Broker Spotlight: Portfolio Variety is Key To Waldman Bros. Success

Michael WaldmanWhen Michael A. Waldman, CEBS, GBA, RPA, partner and president of the employee benefits division at Waldman Bros., puts together a benefits package, he says variety is the key to making everybody happy. “We’re firm believers in employers offering a comprehensive benefit package to their people, and you will lose people if you don’t.”

That doesn’t just include the typical benefits like health coverage, or even vision or dental plans. “Maybe you’re young, and you want identity theft protection,” Waldman said. “Maybe you’re older, and you want hearing-aid discounts. Maybe you work out and want vitamin discounts. New Benefits has something that appeals to every piece of the population.”

Waldman Bros. is a family business that Michael’s grandfather started with his brother 75 years ago. Michael has been doing business with New Benefits since the company launched its vision discount plan in 1990. “We try to set up benefit packages to where employees get choices,” Waldman said, “and we offer this even with the different choices in medical plans. For large employers, we’ll go in and custom-design a package for them. They might want the legal discount or the wellness benefit — they can pick and choose what they want,” he said.

Waldman has seen many occasions when a New Benefit product solved a problem for a client, whether it was roadside assistance that fixed an employee’s broken-down car so they could get to work or Doctors By Phone, which allowed an employee to bypass the clinic, have a prescription called in and get back to work quickly.

“I’m dealing with chief financial officers and human relations professionals,” Waldman notes, “and they’re really happy because these benefits typically keep their employees at work, and they’re constantly getting testimonials from employees about how they’re so grateful to the employer for offering this benefit,” Waldman said.

The range of products available at New Benefits makes it easy for brokers at Waldman Bros. to craft benefits packages that offer something for everyone, and in many ways, those products are the perfect complement to traditional health insurance plans.

“One of the services New Benefits offers is Health Advocate,” he notes, “and it is one of the best benefits out there. It basically gives you your own personal health care concierge; they can help explain claims, find doctors, find the most competitive pricing for a procedure and help if you just found out you have a chronic disease and need a second opinion. They’ll help you navigate all that,” Waldman said.

Further, there are also products that offer discounts on different types of procedures, including dental and vision care, lab-work and prescription drugs. “When paid by the employer, there is no cost to the employee; there’s an immediate savings for the employee, and that translates into better renewals for the client. It’s a win/win/win,” said Waldman.

Clients love discount benefits programs because they get so much value from their investment. “There really is nothing else out there you can get that provides the ratio of value to the dollar you spend. It’s higher in the discount benefits arena than anywhere else in the market. And there’s nothing else out there that lets you custom design such a wide variety of services. You have your medical plans, your dental plans, worksite products — everything is separate. And New Benefits has created such an easy way to package such a wide variety of things in a very effective and easy-to-administer manner — and at a very affordable price.”

Ease of administration means a lot to Waldman and his clients. It’s one way he differentiates among discount benefit administrators in today’s marketplace, and it’s also one way he says New Benefits stands out from the crowd.

“A quality discount benefits administrator needs to be able to administer the product from an enrollment, eligibility and billing perspective, and they do all these things,” he said. “You want somebody who can give you good account-management service. You want somebody you know you can call and they’ll know who you are. We’ve been given high, high, high quality of service from day one. Competitive pricing is also important, and I think they’re among the most competitively priced programs out there.”

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