Is Your Group Benefits Provider Making the Cut?
Updated: Apr 20
Answer these 4 quick questions and find out.
by JOHN TRIPP
As a hockey player making my way to the NHL, I clearly knew my role and responsibilities; mainly to remain fit, hone my skills and always prove my worth. My teammates and I knew we were being evaluated every time we hit the ice and watched those who weren’t being productive left behind. It certainly made for a pressure-filled youth, but it instilled in me a solid work ethic, fast.
Years later, when I became a coach, my priorities shifted to keeping my players healthy and functioning as a team. Planning ahead and having specialists in place was essential paid off at every turn.
Since my career change into Group Benefits world, I often see brokers settling for a “set it and forget it” attitude; not shopping around or being attentive to their client’s changing needs. I see it when reviewing policies held by prospective clients. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all benefit plans.
Answer these five questions to assess the performance you’re getting from your benefits provider.
1. Is your provider a group specialist?
There are benefits to working with a group specialist, especially one working within a firm of many group specialists and a variety of clients. It automatically means you have access to a significant pool of knowledge, talent and clout. Has your provider gone through your policy review with a fine-toothed comb and discussed the core policy and contingency plans?
I compare it with any other aspects of life where I want the best service and treatment possible: my family doctor won’t perform brain surgery on me -- I need a specialist!
2. Are you satisfied with the frequency of reviews?
The “set it and forget it” types may show up once a year at renewal time. But being properly managed means more.
I give my clients quarterly reviews, for three reasons.
First, I genuinely want to hear how the plan is working for them and remind them of the many administrative services to save them time. This often takes Benefits Managers some getting used to, if they’ve worked in the industry for years and perhaps never with a boutique firm with extensive customer experience services.
Secondly, I want to find out what’s new or changing: Have they purchased or merged with a new company? Are they losing employees to a competitor? Are aging staff wanting a re-focus of health benefits or retirement plans? All of these are natural shifts for businesses and fortunately, where I work, we’re built to respond immediately in order to find the best deals for the current scenario.
The third reason for frequent reviews is for the value of reviewing usage reports: evaluating how the current plan is working, finding efficiencies and streamlining benefits to reflect how they are being used by employees. For example, are you getting your top ten drug reports?
Remember, you’re never locked in with benefits.
3. Are staff and owners benefitting from a Health Spending Account (HSA)?
This is a great way to use corporate dollars to top up health expenses not fully covered (like dental implants, eye care or children’s braces). One of the most overlooked and misunderstood accounts, a Health Spending Account can be summed up in a few words: Pay as you go.
If you don’t use it, there’s no cost, no contracts, no monthlies. What’s not to like? Fully deducted untaxed corporate dollars.
4. Are you using a preferred pharmaceutical network?
Lastly, don’t underestimate the impact of variability of dispensing fees and drug costs.
By having a preferred pharmaceutical network you can easily upgrade your coverage from 80% to 90% without incurring higher costs. Entice employees to use a provider with dispensing fees at a fraction of the cost.
Small and simple changes like this can have big return savings.
If you answered yes to these five questions, you just earned a gold star as MVP on your team.
As a business owner or HR benefits administrator, you can easily up your game by reviewing your group benefits policy with your current policy provider and asking these questions.
Because if you’re not getting frequent reviews from a group specialist or a tailor-made plan for your company, you’re not playing with an elite team.
Choosing the right group benefits provider in Canada is crucial for any business looking to provide its employees with comprehensive coverage and support. With so many options available, it can be challenging to navigate the market and select a provider that meets your unique needs.
At Peak Benefit Solutions, we specialize in creating customized benefits plans in Canada that align with your business objectives and budget. Our team of experts works closely with you to understand your specific requirements and design a plan that offers the best value for your investment.
In addition to personalized solutions, we provide ongoing support and education to ensure that you and your employees fully understand your coverage and how to maximize its benefits.
Don't settle for a one-size-fits-all benefits plan. Contact Peak Benefit Solutions today to learn how our customized solutions can help your business thrive.
KINGSTON & EASTERN ONTARIO
Originally from Kingston, Ontario, John is well known amongst his colleagues and clients not only for his tenacious personality, but his expertise in helping independent businesses maximize their employee benefit strategy and retirement planning. A dynamic individual with deep roots in the construction industry, he is an active member of the Kingston Construction Association, Durham Construction Association and Northumberland Builders and Construction Association. As a licensed member of CADA, (Canadian Automobile Dealers Association), John has quickly become a trusted partner to many dealerships across Eastern Ontario.
In working with his clients, John provides a thorough examination of current plans, ensuring they are up to date while mitigating risk for employers. Also well versed on unique business structures, such as family medicine practise and hospitality, John prides himself on delivering a customized employee benefit plan that meets their individual and company needs, while providing a team of resources and support to improve employee communication and relationships. Working with many clients on retirement plans, John can provide knowledge and clarity on enhancing the employee experience while working with long term goals from an employer perspective.
As a former Olympian and professional hockey player for close to two decades, John understands the dedication, discipline and hard work required for success. He played in the NHL, six world championships and the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. From 2007 – 2016 John also founded Tripp Charity for Kids with Cancer, to date raising over $300,000 for the cause. His commitment to community had him recognized for community service and humanitarian awards including the OHL 1997 Humanitarian Award.
John lives in Kingston with his twin children and can be found in his spare time running hockey programs for children.
Peak Benefit Solutions Inc. was established in 2008 and have helped more than 400 clients from entrepreneurs, manufacturing, professional services and public organizations with their comprehensive benefits planning. Every step of the way, we are with you.