The world of benefits is constantly evolving, and it seems to be getting more complicated by the day. From health insurance premiums to plan changes, all the details can be challenging to organize.

In Sentinel’s most recent webinar, our panelists discussed the role of the broker and how employers can leverage their broker to give their employees the best possible experience. This article shares the insights of Fallon Carpenter, Saleha Walsh and Casey Jobson as moderated by Greg Puig.

Leveraging a Broker to Facilitate Open Enrollment

Having employees in different states creates additional challenges during open enrollment. Each state typically has different plans, and it can become difficult to remember the nuances between them.

Partnering with a broker can help simplify the process, as they can facilitate meetings and put together open enrollment presentations on what benefits should be highlighted as well as key pillars employees need to understand.

They are experts in the benefits world. Brokers can answer employees’ complex questions on the employer’s behalf and ensure sure plan offerings hit the needs of employees in various states.

Keeping Client Benefits Up to Date

Benefits information can be challenging to communicate to participants, though it is crucial that employees understand their plans. Brokers can assist on the distribution of this information in an easy-to-understand manner that can be understood by even those who have little to no understanding of employee benefits.

Standard plan designs of the past need to be adjusted as a company grows, and employers should be providing benefits that can be used by all their employees, regardless of what state they are in. Brokers can help build these various categories of service into a cohesive benefits strategy that will work for the whole employee base.

Communicating Benefits to Mixed Staff Demographics


There is an added layer of difficulty for employers who have to communicate information to part of an employee base that generally works “on the floor” and not at a desk.

For locations that are not local, managers need to be educated on benefits offerings at all respective locations. When employees have a question, the manager will have to field those conversations. Having a broker who is quick to respond with an answer can help fill in the gaps when it comes to complicated questions that managers may not have a full answer to.

Messaging must be tailored to a range of different generations and style of workers. Workers who are on the floor may not be responsive to information that is emailed to them, and not every generation is technologically savvy. Consequently, employers must be prepared to utilize different strategies when sharing information about benefits – whether that’s making a computer available at the office or opting for hard copies over emails.

Employee Education Outside of Open Enrollment


People often feel overwhelmed during open enrollment season and struggle to process all the information they are presented with. If employers want to successfully highlight key elements of the benefits they are offering, it is important to be strategic in the year leading up to open enrollment.

At Sentinel, our People & Culture team shares content throughout the year so employees have more time to digest information in advance. Time is allocated to running benefit statements that highlight the benefit offerings available to employees and elaborate on which ones they participate in.


For more detailed insights, you can watch a recording of Sentinel’s webinar here or contact us with any questions.



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