How involved is your health insurance broker when it comes to shopping for your insurance benefits? All too often it comes to our attention that many companies just have their current policies renewed before looking at all their options. Does your health insurance broker shop benefits during renewal time? If the answer is “no” read on, the team at AUI can help.
Why does this happen?
One of two things, either the policy is meeting your employees’ needs and within budget, or your insurance broker didn’t request quotes to compare to your current policy to show you what is available in the market. Your broker should shop the market annually to find the most competitive rates and benefits that meet your employees’ needs. Your broker should shop the market annually to ensure your carrier and benefit plan are the most competitive. It is too expensive not to know if you make the right choice for yourself, or your entire team.
Why is it Important to Shop Your Benefits Yearly?
According to the 24th annual survey by KFF “Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $22,463 this year (2022), with workers on average paying $6,106 toward the cost of their coverage. The average deductible among covered workers in a plan with a general annual deductible is $1,763 for single coverage. Workers at smaller firms, on average, contribute nearly $2,000 more toward the cost of family coverage than workers at larger firms. They also face general annual deductibles that are $1,000 higher on average.” SOURCE FOUND HERE
Do Health Insurance Plans Change from Year to Year?
The rising cost of healthcare is one of the many reasons why your health insurance options may look different from year to year. Insurance plans are subject to updates and modifications based on various factors such as changes in healthcare laws and regulations, shifts in the insurance industry, cost considerations, and the evolving needs of both the insurance provider and the insured individuals.
Factors that Cause a Healthcare Plan to Change Include:
- Regulatory Changes such as reforms made to the health insurance market found on Gov HERE
- Provider Networks These can change year to year based on the agreements made between the health insurance company and the hospital or physician network. You can read more about this on our blog HERE.
It’s important for policyholders to carefully review their health insurance plan documents each year to understand any changes that may have been made to their benefits, coverage, costs, and terms. If you have an insurance policy, consider reaching out to your health insurance broker or agent to discuss any potential changes for the upcoming year to your plan and make sure you ask if there are other options for you or your business.
What Should Your Health Insurance Broker Do During Renewal Time?
Insurance brokers in Ohio, like in other states, typically follow a specific process to shop for benefits on behalf of their clients. Here are some things to look for as the policy holder. If your health insurance broker is not doing these things, it might be time to switch brokers and find a company that works for you.
Here Are the Steps Your Health Insurance Broker Should Follow Prior to Renewal:
Brokers Should Do a Client Assessment:
The first step is to understand the client’s needs and requirements. The broker will meet with the client to assess their current coverage, budget, the number of employees (if it’s a group plan), and any specific preferences or priorities the client may have.
Health Insurance Brokers Should Research the Marketplace:
Once the broker has a clear understanding of the client’s needs, they research the insurance market in Ohio. This involves identifying insurance providers that offer the types of benefits the client is looking for, comparing different plans, and assessing the reputation and financial stability of the insurers.
Your Broker Should Request Quotes from Different Policies:
In some cases, brokers will send out requests for proposals to multiple insurance companies. The quote request outlines the client’s requirements, and insurance carriers respond with their proposed plans and pricing.
A Broker Should Do a Plan Comparison:
The broker will then compare the different plans and proposals received from insurance companies. They will consider factors such as coverage levels, premiums, deductibles, co-pays, network size, and any additional benefits offered. They will provide a Market Analysis.
Your Broker Will Want to Meet with Your Team:
After analyzing the available options, the broker will meet with the client to present the Market Analysis and provide recommendations based on their expertise. They will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each plan and help the client make an informed decision.
Health Insurance Brokers Will Negotiate on Your Behalf:
Brokers should work for you. A good broker will try to negotiate with insurance providers on behalf of their clients. This is important to secure the best possible rates and terms for the selected insurance plans.
Your Broker Should Help with Plan Enrollment and Administration:
Once the client decides on a plan, the broker assists with the enrollment process. They may also provide ongoing support with plan administration, claims, and any issues that arise during the policy period.
Your Broker Will Help Ensure Compliance:
Insurance brokers also stay up to date on changes in insurance regulations and any updates to the available plans. They ensure that their clients remain in compliance with applicable laws and advise them on any changes that may be necessary.
What Makes AUI Different?
At AUI we will shop your benefits at renewal time. Our team is an extension of your team and no matter what time of year it is, we are here to help you understand your benefits and get the most out of your health insurance policies. Throughout this process, our AUI brokers are with you to answer your questions, compare plans and help with cost analysis. Today, health insurance is not a small investment and knowing you made the right choice for your team is imperative. Renewal season is right around the corner, how can we help you find the right policy for you or your small business? Contact us today to get started.