- By Lindsay Davis, Vice President, Immix Group / Feb 09, 2017
From time to time, we are approached by businesses that do not have an employee benefits program in place. Or, they have a plan, but they do not have an active relationship with their benefits broker. Surprisingly to us, they sometimes don’t know their broker at all!
At Immix, our relationship with our clients is very different. Unlike many brokers, our role as your benefits broker goes far beyond pricing. We like to say that we consider ourselves an extension of your HR Department- and your partner- in managing your benefits program.
In this article, I will give some insight into how Immix adds significant value for our clients with the support we provide.
Experience and advice
What are other employers like us doing for their employees?
We are asked this every day! Firstly, we know what’s happening out there in the benefits marketplace. That’s because benefits are our focus at Immix: all day, every day. We not only have access to industry information, reporting and benchmarking tools; we have in-depth experience and solid relationships that keep us on the pulse of our industry. This means we know what you need to do to be competitive when it comes to your benefits offering.
In short, we are the experts, so you don’t have to be.
Financial expertise & transparency
I don’t understand my benefits plan pricing, can you explain it to me?
Unfortunately, when people think of a benefits broker they, might just think of the messenger who delivers rate increases year after year. At Immix Group, we are not just handing over the pricing as set by the insurance company.
Because of the volume of clients with whom we work, our role is not limited to presenting you with the renewal document and pricing as determined by the insurance carrier. We are intricately involved in setting our own pricing and negotiating fair and sustainable rates. We want to ensure that you understand how the demographics, usage and other factors impact the pricing of the plan.
Some of our clients want to know all the details, and other are happy just to see a rate decrease with no questions asked!
Whatever your level of interest in the financial details of the program, our point is that as your broker, we understand and wherever possible, keep your pricing fair and sustainable.
Giving you the latest benefits news – accurately
Our clients continuously ask us about things seen or heard in the media. We’re glad you ask! In both print and broadcast, news stories often announce trends, changes, opportunities or products in such a way that can be very misleading. We want to give you accuracy instead.
For example, people hear regularly about “flex plans” and “pools” and “health spending accounts.” And of course, they hear continuously about how they can save money!
The “million-dollar baby” case is a typical example of a story that garners a ton of media attention and acts to unduly alarm people. In this case, a Canadian woman gave birth unexpectedly early while traveling in the United States, only to find she wasn’t covered under her travel insurance. The enormous hospital bill was nearly $1M.
Without a doubt, one of the biggest concerns for our clients is whether they’re covered when they travel. Could this happen to other pregnant women while travelling? Sure it could. But the situation wasn’t as simple as presented by the media. The details that you may not have heard make all the difference!
Is it worth looking into all the things the media proclaims? Absolutely. We can help you sort through the hype and rumour and ensure you understand the facts behind the headlines.
Still more ways we keep you up to date and fully informed:
The fine print
When was the last time you read your inch-thick Long-Term Disability contract? If your answer is never, you’re probably in the majority! At Immix our job is to understand your contracts and interpret them to you in plain, concise language. That way, you can skip confusing, unnecessary wordiness and rest assured that you’re taking care of your most important asset – your employees!
Uncommon employee situations
Not sure how to approach a leave of absence, potential disability situation, maternity leave or some other employee matter? Don’t worry. No matter what the issue, chances are, we’ve dealt with a similar situation many times before! Let us help you out with whatever arises so you can ensure you’re protecting both your rights as an employer and the rights of your employees.
Educating employees about group benefits
We’re happy to help you organize and deliver staff education sessions on the group benefits program. From our perspective, it’s essential –and helpful to everyone, employees and employer alike – to promote understanding of the coverage.
Your staff will appreciate the value of:
- the plan you have taken so much consideration in implementing
- the programs and services available to help keep them healthy, and
- the opportunity to ask questions.
Added bonuses: highlighting the perks and discount programs, as well as the technological advancements that making claiming so easy!
At the end of the day, a well-thought-out benefits program works to keep your team healthy and engaged. And healthy employees are more productive, long-term employees.
Daily administrative support
Immix is here for you all the time. We are equipped to manage the daily administration of your program on your behalf. For example, just pop us an email and we can add, terminate or change an employee’s coverage.
Or maybe you would usually prefer to do this yourself, but you’re heading out on vacation or swamped in a particularly busy work time. Again, no problem. We’re happy to administer your program for you at any level that works best for you.
Representing you, to your insurer
Most importantly, remember that as your broker, we work for you!
Maybe you forgot to enrol an employee on time, or you need a special exception made because of an unusual situation. Or, a situation may arise where you as the employer firmly disagree with the insurance companies handling of a situation.
This is where we come in- we know how to handle these situations to get the best outcome.
We have your best interests in mind. Rather than going straight to the insurer, we want you to come to us with your questions and concerns. We work on behalf of our clients and in your best interest in dealing with the insurance carriers that underwrite and administer your programs.
Our role as your broker goes far beyond the pricing of the plan!
We are the benefits experts so that you don’t have to be. We partner with you and work with the insurance companies on your behalf with your best interests in mind.