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Understanding Benefits

There are 2 keys to understanding benefits, and specifically, that’s understanding how the industry works, and how benefits consultants work.

Benefits “products” are created by insurers in order to profitably provide coverage across a large demographic for health benefits, dental, drug coverage, retirement plans and other needs. Their pricing is based on three over-arching factors: the mathematical projections of risk and product choice, their desire to “win” a piece of business, and usage (how much your company will use compared to their block of business).

Now let us be clear, these are the broad strokes, there are dozens of other factors affecting the price of employee benefits, but this gives you a sense of how it works.

Employee Benefits Consultants work by helping Plan Sponsors (you and your organization) make decisions to select the most appropriate employee benefits solution to meet your specific needs. We’ll help you craft an approach and combination of options and then find a carrier that can provide that solution. Some benefits consultants seem to focus on “shopping” plans where they spend the bulk of their effort price-hunting, rather than focusing on how your plan will achieve your business goals. While finding the right partner and the right price is critical, regularly “shopping” a plan doesn’t always help.



Interestingly, one of the stabilizing principles for plans is “stability of relationship”. When insurers recognize that Plan Sponsors have a good consultant with a plan that makes sense and that you are not regularly going to the market looking for the next “best deal,” they can invest in the relationship with more confidence, and more flexibility.

Our job is to help you articulate your needs, document them, find an insurer that can meet those needs, put the plan in place, communicate it to your plan members (your employees), and help you manage the plan so that it is used in a way that gets you to your original goal.

Sometimes this is relatively straightforward, sometimes it requires custom solutions that we develop on your behalf, and other times it is very complex and requires sophisticated insights, especially when it comes to retirement plan governance, situations that might have a political tone to them, and circumstances that require detailed coordination and integration.

Regardless of the complexity, from a brand new plan to the redesign or stewardship of an existing complex plan, Aptus is geared to provide clarity when you need it most.