This SPONSORED POST was written by Greg Colen of Ultimate Benefits LLC (Morganville, NJ), a full-service benefits consulting/brokerage firm, operating since 2001. The company offers a complete line of plans, including group health, dental, vision, health savings accounts, and health reimbursement arrangements aimed at startup and small businesses. Colen is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A NJ insurance broker is your adviser and advocate to guide you through the process of providing employee benefits. The best insurance brokers are motivated to want to help your small business succeed, using employee benefits to recruit, reward, retain and motivate your employees with the most valuable coverage at the best price.
The most talented brokers are members of the National Association of Health Underwriters (www.nahu.org), which represents over 20,000 health insurance professionals nationwide. NAHU members undertake significant, on-going education and adhere to a strict code of ethics to provide excellent service, so they are among the most knowledgeable and experienced insurance professionals in the state.
NJ insurance brokers receive commissions from insurance carriers, and the price paid for a small business policy doesn’t cost more whether a small business policy is purchased via a broker or directly from an insurance carrier.
Since the prices and commissions are the same for NJ small business policies, how should a NJ small business determine which broker to use? Certainly, you’ll want to work with a broker whose primary business is focused on employee benefits, and not other lines of insurance or services. Employee benefits are complicated enough that you want a dedicated small business benefits specialist.
You want your NJ insurance broker to be independent of any insurance carrier, so all options will be considered. Your broker should help you understand the basics of employee benefits, including how you can use benefits as a competitive differentiator to attract and retain the best employees, and how to get the best value benefits - see: http://www.ultimatebenefitsllc.info.
The most significant interaction with a broker is at the time of policy application or renewal, when small business owners need to evaluate the tradeoff between prices and benefits for a variety of insurance options. The insurance broker will work with company management to evaluate and weigh options, to help balance the needs of employees and employer. Once suitable plan options have been selected, a broker will help with employee education, plan selection and enrollment in the desired options. Throughout the plan year, NJ insurance brokers help resolve problems with claims payments, coverage eligibility, access to care and many other issues to make sure the business gets the most from their benefits investment.
With the trend towards consumer-directed healthcare, tech companies have an advantage in their ability to learn and use technology provided by many insurance plans. Your benefits specialist should educate you and your employees regarding plan self-help features and walk you through websites that you can use to get the most from your plans. The most common and useful features provided by most plans include:
- On-line provider directory, to validate the providers and facilities that can be used for in-network benefits;
- Credible sources for provider quality ratings, cost ratings and overall value;
- On-line claims tracking and reporting, including printing of industry standard Explanation of Benefits (EOB’s) to help reconcile provider bills;
- Ordering duplicate ID cards, including for spouses and dependents;
- Researching prescription costs, at pharmacies and mail-order, using the specifics of prescription nomenclature and dosage;
- Researching the standard costs for common procedures, to check with providers pre-claim;
- Self-diagnosis and education through on-line medical databases.
Besides carrier-provided tools to navigate the healthcare system, there are numerous other high-quality websites that can help conscientious employees get the most from their healthcare. For example, for NJ companies a useful list can be found at: http://www.ultimatebenefitsllc.com/news.html
Professional benefits specialists will have many satisfied customers to provide testimonials upon request. Also, you can easily verify that your health insurance company and salesperson are state licensed.