Reimagining workplace benefits: A guide for VB brokers in the modern era


With technological advancements and innovation on the rise, the world of voluntary benefits is constantly evolving. And as it should be — many of the old technologies and ways of doing things are creating inefficiencies for clients and brokers.  

In this blog, we’ll discuss how brokers can harness the changes in today’s VB landscape to produce better results for clients.  

Read on to learn the 8 ways brokers can raise the bar in the voluntary benefits space.

1. Expand your VB offerings

In today’s age, employers with robust benefits portfolios are more attractive to potential employees. So, encourage your clients to offer a suite of traditional and nontraditional voluntary benefits in addition to healthcare coverage.

Since voluntary benefits are generally paid for by the employee, they are a great way to enrich a benefits package at no additional cost to the employer.

Traditional voluntary benefits

Trending non-traditional offerings

  • Adoption assistance​
  • Caregiver support​
  • Fertility benefits​
  • Financial wellness ​
  • Identity theft protection​
  • Legal plans​
  • Mental health​
  • Paid family leave​
  • Pet insurance​
  • Physical wellness​
  • Telemedicine​

When adding these voluntary benefits, look for bundled product offerings or attaching riders to help reduce costs and decrease choice fatigue for employees.

Also, when choosing a VB carrier, consider their technology capabilities, paying attention to whether they have modern technology rather than outdated legacy systems. As you’ll learn later in this article, better technology makes VB easier for brokers, clients, and employees.  

2. Embrace your consultative role​

67% of HR professionals said they were slightly likely to very likely to obtain benefits without the help of a benefits advisor in the next five years.1

VB brokers offer unique value to their clients, and it’s essential to demonstrate your value ​so you can retain the best clients.

With more companies exploring benefits options without a broker, you can boost your value by strengthening your consultative expertise. When clients see you as a trusted advisor who provides valuable advice and guidance, they’re more likely to acknowledge your long-term value to their company.

Ask yourself these questions to assess your strengths and growth areas:

  1. What am I doing to help clients combat the rising cost of healthcare?​
  2. Am I helping employers use trending non-traditional employee benefit programs to show measurable gains in employee retention and satisfaction?​
  3. Am I helping employers maintain benefit compliance to keep pace with federal and local government regulations?​
  4. Am I helping support the benefits, education, and engagement of my clients’ current and new employees?

3. ​Leverage technology to expedite quoting​

Brokers are challenged with new demands while their resources sometimes feel unchanged. Instead of looking to more people to solve the challenges, it’s important to identify and leverage technology.

A better quoting experience starts with taking a deeper look into how technology improves the process through:

Increased productivity

Manual quoting processes are out of date and inefficient for conducting business today. Technology keeps increasing across the marketplace. The quoting process can include answering customer questions, gathering information, and sending multiple emails — all of which can be very time-intensive without automation.

More accurate information

Manual quoting can be much more prone to errors. Using technology means you can reduce lost or missing quote requests, duplicate data, delays in customer responses, and, more importantly, lost or incomplete sales opportunities.

Increased transparency

With automation, communication can be improved for carriers and brokers. Brokers are clicks away from accessing important data relating to carrier offerings

Improved customer satisfaction

Enhancing technology in the quote process will benefit the broker, customer, and carrier.

Increased control

Lack of consistency can often be found when the quoting process is too long and unstructured. Think of all the back-and-forth emails and calls to get a proposal. Enhanced technology provides a level of standardization across the board. Documentation can also have a more modern and professional look and feel.

4. Implement key strategies post-sale

Your clients believe in you and the solutions you’ve provided. Once you’ve sold the case, it’s time to give them the tools that will help them see the value of their VB products. ​

Ensure you’re delivering a well-rounded, positive VB experience in all these areas post-sale:

  • Delivering a customer-centric user experience from start to finish​
  • Implementing a single point of contact philosophy​
  • Creating an effective onboarding and timeline management plan​
  • Planning to work with the HR technology platform of choice​
  • Providing marketing and education​ services
  • Validating and processing data effectively
  • Managing favorable billing practices
  • Offering user-friendly employer, employee, and broker portals​
  • Scheduling reviews and stewardship​ tasks

5. Provide hassle-free billing

Billing has a reputation for being a headache for clients and brokers.

Follow these steps to create a more effective and simple billing process with your clients.

1. Discuss billing early in the process to understand specific needs.

  • Billing options
  • Do locations play a role?

2. Provide flexible billing options.

  • Work with clients to meet them where they are in their billing journey.
  • Encourage modern billing practices.
  • Offer your client a variety of choices to help alleviate concerns and billing errors.

3. Ensure you ask your clients the right questions.

  • What type of billing do you prefer?
  • How are employees deducted, and will they be remitting premiums based on this deduction frequency?
  • Are employees/members divided by location, and does this impact their billing?

4. Conduct a first-bill review session.

  • Ensure things are going as expected

6. Ensure your carriers are optimizing APIs​

An application programming interface (API) is a way for multiple computer programs or components to communicate with each other.​

APIs serve as a bridge between systems to transmit information back and forth.​

These connections make our digitally connected world operate faster and more reliably. ​

​Common uses for APIs in voluntary benefits​

API connections for key data points and process improvement​:

  • Quote: APIs connect multiple data sets to provide fast quoting​.
  • Case set up: APIs simplify the case build process for new clients​.
  • Enrollment: APIs transfer information about new members to the carrier and can provide confirmation that the transaction was completed back to the user.​
  • Evidence of Insurability: APIs facilitate the instant building of user profile documentation​.
  • Coverage changes: APIs quickly communicate personnel changes to the carrier.​
  • Billing: APIs facilitate a simple, reliable billing process for clients.​
  • Claims: APIs enable real-time claims updates and help provide a fast resolution.​
  • Leave decisions: APIs automate the complex navigation associated with plan updates.

API technology in the VB space is behind nearly every other major industry — but that is changing.

Current limitations in API utilization exist because of:

  • Technical infrastructure and budget constraints​
  • Partner organizations that are not set up for API integration​

APIs can positively impact the way nearly every aspect of our business functions if we had universal adoption in the VB industry. It is only a matter of time before APIs become standard in VB, so don’t get left behind.

Learn more about the role of APIs in VB by reading our whitepaper.

How to evaluate VB carrier tech ​

Legacy technology is slow-moving, expensive to replace, and often kept afloat with a patchwork of repairs​.

5 questions to ask carriers about their technology:

  1. How old is your insurance administration system, and what updates have been made?​
  2. Is your entire policy lifecycle stored in one system of record, one that captures data in real-time? If not, how many systems are interconnected?​
  3. How is the data collected and stored?​
  4. Do you have an efficient end-to-end audit report?​
  5. Are you leveraging middleware to run your technology?​

7. Ensure VB carriers are using medical claims integration​

Medical claims integration helps members get the most value out of their policy. With this process, medical claims are monitored, and employees are alerted of a potential claim on their supplemental benefits product(s).​

How does medical claims integration work?​

  1. Medical claims data is transmitted from major medical carrier(s) and analyzed by HIPAA-compliant sources​.
  2. Claimable conditions are identified and matched against participants who have opted into the program​.
  3. Participants are sent a reminder to file a claim. ​

For example, let’s say an employee enrolls in a major medical and a supplemental accident policy from her employer, and she opts into the medical claims integration program.​

Let’s say she is injured in an accident and breaks her wrist, and then she receives medical care.​ After applying her major medical policy, she still has deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.​

Without reminders, she wouldn’t remember to file a claim for her supplemental coverage. ​But because she receives a helpful reminder to file an accident claim with Wellfleet, she’s able to receive a payment and cover her expenses while recovering.

8. Explore the uses of artificial intelligence in VB

Artificial intelligence encompasses a variety of technologies that enable machines to sense, comprehend, act, and learn with human-like levels of intelligence.​

As a broker, it’s essential to understand the benefits of AI and optimize its capabilities to create efficiencies and improve the VB experience. 

Here are a few of the ways AI is being used within VB:

  • AI-powered personalization​
  • RFP generation and quoting​
  • Virtual benefits assistants (chatbots and email bots) ​
  • Claims​
  • Contact center support​
  • Decision support​
  • Streamlined enrollment and data processes​
  • Personalized communications​

Discover a reimagined voluntary benefits experience

As most VB brokers know, the easier and faster the client experience, the more satisfied they are. That means fewer phone calls, less stress, and happier clients. If for no other reason, that’s why you should optimize technology to create a better client experience.

Learn more about how Wellfleet Workplace can simplify your workplace benefits experience. Connect with our team to see how our customized plans can benefit your clients.


1 Neyery, R. (2023, December). The evolving benefits broker-employer relationship.​..


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