Brokers consistently list service and administrative issues as keys to selecting their voluntary carrier partners. Two-thirds of them put these factors in the "extremely important" category.

Minimizing the burden on our employer clients is the companion sales point to the well-used "and it costs you nothing in terms of direct costs." But if we care so much about the quality of service and the lack of administrative burden for our clients, why do so many carriers have significant sales success while making the administrative functions onerous for employers? And how important is "ease of doing business," really?

Think about the carrier you used for your last voluntary case. Were you adding to your client's benefit administration burden by forcing them to settle for any (or all) of the items on this list?

  • Having to maintain eligibility information
  • Having to compute the premium
  • Having to pay by check
  • Not having a dedicated service unit for the employer/plan administrator
  • Having to reconcile the bill
  • Having to enroll in a fixed way without flexibility or options
  • Having to accept a monthly bill regardless of payroll cycle
  • Being forced to have a bill due date of the 1st of the month
  • Getting separate bills for different products
  • Having to notify employees who leave about their rights to continue coverage
  • Having to pay for employee coverages before you've had time to deduct it from the employees' pay
  • Limited product choices
  • Uncompetitive products
  • Not being notified in advance of premium changes
  • Having to answer all employee questions about the voluntary products they bought
  • Having to verify an employee is covered before any claim is paid by the carrier
  • Having to collect employee applications and decide who needs EOI

It's telling that two-thirds of brokers rate these factors as extremely important while only one-third say they'd leave a carrier for poor performance on these factors.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.