Four months may seem like a long time away, but we are busy preparing for your health renewal! Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and employers trying to stay out of the grips of the new law, many of you took early renewal options several years ago. While that saved you money and headache, it now means the majority of large groups renew on 12/1/2016. It’s a busy time of year!
What are we doing to prepare?
First of all, we’ve already begun talking to carriers, evaluating market conditions and evaluating pricing positions of all carriers into the 2nd quarter of 2016. There has been a certain level of stability in the mid-market (50-100 employees) and we are hopeful to see that translate into your renewal offer come December. However, we know we can’t bank on that so you will be notified by our staff at least 90 days prior to 12/1 for updated employee rosters so we can begin shopping. We are marketing our customers to carriers collectively so you can get a better rate than you can get going direct or even through associations in most cases. Often, as many of you have noted when comparing to other brokers, our power to negotiate often saves you several percentage points. It’s our preparation today that provides the best outcome in the fall.
We are evaluating EVERYTHING again this year. From your traditional fully insured programs to self funded plans and to everything in between. We have had some good success in utilizing hybrid plans such as Capital Blue’s ASO product when it makes sense. Keep in mind, depending on the “health” of your group, self funds can be counterproductive and actually cost you more…we’ll evaluate and talk to you about that as we do each year.
We are partnering with new vendors! Most of our large groups have accounting and payroll systems that they are comfortable with that take care of the ACA reporting (think 1094-C and 1095-C forms) and that’s ok! A few of you may not and that’s ok too! We have access (free of charge) to a program that will do this for you. There’s a lot of set up involved so contact us TODAY if you need our assistance.
For groups that rely on us to provide COBRA and HRA administration, we are partnering with a new vendor (still free of charge to you!) that is much more streamlined and online! We can now offer anything you can get get online and easily compete with the Zenefits of the world. Our advantage, the BIG boys offer national plans that often cost more and have many network gaps. Our knowledge of the local markets and dynamics coupled with our volume regionally typically gets you the best value. We have access to provide payroll services, onboarding and offboarding all online and a menu of other products. More to come!
Lastly…we live and work in the communities your employees live and work. We do business with them outside of your walls, we eat at the same restaurants, or attend the same churches and every time we pass them in the supermarket, we want them to know we did the very best to secure the more comprehensive coverage at the absolute best value. We deliver every time and will continue to do so!
Thank you for your business and we are looking forward to working with you this fall!