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Benefit Design

Benefit design is more than just buying the cheapest insurance. In designing benefits plans that work for you we take into account a number of factors including your competitive position in your industry, employee engagement and retention, industry trends, tax consequences, and compliance.

We don't just help you choose a plan; we help you choose a strategy. We help you determine what combination of benefits will allow you to attract quality employees and yet keep your costs in line so that you maintain your competitiveness. Since the health of your employees is critical to your business we help you design and implement plans that promote employee education and wellness. This requires a long-term strategy and a multi-faceted approach that few benefits brokers and consultants are equipped to provide.

It's important for employers to be aware of the trends driving health care and reform in the marketplace. As you prepare for current and future trends in benefits design, we help you understand what your opportunities are as the market and regulatory environment continue to evolve, including emerging solutions such as defined contribution plans, self-insured plans and "play or pay."

Defined Contribution Plans

Defined contributions provide you with cost certainty and your employees with greater choices. More health insurance companies are offering defined contribution plans as a way to provide employees with a market of choices that fit their individual needs but which cap the employer's contribution to a percentage of the base plan. Employees then have the choice of using their own dollars to buy-up to a more expensive plan.

We can combine defined contribution plans with other benefits offerings such as dental, life and disability so that your employees have a menu of options from which to choose. A benefits portal allows employees to easily compare plan options and makes administration easier for you. Contact us to see how easy and beneficial it can be to implement a defined contribution plan in your company.

Self-Insured Plans versus Fully-Insured Plans

Though self-insured plans have been around a long time, they are an often overlooked option. Companies lack a thorough understanding of the ins and outs of self-insured plans. A self-insured plan does not make sense for everyone, but all of the benefits and risks should be considered before dismissing it as an option. One of the benefits of a self-insured plan is greater control over the health of your employees.

The coming legislative changes may make a self-insured plan even more attractive, and stop-loss policies are now available for groups with as few as 25 employees. Talk to us about doing an in-depth analysis of whether a self-insured plan is right for you. We'll make sure you are fully aware of your options and the benefits and risks inherent in each.

Play or Pay, or Both

By 2016 every company with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees will have to choose whether to provide health coverage to their employees or pay a monthly fine to the federal government for not doing so. Before you make the "play" or "pay" decision or opt to use an exchange you should consider all of the ramifications.

What about doing both? There are plan arrangements available that would allow you to do both. That is, you can offer plan that meets the federal requirements to avoid the $2,000 per employee penalty but which will not break the bank. These so-called MEC plans can be paired with a traditional plan so that all of your employees have access to some level of coverage. Such arrangements can also reduce your overall tax penalty exposure.

We can do an in-depth analysis of the potential financial impact of pay or play on your business. Our analysis takes into account your compensation structure, employee behavior, your strategic plan, and taxes. For most companies the benefits of "playing" will outweigh the benefits of "paying" both in the short-term and long-term. Of course, not all companies are the same. See for yourself; contact us for an in-depth review and analysis of the impact of "playing" or "paying" on your business.

Employee Benefit News