Successful companies recognize the value of their employees; that human capital is one of their greatest assets. These companies also understand the importance of quality benefits in attracting and retaining the best talent. Yet in today’s world, benefits management is becoming increasingly complex, placing greater demands on the human resources staff of many organizations.
Many companies are finding benefits consultants to be the ideal solution for continuing to offer quality benefits and services to their employees while balancing costs and efficiency. Benefits consultants partner with human resources staff by offering up-to-date knowledge and expertise, helping HR departments operate more efficiently and better serve the company’s employees.
A good benefits consultant will assist in all areas of benefits management.
Compliance. Maintaining compliance requirements can be a daunting task, with costly consequences if unmet. As experts in the field, benefits consultants stay up-to-date on all compliance issues and are able to remove the burden of compliance from human resources staff. The consultant will assume responsibility for ensuring all notices and other requirements are fulfilled at the appropriate time. By assuming this responsibility, a benefits consultant can help companies avoid costly penalties related to compliance with ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, federal mandates, and healthcare reform.
Consultation. Benefits consultants work side-by-side with management to regularly review budgets and goals to ensure employee benefits are aligned with the company’s values and objectives. They will perform a detailed review and analysis of claims data and provide detailed plan benchmarking, and when needed, will explore creative solutions to solve any benefit issues or needs. A consultant’s ongoing relationship with carriers also provides a benefit, bringing a level of established trust to the negotiation process.
Communication. Good communication is a critical element in any employer-employee relationship, and can be challenging when addressing the complex vocabulary of employee benefits. A qualified benefits consultant understands the value of good communication and will shoulder the burden of helping employees gain a clear understanding of their benefits, guiding them through the entire enrollment process. The consultant will prepare all necessary documents and education materials and present them in an efficient and easy-to-understand format, and will also assume the responsibility for educating employees on the benefits associated with their insurance.
Administration. All human resources staff know that once the enrollment process is complete, the work has just begun. A qualified benefits consultant becomes an organization’s human resources partner, eliminating many of the headaches associated with benefits administration. Many of the simple tasks associated with the day-to-day demands of administration can easily overburden an HR department – tasks such as constant and lengthy phone calls to carriers, or paperwork associated with claims or transitions. A benefits consultant will take on the task of those lengthy phone calls, and can often leverage their good relationships with carriers to carry out those phone contacts in a timely and efficient manner. A consultant will also handle the processing of new and terminated employees, a role that can overwhelm the staff in industries with a high turnover rate.
Benefits consultants can be valuable members of any team. Quality consultants are committed to serving companies and helping them create a positive environment where not only the employees, but the entire company, will thrive.
VISICOR is a full-service employee benefits brokerage and consulting firm located in Houston, Texas, serving mid-size to large public and private organizations. VISICOR can be reached by phone at (281) 824-3124 or at www.visicor.net.