In order to foster an effective relationship, carriers and brokers must create long-term alliances that best support the carrier, client and policy holder, say Trevor Garbers and Heather Garbers of HUB International. The pair will address the topic in a March 1 pre-conference workshop at EBA’s Workplace Benefits Renaissance in Atlantic City, N.J.

In today's market, one of the three categories wins more than the other two, Mr. Garbers, vice president, practice leader, voluntary benefits at HUB says. “This just can't occur,” he explains. “Our goal is to create a fairness doctrine, where we work with our clients so everyone is in a win-win-win situation.”

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For the broker community, a long-term strategy outweighs a temporary Band-Aid type of strategy when working with clients. Implementing such a strategy — typically for three years — has led Mr. Garbers to limit his total number of carrier partners. But in return, HUB has increased its overall revenue, “which allows us to add benefit administration systems, HRIS, total comp statements, FMLA and COBRA systems at no cost to the client or a PEPM charge-back to the employee directly,” he says.

There is a return for the carriers, too, which see higher participation rates and greater retention with HUB’s block of business, Mr. Garbers, says. For example, in 2015, he did not have a self-service case enroll below 52% participation with a carrier partner.

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“Most importantly, we are investing in all phases of the enrollment process, both high tech and high touch,” he says, “to bring a best of class delivery mechanism which can include call center, self-service and face-to-face within just one case — no matter the size, demographic or industry.”

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