Frequently Asked Questions and Answers from Patti Goldfarb, President, Employee Benefits Advisors Group
What makes you qualified?
“We have been helping business with the sometimes difficult decisions they have to make about benefits for over 20 years. We also have a employer and we face the same challenges as my clients in providing effective programs for my employees. What makes us qualified is a combination of years of experience, creativity and industry relationships. WeI could give you a list of industry associations we are active in and tell you about the public speaking we have done and the business magazines that we have been quoted in. It might impress you, but what really counts are results. And we produce them.”
What are some specific examples of the savings and service you provide companies?
- Saved a large bank $1MM in the 1st year by moving them to self funding.
- Saved a small construction company $38,000.
- Saved a local bakery $13,000.
- Saved an employee's life by getting approval for him to be admitted into a specialized psychiatric hospital when his therapist was concerned he would commit suicide that night if he didn't get into that facili.
How are You different than a regular broker?
When we work with you we become your trusted advisor. We will educate my clients and give the all their options so they can make informed decisions. And we will be there throughout the years to act as an advocate for your employees with claims disputes. We will also become a resource center for all related issues – legal, HR, payroll, etc.
In addition, we refer our clients to our clients, so we bring you business. When was the last time a broker helped you market your business?
To stay tuned in, we are active in the industry – sit on the board of industry associations, training future leaders, lobbying, heading committees representing small businesses, publishing.
What’s the process once we meet?
Rather than simply trying to find similar plans with lower costs, we first find out what your employees use and need. Then we design plans that employees find valuable. Having this information prevents overspending on benefits that aren’t utilized. Our work includes:
Independent consultation: We work for you not the insurance carrier. Our recommendations will be based on your requirements, your industry’s standards and any unique needs we uncover
Plan design analysis: There are so many plans available today, that it is difficult to know if you are taking advantage of the best strategies for your organization. Beginning with a review of the plans in place, we compare them with other designs to see what the best fit is for your company
Recommendations to reduce costs: Often a plan that was once priced competitively will become expensive to maintain when new benefit options become available. Sometimes, simply tweaking an existing plan can result in substantial savings.
Market research: We will research carriers, third party administrators and other vendors that can provide the programs you need.
Insurance placement: After making our recommendations we will handle all aspects of the placement process – employee communications, enrollment and underwriting
Renewal negotiation: Every year premiums go up. What most carriers don’t tell you is that their increases (if you have over 50 employees) are often padded because they expect your agent to negotiate on your behalf. We not only do this but also show them that other carriers are competing for your business forcing your rates to be kept in line with the market place.
Yearly plan reviews and market analysis: 90 days prior to your renewal date, we will send out your census information to the insurance industry for bids. During your renewal meetings, we will discuss various alternatives to keep the costs in-line with your expectations.
Legislative Updates: Through our membership in the National Association of Health Underwriters we are very involved with the people responsible for drafting legislation.
The Bottom Line: We work closely with you to identify the role of benefits within your company, the services your employees use and value, and then develop a strategy that can help you reach both short and long-term objectives. Our services begin with an employee survey and a comprehensive review of your current programs, identify potential areas for cost savings and compare them with other plans offered in similar industries. At the completion of our evaluation, we design a program incorporating strategies such as flexible benefits levels, pre-tax vehicles and managed care to provide a format that fits your goals and objectives.