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You may not think you need an enrollment firm, but here’s why you do

Just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can dribble a basketball, doesn’t mean you should quit your day job to become a professional basketball player. Likewise, maybe you’re a broker who can organize and conduct an enrollment, but should you be doing it? 

We work with brokers all the time who are used to conducting their own enrollments and, while their success is commendable, they very often come around to the benefits of an enrollment firm. Think you don’t need an enrollment firm? Below are several of the common objections we run into when having that discussion and another way to look at a solution:

“I can handle it with the resources I have available”

Whether you’re using your own time and energy or the resources of the employer’s HR staff, providing effective communication during enrollments can take a lot of work. Most HR staff is stretched as it is―adding in the responsibility of taking the time to educate and engage with employees on their benefits might not be feasible, especially if there are multiple offices in different locations. 

This doesn’t even take into account the time HR may need to familiarize themselves with the products being offered. An enrollment firm and their trained specialists may have already worked with, and been exposed to, the employer’s products during a different enrollment. Along with training from carriers on the products, they’re well-equipped and well-prepared to take the burden off of brokers and employers' HR staffs. 

“An enrollment firm will reduce my commission”

On the surface, this objection is true. The use of an enrollment firm usually means slightly reduced commission for the broker if you are looking at it strictly by the percentage of commission paid. However, there are two things to keep in mind when using an enrollment firm that can impact broker commission. Enrollment specialists are trained specifically to help employees see the value of the products offered and how their entire benefits plan fits together. This generally leads to higher levels of participation. Secondly, the chances of an employee keeping their coverage is much greater when they have a stronger understanding of the product and what it provides. So, while the percentage of commission may be reduced, an enrollment firm may be able to generate more premium and the persistency will be higher which, in actuality, usually means more commission for brokers.

“I can sustain this process going forward”

Enrollments aren’t just a chance to inform employees about their benefits and have them purchase coverage. They can also fulfill the role of conveying employer messaging regarding other initiatives such as wellness or their 401(k). Communication no these topics can add another layer of complication for HR and brokers who are trying to conduct their own enrollment. These complications are easily alleviated with the use of an enrollment firm.

Many enrollment firms have tools and resources to help collect data and conduct surveys of employees to improve the enrollment experience going forward and help employers make more informed decisions about their benefit programs. A simpler process that does a better job of educating employees means a happier employer and a longer, more rewarding relationship with their broker.

While many brokers and employer HR staffs are capable of conducting an enrollment, an enrollment firm can simplify the lives of everyone involved while producing stronger results. Brokers can and should be involved in planning the enrollment but, much like attending a game for your favorite basketball team, when it comes to performing the enrollment, it’s often best to leave it to the professionals.

Posted on November 15, 2018 in Enrollment

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