Yes, You Need a Top-Notch Benefits Advisor…and a Good Plumber

Nov 15, 2017
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A year or so ago my friend went biking with his dog and had a mishap. My friend tore his ACL while his dog got a minor injury. The dog had surgery the next day, albeit for many thousands of dollars, but my friend? Well, he waited a bit longer than that but he eventually did go under the knife of an orthopaedic surgeon. Round about the same time, another friend had a sewage backup in his basement. Now this guy knows his way around a tool box so he tried to manage the situation himself. But, after not too long he called in the guys with the big truck and all the gear. You know, the actual plumbers, the ones who know what they’re doing and will save your home from the perils of leaking sewage.

You can probably see where I’m going here. Just as you go to an orthopaedic surgeon, a plumber, or a civil engineer if building a bridge is your game, it’s advantageous to see an expert in whatever field you currently need. Similarly, in the employee benefits industry, it’s increasingly critical that you consult a professional group benefits consultant if you’re considering implementing a plan for your employees or are needing to make a significant change. Specialists are expert in their industries, offer valuable advice and, when it comes to allocating considerable resources in helping your employees with their health, benefits plan advisors are who you should turn to.

When I first entered this business, I was bombarded with terms like TLR, Pooling Charges, MER, ASO, Stop-Loss, Pharma this, Pharma that…you get the idea. Within a very short time, two things became clear to me. First, I had a lot to learn. Second, the benefits industry is immensely complex and is only growing more so. It's a bit like navigating O’Hare Airport for the first time where around each corner a whole new wing seems to open up, each with its own set of gate numbers.

But that’s the case in every industry, field or trade…they’re all complex, you might say. And if you did, that’s precisely my point. Even the savviest plan sponsors have considerable difficulty understanding all the tax implications, the numerous choices and cost structures, not to mention the subtleties and nuances that underpin a solid, sustainable benefits plan.

I bring up sustainability because costs have escalated substantially in the last five to ten years, both for plan sponsors and for their employees, particularly for pharmaceutical plans. In turn, this means it’s even more important to work with a trusted advisor who can find innovative solutions for clients who feel increasingly squeezed. Because even where a sponsor has managed to navigate all the variables and approximated a good plan, resources in time and funds have been spent to do so with an arguably inferior outcome.

Employee group benefits is our sole focus at TRG. We spend our working lives continually collaborating, educating, researching and planning to ensure you find full value for your plan. Contact us to find out how we can help with your group benefits needs. And be assured we’ll probably be more responsive than your plumber.

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