Are you getting unbiased benefits advice?

August 29

Have you heard of League? They’re the new ‘sexytech’ benefits provider on the block with a mobile platform for sourcing, booking and paying for specific practitioner services. They offer a pretty slick way to pay a bill because basically the app becomes a digital wallet and every eligible expense is immediately deducted directly from each employee’s healthcare spending account.

League’s solution to providing employee benefit plans is quite appealing to many tech and start-up businesses — as these are typically the type of businesses looking for the most progressive solutions. But is it the right solution for every business? More importantly, is it the right solution for your business?

Benefits must minimize significant out-of-pocket expenses

An effective employee group benefits plan must be designed to minimize significant out-of-pocket expenses that employees may occur. It’s meant to ensure that employees and their families aren’t burdened with extraordinary costs that create financial stress or, worse yet, are deterred from seeking proper treatment in the first place out of fear of paying too much out of their own pocket.

If you ask League, sales staff will explain that the technology provides the protection employees truly need. But what does it provide other than a speedy transaction? Sure employees may value the convenience of a digital wallet but is the speed of a transaction the best indicator of real value? A technology platform isn’t the end all and be all. What is the technology providing beyond convenience? And how do you assess the value behind each transaction?

To truly answer those questions, let’s think about the process you may go through to buy a car. You can go directly to the dealership, test drive a car and then have a salesperson try to convince you to buy the car. You may visit several other dealerships and go through the same process but in the end, you have to make your own decision based on the biased information each salesperson provided at each dealership.

It’s biased because it’s pretty obvious that the Kia salesperson will tell you that Kia cars are the best in their class. Just as the Ford salesperson will tout Ford’s horn. That’s their job, to sell their company’s cars. Just like it’s League’s job to sell their product and their product only.

The other way to buy a car is to meet with a car broker. This person listens to your needs, offers options as to the makes and models that best suit your lifestyle, arranges test drives and, when you find the right car, negotiates with the dealer on your behalf.

Why are we comparing cars to employee benefit packages? It’s because like cars, health benefit are an expensive purchase that you don’t want to get wrong. But a car broker will offer unbiased advice on the various options based on service records, your budget and your unique needs — not based on the need to sell a specific model.

Benefits broker customizes a benefits plan to meet your company’s needs

So while League’s product offering may have some advantages, it may also have some shortfalls —shortfalls you may not be made aware of if you’re only getting a biased point of view.

That’s why you build a benefits package with a benefits broker. A broker listens to your company’s needs, talks to you about employee health and offers an unbiased opinion of the various health and wellness solutions available. A benefits broker offers integrated and independent advice and does not need to sell a particular product on the shelf.

Investing in a benefits package for the first time — or taking the time to review and update your current employee offerings — is a big decision, and one that requires unbiased advice and comparison shopping. Solutions like League may work for some businesses but no two businesses are the same. And you need to be sure that the benefits package you’re offering is taking care of your employees the way you want it to.

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