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A new approach to employee benefits, but in steps

ERISA Audits will be increasing for employee benefits.

Some employers in Chicago have been with the same insurance agent for years. The employers are either complacent and really trust their insurance broker or consultant, or they do not want to “rock the boat” on the relationship. This could create a problem for the employer.

If the employer gets in a jam with being non-compliant, they can always fire the insurance broker/consultant, but the employer still has a problem to fix. How about fixing the problem before it occurs?

The first thing employers need to do is make their current insurance broker or consultant accountable. Their “easy ride” could cost you, the employer, a lot of money. This could be big fines or over paying premiums or commissions/fees to the broker. None of which an employer wants or needs to operate their business.

Health care reform has change the game for employers. Providing benefits is only a piece of it. Often insurance brokers will use the employee benefits ‘fluff’ to cover up their lack of understand of the new law. With the new law, compliance has become a huge issue for employers.

Even very small employers have a much higher chance of being on the radar than ever before.

Some insurance brokers will stay clear of helping employers in this arena. Employers need to find an insurance broker or consultant that has the resources to keep employers compliant.

Insurance Brokers or consultants that come up with a new approach to employee benefits will lay things out in steps. The employer can take small steps to become compliant in addition to adding value with employee benefits.

It is a great approach for employers that do not know where to start. You do not normally eat a delicious apple pie all at once. You take a bite and savor the moment. Taking a “bite” in benefits compliance can savor the moment of not paying additional penalties that could have been avoided.

If this conversation has not occurred with your current insurance broker or consultant, you should add a step to the process by firing them. The second step to add is find a way to become compliant with someone who is resourceful. Many insurance brokers and consultants have them; you just have to find them. They are out there.

Compliance is the real deal. With the new health care law, it will become more important for an employer to make sure they have their ducks in a row. If you, the employer, loses an audit, it is money out of your pocket that could have gone to more useful things. Get your new approach to employee benefits, but in steps.

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