What Is a Benefits Advisor?
Managing employee benefits is just one piece of the HR puzzle. But even the most solid HR teams can have trouble navigating the ins and outs of employee benefits. From negotiations with providers to ensuring your business remains legally compliant, your team can easily get overwhelmed. And that’s where a benefits advisor steps in.
A benefits advisor (also called a benefits broker or a benefits consultant) helps HR departments understand, manage, and build employee benefits packages. You can rely on them for year-round support when your employees have complicated questions about their benefits and when you need a liaison between your company and providers.
What does a benefits advisor do?
Essentially, a benefits advisor's job is to serve as your trusted partner for all things benefits. Expect to see them at the front line of the benefits administration process, helping your HR team juggle the several elements of employee benefits plans.
Leads open enrollment and renewal periods
In 2021, more than a third of surveyed American workers reported not understanding their offered benefits during open enrollment. It’s hard for your employees to get the most out of a benefits package if they don’t realize what they have.
A benefits advisor takes charge of open enrollment and renewal seasons by explaining the benefits offered. But they take their counsel to the next level when necessary by individually guiding employees on choosing the right health care package for their needs and wallet.
What’s the outcome? Your employees won’t waste money on benefits they don’t need. They’ll be more likely to confidently (and correctly) use the benefits they’ve chosen. And your company will likely see a higher ROI on benefits. Call that a win-win-win.
Provides continual support for employees
Employee education and support is a year-round gig. But no matter how robust or engaging your employee comms are, your employees will still have questions on their benefits from time to time.
But HR doesn’t always have the time or bandwidth to spend answering employee benefit questions as they come. It’s a time-consuming and complex task.
A benefits advisor takes the reins on benefits questions and problems throughout the year. Theyx should step in to field those questions, help with claims, and boost understanding of benefits with educational resources. Ideally your advisor should provide an always-on resource or platform that employees can access to get personalized support whenever they need it.
What’s the role of a benefits advisor in supporting HR teams?
A benefits advisor’s role doesn’t begin and end as a health insurance advisor to support and educate employees. Human Resources carry a heavy load of responsibilities, and a benefits advisor helps make that load lighter.
Developing benefits packages
Benefits advisors are the liaison between your team and providers. They support HR by doing the necessary research on what’s available versus what you already offer.
By analyzing your business’s expenses, employee advantages, and possible risks, a benefits advisor will recommend changes and additions to existing plans. That research may even shed light on unnecessary benefits that you can cut to keep your budget tight.
In short, a benefits advisor does the legwork to put together (and renew) comprehensive packages. And that can give your business a competitive edge in attracting top talent and retaining existing employees.
Maintaining legal compliance
The last thing you want is to face penalties for missing the marks on compliance. But keeping pace with state and federal labor and benefits laws is complicated, and a benefits advisor helps streamline compliance matters. There are several ways they support your HR team, including:
- Staying current with applicable regulations and notifying your team about changes
- Auditing your HR team to avoid employee misclassification
- Providing compliance resources, such as automated software tools, to continually keep your team in the know.
The right benefits advisor takes the hassle away from benefits management.
Managing benefits programs is not just about keeping employees satisfied. It’s also about easing the overwhelming workload your HR department faces daily. Partnering with the right benefits advisor solves both problems.
Nava’s expertise and innovative technology make it simple for growing businesses to develop a sound benefits strategy. Talk to a Nava expert today, and learn more about what our modern member support can do for you.