In meeting with a prospective client, I was reminded sometimes receiving an answer in no way offers the solution they needed.

How many times do we face a situation where:

  • We didn’t know what we didn’t know?
  • Don’t know how to ask the right question to get to the solution?

This is the case here. The situation revolved around the owner calling the existing provider “call centre” to inquire if a certain eye procedure would be covered under the benefit plan. He received a flat “no”. The end. No further explanation.

This, to me, is an excellent example of the difference in service between those who work for the “benefit provider” verses those of us who work for the business owner—our clients.

As employee group benefit specialists, we work in the customer’s best interest, directly for the business itself—not the insurance companies. So, when he asked the same question in our meeting, my response was vastly different from what he had received. First, there was a delving down into what the procedure would be, where, and of course, how much. Then an explanation to support the answer—to get to the solution. Though the eye procedure may not be covered under the “core” portion of the benefit plan, yes, it should very well be an eligible expense under the Cost Plus option of his plan. I followed up by providing him the link to the CRA website for easy access to what are eligible expenses and how easy it is to access the required information:

This, in turn, led to a conversation about Cost Plus, the tax savings offered by a well-designed benefit plan. He had no idea Cost Plus was even an option.

In putting the client first, seeing beyond the initial question to creating solutions, a broker will always strive to do more than “answer”, they strive to solve to offer “solutions”.

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