We can handle almost any type of enrollment, provided voluntary benefits (VB) are offered to fund the enrollment services: VB only or Core + VB.
This is a common misconception. Individual voluntary carriers such as Aflac do not have any contracts, period. Voluntary benefit carriers can be replaced/switched any time mid-plan year. Section 125 may not allow for employee pre-tax elections to be changed without a “qualifying event” but we typically will switch out a carrier mid-plan year.
Great question. Often, if we you have the time and we’re not conducting a core-enrollment for you, the best time to introduce and/or replace a carrier is mid-plan year. In addition, because we can typical negotiate guarantee issue and non-traditional benefits to the employees only during the INITIAL open enrollment, which recommend mandatory group meetings and when the focus is the voluntary offerings as the focus, employees are more engaged, and we can do a “soft” open enrollment during the true benefits enrollment. Certainly, each company is unique, and the answer depends on factor such as if we’re conducting a core enrolment, or VB only, travel involved by reps, etc. open enrollment, or mid-year.
This is a complete myth. Typical programs cost $20 to $40 per month which equates to about $5 to $10 per week. These employees know how fragile their finances are. The affordability factor in the premiums, when presented properly (educationally as normal), yields high enrollment number, but lower premium dollars, while also providing them with the so-important financial safety net they need. We encourage employers to not “pre-judge” if the employees have the funds as they first need to understand the need and then how the policies will help them lessen their financial risk for their own personal situation.
We hear this often as well. We encourage employers to learn more about how we execute a voluntary benefit plan, and rarely do we achieve less than 50% participation and we typically improve coverage, while also lowering premiums. If you have had a poor experience with a prior carrier, that’s an excellent reason to meet with us.
While we focus on Colonial Life (due to experience and satisfaction with clients and claims), we can perform enrollments for other carriers on Employee Navigator if Colonial can’t fill the need for the employer. If clients utilize the Employee Navigator platform, the platform is offered at no cost as long as 2 or more Colonial products are offered and we can explore what options are available with other carriers (assuming they are integrated with Employee Navigator).
Absolutely. Our sole focus is voluntary and can bring the 18+ years of expertise so can bring unique tools and manpower to your benefits plan. We will work to ensure that benefit offering is complimentary to your core benefits. If all of your benefits need enrolling, that’s what we do – without changing or jeopardizing ANY benefit currently in place.
We recommend using our Five-Year Enrollment Strategy. That plan may include some call center and self-enrollment, but the majority of benefit-eligible employees must be enrolled using the agent-assisted face-to-face process to maximize the employees’ ability to learn about and understand their benefits.
Yes; we use two systems primarily. We own a license for Employee Navigator and also use Colonial Life’s Harmony enrollment platform.
Yes. We have access to a Colonial Call Center agents and have an in-house call center rep in Anchorage Corporate Office. We can perform full core benefits with VB enrollments, or VB-only enrollments through them.
Yes. We use GoToMeeting or JoinMe.com. This service requires the employee to have a computer and telephone available on their end.
Since we focus on providing an education-rich process, we generally resist 100-percent self-serve enrollments. One reason is that a pure self-serve benefits-administration system delivers very low employee participation levels because of the lack of education employees receive. As long as the bulk of the benefit-eligible employee base is enrolling via the agent-assisted protocol, we can support self-enrollment for a smaller number of employees.
Yes. Each carrier has a list of prohibited industries. Please contact us for a list.
We’ve heard that before, but our experience is that even the richest benefit plan has opportunities for enhancement. Additional Life insurance on an individual basis never conflicts with employer-paid Life insurance, and benefits such as accident, hospital and critical illness pays cash directly to the employee (versus doctors and hospitals as medical does) therefore, there is value in offering these programs. Typically, the richer the benefit plan, the more benefits employees are interested in.
We have bilingual materials, as well as bilingual Benefit Counselors.
Depending on the carrier and the number of special-language employees, yes, but the resources are not as robust as they are for the Spanish-language support. We also have a strong bi-lingual benefit counselor on staff.
We use a variety of pre-enrollment communications tools. The typical tool set consists of email and paper communications, posters, text alerts, webinars, videos, consumerism, digital postcards, fliers, table-top tents, as well as webinars and group meetings.
Yes. We have a very robust system that can handle employee enrollment scheduling for multiple locations.
We don’t look at minimum requirements for enrolled premium. We do, however, carefully examine the opportunity to make sure the employer and broker are truly interested in employee benefits education during the enrollment process. On that basis, we decide whether to accept an enrollment opportunity.
We work with groups of at least 5 employees, with no maximum.
Yes. For new hires, we provide both call-center and face-to-face enrollment services for Core Enrollments and/or VB.
Because every business is different, we require our Benefit Counselors to receive case-specific training prior to enrollment. If they miss it, they may not work on that case. The preparation covers everything, from industry specifics to average age of employees to medical, dental and vision benefits, as well as deductibles, voluntary and ancillary benefits and — critical to success — the most effective methods for educating employees about their benefit choices.
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