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Group Benefits Broker or Consultant?

Should I choose a Group Benefits Broker or Consultant?

When searching for the right benefits package for your organization and employees, there are an overwhelming amount of options out there. The first decision you need to make, however, is whether to go with a Group Benefits Broker or a Group Benefits Consulting Firm. Your choice on this will make the difference between the level of service, cost, flexibility and options provided to you throughout the relationship.

So, let’s break it down a little bit for you. What is the difference between a Group Benefits Broker and a Group Benefits Consultant?

Group Benefits Broker

Generally, a Group Benefits Broker acts as a middleman between an organization and Group Benefits providers.  Their job centers around finding the best general Group Benefits package and premium to match an organization’s needs. At a minimum, they will be in contact with you on a yearly basis when the plan is due to renew, to review the plan’s performance and the potential cost implications. In addition, a broker should advise if the plan you’re in is still the best option for your business, or make recommendations to the plan design if there may be better options available.   

Brokers are paid on a commission basis by insurance carriers. They are bound to design the best plan or policy for you, and  provide you with all necessary information to make an informed and educated decision. Depending on the broker, there may be varying service levels and communication commitments throughout the year.

Group Benefits Consultant

A Group Benefits Consulting firm, on the other hand, works on a fee-for-service basis.  Consultants give input and advice on various aspects of your organization’s Group Health Benefits plans. In some cases, additional service lines such as Health & Wellness or Group Retirement may be offered.

Consulting firms should generally be more engaged with understanding your business and work with you to design group benefits plans that align with your key operational or strategic objectives. Furthermore, this approach should also result in greater connectivity and more frequent touches throughout the year to advise on trends, plan experience and correspondingly a variety of topics relating to your organization’s health and wellness needs.

The Best of Both Worlds

So, what if you want all the benefits and year around, hands-on service and attention that a consulting firm provides, but you don’t want the additional cost to your organization?

At Ascension Benefits, we bring the best of both worlds to the Group Benefits industry. We provide in-depth Group  Benefits and HR Consulting services to organizations, covering a wide variety of specialties including group benefit plans, employee health and wellness, talent acquisition, employment branding, engagement, retention, group retirement planning, and a host of additional specialized HR services.

Most importantly, we are paid on a commission basis by the insurance carriers – so you’re getting all the hands-on support and expertise, but with cost certainty for your organization.

Are you looking for full-service group benefits and HR solutions? We’d love to chat about how we can help you. Contact us here!

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