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Small Fish in a Big Pond

The dilemma of working with one of the ‘Big 5’ benefits brokers

One of the most common complaints of HR executives is that they no longer get the service they used to receive from their broker. They’ve been passed off to an account manager or “enrollment specialist” at renewal, or their old broker got bought out and gobbled up by a huge company. And like a thief in the night, face time and personal service disappears.
The dirty little industry secret iswhen you work with one of the ‘Big 5’, this drop-off in service is because your broker is out chasing much larger clients. It all boils down to the 80/20 rule. Your broker is spending 80% of their time on the largest 20% of their client base. The broker who initially came in and pitched you on building a “relationship” is now saying the same thing to a prospect twice your size.
The worst mistake a middle market company can make is thinking that the standard of good service should be a responsive broker that answers calls/emails and does a nice job with the renewal. This is the bare minimum for service in the new frontier of employee benefits.
If you are a middle market company (20-1,000 lives on your health plan), it is crucial that you are partnered with a middle market broker.  The ‘Big 5’ brokers are not taking the time to provide the necessary tools and technology to help with compliance, rapidly changing regulations, and easing the HR burden.
The benefits world has changed and as an HR professional, you want to use every tool available to help your employees maximize their benefits. As a middle market company, you can do this by making sure you are matched with a middle market broker.
If you find yourself wondering— ‘is my broker the right fit?’ it’s worth an initial conversation.
Mike Healy
Employee Benefits Consultant