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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’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

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How to attract the best employees: Voluntary benefits.

Attract the best employees with voluntary benefits

Looking for ways to attract the best employees in a market where thousands of employees have been laid off? Offering voluntary benefits adds a level of insurance coverage that many workers have not previously had access to. Benefits beyond the traditional 401(k) and health insurance are vital to attracting the right talent for your business. 

What exactly are voluntary benefits?

Voluntary benefit plans are offered through the employer, but are paid, either partially or solely, by the employees. These benefits are typically paid through payroll deductions. Some of these plans offer group rates that employees cannot typically get on their own.

Why do employees look for employers who offer voluntary benefits?

  • It gives employees the choice: Allowing employees to choose the voluntary benefits they need gives your employees higher satisfaction and engagement with your business.
  • It meets the needs of various types of employees: Voluntary benefits cater to various generational, cultural, and economic differences among employees. It can be a challenge to meet the needs of a diverse workforce with a benefits plan that has only one option.
  • It ensures employees are financially stable: Voluntary benefit plans can protect employees financial wellbeing, and give them a sense of security in case something goes wrong. This makes them better, more engaged employees.

Not only do voluntary benefits help your existing employees, but also your future employees. When you offer competitive voluntary benefit packages to your workforce, great talent will be more likely to join your team. 

At SBMA, our benefit plan offers voluntary benefits that most employees will need. Your employees are the backbone of your business, so treat them right! Our plans can be modified to include dental, vision, life, hospital indemnity, accident, and critical illness coverage. Contact us today to see how voluntary benefits packages can improve your company’s ability to attract and retain the best employees.

how can voluntary benefits help you attract and retain employees

Employee Retention is More than Just Health Care

Keeping employees engaged and excited about work can be a difficult task for some employers. There are a few things you can do as a leader within your organization to foster employee happiness. One of the main ways is to offer voluntary benefits. Employees are looking for insurance when they are looking for a company that will serve them, but they also require additional benefits, and other creative approaches to benefits. In the article below, you will see the best ways to keep employees engaged and excited about work, and how important it is to offer more than just health insurance. At SBMA, we have insurance options that include vision, dental, and other voluntary benefits. Check out our plan options here!

The Best Ways to Keep Employees Engaged and Excited About Work

Attract ENGAGE Retain. 

An engaged workforce is a productive workforce. 

But you can’t force someone to be engaged. 

Once you’ve got a candidate through the hiring, onboarding and training process, you really want to retain them.  But what about two years in, five years in.  What do you do as a company to re-engage and thereby retain your staff?

People are engaged when they feel they make a difference.  People are engaged when they feel appreciated.  People are engaged when they feel a sense of purpose.  People are engaged when they feel aligned with the company’s values.

So, here are 6 ways to align yourself as a company for the best possible chance of engaging, inspiring, and thereby retaining your workers. 

  1. Benefits aren’t just a 401K: While health insurance is the #1 benefit employees look for, there are many other ways to keep employees feeling valued that are outside the traditional, raise, increase in benefits routes. Flexibility around work-life balance rates more highly among millennials than even health insurance in a study conducted in 2017 by Forbes magazine.  Bringing yoga into the workplace is another way to engage your teams in physical and emotional self-care right there on the job.  Don’t think of it as losing an hour of productivity, you’re not!  You’re donating an unproductive hour to the cause of engagement. Stress is the #1 reason people leave jobs.  So OHHHMMMMMM.
  2. Share your passion: If you’re passionate about running, donate 5% of your profits to a charity that uses running programs to get homeless people back on their feet.  If your passion is the environment, commit to a 100% plastic waste-free catering service… Whatever drives you will inspire others.  Sharing your passion with the team makes everyone clear that the CEO and owner cares deeply just like them.
  3. Get goofy: Not the dog that owns a dog… Get silly, be willing to be wrong.  Allow the company to see your human side. If that means outtakes and blooper reels go out on social media, do that.  If it means sharing that your dog died and you’re feeling really low… that’s vulnerability and as goofy as it may sound.  There’s tremendous strength in vulnerability (Brene Brown)
  4. Raise the bar: Raise up the mid-level managers in your company by bringing in training for them.  There are grants companies can apply for that pay for training effectively making that training free on the front end and so very profitable when your managers become leaders.
  5. Bang a gong: Employee of the month? Employee Spotlight, an actual gong for sales that close? There are so many ways to praise publicly (and reprimand in private).  These principles set out years ago by the likes of Ken Blanchard hold true to this day.  People want to be recognized for what they do well.  So give ‘em a hand.
  6. Ensure role alignment: Identify your company culture.  Hone in on it like a laser and protect it like it’s a crystal figurine your granny asked you to hold.  When you’re certain about your culture you can hire to align with it.  When you hire people who are aligned with the culture and get them in the right role, you’ll retain those people throughout their job lifecycle.

Intentional culture takes time and effort to build and only a small amount of neglect to destroy.  On that happy note, we’ll say, Happy retaining!

Encouraging and engaging employees can make a huge impact on your company’s culture. If you feel your company could use some adjustments to your current company culture, Culture Works can help!

Vision and Dental Add Value for Employees

How Can Vision and Dental Add Value for Your Employees?

Voluntary benefit plans are an important part of employee insurance opportunities. Among these voluntary benefits, vision and dental insurance are an important part of employees voluntary benefit plans. How can vision and dental plans add value to your employees’ wellbeing? Here are a few ways:

Vision:

  • Vision exams identify future problems: They can detect things like eyestrain, diabetes, and even high blood pressure. They can also identify common eye issues and diseases.
  • Cost savings: According to the National Alliance for Eye and Vision Research eye disease, vision loss, and eye disorders cost the U.S Economy $68 billion per year.
  • Increase productivity: The vision council reported that eye care delivers $7,800 in more productivity per employee.

Dental:

  • Dentists can identify disease: Dentists have the ability to identify over 120 diseases. This can help your employee long-term health with potential early detection
  • Young employees likely don’t have dental coverage: The American Dental Association states that millennials have untreated tooth decay. The main reasons for this issue are cost convenience and confusion surrounding dental care.
  • Those with dental coverage are more likely to use it: As more people offer dental insurance the number of adults who miss work for oral health-related issues dropped 7%.

At SBMA, we provide voluntary benefits that employees love. To learn more about our voluntary benefit programs, contact us today!

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How Employee Benefits Improve Retention

The Affordable Care Act, enacted in 2010, ensured that everyone was able to receive health insurance regardless of if they have pre-existing health conditions or for any other discriminatory reasons. This Act gave employees the ability to leave their employers if the only reason they were staying was insurance reasons. Employees who were stuck in their jobs to receive benefits now had the opportunity to look for opportunities elsewhere.

employee benefits improve retention

When employees leave a company, that company incurs many costs to their business, in addition to the added inconvenience. A study done in 2016 by the Society for Human Resource Management discovered that the average cost for companies to find replacement employees is $4,129, including turnover costs, and the average 42 days of lost productivity to find a new employee.

 If that employee holds a job that requires higher skills, that number increases, according to the Center for American Progress. The economic cost for finding a replacement goes from 5.8% of a year’s compensation to up to 213% for a highly skilled employee.

So how does a company prevent employees from leaving their company?

In short, the answer is simple: offer better benefits. While the ACA ensured benefits for all, you can differentiate your company by providing great options for their benefits. 

Around 75% of employees said that being able to customize their benefits package based on their specific needs is an important consideration they take when accepting a new job. Not only will it attract new people to your company, but 88% of employees say that the ability to customize their benefits package leads to higher overall job satisfaction. 

With these statistics in mind, if you offer voluntary benefits like vision, dental, accident, critical illness, hospital indemnity, and life insurance options for your employees, you will be able to retain and attract great employees.

At SBMA, we want to help you attract and retain those employees. Contact us to get started on your employee benefits packages. 

The Difference Between Group and Voluntary Benefits

There are many options to consider when choosing what coverage you would like to include in your group benefits plan. When considering the purchase of voluntary benefits versus buying group benefits options, you need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of both. Here are a few significant differences that will allow you to make a more informed decision.

  • Keeping your coverage: With voluntary benefits, you own the policy, meaning it can move transferred and taken with you whether or not you choose to leave your employer. There is no limitation on age or time of the policy. With group benefits, your policy owner is the employer, and they are responsible for renewing the policy. You could lose coverage if the plan gets canceled or if you choose to leave your employer. With some group policies, there are age limitations, which could include the possibility of losing your benefits at a certain age. The ability to move the plan is limited, and there is a possibility to keep coverage at a reduced benefit, or with a higher premium that may only last 12-36 months.
  • Premiums/Pricing: The premium for voluntary benefits takes into account your age at the time of purchase, and it does not increase over time. There is no annual renewal process, so you do not have to sign up for these benefits every year. With group benefits, the premiums are step-rated. There are predetermined points in the policy that inform you of when the premiums increase. The rate you receive when you purchase your coverage could only last 2-3 years, and rates are subject to change.
  • Renewability: Voluntary benefit policies are guaranteed to be renewable, and the carrier can not terminate. As stated above, there is no annual renewal process. With group benefit policies, the employer, who owns the benefits, is required to renew the group benefits policy. The employer also can cancel the policy at any time with a 60-day notice to employees.
  • Enrollment: Enrolling in voluntary benefits typically involve a one-on-one session with the enroller. You are the primary contact person, and anything to do with the policy goes directly to you. With group benefits information, there are group sessions to inform you about enrollment, but typically you enroll on your own. The employer is the point of contact between the policyholders and you, so those policyholders are usually less engaged with fewer customization options.

These are some considerations to take when looking for policy options. You may not be able to decide whether or not your employer offers group or voluntary benefits; this should help you navigate your policy. Inform yourself about what your policy provides, and you will be better suited to get the coverage necessary for you. Contact us for more information.

Voluntary Benefits Attract the Best Employees

Voluntary Benefits Aid in Attracting the Best Employees

Including options for voluntary benefits and supplemental benefits is quickly becoming the norm for most employers who offer health insurance to their employees. As an employer, attracting the best talent and keeping them is of the utmost importance to maintaining a successful business. Over the last few years, there has been an increase in demand for voluntary benefits. While major medical coverage is the foundation of a good employee benefits program, it’s important to ask the question: how can I use these voluntary benefits to make my company more attractive to new prospects?

Most employers view voluntary benefits as a way to provide a choice to their employees, to offer options for their diverse workforce, and to ensure that their employees are happier and healthier. Employees need solutions that they can cater to their specific lifestyle. 

Some voluntary benefit options include hospital confinement, accident, critical illness, disability, cancer, legal services, identity theft protection, and commuter benefits. Some employees will enroll in every type of coverage available. 

This shift in regard to voluntary benefits could be attributed to employers wanting to offer holistic coverage that supports their benefits strategy. Employers can align their benefits with their overall company offerings and values. 

With multiple generations involved in their workforce today, an employer must offer benefits that would cater to each of their needs. Those who are older might consider traditional benefits packages to be sufficient, but younger generations might prefer voluntary options. 

Enrollment portals allow employers to offer both core benefits and voluntary benefits in one place. This gives employees the flexibility of changing their plans whenever they need to and educate employees on how to choose the benefits that align with their needs. 

Not only do these benefits allow your company to attract and retain talent that will benefit your company in the long run. For more information on how you can offer the best, affordable benefits to your employees, contact us.

What Benefits Improve Employee Retention?

Offering employees the benefits they want and need is one of the best ways to retain talent and improve your employees’ satisfaction. There is a large portion of employees who view benefits as an essential factor in their satisfaction with their job and company. So, what employee benefits can you implement that will differentiate you from your competitors? Here are a few options:

Retirement benefits: 401(k) and defined-benefit plans are becoming more important in retaining talent. The incoming workforce of younger employees views retirement benefits as an important factor in deciding whether or not to take their job. Glassdoor found that as companies increase their retirement benefit programs by 1 star, the employees experience a .08 star increase in satisfaction.

Wage increases: Increases in wages can increase employee satisfaction. Some companies choose to forego traditional group benefits and raise employee wages instead. While this seems like an excellent solution to improving employee satisfaction, if you decide to forego any benefits program, it might cause employees to look elsewhere. Employers expect the additional wages to be spent on benefits, but employees may not spend that money to account for a benefits program. Employees typically do not see wage increases as a replacement for benefits. 

Transportation benefits: Commuting can be a hassle for many employees across the U.S. Employees may dislike it so much that they decide to look elsewhere for a job closer to their home. Transportation benefits may mitigate this hassle and help employees justify a commute. Companies that offer a supplement for transportation cost are viewed as better places to work. Not many employees provide these benefits so that it could differentiate you from the rest.

Bring your device programs: These programs employees can use their own devices for work-related purposes. Companies can also offer to reimburse employees for any costs that incur with their devices. While this is seen as a benefit to its employees, it also can reduce the costs of buying devices for your workforce. The satisfaction increases when companies offer to reimburse employees for their expenses, like their phone bill.

Traditional Group Health Insurance: This is the most valued benefit program for employees. Employees increasingly desire healthcare benefits that are customized to their needs. Offering different options depending on the lifestyle each employee lives can increase employee satisfaction significantly. 

Education Benefits: Educational assistance from companies gives employees a greater feeling of importance. More and more employees desire additional education benefits. These benefits could be in the form of tuition reimbursement or paid job training. With these types of benefits, employers must ensure that they are offering robust education options to ensure their employee’s happiness.

Employee benefits can allow employees to feel cared for and important within their company, which leads to higher company satisfaction. For more information on how to offer the best, most affordable options for your employees, contact us