Have you ever been stuck with a double-digit renewal increase without any time to do anything other than increase your deductible and lower other benefits just to keep costs in line? This is a frustrating situation, but can be avoided with the proper pre-planning. Our industry does not have benchmarked 'norms' to which brokers must adhere, so more often than not, a carrier's renewal being sent is the impetus for a broker to begin working on a clients renewal. Some carriers send this information out more than 60 days prior to the policy anniversary, and that may be enough time for a small company to contend with the renewal, but employers with over 50 staff need more time to execute the renewal properly. We approach renewals in a systematic way:
When the renewal is received, the client is contacted to discuss the findings. If the client would like to see alternative options, the group is marketed immediately and quotes are presented within 2 weeks. We then work together to finalize our direction for the next year and have the staff fill out an online health form or their plan election. Installation is completed approximately 20 to 30 days prior to the renewal so that ID cards are in hand by the effective date.
Groups over 50 Employees
Planning starts well in advance of the renewal. We begin a discussion approximately 4 months prior to the renewal to reveal any faults within the carrier choice, plan itself, cost concerns, service issues, etc. We establish a timeline to which both sides must adhere so that the renewal can be cleanly executed. Generally, renewals are available closer to 3 months prior to the renewal, but census and plan data gathering takes place prior thereto. We keep a running census on-file for the client, so marketing the plan happens very quickly with little effort. Options are gathered, vendor negotiation ensues, and options are presented to the client between 2 and 3 months prior to the renewal. We discuss any newly desired initiatives (wellness, worksite, benefits administration technology, on-site orientation, ets.) and select a carrier for installation. ID cards are delivered at least 2 weeks prior to the renewal.
Time of Year
It is important to realize that carriers are the busiest on the 12/1 and 1/1 renewal periods, so even more time should be allotted for clients that renew their policies on those dates. For some groups, because they have the ability to keep their deductible resetting on 1/1 regardless of their plan anniversary, they like to move their renewal off of these busy dates so that they receive more timely carrier replies and perhaps more favorable results.
We work with each client to ensure they are satisfied with their renewal process and welcome feedback as to how it can work better for them or other client organizations alike. Prosperity Benefits, LLC believes in improving the renewal process for all newly transitioning clients.