3 Lies Your Broker Tells You (and Believes)

A hunch: You probably like your health benefits broker. Brokers are peoples’ people who listen to needs, then hunt down the best solution at the best possible rate.

But here’s the rub: Despite good intentions, most of these “solutions” are neither affordable nor exhaustive, leaving employers and employees drowning in high healthcare costs – for eroded coverage, no less.

No secret here: Healthcare is broken. Yet most brokers are slow to consider a better way to buy benefits. To be fair, many of them don’t realize a better way even exists. We didn’t, until a light bulb went off years back – followed by years of research and the debut of our proven solution.

As innovators in health benefits buying, NationalHR hears dozens of myths that brokers and their clients actually believe. Here’s why they’re off base, and how the truth can give your bottom line a boost.

LIE #1: “The rate is the rate.”

Brokers are known for this phrase, which leaves zero room for negotiation. While the rate often is the rate, the rate doesn’t have to be your cost.

Cost-sharing between employees and employers – a practice we’ve perfected – is how the cost/quality tug-of-war gets scrapped for something better. Controlling a plan’s cost has little to do with the rate itself. It has everything to do with how those costs are divided. By uniquely optimizing benefits purchasing, you improve your plan’s quality and maximize savings, proving the rate isn’t always the rate after all.

LIE #2: “You can control healthcare costs by giving your employees options.”

Mid-sized companies typically let employees choose from one of three benefits plans. Cool, except fear of “What if?” almost always drives them toward the top-tier option – costing everybody (including employers) big.

On the other hand, low-cost/high-risk plans inevitably come back to bite at least a few employees when illness or injury strike. They’re disgruntled by unexpected out-of-pocket costs – and employers still pay big.

In sum, members generally overbuy or underbuy one-size-fits-all benefits “solutions,” and someone always pays. Swap this traditional, risky model for a better way – a way that ensures great health coverage, affordable costs, and high satisfaction.

LIE #3: “We’re big, so we have leverage with carriers”

Negotiating with insurance companies has everything to do with a broker’s skill set – not the size of the brokerage behind them.  It’s about designing the right plan, carefully and attentively, with a broker whose knowledge is strong, and whose commitment to your coverage is even stronger.

Now, to be fair, a client’s size can stifle savings. Businesses with fewer than fifty employees are usually ineligible for negotiation. But the myth that bigger brokerages are more likely to turn their size into client savings? You heard it here, folks: FALSE.