BenefitsPRO positions their annual expo as the preferred destination for benefit brokers and advisors to cultivate important relationships and gain industry knowledge. After exhibiting at the 2018 BenefitsPro Broker Expo last week, IdentityForce couldn’t agree more. Between the educational sessions, networking opportunities, and the venue, this event is one that we look forward to supporting for years to come.
I’d like to share with you some of my key takeaways, as well as insights from my peers and thought leaders in the employee benefits industry.
What’s the Buzz?
Much of this event focused on disruption of the status quo. Over the years, what I’ve found is that most of the exhibitors have been traditional insurance carriers. This year, I estimate that less than 10 percent were, signaling a sharp shift toward startup companies with innovative solutions and non-traditional benefit offerings.
In my conversations with brokers, simplicity, streamlining, and consolidation were a point of emphasis across the board for 2018. Companies are looking for more solutions from fewer vendor partners. This presents a key opportunity for brokers to assist their clients in reducing costs and increasing efficiencies while providing employee benefits that matter.
The Most In-Demand Employee Benefits
While there is growth in employer-paid benefits, we are still very much in a voluntary-dominated world. It’s not hard to see why, as voluntary benefits allow employers to offer a much wider array of perks without incurring the costs associated with rolling them out to their entire workforce. This approach also empowers employees to personalize their perks in a way that previously wasn’t the norm. Some employers have even adopted a hybrid approach to their benefits where they pay for the base coverage offering and allow the employee to buy into more robust coverage. This tactic is certainly a trend we are seeing at IdentityForce.
The most on-trend benefits that were discussed at the BenefitsPRO Broker Expo centered around wellness, compliance, identity protection, short-term employee loans, pharmacy, benefit administration, and technology. Identity theft protection is clearly a “hot” benefit, as indicated by five vendors exhibiting and sponsoring at the show.
Benefit Brokers Remain a Critical Resource for Human Resources
Advisors have a unique perspective on the employee benefits marketplace. They see who the most effective players are in a number of categories, they are independent, and they continually look for the best solutions to fit their clients’ needs.
Beyond simply selling products, brokers guide clients toward enrollment, administration, and compliance solutions to help them navigate a crowded and noisy benefits landscape. They are seen as an integral part of the HR/Benefits/Total Rewards team. From being relied upon for research, recommendations, and support along all benefit plan sectors, to renewing existing plans or introducing new solutions, benefits consultants are vital to the organizations they partner with.
Research Findings & Insights from Employee Benefit Brokers
IdentityForce’s 2018 Benefit Broker Survey polled over 100 benefit advisors and consultants on the key drivers of benefit adoption, their view of the most in-demand progressive employee perks, and trends around employer-paid benefits. Download the survey results today!