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How Do Benefits Improve Employee Morale?

Sixty percent of employees rated benefits as a very important contributor to job satisfaction. With that many employees placing value on employee benefits, it’s important that you, as an employer, ensure your benefits are set up and attract and retain the best employees. According to Career Builder, only 49% of employees are satisfied with their current benefits, which means you have the opportunity to make your benefits even better to appeal to 51% of your employees!

Telehealth is Convenient Reliable and Here To Stay!

The global pandemic has caused telehealth services to thrive. According to CNBC, about 10 million Medicare beneficiaries used telehealth services between March and August. Compared to the average 13,000 weekly appointments pre-pandemic, that number is exciting for telehealth advancement.

How Voluntary/Worksite Benefits Can Help Employee Retention

Attracting and retaining the best employees is likely of the utmost importance to you and your business. There are many ways to show your employees you care. One of the most effective ways is through offering voluntary benefits as part of your health insurance plans.

Why Should You Offer Voluntary Benefits?

Voluntary benefits, also known as worksite benefits, are an effective way to attract and retain the top employees with little to no effect on your bottom-line. These benefits are a great way to fill the void of coverage that traditional benefits don’t cover. What most employees and employers don’t realize is the effect that voluntary benefits offer to both parties.

Why invest in health insurance for your employees?

Investing in health insurance for your employees is essential to ensuring a happy and healthy workforce. Navigating employee benefits that your employees actually want, can be a challenge. Not to mention the various requirements necessary for employers with 50 or more employees. So, why should you invest in health insurance for employees?

Your Virtual Benefit Administrator Makes a Difference

Your Virtual Benefit Administrator Makes a Difference

Brokers! Choosing your virtual benefits administrator is vital to the success and care of your clients. In order to give your clients the best health insurance experience, choose an administrator that offers a wide variety of products. Your virtual benefit administrator should give your client the ability to control their healthcare at their fingertips. How can a benefits administrator, like freshbenies, help your clients take control of their healthcare?

As the benefits marketplace continues to shift and evolve, your clients need to be in control of their health care services. 

How can you help your clients gain control of their healthcare?

Help them: 

Control their spending.

A virtual benefit administrator, like freshbenies, helps your clients take control of their spending related to healthcare. freshbenies users receive bottom-line savings. All packages include Member Engagement Systems to drive member experience. The expansion and wide-use of telehealth services give your clients the care they need from the safety of their own homes at an unbeatable price. More employees opt-in when services are bundled and convenient like those from our partner at freshbenies. 

Control the time they spend navigating healthcare.

With SBMA, Transamerica, and freshbenies, multiple vendors are bundled into one invoice, membership, and point of contact. This ensures your and the client’s experience is simple and streamlined. With freshbenies your clients’ employees can forget the hassle of waiting rooms and scheduling appointments.

The included Virtual Benefits Administrator takes away the hassle. You can negotiate medical bills, find local in-network doctors, and book a telehealth appointment all in one place.

Control their peace of mind.

As a broker, you want your clients to receive the best possible benefits packages at the best price. What comes with offering benefits that provide the best care, support, and price for your clients is peace of mind. With streamlined processes, convenient and cost-saving services, and instant access to their portal,  your clients can gain that peace of mind.

Thousands of employers, of varying sizes, trust SBMA and freshbenies. You can be confident that you are receiving the best care. 

At SBMA, our insurance coverage plans offer clients coverage when they need it most, with exemplary customer service. Our employee benefits administrators offer partnerships and health coverage that are ACA compliant, affordable and hassle-free.  To learn more reach out to our team at info@sbmabenefits.com.

Your Virtual Benefit Administrator Makes a Difference

What You Need to Know During Open Enrollment

what you need to know during open enrollment

The open enrollment period for 2020 is here! It’s time to consider whether or not to enroll in a new health insurance plan or change your health insurance plan. To begin, you need to understand what benefits you can receive with minimum essential coverage. If your employer offers Minimum Essential Coverage and you’ve been hesitant to enroll, let us help you understand how MEC can give you the essential health benefits you need most.

What is MEC?

Minimum essential coverage is an insurance plan that meets the Affordable Care Act requirements for health insurance coverage. Plans under MEC include marketplace, job-based plans, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers would not cover people who had preexisting medical conditions. Those who had used too much of their medical coverage in the past were also at risk of not receiving insurance coverage. MEC ensures that insurance is offered to all enrollees regardless of health status, or the plan selected.

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is a period where individuals and employees can change or enroll in health insurance. During this period employees can also set up a flex spending account or health savings account. They can also sign up for and adjust the amount of various types of insurance, including

  • life insurance
  • disability insurance
  • vision insurance
  • dental insurance
  • legal insurance
  • supplemental benefits

What coverage uses open enrollment?

Most types of health insurance use open enrollment periods, including Medicare, job-based health insurance, and individual market health insurance. Outside the open enrollment period, individuals must show proof of a “life event” such as marriage, childbirth or new employment to be able to change insurance coverage. However, Medicaid, CHIP, travel insurance, and short-term health insurance do not use an open enrollment period. 

Why should I consider MEC during open enrollment?

MEC covers ten essential benefits in order to ensure everyone can receive proper coverage. These benefits include:

  • Laboratory services: preventative screening tests and diagnostic lab tests
  • Emergency services: emergency care at a hospital, even at a hospital out of network.
  • Prescription drugs
  • Mental health and substance abuse: includes counseling, psychotherapy, mental health, inpatient services, and treatment for substance abuse.
  • Maternity and newborn care: services during pregnancy, delivery, and after delivery
  • Pediatric services (including oral and vision): These services keep your children healthy. They include dental checkups, eye exams, vaccinations, and well-child visits.
  • Rehabilitative services and devices: A patient with disabilities, injuries, or chronic conditions receive coverage for physical, occupations, and speech therapy visits.
  • Habilitative services and devices: A patient can receive coverage for services and devices that help them learn and improve daily skills.
  • Ambulance patient services: services in outpatient care
  • Preventative/ wellness services and chronic disease management: including cancer screenings, annual checkups, and more at no cost.
  • Hospital visits: if you are in the hospital for inpatient care, your plan will help you pay your medical bills. However, it may only cover you for a certain period of time.

Minimum essential coverage can be an affordable option to ensure you and your family are covered during times of need. At SBMA we provide affordable coverage for all of our clients, with a variety of options, including telehealth, vision, and dental voluntary benefits.

why should I consider MEC during open enrollment?

What’s the difference between hospital indemnity policies and accident insurance?

What's the difference between hospital indemnity policies and accident insurance?

Navigating insurance policies can be challenging for anyone. There isn’t a way to predict the future, how can you know what you will need? There are so many options available, how can you decide? Voluntary benefits can help supplement insurance policies that may not cover all of your employee’s needs. There are multiple options when it comes to voluntary benefits with a few differences. What’s the difference between hospital indemnity policies and accident insurance? Here’s a breakdown.

Accident Insurance

Accident insurance is an option to help supplement out-of-pocket expenses for potential expenses incurred when an accident occurs. This insurance is used to cover expenses that your standard health insurance plan cannot cover. Typical medical insurance directly pays the medical provider, and you get the bill later. Accident insurance pays the cash directly to you and you are able to choose the best way to utilize that money.

What exactly does an accident insurance policy cover?

There are quite a few expenses accident insurance covers that your traditional health insurance plan may not. These can include emergency room visits, ambulance rides, helicopter transportation, hospital admission charges, diagnostic exams, follow-up treatments, ICU and rehabilitation unit care, and physical therapy. If you have ever had to be transported in an ambulance, you know how expensive that can be, therefore accident insurance could save you thousands of dollars.

Deductibles for many medical insurance plans can cost thousands of dollars, other insurance simply doesn’t cover hospital stays, ambulance rides, or other non-preventative care. Accident insurance can be a great back up plan.

What is hospital indemnity insurance?

Hospital indemnity insurance is very similar to accident insurance, whether you choose one over the other or, get both, will depend on your lifestyle, expenses, and savings. It is also used to supplement any expenses incurred outside of your health coverage. 

Hospital indemnity insurance provides a set cash payment to use for any bills you need to pay. This is especially helpful for paying housing, bills, and living expenses if you are unable to work.

What does hospital indemnity insurance cover?

Hospital indemnity insurance coverage depends on the plan and coverage options you choose. Some things covered under a typical hospital indemnity plan include: ICU stays, critical care unit stays, outpatient surgery, continuous care, outpatient x-rays and laboratory procedures, outpatient diagnostic imaging procedures, ambulances, emergency rooms, and physician office visits.

Generally, hospital indemnity plans have lower premiums compared to other insurance, but depending on your coverage that can increase.

So, how do you decide which coverage to invest in?

The important distinction between the two types of insurance is how often you frequent the hospital. If you have hospital indemnity insurance and do not go to the hospital, you will not get paid benefits. However, accident insurance applies to both hospital stays and treatment from your primary care doctor. Consider a few things before you make your decisions. 

Consider your lifestyle.

Do you enjoy running, hiking, and other activities that may be more prone to accidents? Accident insurance might be your best choice. Do you have kids who play sports or are constantly playing outside? Accident insurance may be for you. If you lead a relatively healthy, active lifestyle, accident insurance might be a better option for you.

If you have a chronic health issue or have dependents with chronic health issues, hospital indemnity insurance may be a better bet for you.

How much money do you need to get by? 

If you live alone, or if you are a relatively young person with fewer financial responsibilities, accident insurance is a great option to ensure you are covered for whatever comes your way. Sometimes, the best solution may be to have both coverage options. If you have children, own a home, own a car, and have other expenses, purchasing both will give you the best coverage.

Lastly, consider how much money you have saved for emergencies.

If you don’t have a large amount of savings, e.g. enough to cover 3 months of expenses, a small monthly premium for accident insurance may sense for you. On the other hand, if you have enough money to cover potential accident expenses and support your lifestyle, but a large hospital bill might drain your savings, hospital indemnity insurance may be the better option. 

There are quite a few things to consider as you decide what coverage may be best for you. At SBMA, we offer multiple voluntary benefit options to ensure you are prepared for whatever comes your way. Contact us to learn more about our employment policies and how you can ensure you are covered in case of an emergency.

 How to decide if you need accident insurance or hospital indemnity insurance... or both!

Brokers: Are you offering your ALE clients the most affordable MEC?

Brokers: are you offering your ALE clients the most affordable MEC?

Attention Brokers: Are you offering your ALE clients the most affordable MEC?

Attention Brokers: Are you offering your ALE clients the most affordable MEC? How can you offer your applicable large employers a one-stop-shop for all their needs? Benefits are no longer about simply meeting Minimum Essential Coverage options.  You need to offer worksite and voluntary benefits, telehealth options, call center availability, and easy portal management. Why should you offer these options to your employers? Because they want them.

In order for employers to attract and retain great talent, they need great benefit options. This means going beyond standard MEC requirements and offering services that provide value and attract the best workers..

Let’s start with voluntary benefits.

Worksite and voluntary benefits include accident insurance, term life insurance, critical illness insurance, and hospital indemnity. 

  • Accident insurance includes aid in payment for medical and out-of-pocket expenses that may occur due to an accident occurring.
  • Term life insurance includes a way to provide financial protection for loved ones while employees are working.
  • Critical illness insurance adds a safety net for those who are under-insured. 
  • Hospital indemnity benefits help to offset high deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses so a hospital stay does not become a financial crisis.

Next, consider offering your employees access to telehealth care.

With 24/7 access to doctors, telehealth, also known as Virtual Health, can help employees get care when they need it with added convenience. At SBMA, we offer telehealth options that include behavioral health and therapy access, to give employees the ability to speak to a therapist whenever they need it*. In addition, it helps employees receive necessary prescriptions without having to go to a doctor’s office.

Employers look for convenience when looking for benefits, as a broker you can provide a one-stop-shop for all your ALEs benefits needs. This means 24/7 call center support and easy access to portal management, single point billing, and US-based customer care. 

At SBMA, we offer portal management access to provide employers with the ability to make plan changes, order ID cards, and have them shipped within a few days, check their claim statuses, and give employees the ability to manage their own profiles. 

With bilingual call center support, you’re getting licenses representatives to help manage enrollment and provide year-round support. All of our representatives are in-house, which means they understand your client’s needs.

SBMA can provide a one-stop-shop for all employers to handle their benefit needs. As a broker, it is your responsibility to provide your employers with the best possible options for their needs. Contact us to learn more!

*3X/year

voluntary benefits ale

What to do if your employee has COVID

employee benefits

With companies beginning to return to work, there are a few procedures that employers need to put in place to keep their employees and customers safe. One thing employers need to put thought into is how they will handle what happens when an employee displays symptoms of COVID-19. Furthermore, when an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, or if employees are exposed to COVID-19 but are not showing symptoms. Here is some guidance on what to do if your employee potentially has COVID-19.

First, what to do if an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms…

According to the CDC, if an employee has symptoms when they arrive to work or become sick when they are at work, they “should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors, and sent home.” Be sure to communicate the protocol. If they develop symptoms outside of work, they should notify leadership and stay home, away from all employees. 

When an employee does need to stay home due to illness, they should follow the CDC-recommended steps to help prevent the spread of the virus. Once they are sent home from work, employees should remain home for at least ten days. 

Next, consider what to do if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19…

In most cases, as a business owner, you do not need to shut down your facility. But work to close off any areas that the person who might have had COVID-19 had been in for an extended period. When you have the opportunity, follow CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations to disinfect your workspace.

Consider how to determine what employees came into contact with the employee who may have COVID-19. Employers should inform their employees that someone they have come into contact with has Coronavirus. Ensure to maintain confidentiality to remain in compliance with ADA regulations. 

What about employees who have been exposed, but are not showing symptoms?

Employees who have been in close contact with someone infected (someone who has been within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period) but are not showing symptoms should remain home, or in an isolated area, and practice social distancing for 14 days. 

The CDC explains critical infrastructure employees can continue to work as long as they remain symptom-free and more precautions are put in place to protect the community. Be sure to advise these employees to wear a cloth face covering at all times during the 14 days following exposure. 

As we all continue to understand the implications of returning to the physical workspace, be sure to keep your employees safe and informed as you move forward. Take proper precautions to ensure your workforce and your surrounding community remains safe. For more information regarding COVID-19 resources, check out our COVID-19 page.

What to do if your employee has COVID