It's always comes down to service, service, service
We have been a service-driven agency since 2002. As a matter of fact, one of our first clients in Washington (Systems Interface) was a client of my agency for 17 years (even though my agency was in Alaska for seven of those ten years). Regardless of geography, we find it easy to answer an e-mail within 24 hours, respond to an enrollment question or walk a policyholder through a claim. It’s about “service after the sale” and we handle it 24/7 so our broker partners and clients can focus on their business.
Initial enrollments that yield high results are easy. We are committed to ensuring every new hire is treated with kid gloves as this is the purpose of voluntary benefits: to shout to the rooftops what amazing benefits they are eligible for, how to enroll and what the benefit means for them.
In summary, we have a saying: “we will never be out serviced” and never have and never will.
Let’s explore ways Elite-VB supports our brokers and clients:
Service for brokers
At Elite-VB, we understand that our broker partners have enough on their plate. Our agency ensures that we are responsive with our communication, reporting, client strategies meeting timeframes.
Benefits and enrollments can be stressful. There are many details and we live for complex, time-sensitive enrollments while never missing a deadline
Service for organizations
One of the potential stigmas for voluntary can be a prior lack of professionalism and responsiveness, either by carrier rep at the “employer level” or benefit counselor at the “employee level“.
We set a high bar for professionalism, are always responsive and our service stands separate us from the rest of the pack…period
Service for employees
One theme that is consistent in my message is “education“. Service to policyholders starts with treating them with respect during the open enrollment process and ensuring they understand the coverage they signed up for.
No heavy handed “selling”, and always available to help with claims, with no question too trivial.
A great “service strategy” isn’t hard for us. I believe that organizations either fully embrace service or have excuses. It’s not difficult to answer an e-mail within 24 hours. It’s not difficult to help a claimant within hours. It’s what we do. I encounter organizations using the Pandemic as an excuse to set low service standards. We aren’t them.
Servicing brokers, employers and policyholders
Compliance with Section 125
New hire strategy is critical for ensuring that your organization complies with Section 125 as all “pre-tax” benefits should be offered to all employees equally and fairly. When we design the initial enrollment, care is taken to ensure that the process is already in place BEFORE the enrollment is over with HR/Payroll which is easy and seamless.
Receive a summary of your employees’ enrollment elections via e-mail that can be customized for you payroll system as needed. Depending on the technology platform that is used, we may be avoiding Excel deduction reports all together and using EDI feeds (for core enrollments with medical, dental, vision and prescription). Ensuring that the date is complete and will import properly and efficiently to the client’s payroll system is paramount and a big part of pre-enrollment strategy.
Online Administrative Functions
View, reconcile and pay your invoices online from the carriers selected. Elite-VB will always be available to assist with any billing discrepancies from the initial return data feed to each new hire through Open Enrollment. Tracking any updates to deduction amounts for policies that fail to issue or have an adjustment to the premium.
We recommend a face-to-face (or virtual) mid-year service visit to answer any questions, review online claims portal and help with outstanding claims (no policies written – service visit only).
Another great mid-year visit is to provide EDUCATION to your employees such as the risks of cancer, heart disease, disability, etc.
Maintain Ongoing Eligibility
Benefits enrollment certainly isn’t a one-and-done thing. After all, our lives are constantly evolving. Many life and career changes – expected and unexpected – can affect employees’ eligibility for certain benefits. Elite-VB offers clients and our broker partners consistent monitoring and maintenance of eligibility issues for all client employers and their full workforces.
Finally, prior to Open Enrollment each year, our goal is to review the prior year’s product mix, the percentage of employees enrolled in various plans, the claims data and determine if any products should be added. Utilization of the plans are important and we’re here to ensure that your program is on track and performing it’s best…year after year…no matter what changes occur with your organization, we are here to adapt as needed.
Pamela Whitfield, CVBS
Certified Voluntary Benefits Specialist
Founding Partner, Elite-VB LLC
Service Standards We Live By
We have always have pride in our service standards as well as being an agency built on integrity: doing the right thing every way, every day.
My Alaska Colonial agency (Whitfield Benefit Solutions, Inc.) was proud to win the prestigious Better Business Bureau’s “BBB Torch Award for Ethics” in 2016 – the #1 Business in Alaska. We achieved this award in just three years, an accomplishment that we are proud of as our goal was to shift not only the “perception” of voluntary but bring professionalism to a market that was severely wounded.
We stay committed to ethical standards and will always abide by these guidelines in all of our business practices.
Our goal is to win the award once again in Hawaii!
Establish and maintain a positive track record in the marketplace.enrollment.
Follow established legal and ethical advertising and selling practices, including, but not limited to, the BBB Code of Advertising.
Honestly represent products and services, including clear and prominent disclosures of all material terms.
Openly identify the nature, location, and ownership of the business, and clearly and prominently disclose all material facts that bear on a customer’s decision to buy.
Fulfill all contracts, commitments and representations.
Address disputes forwarded by BBB quickly and in good faith.
Protect any data collected against unauthorized disclosure and fraud, collect personal information only as needed, and respect the preferences of customers regarding the use of their information.
Approach all business dealings, marketplace transactions and commitments with integrity, good faith and intent to do what is reasonably expected.