As Licensed Insurance Advisors, we provide complete group insurance brokerage and advisory service through our affiliated insurance agency, Benefit Reports Insurance Services, Inc. The process begins with formulating objectives for your plans in light of employee needs, legal requirements, benefit trends, government plans and cost considerations. We are able to identify any duplications or gaps and thus develop new and revised programs. We then service and maintain these programs on an ongoing basis. These services would be provided for your group health care (medical, dental, vision), disability (short-term and long-term), life (basic, supplemental, accidental, travel-accident) and long-term care.
Health Care (Medical, Dental, Vision)
Even though the players in this market have diminished, those that remain offer a number of avenues that should be explored and examined when deciding which plans meet the needs of your organization. Plans can be offered both fully-insured or in conjunction with a Third Party Administrator (TPA) as a self-funded option. High-deductible health plans (HDHP) may be offered in conjunction with Health Savings Accounts (HSA). Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) may be implemented alongside any medical plan to pay for out-of-pocket expenses. Organizations may offer dual-option coverage and plans with higher deductibles. New trends continue to emerge in the health care market.
Disability (Short-Term and Long-Term)
What are you trying to accomplish with your salary continuation plan? How does your sick leave work? Do abusive problems persist? Are the employee categories properly defined? Does a signed resolution exist? These are the types of questions that must be addressed in the design of a program of salary continuation for your employees. The answers may or may not be solved with group insurance.
Should group insurance be needed, each insurance company's contract should be examined, as the definitions contained within the contract dictate how the claim is handled.
Life (Basic, Supplemental, Accidental)
Many things should be reviewed annually. Does your contract provide benefits other than for death? Are the coverages adequate? Are the guaranteed-issue limits too low? Is administration a problem? Is your rate competitive?
Long-Term Care is the type of care received when someone needs assistance with daily living due to an accident, illness, or advancing age, either at home or in a facility. The need for Long-Term Care is on the rise. Approximately 23% of Americans over the age of 65 use formal long-term care services. Nearly 25% of Americans over age 85 are in nursing homes. Of the 12.8 million people that need help with everyday activities, almost 40% are working age adults (ages 18 - 64).
This product is the newest of the group coverages and the one receiving the most attention. Our population is aging. Medical care advancements will prolong life and people want to maintain their quality of life. Have you reviewed this type of coverage for your employees?
In today's economic environment employees tend to rely heavily upon their employers to provide them with extra benefits. Unfortunately, most employers are not able to meet those needs to the extent that the employee might desire. Consequently, there is a need for voluntary programs structured on a payroll deduction basis.
These programs would include additional coverage for auto,
homeowners, dental, short-term disability, long-term disability, long-term
care, life, accidental death and cancer insurance. Voluntary programs are
offered on a group basis, thus they are discounted and available (based upon
participation) on a guaranteed issue basis.
In addition to the convenience of issue and purchase, these policies are portable. This means that if an employee stops working at your facility for whatever reason, that individual may keep the policy(ies) in force by simply continuing to make premium payments on his/her own at the same low rate. The premium costs will never increase and the coverage amount will never decrease.
Flexible Spending Accounts
Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Service Code allows employees to pay for group insurance premiums, unreimbursed health care expenses, qualified dependent care expenses and certain transportation expenses with pre-tax dollars. We provide complete administration for these accounts as well as assistance for those employers that wish a Premium Only Plan (POP).
Premium Only Plan (POP)
This plan allows employees to pay for their portion of the premiums for medical, dental, accident and health coverages on a pre-tax basis.
Health Care Spending Accounts allow you to use tax-free dollars to pay for certain expenses that are not paid for by your medical and dental plan. For example, items such as deductibles, co-payments, eyeglasses, uncovered dental expenses, uncovered medical expenses and chiropractic just to name a few. An employee may elect to reduce his/her gross pay in order to fund a Health Care Spending Account.
Dependent Care Spending Accounts allow you to pay for up to $5,000 of eligible dependent care (child or adult) expenses on a tax-free basis.
Transportation Expense Spending Accounts allow employees to pay pre-tax for up to $175 per month in qualified parking expenses and up to $65 per month in commuting expenses.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
Beginning January 1, 2004, individuals enrolled in high-deductible health plans ("HDHPs") may establish HSAs to reimburse tax-favored contributions. The resulting HAS balances may then be distributed on a tax-free basis to pay or reimburse qualifying health expenses, may be accumulated for future health expenses, or may be used (on a taxable basis) for non-health purposes either currently or in the future. An HDHP is a health plan that has a deductible of at least $1,000 for self-only coverage and $2,000 for family coverage, and that has an out-of-pocket limit on covered expenses of no more than $5,000 for self-only coverage and $10,000 for family coverage (These dollar amounts will be adjusted for inflation beginning in 2005).