The Broker’s Role in a Client’s Benefits Communications Strategy
When it comes to clients’ benefits communications strategies for their employees, brokers have two roles to fill:
1.Support their clients’ strategies to maximize ROI and increase client satisfaction
For brokers, client satisfaction is the key to client retention. The primary way to boost satisfaction is through supporting clients’ benefits strategies in any way the clients need help. For example, based on data from a survey of over 140 health insurance brokers:
- 92% of employers look to brokers for help with benefits communications during open enrollment.
- Nearly 60% of employers “highly rely” on brokers for help with their year-round communications strategy (not just during open enrollment).
- 45% of employers “highly rely” on brokers for support in engaging employees on their benefits choices.
- 83% of employers look to brokers for help in containing health care costs.
Employers look for help from brokers in executing on various areas of their benefits strategy—with benefits communications being one of the most significant areas of need. Since good benefits communications can increase employee understanding of their benefits, communications are vital to lowering costs for the employer, thus maximizing their ROI on the broker’s services. If brokers can help their clients maximize ROI, it will lead to happier clients—and, therefore, higher retention.
2.Help employees choose the coverage that makes sense for their needs
Every employee is different in their needs. A 25-year-old single employee will have different needs from a 45-year-old employee who is married with two kids under age 26. As a result, effective, personalized benefits communications are critical to helping employees choose the coverage that makes sense for their life situation. Unfortunately, many employers currently lack in their communications efforts, as 50% of employees do not understand what’s shared in benefits materials. And while this might seem like something that can be blamed on employee apathy, research shows that:
- 90% of employees want to understand their health care benefits better.
- 44% of employees want clear communications and simple explanations regarding benefits.
- 50% of employees would like personal guidance in improving their benefits understanding.
Therefore, current communications efforts are not doing enough to boost employee health care literacy. This creates a “ripple effect,” where poor health literacy leads to bad benefits decisions, which leads to unnecessary financial costs for both employees and employers. And if they’re unhappy, it reflects negatively on the broker, too. As a broker, you have just as much investment in helping employees as the employer, so helping with benefits communications is one big step towards creating more educated employees.