The health care supply chain islong and complicated, and your advisor will have more successmanaging it effectively if they can consult with the experts.(Image: Shuttesrtock)

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Building a high-quality, cost-effective benefits plan requiresputting a lot of pieces together in exactly the right way, and whenyou're searching for an advisor, you should look forsomeone who knows how those pieces fit best for your business. Agreat advisor won't assume that they know everything about everyaspect of the health care industry, but they will know how to findthe right industry experts and bring them together to build uniquesolutions for your company.

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Related: Broker and consultants are key to proactivebenefits

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Here's why you should always work with an advisor who wants tobuild the perfect benefits team:

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The missing ingredients

The health care industry is a massive, complex machine withcountless moving parts. A great advisor will know how all thoseparts work together to help the machine function properly, butthey're unlikely to know everything about the parts themselves.

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This concept is the same in virtually any other field as well. Abakery manager, for example, knows how to make customers happy bycombining great food with great service. In the kitchen, though,the bakers are the ones mixing the right ingredients together andheating them at the perfect temperature for the perfect amount oftime. And of course, the bakers' success relies on the skills andknowledge of the people growing the ingredients and manufacturingthe ovens.

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Just like customers at a bakery, your job as an employer isn'tto worry about all the smaller processes going on in the backgroundof your benefits plan. If you have a great advisor, they'll put theperfect team together so you can relax and enjoy the finalproduct.

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Connecting the connections

Your advisor doesn't need to know how to perform surgery inorder to be great at their job. Instead, they should be experts inconnecting the health care specialists who can optimize the qualityof your plan. This means that your advisor should be able to:

  • Be aware of the areas in which they need specialists'advice
  • Know where to look for subject matter experts
  • Understand how to apply the specialists' advice to reduce costsand improve the quality of your plan

This is why finding an advisor who understands the health caresupply chain is crucial to the success of your own plan. By seekingout the right experts and being willing to team up with them, youradvisor can create a team of specialists who can maximize thepositive impact of your plan at every point, from pharmaceuticalsto benefits administration to primary care.

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No more know-it-alls

Don't be fooled by brokers who claim to be experts in every areaof the benefits industry. In fact, being unwilling to ask questionsor seek outside help should be a major red flag in your search foran advisor. Can you imagine the chaos if the aforementioned bakerymanager tried to fix a faulty oven instead of calling in a trainedrepairman? A broker who makes decisions about your plan withoutconsulting specialists could have the same effect on your plan,burning up your savings opportunities and charring the quality ofyour employees' care.

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Advisors who search for specialists to partner with are simplyensuring that you get the very best from your plan. The health caresupply chain is long and complicated, and your advisor will havemore success managing it effectively if they can consult with theexperts within it.

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A recipe for success & savings

Being willing to admit when expert advice is needed can be oneof the most important qualities your advisor can have. Byidentifying how specialists could help your plan and making theright connections, your advisor avoids the toxic trap of assumingthat their existing knowledge is all that's needed to optimize yourplan. The end result is likely to be a pretty sweet plan for bothyour business and your employees.

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Jim Blachek is co-founderof The Benefits Group.


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