YOUR GUIDE TO EMPLOYEE HEALTH BENEFITS
Benefits Plus Services provides exceptional value with a personal touch. We help our clients secure cost-efficient, quality employee health benefits by developing solutions to match their needs. Trust us to guide you through today's complex benefit landscape, providing a rich layer of financial security for your employees and addressing rising benefit costs.
Our company specializes in serving small businesses with 2 to 50 employees. With no allegiance to any single carrier, we can focus completely on our clients' needs and business objectives. As part of our commitment to quality service, we provide on-site assistance with implementation.
We take the time to educate clients and employees on their benefit plan so they can maximize the full potential of their benefits. We'll continue to monitor and assess our clients' plans to ensure they comply with existing or new legislation and that they continue to meet their needs.
TRADITIONAL GROUP HEALTH PLANS
A Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) requires group members to obtain their health care services from doctors and hospitals affiliated with the HMO. With an HMO, members are generally required to designate a primary care physician who treats and directs health care decisions and who coordinates referrals to specialties within the HMO network. HMOs offer access to a comprehensive package of covered health care services in return for a prepaid monthly amount (or premium). Most HMOs charge a small co-payment depending upon the type of service provided.
A Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) does not require group members to designate a particular provider; however, if they use providers within their network, they will save the most money on their healthcare services. If providers outside of the network are used, it is possible that those services will not be covered at all, so it is a good idea to check first with your PPO. Keep in mind that deductibles must be met on this plan before some services will be covered. PPOs generally require a co-pay for physician visits.
CONSUMER-DRIVEN HEALTH PLANS — HSAS, HRAS, AND FSAS
Section 125 and other tax-favored group health plans, such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), combine high deductible/lower premium health insurance with a tax-favored savings account set up to help employees manage the increase in out-of-pocket health care expenses usually associated with a high-deductible plan. Both employer and employee can contribute, tax-free, to the savings account. Money in the savings account can help pay the deductible and other qualified medical expenses, tax-free. Once the deductible is met, the insurance starts paying. Money left in the savings account earns interest, is tax-free, and is the employee's to keep forever, even if they change jobs or medical plans.
HEALTH REIMBURSEMENT ACCOUNTS (HRAS)
This tax-favored reimbursement account is set up and funded solely by the employer and is geared to help employees pay for high deductibles and other out-of-pocket health care costs. Employees are reimbursed for expenses upon submission of EOB proof.
FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS (FSAS)
These cafeteria plans fall under Section 125 of the tax code. An FSA is a tax-favored savings account funded solely by the employee through regular pre-tax payroll deductions. The funds (account) can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for eligible medical, dental, vision, prescription, and dependent daycare expenses. Employees elect how much they want withdrawn from each pay period, which can be changed annually or upon a qualifying event such as marriage or divorce. The average working employee in America spends more than $1,000 annually on these types of benefits. By participating in an FSA, an employee's taxable income is reduced, which increases the percentage of pay they take home.
Regular dental exams help employees stay healthier and more productive in the workplace. Simple routine visits to the dentist that are usually covered 100% by insurers help to detect underlying severe conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and others. The National Association of Dental Plans and the Centers for Disease Control have performed studies that show that employees with Dental Insurance plans have better attitudes and are less likely to suffer from depression, a common condition these days.
Dental plans offer a variety of diagnostic, preventative care, and corrective services including cleanings, exams, X-rays, and fillings, as well as root canals, orthodontia for children, and emergency care while traveling.
Similar to dental policies, vision plans are inexpensive and save money on routine exams, eyeglass frames and lenses, contacts, and even discounts on procedures like LASIK. Monitoring your eye health with regular exams also helps to prevent serious eye diseases like glaucoma and cataracts and helps to detect early stages of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Whether as voluntary or paid benefit, employees appreciate both dental and vision coverage as part of their Employee Benefits Package.
GROUP LIFE INSURANCE
Along with health insurance, life insurance is considered one of the most important parts of the benefits package for employees. Whether employer-paid or voluntary, a good life insurance policy provides for an employee's final expenses, taxes, mortgage, and even their children's education, in addition to other benefits.
We help employers protect their employees and their employees' families with a variety of different life insurance products. Please read below for some brief information on the various types of life insurance available, and call us today to learn more about our life insurance products
CASH VALUE LIFE POLICY
This type of life insurance ties premiums to various types of investment accounts (stocks, bonds, money market, etc.) in which the savings can be tax-deferred and/or borrowed against if needed. These policies are known as whole life, universal life, and variable life insurance.
TERM LIFE POLICY
A term life policy does not build cash value; however, it will pay a set amount to the named beneficiary upon the death of insured within the stated term. Some policies may also make payments upon terminal or critical illness.
Savvy employers attract and retain top talent by offering Short-Term Disability (STD) and Long-Term Disability (LTD) income insurance as part of the employer paid benefits package. National surveys have shown that STD and LTD remain of high importance for most employees.
SHORT-TERM DISABILITY (STD)
During the time an employee is unable to work due to a qualifying disability (illness or injury), STD generally allows for income payments to the employee to begin after about a two-week waiting period. It will continue to pay the employee until he/she recovers or maxes out the benefits — typically anywhere from one month to two years, depending on the policy.
LONG-TERM DISABILITY (LTD)
During the time an employee is unable to work due to a qualifying disability (illness or injury), LTD generally allows for income payments to the employee to begin after about a 90-day waiting period. It could be much longer depending on the policy, but it will continue to pay the employee far longer than STD — for a few years, up to age 65, or even for life.
Note: STD and LTD are also offered as voluntary supplemental insurance if the employer does not offer an employer-paid benefit.
LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE
Group long-term care plans are an increasingly common voluntary benefit offered by employers today. The prospect of long-term care is one of the most important issues your employees may have to face. The cost of long-term care is expensive and generally not covered by other employee benefits, disability, or even Medicare. If someone requires long-term care, it is not just an emotional strain but a financial one as well, affecting retirement savings and overall financial position.
Savvy employers know that access to additional resources can increase employee productivity when confronted with managing long-term care situations. Long-term care plans demonstrate to your current and prospective employees that your company cares about them — increasing the ability to attract and retain the very best talent.
OTHER VOLUNTARY INSURANCE
Voluntary benefits are additional insurance products, plans, or programs that an employee can purchase through their employer at a discounted group rate to supplement their employer-paid benefits. We have already pointed out some examples of some voluntary coverage options that employees may choose to purchase to complement the benefits provided through their employer, such as Vision, Dental, Disability, Life, and Long-Term Care. Others may include:
- Accident and Dismemberment
- Critical Illness
- Legal Assistance
- Other Discount Plans
Because employees truly appreciate the opportunity to purchase additional benefits at discounted group rates, you'll want to call to discuss all of the voluntary insurance products we offer.