3 Reasons Why You Should Make Your HRIS Provider Your Benefits Broker

Key Points:

  • Many HRIS providers work with brokers to offer employee benefits. But some HRIS providers cut out these partnerships and become benefits brokers themselves.
  • These HRIS providers have all the perks of integrated systems (cost-effectiveness, reduced data entry, and a streamlined experience).
  • They also give you extra perks, such as personalized plans and benefits expertise from a single source.

Benefits are big. Besides accounting for more than 30% of all employer labor costs, they impact employee satisfaction and have the power to make or break a job offer. Despite, or perhaps because of, their importance, benefits administration can be a complex process. This is especially true now, with deadlines and regulations changing to accommodate COVID-19. You need to know how to stay compliant, what benefits to offer, which employees are eligible, and more.

You typically have two options for benefits administration: do it by yourself or get help from a benefits broker. However, there is a third, less obvious option: get an HRIS provider to act as your benefits broker.

These providers embed quality plans and benefits expertise in the software you use to manage your HR needs. Like with any standard HRIS, you save time and money with reduced data entry, bundled rates, and a single point of contact for assistance. 

But there are perks specific to using your HRIS provider as your broker that can make a huge difference in your benefits administration. From personalized advice to expert knowledge and quality plans, here’s why your HRIS provider makes the ideal benefits broker.

1. Established client relationships give you better benefits options

There are thousands of insurance companies in the United States. There are hundreds of benefits and plans to choose from in Medical, Dental, and Vision alone. When you factor in additional benefits like 401(k)s, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), and more, it can be difficult to know where to start.

To narrow down your options, consider your organization’s budget, size, location, and industry. Also look at employee demographics and any collective bargaining agreements or documents that may affect what benefits you offer. Any broker can work with you to gather this data and help you pick the best options for your business. 

When HRIS providers do this, the established relationship they have with your organization allows them to go a step farther. They’ve processed your payroll, managed your employee time, and answered your questions throughout the year. They know your company’s culture and values. These can be just as important as your demographics when it comes to benefits selection and employee satisfaction.

For example, your organization may be family-owned and family-focused. An external broker might give you plans that meet your requirements and nothing more. But the broker who doubles as your HRIS provider knows how much you value family. They can pick out plans to match, like ones with robust maternity/paternity leave and pet insurance. Small details like these can go a long way in improving your retention and boosting employee satisfaction. 

Of course, if you’re switching to a different HRIS or working with one for the first time, you won’t have this immediate familiarity. But if they’re processing your payroll and managing your time, they’ll get a more holistic view of your organization faster than a third party. 

2. You have access to quality plans from established carriers

You may be afraid that you won’t receive quality plans or competitive rates when your HRIS provider is your broker. This is a legitimate concern, but HRIS providers partner with the same carriers as third party brokers. You get similar, if not better, options and rates.

Sentric, for example, partners with national carriers like Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, as well as regional providers like Highmark and UPMC. Our partnerships with AllState, Guardian, Sun Life, and others provide a variety of voluntary benefits. From Cancer Insurance to Accident coverage, you can build plans based on your employee needs without sacrificing quality or affordability. 

It’s important to note that third party brokers don’t work for a specific carrier, so they aren’t motivated to sell you plans outside your budget or needs. Brokers can earn commissions and bonuses, but these incentives typically have no effect on the rates you pay. In fact, you may actually save money, as these providers won’t charge you for plan design recommendations or other services.

3. Experts are at your fingertips

Brokers are benefits experts. They help you select plans, handle claims, resolve issues, and ensure compliance. Even though HRIS providers handle more than benefits, their licensed benefits experts are within reach. But because they do more than benefits, HRIS providers also have other experts on hand. This makes it easier for you to get benefits advice and HR or payroll support. You can go to one place to get all of the answers you need.


Making your HRIS provider your benefits broker combines the best of both worlds. You get a broker’s range of plans and expertise plus a first-rate HRIS’s streamlined service and client familiarity.

Sentric sits right at this intersection, with an intuitive HRIS backed by benefits and product experts. To learn more about our plans and how we can help, speak to one of our benefits experts today.


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