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Employee Benefits Products



Don’t have a Harvard MBA? You're not alone. Most successful entrepreneurs started out with what seemed like a good idea and ended up running a business of their own. How can you learn to manage the business side of business? Read, study, ask lots of questions, and seek out sound advice from your tax, legal and financial advisors. You can also turn to us to discuss how the insurance and financial products that we offer can help you support your business growth plan.

Need a little help in deciding which products would be right for you and your family? Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information. We can help you analyze your needs and recommend appropriate products.

Finding quality employees is half the challenge. Keeping them – and keeping them well motivated – is the other half, especially in today's tight labor market. One way to do that is to provide competitive benefits. I know, when many small business owners hear the words "employee benefits," they immediately think, "one more expense I can't afford!" If this sounds like you, you might want to think again. Two reasons: (1) Carefully selected benefits can help reduce costly employee turnover, boost morale and, in turn, help assure your company's stability and productivity. (2) Benefits need not cost you an arm and a leg. For example, a voluntary payroll deduction program lets workers – including you as an owner-employee – acquire valuable benefits at virtually no cost to you. We will take time to explain the range of options and answer all of your questions, because we understand that getting the best value for your benefit dollars is critical to your bottom line.

Individual & Group Insurance 

  • Click the Employee Census tab on the toolbar at your left if you would like a quote on group medical, dental, disability, life or long-term care insurance or retirement plans for your business
  • Click the Request Quote tab on the gray bar at the top of the screen if you would like a quote on individual medical, dental, disability, life, long-term care or retirement
  • Click the Provider Directories tab at the left for physician and hospital networks

Health Insurance Options

Managed Care Plans

HMO's

HMO flow chart


For companies seeking the greatest degree of cost control over health care benefits, an HMO plan can be the ideal choice. Under this plan, employees and their covered dependents select a personal physician, called a Primary Care Physician (PCP), from the network of participating providers located in their service area.  When using the services of their PCP and if required, obtaining referrals through this physician to other participating providers, employees will usually receive the full range of medical benefits.  The cost to the employee may range from $10 to $50 per visit when seeing a Network Provider.  HMO's do not cover medical services provided by Non-network Providers, except for emergencies.


Point-of-Service (POS) Plans

POS flow chart



For companies that want to offer an HMO network and out-of-network coverage as well, a Point-of-Service (POS) Plan can provide the perfect vehicle.

When your employees enroll in the POS Plan, they will select a Primary Care Physician (PCP) from the HMO network, just as with the HMO stand-alone plan. They will generally receive enhanced benefits when using their PCP's services or those performed by other participating providers.  Once again, some HMO's may require referral from primary physicians to network specialists, while other "open access" plans may not.   Those that do not require referrals function very much like PPO plans, except that the network of providers would be HMO- rather than PPO-based.

POS plans differ from HMO plans, however, because employees and their covered family members may also select health care providers without using Network Providers any time care is required throughout the calendar year and receive the more traditional indemnity benefits. In exchange for this flexibility, employees pay a greater portion of their health care costs.

Preferred Provider Plans

PPO flow chart

Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) plans allow employers to encourage their employees to seek care in a cost-effective managed care environment, while retaining the employees' freedom of provider choice. Employees can generally receive richer benefits by using the PPO network of Preferred Providers. Or they may choose any licensed doctor or hospital and receive reduced out-of-network benefits in return for greater freedom or provider choice.


Multi-Option Point-of-Enrollment Plans

The Multi-Option Point-of-Enrollment Plans offer you an option of two plan combinations to provide for your employees - either an HMO/PPO plan or an HMO/POS plan. A few carriers will allow you to offer all three types of plans in a Point of Enrollment Plan. This enables the employee to select either an HMO/POS/PPO plan at the time of enrollment.


HMO/PPO PLAN

HMO ppo flow chart

If you select the HMO/POS option, your employees and their eligible dependents can choose HMO coverage or PPO (Preferred Provider Option) coverage during an annual open enrollment period. The HMO portion of the Point-of-Enrollment plan operates as previously described.

If employees choose the PPO side of the plan, they receive richer benefits when using the PPO network's Preferred Providers. Or, they may choose to go out-of-network and use any licensed doctor or hospital and receive traditional indemnity benefits. However, they will pay a greater portion of their health care costs.

or

HMO/POS PLAN

HMO pos flow chart

If you select the HMO/POS plan, your employees and their eligible dependents have a choice of the HMO or Point-of-Service plan during an annual enrollment period.

Whether you purchase the HMO/PPO option or the HMO/POS option for your company, you'll be providing your employees with the flexibility they want, while taking advantage of the increased cost controls these plans provide.

Consumer-Directed Health Care Plans/Healthcare Savings Accounts

One of the newest design options available to employers is the "consumer-directed healthcare" (CDHC) plan, which combines an employer-funded interest-bearing healthcare savings account (HSA) for each employee with a high deductible health insurance plan.  Employees may use their HSA accounts to fund the healthcare expenses that fall below the deductible, and may roll over any balances that remain in the account to the following years.   However, once the employee exhausts the money in the HSA, he or she may be responsible for a remaining deductible before insurance coverage begins.  

 

Regarding the 2008 indexed amounts for Health Savings Accounts, the minimum annual deductible is $1,100 for single or $2,200 for family coverage. The maximum annual HSA contribution is $2,900 for single or $5,800 for family coverage. The maximum annual out-of-pocket amount is $5,600 for single or $11,200 for family coverage.

 

For 2009, the minimum annual deductible is $1,150 for single and $2,300 for family coverage.  The maximum annual HSA contribution is $3,000 for single and $5,950 for family coverage.  The maximum annual out-of-pocket amount is $5,800 for single and $11,600 for family coverage.

 

Depending on how the plan is designed, there may also be riders which allow consumers to bypass the deductible when serious illnesses require hospitalization or surgery or when chronic conditions require maintenance medication.  There are also so-called Vitality Programs, which provide significant financial incentives to consumers in order to encourage them to stop smoking, reach a healthy weight, participate in fitness programs, and make educated healthcare decisions.   

 

While these plans are still new, evidence is accumulating that consumer-directed healthcare plan members enjoy participating in these plans and do change their behavior in very positive ways.  Studies also indicate that the cost to employers for funding the healthcare savings accounts and high deductible plans is often significantly lower than the cost of an HMO or PPO plan. 

 

 

Retirement Planning - For you, as with many of our clients, retirement seems very far off.  Whether you are a business owner who takes great pride in their accomplishments, a physician devoted to the treatment and eradication of serious diseases, a political consultant or trade association executive driven by the commitment to political change, it may seem hard to envision the day when you just might WANT the option to trade the fun and frustration of work for golf, gardening, vacationing with the grand kids or sitting back and relaxing with family and friends. Just as important, you also want to have all your ducks in a row, so to speak, when it comes to making sure your employees, or you as the employee, are well provided for in the future. Neither of these goals just happens. They are the result of decisions you make today. That means retirement planning and estate planning – mapping out a strategy to create options for you and for your family. Fortunately, there are more retirement and estate planning choices available today than ever before for business owners and those self-employed. There are many types of retirement plans to choose from.  

 

401(k): A Plan for the Future -- 401(k) plans are among the most popular retirement plan options, because they help make saving for retirement easy and convenient while providing tax benefits to employers and employees. These employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans let eligible employees contribute up to the lesser of $15,500 for 2008 for individuals under age 50 or $20,500 for people 50 and older, or 100% of their pre-tax income directly from their paychecks. Current taxable income is reduced and investments grow tax deferred.  Employer contributions are discretionary, and may be tax deductible up to 25% of eligible payroll.  The overall maximum contribution per eligible employee is the lesser of 100% of compensation or $46,000 (excluding "catch-up" contributions for those age 50 and older).  401(k) plans offer employers strong flexibility in plan design and vesting schedules, and give employees high income deferral potential.

The 2009 limits for 401(k) plans, reflecting inflation threshold triggers, permit eligible employees to contribute up to the lesser of $16,500 for individuals under age 50 or $21,000 for people 50 and older, or 100% of their pre-tax income.  Employer contributions may be tax deductible up to 25% of eligible payroll.  The overall maximum contribution per eligible employee is the lesser of 100% of compensation or $49,000 (excluding "catch-up" contributions for those age 50 and older). 

Group Disability Insurance -

If you or your employees become disabled, you can lose the one thing you've always relied on--your ability to earn income. Meanwhile, your living expenses continue. Where will the money come from? Would it come from money you were planning to put into your business, your retirement or your children's education? That's where group disability income insurance comes in. It's designed to help the owner or employee maintain his or her standard of living when he or she cannot work. 

Long- or short-term disability insurance also can help ensure the financial health of a business when the health of its employees or owners is in question. You may think the disabled person is all set because of disability income insurance through Social Security and Workers' Compensation. But Social Security probably won't provide enough to maintain the standard of living that you, your family, or your employees and their families are used to—and that's if you qualify. Workers' Compensation doesn't cover sickness or off-the-job injuries, and payments are low and usually last a few years at most. Group disability ensures that the employee is receiving adequate compensation from the insurance company and allows the employer to free up payroll to cover a replacement worker.

Business Overhead Expense & Business Continuation- Overhead expense insurance provides the money you need to keep your business going when you can't. It can help ensure that a total disability will neither force you to lower your standard of living nor force you to close your doors.

*Eligible expenses include any regular expense, normally incurred in the conduct of your business or profession, which requires a cash payment and which is considered tax deductible by the IRS. 

Voluntary Payroll Deduction Plans Voluntary benefit plans are a growing portion of an employees benefit package at many firms. Employees want the ability to purchase financial and insurance products through their employer. They get the benefit of a group discount, and the employer gets employee goodwill for making it available to their employees. It’s a win, win situation.  (Employee participation in payroll deduction insurance programs is completely voluntary. Since these programs are not intended to be subject to the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), employers cannot contribute to or endorse these programs.)
 

Section 125/Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) - Employers sometimes offer benefits packages that let employees pick and choose the benefits they want, paying for certain qualified insurance benefits and non-covered health and dependent-care expenses with pre-tax dollars taken directly from their paychecks. These types of plans are known as cafeteria plans, or Section 125 plans (because they operate under Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Act). 

The benefit of these plans is that they allow employees to pay for benefits with pre-tax dollars, so employees' taxable income is reduced and they receive more spendable income options.  

  • With the Premium Only plan, employees can pay for life, medical, dental, and disability benefits with payroll-deducted, pre-tax dollars.
  • With the Flexible Spending Accounts plan, employees get reimbursed for qualified non-covered health and dependent-care expenses with tax-free dollars.



  

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