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Our Approach

We are your day-to-day partner because maintaining an effective benefits strategy is an ongoing process. Our consultative approach is comprised of four components:

Analysis

Our approach begins with a thorough review of your current benefits program.  We will have discussions with you about your company goals, current strategies, and financial objectives.  We analyze data from your existing carriers, and benchmark your plans against industry norms.  More specifically, we will:

  • Analyze current benefits (plan design, cost, employee contributions, compliance and administration) and provide consulting advice;
  • Evaluate plan utilization data to determine cost drivers and recommend changes, if appropriate;
  • Evaluate and report on all plans in relation to industry specific, regional and national benchmarks;
  • Provide ongoing consulting on leading-edge practices and legislation affecting plan administration; and
  • Provide analysis and guidance on cost management programs.

Strategic Planning and Objective Setting

Once our analysis has been completed, we will work with you to create a 3-5 year strategic plan.  We will provide you with a summary of our analysis, and work with you to design a benefits program based on your specific objectives and needs.  Specifically, we will:

  • Facilitate a structured approach for strategy development and objective setting;
  • Create a project plan and timeline to ensure a proactive, timely delivery of your options; and
  • Provide consulting advice on implementing new programs, such as a wellness program and/or Consumer Driven Health plans.

Implementation

We now begin the implementation process using the project plan and timeline developed during the strategic planning process.  Plans will be marketed or renewed, and new carriers or vendors will be implemented.  Specifically, we will:

  • Prepare bid specifications for the purpose of marketing your benefit plans;
  • Review and analyze all bids/proposals submitted, and prepare appropriate reports and recommendations;
  • Analyze all rate/fee calculations for appropriateness relative to claim experience, and other underwriting factors and variables;
  • Represent you in all negotiations with carriers and underwriters regarding rates and services;
  • Provide an evaluation as to the anticipated cost impact of plan modifications;
  • Calculate funding requirements for self-insured plans;
  • Assist in the development of open enrollment materials, employee handbooks, new hire guides, and forms;
  • Support your benefits team in the implementation and ongoing vendor management; and
  • Provide expertise and assistance in finalizing all carrier/vendor booklets/summary plan descriptions and contracts.

Monitoring

Now that the strategy has been implemented, we will provide ongoing data and information about your plans.  Your plans and programs will be monitored to ensure they are meeting your objectives, as originally planned.  Specifically, we will:

  • Provide ongoing financial analysis and reporting of your plan performance, pricing, variances, and other measures;
  • Monitor and communicate unanticipated claims trends;
  • Keep you informed of legislative updates and compliance issues; work with carriers/vendors servicing your plans to ensure they are in compliance;
  • Monitor carrier/vendor service and assist in resolving issues, if needed;
  • Preparation of form 5500 and the Summary Annual Report (SAR);
  • Provide appropriate reports related to plan performance (e.g., utilization, claim experience, high amount claimants and health improvement programs);
  • Coordinate and attend periodic meetings with your benefits team and carriers/vendors as needed (usually on a quarterly basis); and
  • Analyze incurred, but not yet reported (IBNR) claims for self-funded programs.