Wellness in the Time of COVID-19

Much of the workforce is still tapping away on those home laptops. Kids are trying to learn calculus or sight words or American Revolution facts right alongside their parents. The threat of exposure to the pandemic looms like a mystery cloud of despair. In this time of uncertainty, close quarters and overall life disruption, what’s a company to do?

It’s time to call in the Employer Assistance Program.

Employers, an EAP can be one of your closest allies right now. Here’s how to make yours a visible tool to your employee population – a tool that they actually use for good.

  • First, remind your workers that the EAP actually exists. It’s quite possible they’ve never used it before. It’s designed to help employees with stressors both large and small, and it’s confidential. Remind employees that the company will not be able to access personal information through it. This is confidential assistance.
  • Share general examples with employees regarding how the EAP can help. For example, consider the following scenario: An employee was wondering whether or not he was drinking too much. He was feeling especially anxious about his ability to perform his work at a high level while at home. Seeking expert advice on the matter, he reached out through the EAP and was able to secure a therapy appointment.
  • Another scenario might look like this: For the past few weeks, nothing seems to make this employee happy. He’s worrying all the time, and it’s difficult for him to complete his work because his heart is just not in the task. As a matter of fact, nothing is really making him smile anymore.

Individuals with situations that mimic the examples above would be referred to a therapist who would address their issues specifically. Note: Most EAPs are not going to take an individual through long-term counseling. But for the scores of people feeling ‘not quite themselves’ in this time of Coronavirus, an EAP can provide exactly what they need in order to put themselves on a sturdier road toward mental health.

For more information regarding EAP help in the time of COVID-19, take a look at the International Employee Assistance Professionals Association resources specifically aimed at EAPs: https://bit.ly/2yKAqdG.

For answers regarding your specific EAP and further advice regarding how to communicate the benefits of it to your organization, call your W3 advisor. And remember this one silver lining throughout this time of uncertainty: Thanks to the EAP, people can continue to access the help they need.

Disability Insurance: Who Needs It?

Looking for a crystal-clear answer dictating whether or not you should purchase disability insurance? Here it is (drumroll please). If you work 30+ hours weekly and depend on your paycheck, you need a policy. Read below as we answer additional questions to explain why thousands of people each year are thankful they opted for the coverage.

What is disability insurance, exactly? Injured in a car accident? Diagnosed with cancer? Disability insurance provides income replacement benefits that help pay bills so that you can direct your energy toward what’s really important – recovery. Individuals who suffer a disability but don’t have a disability insurance policy will likely have to use their savings/investments to continue to afford monthly expenses. This puts a huge amount of stress on the individual as well as their family.

How do I know if I’m qualified to receive disability insurance? Policy limits are determined based on your current income, and you must be actively at work for a minimum of 30 hours each week to qualify.

Do I really need disability insurance if my occupation is not hazardous? Absolutely. More people are sidelined each year due to illness than to accidents. Claims statistics show that 80% of claims benefits have been paid due to an illness. Disability insurance doesn’t just protect your livelihood if you’re injured while on the job (be careful pouring that hot coffee, by the way). It protects you outside of work.

How do I know how much to purchase? Some employers provide their workforce with disability insurance. However, even if your employer provides a policy, the limits may not be adequate to cover expenses. Be aware of what is already offered to you before you call a disability insurance advisor to ask about insuring for gaps of coverage. Filling the gaps of coverage from your group policy with a supplemental individual disability policy can make a huge difference.

How affordable is disability insurance? Online tools such as the one found atprincipal.com/calculatemyneed give you a general view of how much coverage is necessary and the corresponding costs involved. Policies are often flexible, and there are selections for nearly any budget. It’s imperative that you speak with an advisor who can access different policies and options for you.

The bottom line is this: We have to expect the unexpected. There are too many stories about random diagnoses and accidents for us to ignore them; the news reports such tragedies every day. Most individuals insure their home, car, and boat (and even their cell phones) but then forget to insure the proverbial ‘golden egg’ – their paycheck.  

Contact disability insurance advisor Abbey Bowersox, CLU at 727-522-7777 ext. 150 and start a discussion that ends with coverage. Should illness or injury occur, your income will be protected – and hopefully the healing can then begin.

Your Employees: Informed Healthcare Consumers

Do your employees understand their benefits? Are they using them properly?

Many Americans spend more time researching cell phone carriers than they do learning the details of a health plan. Educate your employees about healthcare benefits, and you’ll have a workplace staffed by informed healthcare consumers who stand to reduce claims costs and absenteeism rates.

Here’s where to begin.

Make employees aware of the important services available. Most people know that the annual exam with a primary care physician is a covered event. Other preventive services (these are age and gender specific – check your carrier’s website) are also covered. These include

colonoscopy, mammogram, pap smear, diabetes screening, tobacco cessation counseling, depression screening and immunizations like the flu shot.

After ensuring your workforce understands these initial coverages, share additional information. Answer the following questions to hone in on the topics that need to be addressed.

  • Do your employees know the importance of staying in network to avoid possible balance billing?
  • For minor illness questions, is telehealth assistance available?
  • Do employees understand the difference in cost between urgent care and ER visits?
  • Are they aware of the tools available through carriers to obtain the estimated costs of procedures or services in order to utilize the best facility at the best pricing?
  • Are employees prescribed maintenance medicines using pharmacy mail options to save money and time?
  • Are individuals aware of the meaning of the health savings account and how to properly use it?

Empowering employees with the knowledge to utilize their medical, dental, and vision insurance can lessen their stress when a medical event arises. Be creative with your marketing to grab their attention. For example, sharing employee testimonials about a successful telehealth visit will probably make more of an impact than just a flyer. Monthly or quarterly “tips” can reinforce the importance of healthcare consumerism as well.

An informed patient/employee can save time and money by utilizing benefits properly. For more information regarding how you can educate and support your employees to become more informed healthcare consumers, feel free to contact me at tblocker@w3ins.com.

Financial Wellness Begins at….the Workplace?

Inspire Employee Stability,
Productivity Through Financial Education

Many workplaces are adding financial wellness education to their list of classic wellness offerings like biometric screenings and fitness/weight loss programs. For many, the catalyst for this focus is the recent government shutdown, which brought a disturbing reality to the forefront. At best, many Americans have a shaky hold on financial stability. According to the Federal Reserve, nearly half lack an extra $400 in emergency savings.

Imagine asking each of your employees to give their pocketbook a physical. What would the outcomes reveal? Is your workplace full of Adonis-level investors with stacked emergency funds and 501K maxes, or would the exercise expose overspending and a lack of savings? The detrimental outcomes associated with unstable finances are well-documented. Financially stressed employees can see dips in productivity and increased health risks. That’s not good for anyone.

Thankfully, employers can do plenty to educate their employees regarding sound financial practices, and some are making a huge difference by tailor-making their program. Pitt Ohio is one such example. The provider of transportation and logistics surveyed their employees to reveal where any ‘financial literacy holes’ existed. The company then created a custom plan to educate workers and to meet their specific needs. Financial counseling was made available. Weekly payroll deductions to a savings account began.

What should an employee financial wellness program look like for your workplace? It depends what your employees are most receptive to. Some programs are completely online; others incorporate seminars and teleconferences. A third-party vendor is suggested, as employees may not feel comfortable revealing the state of their financial health to an employer. Expect education regarding such subjects as debt, mortgages, insurance, wills and trusts, budgeting, financing a home and more.

Just as with a wellness program focused on individual physical health, participation is key to success. Therefore, be open with employees that their privacy is protected. Encourage them to become more financially literate, and facilitate this by making the program easy to navigate. Remember: the return on investment for participating in such a program can be lifechanging. Removing financial uncertainty from an individual’s To-Do list can have a positive lifelong effect.

Physical health is important, yes, but so is peace of mind. Accordingly, so is peace of pocketbook. Consider financial wellness a pivotal part of your business wellness program.

Are you looking to begin or expand your organization’s financial wellness offerings? Contact Trish Blocker at tblocker@w3ins.com for tips and advice.
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jennifertescher/2019/01/18/many-just-a-paycheck-away-from-financial-ruin-employers-and-fintech-can-help/#1dbc96c53e4e

Telemedicine Services: Travel with a Doctor

Summer is the popular time for vacations. Your employees will be making their plans and packing their suitcases with all the essentials, but they are probably forgetting something that could make or break their trip: information for their telemedicine provider.

Time to Sign Your Employees Up for Telemedicine Services

This is a great time to remind your employees to bring digital access to a doctor with them. Promoting telehealth to your employees now can reduce unnecessary Emergency Room visit claims while they are away. Employee engagement in these types of programs is a win-win for all parties involved. [Read more…]

Small Business & the ACA – Transitional Policies

ACA ComplianceSince 2013, many small businesses have been protected from the full effects of the Affordable Care Act. They have been allowed to maintain health plans that existed prior to the passage of the law, known as transitional or “grandmothered” plans, which favor the youngest and healthiest employee groups.

The time allowed to maintain these policies has been extended for what seems to be the last time. Earlier this year, Health and Human Services (HHS) stated that transitional policies must end by Dec. 31, 2017.  Under the extended transitional policy, grandmothered plans will not be considered to be out of compliance with the ACA’s market reforms. Florida adopted this extension allowing Floridians to take advantage of the lower premiums throughout 2017.

Additionally, HHS has stated that they will work with issuers to implement the extended transition policy, including options that begin on Jan. 1, 2017.

According to HHS, this approach will facilitate smooth transitions from transitional coverage to ACA-compliant coverage, which requires a calendar year policy in the individual market. However, with double digit rate increases in both the individual market and post-ACA small group plans, employers have many more considerations as they contemplate what this transition will do to their bottom line.

Considering that post-ACA small group risk pools tend to include older and less healthy populations, rates are expected to increase if an employer with a grandmothered plan simply accepts an ACA compliant small group renewal. Instead, should begin laying the ground-work to ensure their population remains healthy. This allows the employer to take advantage of other ACA compliant programs that will continue to shield them from the full rate effects of healthcare reform including:

  • Alternative Funding of Premiums
  • Purchasing Health Insurance through a PEO
  • Receiving Premium Discounts by Implementing a Wellness Plan

Each of these programs requires lead time for building a post-ACA strategy that fits your company’s goals and to educate employees for a smooth transition. Use of these programs often yield lower premiums and creates a more sustainable benefits program.

Ready for your personalized quote?

Everything You Need to Know About ACA Compliance in 2016

ACA ComplianceI know the chances that this article’s readers are probably not reading this as a bedtime story or “just for fun”. But as dry as understanding the ACA mandate can be, it is important to embrace it with both hands… that way your hands will be tied and you won’t have to worry about hurting anyone!  I have seen many things improve as a result of the mandate, but have also seen individuals and businesses be impacted from negligence to compliance regulations. I am going to take you down the delightful trail of “Everything You Need to Know About the ACA Mandate”! Buckle up, all extremities in the cart, and we’re off!

Large Businesses and Midsize Businesses (who may be larger than they think)

On our first stop, we will explore the changes pertaining to employers. There have been continuing changes since the mandate was first introduced, so let’s make sure you are up to speed.

What does ACA compliance mean for your business?

It has been required for businesses with 100 or more full-time employees to offer health care benefits to their employees. Now, if your business has 50 or more full-time equivalents (FTE) based off the prior year’s numbers, then your business is now considered an ALE – Applicable Large Employer (and you have to offer health coverage!). Before you get too excited, let me explain. An employee that works more than 30 hours a week is considered a full-time employee. The mandate has created a formula to merge your part-time staff and combine them to make full-time equivalents. For example: Say you have a total of 80 employees on the payroll. You have 30 full-time employees who work 30+ hours a week.  The rest are part-time and (for easy math) all work 15 hours a week.  Those part-time employees are paired together to create full-time equivalents, and would add another 25 full-time employees to your tally. So your business would be considered an ALE, with 55 FTE. This change in the definition has confused many employers and caused them to pay noncompliance fines—which we will get into in another section.

If you are a business owner who has been deemed a large employer, chances are you have organized yourself to handle the compliance paperwork and have probably issued your 1095 tax forms to your employees. If you are a small business, and are thinking of growth, keep this formula in mind with regard to your business size. If you have not already, start tracking your employees on payroll each month and their average hours. It will be a much smoother transition during your growth period to start the reporting organization now.

Uh oh, there is a sharp twist and a steep drop ahead, hold on tight!

Is your offering Affordable?

So you have decided on an insurance plan, and benefits package to offer your employees…and it seems to be the best value to you. How do you know if it is considered affordable to your employees? Surprise, there is another formula for that! Bear in mind, you are offering the benefits to your full- time employees only.  The chosen plan will pass the affordability test if the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage does not exceed 9.66 percent of the employee’s household income for the year. Let me provide another handy example. In Florida, the minimum wage is $8.05/hour. If your lowest paid employee makes $8.05/hour and works 40 hours a week, the employee’s “Safe Harbor” salary amount (the threshold amount requiring affordable coverage) is $16,744. Multiply that by 9.66% to find that the maximum amount this employee can pay towards their health insurance is $1,617 a year, or $135 a month. When looking at your employee premiums for the health benefit, make sure that their contribution is that or less. Have I lost you yet?

I almost see the end of the ride….

How does this impact my bottom-line?

I hear the voices in your head overwhelmed with new rules, and wondering what you think you will have to re-arrange in your budget to accommodate these new standards. If we can just take a moment of peace, and really look at the broad picture, I think it may all fall into place.

Non-compliance can cost you. Honestly, it can cost you more for defiance of compliance than to embrace the value of offering a benefits package to your employees. You thought you were reading an article, not solving math problems…but, I have another formula for you! You are a large employer with 75 full-time employees. You have decided you are above the law, and fail to offer health insurance to your employees. One of your employees goes to the marketplace to get a subsidy, and fills out that their employer does not offer health benefits. You are going to get slapped with a $96,300 fine for failure to offer coverage! We have arrived at this total by taking your 75 employees minus 30 (the government’s grace) multiplied by $2,140. Ouch!  Moral of the story, in the “pay or play” ballgame… play nice, and by the rules…it’s better than the consequences.

One last twist and round-a-bout..

When choosing what plan to offer for your benefits package, there are guidelines as to what is deemed Minimum Value or Minimum Essential Coverage. Most plans that the carriers now offer are considered a qualified plan. A quick way to ensure your plan is qualified is to see if a metal tier of Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum labels the plan. The tiers stand for the level of cost sharing or actuarial value that increases from Bronze to Platinum. A Bronze level plan is a very basic plan with minimal benefits, whereas a Platinum plan is a benefit rich plan with very low deductibles and copays. There are plans that can be offered that cover just preventative care on  the most basic level of benefits-called a “MEC” plan. They are a non-traditional form of health insurance, and you aren’t completely safe from the penalties. It’s a dicey solution to the reform, as you comply with Part A of the mandate, but are at risk of the Part B compliance fine. Let me circle you back around to the last example.  You have 75 full-time employees and offer a MEC plan to those employees. One of them receives a subsidy from the marketplace because the MEC plan that you offered him doesn’t meet the Minimum Value Requirements. Because he is now disgruntled, he runs and tells his best friend, who tells her best friend, etc…and before you know it, 15 employees have gone to the marketplace to receive a subsidy. For each of the 15 employees receiving that subsidy, you are now fined $3,240 – totaling $48,600. Not to mention, the costs associated for offing the plan combined with the fine, are probably more expensive than just offering a qualified health plan from the start. While we are talking about the worth of a health plan, have you considered how the offering helps in retaining valuable employees and what that means for your company?

As we are entering back into the loading zone, may I remind you to remain seated, buckled in until a complete stop, and check under your seat for any stray belongings.

Final Frontier

Now that you know the twists and turns, (and all the formulas) in regards to the mandate, I hope you feel confident in your business, and the upcoming choices you will be making on your health benefit offerings. I will leave you with a bullet point list of 5 reasons why offering benefits to your employees enhances your company:

  • Better employee morale– Showing you care about your employees, helps them to be more invested and loyal.
  • Healthier employees– More likelihood that with benefits, employees are taking advantage of their check-ups, and preventative steps.
  • Better job performance– Because employees are happy and healthy, they are not taking off sick days, and care about their team and productivity.
  • Minimize your turnover rate– Employees feel valued, and are dedicated to stay at a place where they are happy.
  • Increase your company appeal– Because your employees are happy, healthy & loyal, word will travel that your company is the place to be!

Food for thought!

I know I had a delightful ride, and hope you shared the same!

Stay tuned for my next post on “What The Mandate Means For Individuals”.

Kim Kato | Employee Benefits Advisor
kkato@w3ins.com | 727-522-7777 ext 285

COBRA and Your Business

COBRA and Your BusinessFirst off, what is COBRA Insurance? The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows the continuation of group health insurance that would otherwise be terminated. It applies to group health plans maintained by: private-sector employers with 20 or more employees, employee organizations and state and local governments. COBRA allows the right to continue coverage temporarily at the group rates.

Eligibility of a Qualified Beneficiary

A qualified beneficiary is usually an employee, spouse or dependent child covered by a group health plan. They must be covered the day before a qualifying event. Other forms of qualified beneficiaries are retired employees (and their spouses and dependent children), and any child born to or placed for adoption with a covered employee during the period of COBRA coverage.

What is a Considered a Qualifying Event?

A qualified event is something that would cause an employee to loose health coverage. There are a number of qualifying events that trigger a qualifying event for a spouse or child of the dependent. The amount of time for the continuation of coverage depends on the qualifying event.

  • Voluntary of involuntary termination of employment (other than for gross misconduct) (18 months)
  • Reduction in hours of employment (18 months)
 Spouse or Dependent Child:
  • Voluntary of involuntary termination of the covered employee’s employment (other than for gross misconduct) (18 months)
  • Reduction in hours of the covered employee’s employment (18 months)
  • Covered employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare (36 months)
  • Divorce or legal separation of the covered employee (36 months)
  • Death of the covered employee (36 months)
  • Loss of dependent child status under the plan rules (36 months)

Does Your Business Need to Offer COBRA?

Federal COBRA generally applies to employers that offer health coverage and employ 20 or more employees on 50% of its typical business days in the preceding calendar year. Both full-time and part-time employees count, but part-time employees only count as a fraction. The fraction is equal to the number of hours that the part-time employee worked divided by the hours an employee must work to be considered full-time. The determination of the number of hours required to be considered a full-time employee (or to determine the fraction for part-time) is based upon the employer’s employment practices, but not to exceed eight hours for any day or 40 hours for any week.

Determining the Number of Employees

An employer may determine the number of their employees on a daily basis or a pay period basis.

The result of using either method could yield different eligibility, but figuring based on a pay period basis could save you time. Remember, you can stop counting once you have the same result for 50% of the preceding year’s business days or periods. However, the basis used by the employer must be used with respect to all employees and must be used for the entire year.

It is important for employers to review the previous year’s payroll and determine if they are subject to Federal COBRA, or alternately a state continuation plan when applicable. If your COBRA eligibility has changed, you will want to notify your COBRA administrator, insurance carrier, and insurance advisor.

There are many aspects of COBRA that an experience advisor can assist you with. Maintaining compliance is very important for your business. Contact us for further assistance!

What Do 1095 Forms Mean to Your Business?

What do 1095 Forms Mean to Your Business?The 1095 forms are a brand new tax form implemented in 2016 that your employees will need to file their taxes. This form goes hand in hand with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its requirement to carry health insurance. The 1095 provides the IRS with information needed to validate whether employees and employers have satisfied the requirements of the ACA. It is considered your “Proof of Insurance”.

There are three different versions of 1095 that you need to be aware of:

  • 1095-A: This is a form that is provided to all individuals who purchased coverage through the ACA marketplace.
  • 1095-B: This version is the form filed and mailed by the insurance carrier. All insurance carriers are required to send this form to their insureds.
  • 1095-C: This 1095-C is the form that all employers with 50 or more employees need to complete and send to all of their employees that had health insurance coverage in 2015.

So what does this mean to me as an employer?

Well, that depends…

Do you have OVER 50 full-time employees?

  1. You are required to send the 1095-C form out to all your employees.
  2. Your employees will be receiving, AT LEAST, two 1095 forms. More if they have been at additional employers in 2015. They need to know what these forms are and that they need to keep them for their taxes. So if your employee had two different jobs in 2015, he or she would likely get FOUR separate 1095 forms. They are going to want to know what these are for and more importantly – to not throw these away! Download an employee communication regarding the 1095-C form
  3. Employers are also required to file form 1094, which is the summary transmittal form. It is just like the W-3 you send along with your W-2s.

Do you have UNDER 50 full-time employees?

  1. You are not required to send a 1095-C form, but must be able to explain to your employees what the 1095-B form is and why they are receiving it.
  2. It is in your best interest to communicate with your employees that they should not throw these forms away. Download an employee communication regarding the 1095-B form

How to Complete These Forms (OVER 50 Full-Time Employees)

By now, your benefits broker should have discussed what options you have regarding the completion of these forms. Many HRIS, payroll and Benefits Administration vendors have added modules that can be used to assist with this task. W3 also worked with our technology consultant to create a self-service tool much like “Turbo tax” that can be used to walk you through completion step by step.

What is your Deadline?

These deadlines where recently extended to give employers and other providers more time to analyze and report coverage information.

  • March 31, 2016 – Deadline for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals
  • May 31, 2016 – Deadline for filing Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS
  • June 30, 2016 – Deadline for electronically filing Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C and 1095-C

Good to know…

Due to the delay of the ACA reporting deadlines, some individuals may not receive Form 1095-C by the time they file their income tax returns.

For 2015 only, individuals who rely on this information from their employers to determine whether or not they are eligible for premium tax credits do not need to amend their tax returns once they receive Form 1095-C.

Instead, they should keep this form for their tax records. This exception also applies to individuals who may rely on Form 1095-B to prove they had minimum essential coverage all year.

Under 50 Employees? 
Over 50 Employees?

6 Reasons Why “Technology-Backed” Trumps “Technology-Based” Employee Benefits

What do you expect from your broker when offering employee benefits? 

Employee BenefitsAre you looking for a trusted advisor who offers the expert help and service needed for you to choose the best employee benefits for your company? Or are you looking for a way to streamline paperwork and ease the administrative burden on HR? Either way, an independent insurance agency, like Wallace Welch & Willingham, is always going to be your best bet.

An independent agency gives you the expert guidance that makes the benefits selection, implementation, and analysis a smooth process. We use technology to offer you a variety of tools and resources that make the benefits administration process virtually painless.

If you are considering moving your HR tasks to a platform like Zenefits or Gusto you must take a look at the bigger picture. These companies can give you HR software, with benefits thrown into the mix, but they are, first and foremost, technology-based and technology-focused. You will not receive the benefits support and personalized service that a local agent provides.

Check out what Wallace Welch & Willingham can offer compared to these new technology-based companies.

1.) Industry Focused

We are focused on your needs and have the expertise necessary to guide you through the plan-choosing process. We’re here to answer questions, provide guidance, and support your HR needs with our HR tools: MillsonJames and the Seay HR Hotline. We’re here to serve you, and we have the personalized service, backed by technology, to help you succeed.

Technology-based companies are focused on providing you with HR software. Once they lure you in with free basic HR technology, they encourage you to switch to them for your benefits—helping  you with benefits is a concern secondary to the software.

2.) Local Presence

Wallace Welch & Willingham is located near you, and we’re proud members of this community. We understand what’s happening in the benefits marketplace, both locally and nationally, and we understand your business. If you want to communicate on the phone or over email, we’ll respond promptly. We’ll be there to sit down face-to-face and guide you through the benefits selection and strategic planning process. When you need us, we’re here for you.

Technology-based companies are headquartered in other states, working in virtual clouds. Zenefits, for instance, is based out of California. Their representatives rarely, if ever, meet with clients and they lack a local presence and understanding. If you enroll in benefits through them, you forfeit the ability to have personalized, face-to-face meetings to help you achieve your goals.

3.) Knowledge & Experience

We help you choose the best benefits, guide you through the open enrollment process, run health claims diagnostics, and sit down with you to develop strategic plans for lowering costs due to health claims. We understand that benefits are more than just benefits—they are an important recruitment and retention tool and choosing the right ones will help you keep your employees happy. We also provide you with compliance information and employee communications, so you are never left to struggle on your own. W3 has been in the insurance industry for over 90 years. We have the knowledge behind our products to offer the best solutions to our clients.

Technology-based companies will automate what they can, but, unfortunately, expert insight and advice cannot be obtained from a computer. Their sales people have were hired (recently) with one objective; to sell their product. Their ability to compete with local insurance agencies based on product knowledge is extremely limited.

4.) Service & Year-Round Support 

We are here for you year-round, and you never have to wonder if you’ll be able to reach someone. While open enrollment is often the most challenging time of the year, we don’t abandon our clients the other 11 months of the year. When you work with us, you’ll personally know who you’re talking to.  We bring an understanding of your business and a solid history of past exchanges to each new conversation. We provide consistent, prompt communication and guidance, and we are ready to serve you.

Zenefits is massive, but its size can be a disadvantage for clients who want to know who they are speaking to. You also want to know that your broker has a contextual and institutional understanding behind each new question or concern.

5.) Pricing Transparency

We are upfront with you about costs. If we are ever going to charge you a fee for an added service, we’ll let you know in a clear and timely manner so you can make an informed decision. We promise never to say “free” if we don’t mean it.

Technology-based companies claim to be free.  That statement is true for their “core features, ” however, beyond those basics, clients run into extra costs. These costs often include a monthly fee per-employee for certain features and even a per-employee charge for delaying implementation of core features.

6.) Compliance and Content

We provide our clients with content to meet business and employees’ needs.  We give you access to W3 Client Connect, a content portal, where you can target the information you need if you want to self-serve. Need help with compliance? Want employee newsletters? Need articles explaining benefits or related topics? Thinking about starting a wellness program? Want to make benefits education fun with short videos for employees? Whatever you’re looking for, we can deliver customized content and training for you.

These new technology-based companies don’t have a content library, employee educational articles, videos or newsletters, or wellness staff and program materials.

Technology-backed or Technology-based? 

When you are faced with a choice between Wallace Welch & Willingham and a technology-based company, consider what makes us different. Are you looking for a trusted advisor who can offer assistance while being backed by technology to make the process easier? Or are you looking for a technology-based solution that kicks service and expertise to the curb?

If you’re looking for a benefits expert who is technology-backed to meet your needs, contact Wallace Welch & Willingham today.