurance) components of coverage i.e. Life, AD&D, WI/ STD, LTD & Dependent Life. There are a number of TPA (Third Party Administrator) ASO claims funding arrangements in the marketplace; however, our assessment is that they have a difficult time staying competitive with the major group benefit insurers’ investments in systems development, fraud deterrence, plan administration, and user-interfaces like web applications. In our opinion, the added value of dealing with an established insurer for ASO policies is worth the initial perceived savings in expenses gained by going through a TPA; especially now that insurer systems accommodate point of sale direct claims submissions of paramedical practitioners like massage therapists, chiropractors and physiotherapists, and ancillary benefits like Vision. Other claim payments can also be direct deposited to the employees' bank account via a one time setup on the insurer’s website.

With ASO EHC and Dental through an insurer, your employees are able to deal with the same insurer they do on all their other benefits: the same toll free numbers, booklet(s), plan design, website access, smartphone apps, claim payment methods and the same fraud and adjudication controls and protections. We think ASO is a great way to save you money on your same coverage benefit plan, but we also understand the efficiency & mitigated risk value insurers bring to the table for a nominal price difference, which is why we think the 'best bang for the buck' is ASO EHC and Dental claims funding directly through a credible and established insurer.

We understand ASO funding arrangements very well and we use them for many of our clients, but they are not without risk and therefore demand a higher level of advisor expertise and support to help manage them. Because of this, we do not advise you use an ASO funding arrangement unless your advisor is a benefit specialist with extensive experience in this area.

Funding EHC and Dental claims through an insurer based ASO plan is a great way for an employer to get the best of both worlds: lower costs and access to good systems and current technology with built-in AI based fraud protection. We have had great success with our ASO funding arrangements, because we have the knowledge and expertise. An ASO plan design without a prudent claims management design could be very costly to your business. But well designed ASO funding arrangements lower benefit plan costs and in-turn the rates as they effectively negate many of the insurers' high margin removable expense areas like premium tax, inflated reserves, inflated trend and unwarranted risk charges.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much can I save by having our EHC & Dental claims funded through an ASO arrangement?
Depending on the plan design, the level of advisory advice that has been provided in the past and the pooling arrangements (domestic and international), companies can expect to consistently reduce their EHC and Dental costs compared to a fully insured plan by 7-12% per year.

What’s the risk of funding EHC & Dental claims via a partially self-insured ASO Benefit Plan?
With proper catastrophic risk insurance in place for emergency out of Canada and high cost domestic drugs and medical, the primary 'risk' is that a company can no longer ‘walk away’ from an account deficit caused by more claims + expenses being incurred vs deposits or premiums submitted over a given year, but we put safeguards in place to ensure this rarely happens and if it does it’s only to a nominal extent.


We Provide Expertise, Recommendations, and Ongoing Service & Support
ASO (Administrative Services Only)
780-705-7800
Employee Benefits Advisory
Edmonton Office
#200 - 6904 Roper Rd NW
Are we the best employee benefits brokerage in Edmonton & area?
Our clients think so, and we think you will too.
Please contact us to arrange a no-risk, no obligation employee benefit plan review.