Tips for Choosing a Group Medical and Dental Insurance Broker in Oklahoma

You may have worked with an employee benefits broker when setting up and reviewing your company’s employee benefits program.  

This is the person that markets plans, usually from a number of different insurance companies, and assists the employer in selecting an insurer and plan design that best suits the company’s needs.  



  But what if you’re not happy with your broker or your plan? How do you go about finding a new one, or making sure your company’s group insurance is in the best hands? Here are a few things to consider when you’re choosing a group health and dental insurance broker.

Is the broker focused on the employee benefits marketplace? If the broker is an insurance agent that discusses your benefits plan, and then wants to talk about your personal life insurance or property and casualty insurance, this might be a bad sign. There are thousands of different kinds of insurance out there, each with its own set of laws and policies. You don’t want a jack-of-all-trades here. You want a specialist.

A broker that focuses on employee benefits will be more likely to be familiar with the increasingly complex benefits market. He should also be able to not only help you put a new plan in place, but be there after the initial sale is made to assist in the everyday servicing of the benefits plan. Can you get referrals?

Don’t be shy about asking the broker for names and phone numbers for at least 15 of his current, local business clients that his firm has served for at least five years. Referrals are absolutely your best way to distinguish between a slick talker and the broker that offers good, long-term value to his clients. When you call these referrals, ask them questions such as “What happens when you have a claims or billing problem? Does your broker’s office work with your employees on these issues, or do they have to call the insurance company?

How satisfied have you been with the long-term service that your broker’s office gives you?” What kind of customer service does the broker offer? Customer service really is the most vital factor. As the client, you do not pay directly for the broker’s services. All brokers are paid an ongoing commission by the insurance company. So, it really costs you no more to work with a good, service-oriented broker than one that sells you a plan and disappears. Are you familiar with the insurance companies being marketed?

The group medical insurance industry has greatly consolidated over the last decade or so. A market that once offered endless choices for health insurance has been reduced to less than 10 credible choices in most parts of the country. Most good brokers will show you the same array of leading insurance plans, simply because the choice is limited. Beware of a broker that tries to market an off-brand plan, one that you are not familiar with, or that has low financial ratings. Often these kinds of programs offer low initial premiums to the buyer and high commissions to the broker, but do not perform well over time.

Because most good brokers will offer the same plan choices, the buying decision comes down to this: Which broker demonstrates the best service capability to your company? Which broker offers a long list of referrals of current, long-term clients without being asked for it? Most employees and job seekers consider a company’s benefit package nearly as important as salary when deciding whether to stay at a job or which job offer to accept. A good benefits broker should be like a human resources director for your company: helping you hire and retain the caliber of employees that makes your business successful. Bob McNett is the president of The McNett Agency, an employee benefits brokerage firm in business in Oklahoma for 27 years, serving nearly 200 Oklahoma employers of all sizes. Visit then online at Article Source: Article Source: