Dear Just Ask Judy:

“I know 2022 employee benefit insurance open enrollment season is coming up soon. What questions should I think through to be prepared to make the best decision?” … Puzzled in Phoenix


Dear Puzzled in Phoenix:

It happens every year: Suddenly you as the employer have to deal with updates to your insurance plans, that is, changes to the benefits offered to you and your employees, the opportunity to change, enroll, or decline benefits. Open enrollment is the mandatory once-a-year time frame in which changes are accepted by the insurance carriers.

To gain some insight into this important annual event, I spoke with David Johnson of Fortis Life Group. David remarked that for a staffing company owner, executive or member of the HR team the conversation around benefits never fully goes away. He cited some topics that you should be thinking about:


  1. Does the level of benefits offered match the respective employee population? For example: Often the management team of a staffing company will be offered a certain benefit package while the temp staff are offered a different package. It is always best to tailor a benefit offering to the respective employee class. As an example, you wouldn’t offer a 22-year-old making $16 an hour a Gold Blue Cross Blue Shield national PPO plan – it would be out of their price range. There are ways of offering great benefits for each class of employee.


  1. How well do I understand the impact of benefits administration on the day-to-day operations of my company? For example: Enrollment, billing, monthly management (adds/terms), and more can have an impact on your HR team in the aspect of time and resources. Benefit management comes with the constant transmission of data, especially in the staffing industry with the constant “on/off” nature of employees. The last thing you need is for the HR team to be reconciling invoices and always playing follow up. Administration is most commonly cited as the number one frustration by HR professionals as it relates to benefits.


  1. What level of service and industry knowledge does my benefit broker provide? Since employee benefit brokers are the first and best line of defense, a knowledgeable and experienced employee benefit professional can save your business time & money while providing a much-needed employee benefit package. Money savings comes in the form of plan design and management. A knowledgeable broker manages your healthcare, the network, and the insurance company to produce actual cost savings to you, the employer.


David noted that these were just a few of the topics that can have a drastic impact on your team, your budget, and your ability to attract high-quality employees. David’s team at Fortis has a collective 30 years of experience working in the employee benefit space with a concentration in the staffing industry.

We appreciate David taking his time to discuss this issue with us and encourage you to reach out to him with any questions you have. You can reach David via Email at or by phone at 602-349-7559.


Judy Collins

NAPS Harold B. Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award Winner