Medical Self Care

Health insurance carriers offer many options for your employees to become better healthcare consumers and make more intelligent decisions about their healthcare. Promoting the information to your employees is vital. If the information is not made available to them, they will probably not utilize these great options. At Open Enrollment meetings these topics may have been discussed, but the employees were overloaded with data and probably did not retain it all.

selfcareI suggest implementing a marketing plan to promote these services either monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually. Your marketing should include multiple layers of marketing such as flyers, posters, table tents in break rooms, payroll stuffers, lunch and learns, webinars, social media blasts, links on intranet, or emails.  Below are services available, but they may differ depending on the carrier, the group size, and whether you are fully insured or self-funded.

  • Telahealth
  • Ask-a-nurse
  • Prescription drug services
  • Find a provider/facility
  • Healthcost estimator
  • Preventive care
  • Health coaching
  • Advocacy programs
  • Use carriers’ websites and apps for access to insurance cards, benefits, claims, and much more.
  • Wellness discounts

If you are unsure of your carrier’s offerings or would like assistance to prepare this information, please contact me and I will be happy to assist you.

Do Activity Trackers Belong in Your Wellness Program?

Activity Trackers

Are activity trackers a step in the right direction?

Employers want healthier employees and some are willing to put money on it. Employers are buying, or subsidizing, activity trackers for their employees. This trend is showing momentum, but is it making an impact?

Of the many wellness articles on this subject, many companies are happy with their decision to provide fitness trackers to their employees. Some employers use it as tool for employees to take responsibility for their health and this is an avenue to assist them, while others use it for tracking and “friendly” competitions throughout the workplace. The end result is more active employees. For example the wellness vendor, beBetter, states that only 20% of their business uses some type of device or activity tracker. This number jumps to an 80% participation rate if the employer subsidizes the cost of an activity tracker.

A study done by the American College of Sports Medicine shows people who wore Fitness Trackers spent less time sitting, more time being active, and lost more weight. One of the many benefits of the devices is the social aspects which help motivate employees. Most devices allow the user to start or join competitions with coworkers and friends. This type of communication and reminders are great motivational tools that can spark more physical activity.

Fitbit seems to have the market on corporate wellness, but there are other products hitting the market. Here is an article from Wearable listing the best fitness trackers in 2016. They offer a quick review along with price points. The cost to implement is anywhere from $60 to $120 per employee, depending on the device.

When there are so many benefits to a healthy workplace, allocating money to a well-rounded wellness plan pays off in more way than one. Happy and healthy employees are more productive, engaged and may reduce your employee benefits costs in the long run. Please contact Trish Blocker, W3’s On-Site Wellness Coordinator, if you have any questions about instituting activity trackers into your wellness programs.

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.