What should you consider for your group benefits plan?

As business owners, we all want our hard-earned money to be put into good usage. That's why when it comes to handling your group benefits plan, it is important you are dealing with a trusted independent specialist. An experienced consultant can save the premium your company is paying and making sure the plan could fit your needs in the long run.

The following ideas should be considered when setting up your company's group benefits:

  • Find out your company's needs: An experienced group specialist can work with both you and your employees to determine which benefits offer the best value for your company. Do your employees have strong life insurance needs? Or they would prefer to have more dental coverage? How much prescription drugs coverage do they need? Gathering information from past claims history, employee surveys and holding seminars could help in designing the right solution. Group insurance contains tremendous numbers of features. For instance, life insurance, disability insurance, health, dental, vision coverage, extended health benefits and travel insurance. In recent years, some employers would even cover their employees with critical illness insurance. If you understand the needs of your employees, by including their desired coverage, and eliminated the unnecessary protections, it could help to control the costs.
  • Know the insurance carriers: Every insurance company would have their own targeted audiences. In fact, some would prefer to avoid businesses from certain industry and price their plans accordingly. Furthermore, be careful when dealing with insurance companies that set their price aggressively. Are their claim process hard to go through? Are they just in attempt to earn your business? When it comes to renewal time, will premium increase rapidly? The pricing of group insurance is dependent on various factors. For example, the amount and frequency of claims, the credibility given to the claims experience, the composition of the group (age, gender, occupation), the plan design, the insurer's administrative costs, the reserve requirements, the insurer profit margin, and applicable taxes. You should discuss with the group specialist to determine which insurance companies would appreciate your type of business and having a hassle-free claims process.
  • Review your plan regularly: Your group benefit needs can vary as time as by. Especially as your company is expanding, the new hired staffs might have different needs and fall into different age group from your existing employees. A group benefit specialist can recommend solutions to address these issues. There are also other steps to control your costs. For example, setting a limit on the dispensing fees, including a deductible or co-insurance to avoid over-usage, implementing annual maximums on certain coverage of the plan.
  • Choose the right benefit specialist: Finding the right benefits specialist is extremely important. These professionals could assist you to ensure the long-term sustainability of your most valuable resource, your employees. When choosing a consultant, an open discussion in which the candidate goes through your questions, needs and goals is necessary. Furthermore, you should consider working with an independent employee benefit specialist. Those of them who got access to various insurance companies can shop around the market for you. Independent specialist could compare the benefits and costs of many group insurance carriers, while captive sales agents are generally limited to promoting products from a single insurance carrier. This enables independent specialist to make truly objective recommendations to their clients and put their needs first.

Written by: Samuel Li

This article is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific personalized advice including, without limitation, investment, financial, legal, accounting or tax advice. Please consult an appropriate professional regarding your particular circumstances. This article does not constitute an offer or solicitation in any jurisdiction in which such offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such offer or solicitation. References in this article to third party goods or services should not be regarded as an endorsement of these goods or services.This article is intended for Ontario, Canadian residents only and the information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The owner of this article is not liable for any inaccuracies in the information provided.

Author's Bio: 

Samuel Li is a financial consultant in Ontario, Canada. Since 2005, Samuel has started his financial advisory business with the intent to assist families and small business owners in making the right financial decisions. He has great passion in sharing his insights and knowledge on investments, life insurance planning and health & dental coverages. He believes building assets and protecting the financial future is the core in financial planning.

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