2019 Benefit Trends: The Year for Return on Wellness

The benefits industry is like a merry-go-round. Benefit popularity is cyclical, and market trends and themes always seem to circle back into the foreground in time. However, the acceleration of technological innovation is propelling the benefit carousel faster each year, making it challenging for many brokers and employers to keep up with changes and new products in the market. That’s where New Benefits comes in, diligently identifying the best new solutions and innovation to address employer and employee needs.

2018 focused on the individual’s role in healthcare, and more specifically their access to transparency tools and education and the adoption of technology to foster more informed healthcare consumerism. The spotlight on individual privacy, security, and protection continued to shine as well. As we close out the first quarter of 2019, I expect those trends to continue through evolution of benefits on which we already rely as well as adoption of new, innovative products.

Trends in 2019

Looking back at 2018, we saw continued growth of several cornerstone benefits:

  • Telemedicine adoption increased by employers, healthcare providers, and health systems; pro-telemedicine legislation passed; and services expanded beyond acute care into behavioral health, dermatology, and more
  • Constant data breach headlines and privacy concerns contributed to a continued rise in interest for identity theft protection
  • Healthcare didn’t become less complex or more transparent, so the need for health advocacy remained prevalent

These benefits are continuing to gain traction in 2019. As our comfort with telehealth technology increases, so do telehealth options. Behavioral health is one of the most popular developments for telehealth providers, as is the expansion of specialist offerings like second opinions and dermatology. Access to an expert medical opinion (or second opinion) through telehealth technology eliminates time spent traveling to another city or state to see a specialist, helps avoid unnecessary surgery by finding alternative treatment options, and ultimately saves individuals a great deal of time and money by ensuring correct diagnoses. New Benefits has expanded its telehealth portfolio to include Behavioral Health, Dermatology, and Expert Medical Services, and we look forward to seeing adoption of these benefits increase over the next 12 months and beyond.

Extensive attention was given last year to the growing population of employees who double as caregivers, illustrating effects on productivity, physical and mental health, and personal finances. Caregiver support platforms are gaining traction as a result, and will likely get even more attention this year as we continue to understand the challenges faced by working caregivers. Caregiver support is an emerging space similar to what telemedicine was five or six years ago. As employers better understand how important these services are to the overall health and well-being of their workforce, the more prominent these benefits will become.

Another benefit trend is financial wellness, and the impact of financial health on employee well-being. Research indicates how strongly correlated all aspects of a person’s health – physical, mental, financial – are and how impactful financial stress can be to a person’s overall wellness. While the interest in financial wellness grows, 2019 will be a year of determining the best mix of resources to offer employees. Each generation represented in the workforce has diverse financial needs, and many financial wellness products address only one or two key areas. The key will be identifying products addressing the spectrum of financial topics including student loan repayment, budgeting, taxes, insurance, retirement planning, and more.

Plans for New Benefits in 2019

New Benefits will maintain focus on employer and employee Return on Wellness. We know when clients invest in benefits for their employees, they want to see a direct correlation to monetary savings to prove the value of these services, but the financial impact isn’t always easy to quantify. Focus should also be on a qualitative return seen in the form of a happier, healthier, more productive workforce. This return is driven by investing in benefits that impact total employee well-being, including physical, mental, and financial wellness.

In 2018 we focused on mental health, adding telemedicine behavioral health services to our offering, and we’re expanding with more vendor options this year. We will also continue to address rising prescription costs, which is still one of the highest drivers of healthcare expenses. New Benefits has offered retail pharmacy discount benefits for over a decade, and now we’re making significant savings even more convenient with mail order pharmacy discounts. We’re all used to the convenience of buying everything online, from clothes to furniture to groceries. Filling prescriptions should be just as simple. Our mail order pharmacy option allows members to enjoy significant savings on long-term (90-day supply) prescriptions shipped directly to their home. We’ve also updated our diabetic supplies benefit with a deeper discount and easier purchasing process.

Financial wellness solutions will be a significant area of interest in 2019. Because there are so many options and needs within the financial services space, in-depth research will be required to select the best solution for our clients. The ideal financial wellness service will:

  1. Address multiple financial needs for diverse populations
  2. Furnish multiple access points to members, including online resources, chat, and one-on-one support with financial experts
  3. Provide a seamless mobile and web experience that integrates with our member portal and app technology

There are many new and exciting benefits on the horizon, both for New Benefits and the industry in general. With accelerating adoption of new services, access, and technology across healthcare, I am looking forward to enjoying the ride in 2019!

Amanda Franklin, VP Vendor Relations

Amanda Franklin, EVP Operations

Copyright © 2019 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Maximize Your Insurance Plan with Non-Insured Benefits

The purpose of health insurance is to protect the insured from unexpected, high medical costs. But if the insurance plan isn’t completely understood or being used to its full potential, employers and employees will lose money (and face increasing premiums) due to unnecessary services and inconsistent care.

Non-insured benefits provide a strategic complement to insurance plans, working together to improve health outcomes, save money, and promote a happier, healthier workforce. Benefits like advocacy, price transparency, and telehealth services work hand-in-hand with insurance, help employees become smarter healthcare consumers, and deliver employers more “bang for their buck” on benefits.

Compass Healthcare Navigation and Price Transparency

Compass helps employees find high-quality, cost-effective care by optimizing their network and providing guidance on healthcare decisions. As part of implementation, Compass loads benefit schedules and network information into their systems, integrating with your insurance plan so employees have an immediate resource to help navigate and utilize their benefits. With Compass, employees can connect with a Health Pro who will help them understand their insurance plan, find the best provider for their needs, coordinate lower cost options for care, review medical bills and resolve errors, and more.

Say one of your employees has a high-deductible health plan with an HSA, and their primary care physician just recommended they see a specialist for their high blood pressure. The employee can call their Compass Health Pro and ask for help finding a cardiologist who works within 10 miles, has more than 8 years of experience, and is under 65 years old (really, you can get that specific with your preferences). The Health Pro will find providers within network who fit these parameters, show cost comparisons, explain how the employee’s insurance plan covers specialist visits, and even schedule the appointment. If the cardiologist recommends an expensive procedure, the Health Pro can coordinate with the provider to determine how to lower the cost, potentially by moving the procedure to another day or location. Then, the Health Pro can estimate any out-of-pocket costs the employee should expect and review their medical bill to make sure they aren’t over-billed. And that just scratches the surface of what Compass can do.

Without Compass, an employee in the same scenario may just accept whatever cardiologist referral their PCP gives, not knowing the provider is out of network, then overpay for both the appointment and the procedure.

One of Compass’ clients, national wireless carrier T-Mobile, saw an average $516 savings per employee in their first nine months with Compass. In an example of how T-Mobile utilizes Compass, their case study mentions an employee needing a CT scan. The Health Pro called the ordering physician to confirm a CT scan was needed and not another type of imaging procedure, then researched nearby facilities. The employee received three high-quality and cost-effective options from the Health Pro, saving money for both the employee and T-Mobile.

Telehealth Services

Telehealth continues to grow, not just in popularity and utilization, but also in the complexity of services provided. Along with traditional telemedicine visits with a doctor, several telehealth providers also offer access to therapists through their telebehavioral health counseling services. By expanding their services, telehealth gives employees an additional source to address different aspects of their health, from physical to mental.

Telehealth doesn’t need to be an “other” for healthcare. In fact, doctors, therapists, and other telehealth providers can help employees use their medical plans more efficiently without sacrificing continuity of care. When an employee has a minor medical issue, like a cold or pink eye, telemedicine can treat it just as easily as a brick-and-mortar clinic. The telemedicine doctor can review the employee’s medical history to provide appropriate care, then send the consultation and prescription to the employee’s primary care physician to have on record.

In the same way, if an employee receives counseling through their telehealth service, the therapist can keep consultations on the medical record, ensuring that any other provider has a full picture of the employee’s health for treatment. With the option of telehealth, the employee is able to pay minimal out-of-pocket costs.

Pharmacy Guidance with Compass

Along with the healthcare navigation and price transparency services mentioned above, Compass Health Pros can also assist with the compliance and cost management of prescription medications. Pharmaceuticals are one of the top drivers of medical costs, so having a resource partner that guides employees to make cost-effective decisions about their prescriptions can limit the impact to healthcare costs.

Compass Health Pros have access to the insurance plan formulary and can help limit the out-of-pocket expense by making sure the employee is taking the correct medication, and by comparing medication prices. The employee is able to use their prescription plan more effectively with this guidance from the Health Pro.

The Dynamic Duo

Non-insured benefits like Compass and telehealth services can work hand-in-hand with any insurance plan. They not only fill in the gaps, but enhance the effectiveness of insurance benefits, promoting a healthier and more productive workforce.

Rising healthcare costs show no signs of slowing down, so we have to make a more substantial change to how we tackle those costs if we want to see a real improvement. That means thinking beyond adjusting premiums and diversifying insurance plans.

Give me a call if you’d like to learn how New Benefits can help your clients strategically engage their employees with these complementary solutions.

Brian Option 1

Brian Latkowski, EVP of Global Sales
(512) 567-5425

Copyright © 2019 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

The “Top Place to Work” Culture at New Benefits

The average person will spend about one-third of their life at work, which gives employers a huge opportunity to positively impact their employees. At New Benefits, we don’t take this lightly. Building and maintaining a strong, engaging workplace culture is as essential to our business as selling non-traditional benefits.

This year, we’re honored to be recognized as one of the Dallas Morning News’ Top 100 Places to Work. While we pride ourselves in the work we accomplish, we’re even more proud of the people who make up our organization. From our CEO and senior leadership to our newest hires, the New Benefits culture is a group effort built over almost three decades of hard work, collaboration, and fun.

New Benefits FLIIPs Out Over Core Values

To get a sense of the New Benefits culture, you simply need to walk through our halls. Every person you pass greets you with a smile, conference rooms are filled with excited, eager discussions, and coworkers are sharing good conversation and laughter. Every interaction stems from our core values: Flexibility, Leadership, Integrity, Innovation, and Passion (aka FLIIP).

We emphasize our core values from the start, assessing job candidates not only for their strong skill sets, but also for culture match. We look for a “sparkle.” New hires go through core value training during onboarding, then, at the 90-day mark, they share the value that resonates with them the most at our monthly Town Hall meeting that celebrates big accomplishments and provides business updates.

We’re constantly encouraged to FLIIP for our customers and for each other. When employees are seen FLIIPing above and beyond what’s expected, coworkers and managers can nominate them for our MOE (Merit & Outstanding Effort) Money recognition program. Employees who are nominated for MOE Money are praised in Town Hall and given a cash reward on the spot.

If “culture” is a workplace’s personality and character, New Benefits’ is driven by FLIIP. Everything I consider part of an ideal workplace culture – the cliché “work hard, play hard,” collaboration, camaraderie, flexibility, and fun – are all embraced by our core values.


New Benefits is flexible with employees who need help improving their work/life balance. Our employees have options for their work schedule, so their hours can be adjusted if they need to arrive later or leave earlier. We offer remote working options on a case-by-case basis. If a particular resource would make an employee’s job easier, we try to provide it.

Job roles and career paths are also flexible. Employees are empowered to transform their own position into something new based on their strengths and interests, and the needs of the company. They can also request a transfer to another position they feel better suited for. There’s no rigid, singular career path to follow; you can create your own future at this company. Terry Ray, Chief Leadership Officer, says, “Several employees are in their current roles because they saw a need, had the skill set, and created their next position.”

Dulce Bozeman is a prime example. She started almost 20 years ago in our call center, innovating and working hard, and is now our company President. There are similar stories of cultivating potential from within the company with Amanda Franklin, EVP of Operations, Kendall Mason, Director of Marketing, and me. Regardless of where an employee starts, if they work diligently, prepare for the next step, and think big, they have the opportunity to pave their own career path.


Something unique I love about New Benefits is the sense of empowerment we all feel. I’ve worked for other companies where there’s so much red tape, you feel like you can’t really make a big difference. Here, executives encourage employees to share their ideas and lead from every chair.

Our CEO, Joel Ray, wants every employee to be a significant contributor to New Benefits. He says, “My leadership philosophy is based on transparency and collaboration. We keep everyone in the loop with the company’s direction and invest in them through various programs like Emerging Leaders and Dare to Dazzle™. As a result, we’re equipping employees to be leaders who take risks and make calculated decisions for the betterment of New Benefits.”

Our employees are our biggest asset, and also our biggest investors. I love seeing how everyone champions this company, working hard to make it thrive. When each employee is called to contribute and lead, the business profits and employees prosper.


We’re invested in the success of New Benefits, so we all put in our full effort for our clients, vendors, and coworkers every day. Joel started this company with an idea he learned working for his father: “You can never be wrong by doing the right thing.” As long as we continue to innovate, work hard, deliver what we promise, and treat others with respect, the business will always move in the right direction.

Integrity is also about strength in unity. New Benefits employees call ourselves a family, and we mean it. We’ve built an environment of trust and camaraderie, and maintain it by hiring people who exude positivity, have a desire to collaborate, and exemplify our core values.


Innovation is contagious around here. Our culture embraces change and taking risks, and even as a 28-year-old company, employees say New Benefits has the energy of a start-up. Every employee has a voice and is encouraged to bring new ideas to the table, no matter how unconventional. Joel wants New Benefits to disrupt the industry, and he emboldens us all to lead the charge.

Innovation is not a competition at New Benefits. Everyone here brings something unique to the table, and we do our best work when we work together. Our employees collaborate within teams and across departments, allowing us to see how each piece of the puzzle is vital to the big picture.


I’m fortunate to work with people who are passionate about the work they do for this company, and each other. We embrace the challenges with enthusiasm because we feel like we’re contributing to something important. New Benefits rewards our fervor with company-wide parties, food trucks, work anniversary gifts, and fun raffle prizes like spa days and concert tickets to Bruno Mars.

Our leadership are huge advocates of our positive culture, making consistent effort to show employees how valued they are. For example, Dulce says, “happy and engaged individuals produce quality work, not because they have to, but because they want to. If they believe in what they do and for whom they work, everyone wins.”

Top Place to Work

I think I speak for everyone at New Benefits when I say we are so proud of being recognized as this incredible company. We earned the Top 100 Places to Work distinction because of our employees’ happiness and overwhelming participation. We needed only 35% of our workforce to complete the anonymous satisfaction survey to be considered for the award we had over 90% participation!

A culture like this isn’t built in a day. We take all the aspects of our workplace culture seriously, which helps keep our focus on the right things, like cultivating better corporate citizens. With leadership support and employee commitment, New Benefits is absolutely a Top Place to Work.

If you’d like to join the New Benefits family and experience our culture for yourself, visit our careers page at to see our current openings.



Ashtyn Williams, Human Resources Manager

Copyright © 2018 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Five Reasons Employers Should Offer Non-Insured Benefits

In the benefits world, the one thing we can rely on to be consistent is change. The demographics of the workplace are constantly evolving – generational shifts, varying employment status, etc. – and healthcare costs are rising year over year. Typical health insurance plans don’t adapt to these changes, leaving gaps in employees’ coverage. To build continuity into this ever-shifting landscape, employers are turning more and more to non-insured benefits.

Life, disability, accident, and other insurance-based voluntary benefits were the original trend-setters for bridging the gap in insurance coverage, but non-insured benefits are swiftly being added to the lineup. As the name implies, non-insured benefits are not covered by insurance – there are no premiums, claims, or deductibles. Benefits like telemedicine, identity theft protection, and caregiver resources can be offered alongside insurance plans to help employees save money on healthcare and lifestyle expenses. The adoption rate of non-insured benefits is accelerating quickly, even more so than the trajectory of insurance-based voluntary benefits 10 years ago.

There really is no better time to encourage employers to add non-insured benefits to their overall benefit program. With retention and recruiting top of mind in a tight labor market, non-insured benefits are an excellent way to enhance and differentiate a strong benefits program from an average one. Employers also have more discretionary dollars for benefits with the recent tax reform offering some financial stability. On average, New Benefits sees approximately 70% of our plan sponsor customers paying 100% of the cost for their employees’ non-insured benefits.

If your clients need a push in the right direction, here are five reasons you can use to encourage employers to get on board with non-insured benefits.

1. Create Continuity
Not all employees are eligible for or enrolled in their company’s health plan. Employees across the workplace may waive coverage, have a different 1099 status, or live in a different state/country with an unequal level of coverage. If the insurance plan includes telemedicine or an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), only those enrolled in the plan have access. When these services are added as non-insured benefits, all employees can use them regardless of enrollment status, bridging the gaps and creating continuity across the program’s reach.

2. Differentiate Employee Access
ERISA sets legal standards for health insurance coverage. Since non-insured benefits are not subject to ERISA, employers can choose how employees access these benefits, based on employee rank, enrollment status, etc. For example, some employers may offer to pay for access to telemedicine and/or healthcare cost transparency tools as an incentive to participate in self-funded medical plans. They can also make this benefit available through payroll deduction for those who waive medical coverage.

3. Address Part-time/1099 Employees
Part-time and contract employees are just as critical to a company’s success as full-time employees, and even though their numbers are increasing, they don’t have the same access to benefits. The flexibility of non-insured benefits allows employers to offer part-time employees savings on dental care, vision, prescriptions, and other healthcare expenses. This flexibility extends to funding options, like direct pay or payroll deduction, and the ability to push administration of these benefits to a partner like New Benefits.

4. Minimize the “Cost Shift”
As employers implement High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) and/or increase PPO deductibles as a way to reduce healthcare spend, employees and their dependents face significant out of pocket costs every year. The average annual deductible for all covered employees is over $1,200, and over $2,000 for those with a HDHP. Prescription drugs are one of the biggest cost issues, with employees sometimes paying $100 or more for their prescriptions under their insurance plan. As an alternative, a pharmacy discount program can offer savings between 10 and 85%. My family is enrolled in a HDHP where prescriptions are subject to the deductible, and a prescription for codeine cough syrup can cost $80. With my Rx discount card, it’s only $40. Alternative saving options empower employees to make every dollar count!

5. Fill the Gap
Traditional ancillary benefits like dental and vision insurance have their limitations. They’re subject to a benefit schedule with a maximum use cap, leaving any additional services in that calendar year to come out of pocket. And because these often-expensive benefits are usually offered on a voluntary payroll deduction basis, many employees choose not to enroll. Non-insured discount dental and vision plans can be a terrific gap-filler. Employees can save hundreds of dollars on services, whether they’re using the discounts in place of insurance or after reaching their maximum. Instead of paying $100 for a dental cleaning, a discount dental program could save an employee between 15 and 50%* off that cash price.

Clients are thirsting for new ways to add value to their benefit programs in today’s competitive landscape. Use these five reasons to start the conversation with your clients about enhancing their benefit program with non-insured benefits.

*Actual costs and savings vary by provider, service, and geographical area.

Brian Option 1


Brian Latkowski, EVP of Global Sales

Copyright © 2018 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.





Be Prepared for the Unexpected: How to Proactively Help Working Caregivers

A few years ago, my grandmother fell down the stairs of the house she was living in alone. This one event resulted in two major changes: My grandmother had to give up her independence and her home to get the help she needed; and my mom was suddenly thrust into a new role she wasn’t prepared for – caregiver.

After a tough conversation about my grandmother’s need for help, we decided to sell her house and look for an elder care home. My mom spent months researching quality, affordable assisted living facilities, eventually finding one where my grandmother lived for two years before her health worsened. Difficult decisions piled up again as my mom had to review healthcare options, face an emergency hospital visit, then research skilled nursing facilities.

When my grandmother passed away, my mom had been a full-time caregiver for more than three years.

The Caregiving Generation

As challenging as my family’s experience was, it wasn’t unique. 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and as this generation ages and faces riskier health issues, their adult children may suddenly find themselves in an unexpected caregiver role.

I think the surprise of the situation is a big part of what makes caregiving so difficult. Your dad could be the picture of health, then suddenly have a stroke. Just like that, you have to figure out how to decipher insurance policies and legal matters, whether dad should move in with you or you should hire an in-home caregiver, and how to even begin a conversation with your dad about accepting help.

Along with managing these unexpected caregiving responsibilities, 60% of family caregivers also have jobs. Trying to balance both without overlap is pretty much impossible, so productivity levels might drop while their stress levels skyrocket.

Empower and Support Working Caregivers

Companies are losing $34 billion every year due to absenteeism, lost productivity, and healthcare costs related to caregiver employees. Employers have an opportunity to address the potential challenges for their workforce by proactively offering caregiver support, ensuring employees have the right resources as soon as the need arises.

New Benefits offers a solution through our Carepack, a bundle of five caregiving support tools covering everything from healthcare and legal guidance to assisted living and provider references. The Carepack is now available for brokers, agents, and consultants to offer to their groups.

One of the Carepack tools is an online caregiver support platform through Cariloop. In this video, you can see how Cariloop help improved these members’ caregiving situations with their variety of resources.

Learn more about the Carepack by downloading this sales page, and talk to New Benefits if you’re ready to start offering this program to your groups.

Brian Latkowski
– Brian Latkowski, EVP

Copyright © 2018 by New Benefits, Ltd. All rights reserved.

Promoting a Culture of Health

Okay, I’ll admit… promoting a culture of health today within the workforce is not exactly like pressing the “easy button.” But there are solutions, which can be deployed with minimal staff resources and expertise while fitting into those tight budgets employers unfortunately have to continue to manage.

Employers are looking to their trusted advisors for new ways to engage employees because their needs are more diverse than ever.  Yes, we still attempt to tailor benefits offerings based on generational categories like Millennials, GEN X, Boomers and now GEN Z.  However, trying to match the right benefits based on these categories alone is not enough.  Employees change jobs more frequently, work is no longer confined to the office and workers are pushing retirement further down the road. Employees no longer see a clear delineation between work and life… they want more than balance. They want harmony.

Defining a Culture of Health

Historically, employees have looked to their employer for help with their physical needs (e.g., health insurance, wellbeing), but today’s multidimensional employee is also asking for help with their financial, mental and social needs.  According to the 2017 MetLife Annual Trend Study, 74% of employees agree having insurance/benefits provides peace of mind for the unexpected. Additionally, 66% of employers agree that employees are less productive at work when worried about personal finance problems.

Additional Employee Benefits to Consider

  • Telemedicine & advocacy resources
  • Healthcare cost transparency tools
  • Financial wellness, Budget/Debt tools
  • College loan programs
  • Personal protection & financial security (e.g., ID theft, Legal)
  • Caregiver support resources
  • Consumer savings programs (e.g., cell phones, cable TV, retail)
  • Discount medical programs to complement traditional insurance or fill gaps where no insurance exists

Top 5 Easy Button Considerations

Deploying additional benefits above and beyond traditional programs like medical, life, dental, disability and a retirement plan has its challenges for most plan sponsors.  HR departments have limited budgets and are generally at max capacity when it comes to benefits administration.  Follow these 5 “easy button” guidelines to help evolve your clients’ benefits programs to meet the needs of a diverse employee base.

  1. Only settle for best-in-class providers.  The alternative benefits arena is exploding with new players daily.  Partner with tenured companies that deliver ROI.
  2. Worksite pricing versus retail.  Partner with organizations that understand and price their products for the worksite–the savings can be huge!
  3. Multidiscipline companies and/or wholesale aggregators.  Ease the administrative burden by working with companies that can deliver multiple benefits on a single administrative platform.
  4. Flexible funding options.  Although many of these products require no underwriting, make sure you have the ability to offer these benefits employer paid, voluntary payroll deduct, or on a direct pay basis (think part-time employees).
  5. Post enrollment marketing and service support.  Find those partners that help with ongoing promotion of the program to increase awareness and utilization.  These benefits tend to raise a lot of questions at the employee level, so choosing partners that embed customer service in their product will further minimize the administration burden felt by the HR staff.

Ready to start promoting a culture of health? Contact New Benefits today to find out how easy it is to offer unique solutions to encourage not only physical health, but also financial and emotional wellbeing.

Brian Latkowski–Brian Latkowski, EVP

Copyright © 2018 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.


Looking Ahead: What’s on the Horizon in 2018

When the New Year comes around, everyone sets resolutions… but how many of you have actually stuck to your resolution? Resolutions often don’t work because they’re set at the start of the year, without much consideration for longevity and sustainability. Instead of setting a resolution, I urge you to think about the entire year and a change that would bring about long-lasting improvement.

At New Benefits, we have a clear strategy for the year. As all the major publications have released their benefit trend expectations for 2018 including BenefitsPRO, Employee Benefit Adviser, and HR Dive, we have identified a few of the most talked about trends. This year, employers are focused on:

  • Lowering health care costs
  • Benefit variety to complement demand for growth areas
  • Data security and identity theft

Start with these 4 strategies to tackle top trends so they become long term resolutions.

  1. Telehealth: As the health care cost per employee rises to approximately $14,156, employers should expect a five percent increase in the total cost of providing medical benefits to employees this year.1 Due to this increase, brokers need solutions like telehealth to drive down claims experience and offer other avenues to care for non-emergency medical situations. This year, 96% of employers will offer a telehealth benefit.1

Although many carriers embed telehealth services with major medical, they charge a consultation fee. Bundling a telehealth benefit with $0 consult fee with other products like health advocacy provides a more robust solution that saves employers more money. Without a per visit consult fee, employees utilize the benefit more frequently, driving more value for both the employer and employees.

  1. Benefit Diversity: By identifying the problems that employees struggle with the most, and offering benefits that give them the tools to overcome these obstacles, employers can achieve a positive user experience as well as benefit variety. This can include services like long term care, student loan assistance, personal financial planning, and pet insurance.
  1. Data Security: With more than 15 million victims per year, identity theft continues to be a growing concern, not only to the individual, but also to employers.2 Individuals affected by identity theft are four times more likely to utilize medical benefits and are absent from work five times more than usual.2 There are a variety of identity theft monitoring and resolution services available to help employers sustain productivity in the workplace when a cyberattack happens.

Aside from identity theft services, it is always a great idea to provide employees with tips to protect themselves from identify theft in the workplace. Remind employees to:

  • Use complex passwords
  • Lock devices
  • Question emails from unknown senders
  1. Caregiving Support: The struggle to manage caregiving on top of everyday life is stressful and can cause employees to be absent or not fully present at work. More than one in six full-time employees care for an aging loved one, but lack the resources to properly manage the many aspects of caregiving.3 Our Caregiver Support benefit gives employees access to a healthcare coach so they do not have to face caregiving hardships alone. To complement this benefit, consider offering legal aid, Worklife services or medical equipment savings. The AARP also provides many valuable resources and information for caregivers.

As employees continue to tackle life’s obstacles, it’s important that employers provide them with the best tools to ensure health in the workplace while supporting company efficiency and growth. As benefit trends shift in 2018 and there is a higher demand for new solutions, consider these strategies for your clients.

So, I leave you with one question. Are you prepared for the latest trends in 2018?

Marti Powles COO

–Marti Powles, COO



Copyright © 2018 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

1 National Business Group on Health Survey

2 ID Sanctuary Premium Employer Infographic: FY18_Employer_Infographic

3 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, 2011.

Caregiving Support: The Working Caregiver’s Oxygen Mask

Roughly 60% of the workforce belongs to the sandwich generation. Not based on a proclivity for hoagies, but named for their precarious position wedged between the demands of caring for dependent children and aging parents, these employees are struggling to juggle caregiving demands and careers.

Numerous studies, including some conducted by The MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMI) and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) have analyzed the impact of family caregiving in the workplace. According to The MetLife Caregiving Cost Study: Productivity Losses to U.S. Business (2006), employee absenteeism, workplace disruptions, and reduced output associated with caregiving costs businesses between $17.1 and $33.6 billion per year.¹

Caregiving employees also report poorer health and more chronic disease than non-caregivers, leading to increased healthcare costs for employers. Research shows increased healthcare costs for caregivers are potentially costing U.S. employers an additional estimated $13.4 billion per year.

The caregiving challenge reminds me of a pre-flight safety speech, specifically the part demonstrating proper oxygen mask protocol. It goes something like this, “In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you…. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask first, and then assist the other person.”

Working caregivers are passengers on a turbulent flight. Juggling the full-time demands of work and caregiving can be disruptive, stressful and costly. If employees aren’t given adequate tools to cope with these new demands, employers will ultimately pay a price. Caregiver Support programs are an oxygen mask, providing employees the help they need to stay productive, engaged, and present at work.

As our population ages (the number of Americans ages 65 and older is projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060²), this group of sandwiched employees will grow, contributing to new challenges in the workplace. How do we keep these employees healthy, present and focused amidst these increasing demands? How do we mitigate the impact this burden will have on healthcare costs?

It’s no small feat, but there are tools to help.

Caregiving Support services are becoming an essential employee benefit. Providing tools to reduce employee stress and anxiety, minimize absenteeism, maintain productivity, and decrease turnover, Caregiving Support benefits are a crucial tool for employers as the percentage of family caregivers in the workplace steadily rises.

Many Caregiving Support programs exist, providing dedicated coaches or a secure communication portal. One service, Cariloop, combines both. Coaches provide personal support and decision-making guidance, easing employee stress and providing peace of mind, while Cariloop’s web and mobile platform provides employees a secure place to collaborate with their dedicated healthcare coach, store important documents and communicate with family members and a designated caregiving team. The platform significantly reduces the amount of time required to communicate individually with an entire support network and eliminates time spent mailing or faxing documents back and forth. Employees caring for a family member devote 20 hours per week on average to caregiving³, making time saving tools and support critical. The online communication hub keeps everyone informed, and provides access to medical and legal documents and real-time updates, despite physical distance between loved ones.

Amanda Franklin, VP Vendor Relations–Amanda Franklin, VP Vendor Relations


2: Fact Sheet: Aging in the United States – Population Reference Bureau –


Copyright © 2017 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.


Sportsmanship in the Workplace

I was recently touched by admirable demonstrations of sportsmanship during this year’s Olympics. New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin stopped during the 5,000m race to help American Abbey D’Agostino after she fell, which impacted her medaling potential (but she won the Pierre de Coubertin medal celebrating sportsmanship).   Earlier this year American tennis player Jack Sock told his opponent Australian Lleyton Hewitt to challenge a call when the umpire called out the ball.  “It was in, if you want to challenge it.  Challenge it!”  And Sock was right, despite the point going to Hewitt, the ball was clearly in bounds.

Hamblin and Sock cared more about the integrity of their sport than just their own win. They saw a bigger picture. It made me think about how employees often think feedback is only about improving their own journey and not a tool to improve the overall company.

After countless interviews and feedback sessions it has become clear employees want an environment where they are given feedback and opportunities to learn and grow.   But apparently that’s only a one way street.  I started asking candidates about the hardest feedback they’ve ever provided their manager and found most didn’t really ever do it.  I get it…  you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you.

I also learned some employees feel people in management positions should “know better.”  Apparently people in those positions are perfect (a title change on a business card is THAT magical).  So when those managers are failing, you should grab some popcorn and watch their demise.  Because they’re managers, they should “know better.”

As a manager, I gladly take on the responsibility of being held to a higher standard. But at what point are we no longer subject to fault?  Why aren’t we worthy of feedback and opportunities to grow and learn?  Do employees really think it’s better to watch us rise and fall than help us up?

I’ve been fortunate to work with a handful of people who tell it like it is.  They’ve called me out when I’ve made mistakes or could have handled a situation better.  Sometimes they don’t even have to use words; I’ve learned what their faces say.  And I trust them.  Because there isn’t an “us” vs. “them” mentality.  And there have also been times when I’ve clearly made bad decisions, my team watched me make bad decisions, and didn’t tell me.  “Why didn’t you say something?!??!  Why didn’t you stop me?!?!?”

Don’t get me wrong…  I recognize the “ideal” employer/employee arrangement requires the manager acknowledge their personal flaws or the manner they’re perceived which is hard for most, regardless of the position.  But employees can play a significant role in their manager’s success no differently than the manager can for the employee.  Because at the end of day, we’re all on one team.

small dulce

–Dulce Bozeman, EVP

Copyright © 2016 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Engaging Millennials in the Workforce

While reading the latest issue of Benefitspro Magazine, I stumbled upon an intriguing statistic: “More than 1 in 3 American workers today are millennials (adults ages 18 to 34), and they have officially surpassed Generation X to become the largest segment of the American workforce.”[1]

The article goes on to discuss how this group expects to receive information. For millennials, it’s all about instant gratification. They want access at their fingertips – online and on their mobile devices. Millennials want to be connected with everything – just look at the way they “connect” to friends, companies, and brands through social media.

ThinkstockPhotos-472848510There’s a lesson here for the insurance industry:  In order to reach this generation, we need to engage them with technology and, you guessed it, mobile apps. The good news is several employee benefit apps already exist. It’s our job as consultants to make employees aware of these apps and when to use them.

Top Five Benefit Mobile Apps for Millennials

  1. Acute care: Although millennials may feel invincible, they still get sick. Most telehealth providers offer a mobile app to access physicians 24/7. Employees can reach doctors anytime, anywhere – even on weekends and late at night. It’s perfect for millennials who are constantly on the go and don’t want to be held up by a cough, cold, or flu.
  2. Healthcare advice: Many millennials are new to the workforce and don’t understand insurance. Health advocacy mobile apps provide a place to call for questions related to benefits, insurance, doctors, treatments, and more.
  3. Health questions: Everyone has health questions, like how to sleep better or how to treat a bug bite. Millennials turn to Google for answers, but the sources can rarely be trusted. Instead, they could be using an app like eDocAmerica to consult with a medical team via messaging on the app.
  4. Healthcare costs: Since millennials may not have paid for medical services before, a price transparency tool is paramount to show them the vast difference in cost among various providers. Employees will not only save money, but also learn to make educated healthcare decisions.
  5. Food, travel, and events: Millennials are big on experiences. Beyond health benefits, employers can provide discount apps to help employees save on restaurants, concerts, excursions, and travel.

New technologies and solutions are launched so quickly it is often hard to keep up. As an industry, we need to recognize how millennials want to receive information, embrace these changes, and incorporate these technologies into our own businesses. Mobile apps will continue to increase in popularity, and if the insurance industry doesn’t get on board, we’ll be left behind. According to a recent Barclays study, 6 out of 10 employees rate a comprehensive benefit package as a high priority when looking for a new job. So the more you can diversify your offerings and appeal to more audiences, the better.

Brian Latkowski–Brian Latkowski, EVP

Copyright © 2016 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

[1] Pew Research Center, “Millennials surpass Gen Xers as the largest population in U.S. labor force,” Richard Fry, May 11, 2015

Breaches and Beyond

Did you know you’re at risk of identity theft when you shop online, go to the doctor, or even sign up for a social network? Every 2 seconds there’s another victim. In other words, it’s not a matter of if, but when your identity will be stolen.

Think about the major data breaches that have plagued society in the past few years. They have exposed millions of consumers’ personal information. Target. The Home Depot. LinkedIn. The IRS. Anthem. The list goes on and on.

And it gets worse. 1 in 5 victims of data breaches experience fraud. Dealing with fraud is a complete nightmare, especially when you’re doing it on your own. It takes an average of 6 months and 200 hours for an employee to restore their identity. Fraud also takes its toll on their employer. When do you think employees will need to make the phone calls to restore their credit? During business hours, of course. Stress: 1, Productivity: 0.

It’s time to inform your clients about the potential productivity loss due to identity theft and introduce a product to help protect their employees. ID Sanctuary Premium warns employees if any suspicious activity is found as they monitor their personal information in a myriad of ways including change of address, court records, credit scores, public records, chat rooms and websites.

And if an employee experiences fraud, one call to ID Sanctuary will connect them with a fraud specialist providing unlimited restoration support.

Visit our website or call us to discuss how to start offering this program to your clients. | 855.647.6768

Marti Powles COOMarti Powles, COO

Copyright © 2016 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

Sources: “2016 Identity Fraud Report: Fraud Hits an Inflection Point,” Javelin Strategy & Research. Federal Trade Commission. 

Life is unpredictable. Control what you can.

I just turned 64 and for the second time in my life (the first was immediately after 9/11) I fear for the safety and security of my family. Building a bunker and stocking it with rations isn’t an option because I’m an optimistic guy and believe our nation and the world will overcome the madness. However, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared in the event one of the bad guys steals my identity, I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time like what happened recently in Paris or San Bernardino, or I’m stranded on the side of a busy freeway or country road in a motor vehicle with a dead battery, flat tire or needing a tow.

According to Richard Clarke, former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism for the United States, 80% of Americans have already had their identity compromised. As a result, millions of Americans complain to the Federal Trade Commission each year about their identity being stolen.

Since 2013, millions of taxpayers have lost refunds to identity thieves stealing their personal information and filing tax returns with the IRS before they did. Medical ID theft is becoming more of a target for identity thieves; and what chance do we have when major corporations, banks, insurance companies, the postal service, the federal government, and even the IRS have been successfully hacked by identity thieves and foreign governments?

The answer to this question of course is “no chance” so it seemed like the perfect time for New Benefits to develop a premium identity theft product. Because there are quite a few ID theft products in the marketplace, ours had to be the very best or we could simply continue offering products from other companies. As such, we spent almost two years developing ID Sanctuary Premium and are proud to announce it is immediately available to our Marketers for resale to their customers.

Rather than go through all the benefits of ID Sanctuary Premium in this blog, please go to for a full explanation of our identity theft, global travel assist, and roadside assistance package. It is by far the most complete safety, security and protection product in the marketplace today and is offered exclusively by New Benefits – a 25 year leader in the non-insured benefits industry with an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau.

Unlike most, if not all, identity theft products offered as a voluntary benefit, ID Sanctuary can be co-branded, combined with other products, and is supported with videos, marketing materials and training. Additionally, this premium product can be purchased by brokers at wholesale rates which are typically less than half of what major brands are being sold for today. Therefore, it is not unusual for commissions on ID Sanctuary Premium to be double (around 60%) what they are from identity theft competitors.

Real Life Case: My daughter lives in Chicago with her husband and two month old daughter (our first grandchild). Her wallet was stolen from a purse hanging on the chair behind her back at a busy restaurant. Within 24 hours, the thief tried opening an account with T.J. Maxx but ID Sanctuary sent an email warning someone was attempting to open a credit line in her name and the account was not opened. However, several days later the thief successfully withdrew $5,000 from her savings account because the bank didn’t check for proper identification. The bank eventually replaced the $5,000 but not before a trained representative from ID Sanctuary intervened on my daughter’s behalf saving her from the time and aggravation of fighting with the bank making the mistake in the first place.

The fact is no person, product or company can guarantee your identity won’t be stolen, you won’t be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or stranded on a busy highway or deserted road. However, for a few dollars a month, ID Sanctuary Premium can provide peace of mind to your customers knowing that if something bad happens, there are trained professionals standing by to help. Purchasing ID Sanctuary is like locking the door of your home and setting an alarm – you are much better protected by taking proactive steps to secure your property and wellbeing.

Please contact your account executive or me if you would like more information on how to get started.


Joel Ray, CEO of New Benefits

Joel Ray, CEO

800.800.8304 x 1615

Identity Theft: It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when it will happen to you!

Brian LatkowskiMy Story

I submitted my 2014 tax return on April 15th of 2015.  I am rarely a “last minute guy” on anything I do, but when the Federal Government comes calling for money, I’ll wait until the last possible minute to mail in my return.  Two weeks later, I received a letter in the mail from the IRS requesting a call.  My first thought was, “Oh my gosh… I’m being audited and I need to call my accountant immediately.” After examining the letter more closely, the IRS was asking me to verify my identity.  I could not believe it, was this really happening to me?  There is no possible way my identity could be stolen; I am the guy that shreds everything!  Calling the IRS is scary. My mind began swimming with questions: Am I actually talking to the IRS? How long is this going to take?  The representative grilled me about my financial life as far as 10 years back to verify my identity. Then they told me someone had filed an erroneous tax return in my name.

The good news is the IRS didn’t pay out my refund to the thief. The IRS caught 19 million suspicious tax returns last year and blocked more than $63 billion in fraudulent refunds. On the other hand, fraudsters still walked away with $5.8 billion in tax refunds the same year.[i] Lesson learned: call the IRS immediately if you receive a notification like I did!

Talk About Stress

The IRS mailed me information on steps to take and entities to contact to resolve the issue. It took me a full two weeks and time away from work to make the calls (none of the offices were open nights or weekends). I waited an additional two months before the IRS confirmed my tax return was filed appropriately and my identity theft incident was put on my record. Beyond the time and effort I spent correcting this issue, the anxiety and stress made it difficult to manage everything else going on at work and at home.

Now that I’m a member of ID Sanctuary Premium, a service that monitors my PII (personally identifiable information) and sends me a monthly report confirming my good name, I have a greater level of comfort. While no company can guarantee my identity won’t be stolen, having this service working behind the scenes greatly helps. They regularly scan databases, internet surveillance and other reports for your PII, alert you if suspicious activity is found, and will walk you step-by-step through the resolution process if needed so you won’t have to do it on your own.

Why Employers Should Pay Attention

Identity theft protection needs to be integrated into client conversations just like telehealth. ID Theft Protection is just as important as medical insurance to keep employees safe. What’s in it for employers? Peace of mind leads to increased productivity, reduced presenteeism, and decreased absenteeism. Employees can strike a better work/life balance when they have someone on their side to help with these time-consuming issues.

A month ago, I received a letter from the IRS with a special PIN. I am not able to file my 2015 taxes without this PIN, which is supposed to help block additional fraudulent filings in my name. However, if you’ve seen the latest news, the IRS was just hacked and millions of these PINs were stolen. Comforting, right? Take it from me—get educated on ID theft and be proactive in monitoring and guarding your identity. It could be the difference between collecting your own refund check this year and letting a scam artist take your money.

–Brian Latkowski, EVP of Sales

Copyright © 2016 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

[i] ABC News, 2015

Why Did You Put the Banana in the Cage?

small dulceI am fortunate to be involved in almost every new employee’s training at New Benefits. I don’t just train employees who report to me; in fact the majority of employees aren’t my immediate reports. Training is valuable for many reasons beyond teaching employees how to do something. I look at training as Phase Two of the interview. I establish a relationship with them, identify their learning style, and can oftentimes anticipate what type of employee they’re going to be. Employees’ engagement in training is very telling of their journey at the company.

My latest training epiphany stemmed from being a trainee.  I needed to get into the weeds to fully understand what my new hires were going through. I’m acutely aware staff begrudgingly accepted my attendance because my presence doubled the allotted time simply because they knew I would ask why.  And I was going to document the heck out of their answers.  Learning from employees, especially those who have done the job for years, led me to ask the question –

Why did you put the banana in the cage?

In other words: Why did you just do that step? What happens to the banana? Is an animal coming to eat it? Is the banana going to rot in the cage? In other words: Is there a rational explanation for this step? What did that step do for us?

Regrettably, “I don’t know” or “because that’s what I was told to do” was a common response.  My primary focus during training is explaining the “why.”  If they click on a checkbox, I need them to understand why the checkbox exists, what it does, and who it impacts.  Otherwise they’re just putting the banana in the cage.  It’s incredibly important they know how the watch was made, not just that it tells time.  How did we get here?  What led us to make the decisions in place?  Expounding on how we operate as a business helps the new hire understand all perspectives and the flexibility that drives some of our decision-making.

In a recent conversation about a process, I was told sometimes mistakes were made because employees were rushing to get it done within a specified timeframe.  Great!  You got it done on time.  It was done wrong, but yay for getting it done wrong quickly!  Understanding both the “how” and the “why” of a process allows employees to know the end goal. Even though we have timeframes, finishing a process within this timeframe is NOT the end goal. The end goal is completing the process successfully so the next step can happen, then the next step, then the next step.

Getting into the weeds of our processes also reminded me sometimes it’s easier to put the banana in the cage and point to the individual that requested it be placed there, than to take responsibility for your own actions.  If you don’t know why you’re doing something or you’re doing something just because someone else told you to, then it’s time to rethink your role and impact you want to have on the business. dumb and dumber

Discovering why the banana is put in the cage takes longer—it’s not the easiest route. But if you are truly putting the business first, you should scrutinize each task and seek ways to improve it. At the end of the day, you have to care enough to ask the question.  It’s your responsibility. Don’t put the onus on someone else.

–Dulce Bozeman, Executive Vice President

Copyright © 2016 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.




Today’s Healthcare Providers Need a Checkup

When you take the pulse of today’s healthcare providers, you’ll discover they face an onslaught of challenges: stiff competition, shrinking insurance reimbursements, and lack of patient compliance with treatment plans. However, one of their greatest obstacles is the lengthy delay they experience in reimbursements from insurance carriers.  Fortunately, we’ve got the perfect cure: non-insured benefits.

Take two discount programs and call me in the morning

Non-insured benefits can create a new profit center for healthcare providers. In particular, discount programs like dental or vision help providers get paid quickly. With these dynamic solutions, patients must pay the total discounted rate at the time of service. This means providers don’t have to worry about claims being denied or the time it takes to be reimbursed by insurance carriers.

To top it off, non-insured programs often generate patient loyalty for a healthcare provider—particularly when the clinic offers a discount on their own services along with the benefit program offering.

Case in point: We at New Benefits have a highly successful client who sells a benefit program within dentist offices. As part of the package, dental providers offer a discount on their services along with several other benefits. Not only does this keep patients coming back, but the dental office also generates monthly revenue from the membership program.

Another example is a booming Texas-based urgent care center that offers a non-insured package to patients. They add thousands of new members per location each year, which has resulted in a major revenue boost for their organization (to the tune of several million dollars). This organization has also enjoyed an increase in repeat patients and higher utilization of their additional services, such as immunizations and school/sports physicals. To top it off, they use the program to differentiate themselves from other clinics in the area. Because they offer a healthcare discount program that saves their customers a significant amount of money, the urgent care center has gained a serious edge on their competition. In fact, they have become the go-to clinic for their community.

A simple remedy

In today’s tumultuous healthcare climate, many healthcare providers are in need of a fresh solution. Non-insured benefits could be the cure they so desperately need. These programs not only expand the services healthcare providers offer; they also increase provider brand recognition through a private label program. Additionally, non-insured programs offer immediate income for healthcare providers since patients must pay on the spot.

Health providers have been discounting their services to insurance companies for years. This is their opportunity to “sell” this discount directly to patients—and in turn, generate more revenue and boost patient loyalty.

Marti Powles COO–Marti Powles, COO

Copyright © 2015 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

sick woman needs telemedicine

Modern Times Call for Modern Benefits

We’ve all been here… It’s 10pm on a Saturday and you start to feel sick. Your options are limited: you can wait until Monday morning when your doctor’s office opens, but you know you will have to wait quite a while before being seen. Plus you’ll have to take at least a couple hours off work to see the doc. What about urgent care? The ones near your house aren’t open past 9pm. It seems the only remaining option would be the Emergency Room, even though it’s not an emergency, so there is no way that is happening.  So now what?

Don’t let this situation happen to your clients and their employees. Since the ACA, emergency room visits have increased as well as the wait times in the doctor’s office. 28% of emergency department physicians report a significant increase in emergency patients since the ACA was adopted.[i] And in Boston, patients can wait up to 66 days for an appointment with a family physician.[ii] What’s the solution?

The Telehealth Solution

Telehealth provides employees with 24/7 virtual access to physicians who can typically prescribe medication when needed for those pesky acute illnesses we all face.  They can consult with doctors by phone or video chat, and 70% of typical doctor visits can be handled effectively over the phone.[iii] But it’s not just about the convenience. This benefit diverts employees away from costly emergency room and urgent care visits, saving their employers money in the long run. Telemedicine can result in $300 to $1,000 in claims cost savings from a single use.[iv]  It is these redirection of claims that have the greatest impact on a group’s plan.


Telehealth isn’t the only non-insurance benefit that should be on your radar. Our TelePack is a bundle of products and services—truly a complete solution for brokers wanting to not only reduce healthcare spend, but also encourage employees to be better consumers of healthcare. New Benefits’ TelePack includes Telehealth, Health Advocate Services, eDocAmerica and Health Wealth Connection.


Many times throughout the year consumers may have health-related questions and curiosities that don’t warrant seeing a doctor. How do they research? Google and WebMD. This leads to self-diagnosis and often irrelevant and misleading information. eDocAmerica provides employees email access to a team of medical professionals to answer their questions personally and securely.

Health Advocate Services

Health Advocate comes in when employees want to know more about their health plan, medical treatments, or medical bills. Advocates can locate doctors, coordinate care and even resolve claims. With Health Advocate as a resource, employees spend less time burdening HR with these questions and challenges.

Health Wealth Connection

In one of Marti’s blogs, she mentioned stressed employees rack up 46% higher healthcare costs than their more relaxed co-workers, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Employers have every incentive to help their employees reduce stress and stay healthy. Health Wealth Connection is unique in that it provides resources and information not only on physical and mental health, but also financial wellbeing including tips on saving money, debt consolidation and retirement planning.

Call Us.

Our TelePack is already being offered by Fortune 500 companies, restaurant chains, school systems, and more. In fact, 70% of employers who are presented with these programs purchase them for their employees. Bring this benefit solution to your clients before they ask for it. Contact me today to discuss how I can help you create a program to meet your clients’ needs.

Raygin- small square–Raygin Burris, Director of Business Development

Copyright © 2015 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

[i] American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), 2015.

[ii] Merritt Hawkins’ 2014 survey

[iii] American Medical Association

[iv] American Medical Association

Battle of the Bulge: 3 Creative Ways to Combat Employee Obesity

Friendship and fitness in the parkAmerica’s obesity epidemic is weighing heavily on our healthcare system, and employers are paying the hefty price. More than half (57%) of American workers now classify themselves as overweight, up from 55% last year[1]. To make matters worse, obesity can lead to costly healthcare issues, from heart disease to diabetes. In fact, obesity now exceeds smoking as the most expensive health threat in America, adding a whopping $190 billion to the national healthcare price tag each year[2].

Unless employers want to foot the bill for these pricey health problems, it’s in their best interest to help employees slim down and get fit. Now is the time for brokers to introduce creative programs for employers to encourage healthy behaviors—and in turn, tighten the belt on healthcare costs.

Here are three unique slim-down solutions for employers:

#1: Biometric Screenings

Biometric screenings are an effective way to discover employee health issues before they become major problems and cost the employer big bucks. Because these screenings often catch health risks early on, employees have time to seek medical attention and change their habits. Perhaps that’s why the percentage of employers offering Biometric screenings have leaped from 29% to 41% this year[3].

#2: Health Challenges

The number of employers offering health or fitness challenges jumped from 52% in 2012 to 59% in 2014[4]. These challenges tap into workers’ competitive spirit and motivate them to get fit. Here at New Benefits, we hold a yearly Slimpossible contest where employees create teams and win cash for the highest percentage of weight loss. Contestants weigh in every Friday. They must pay one dollar if they gain weight or five dollars if they choose to skip the weigh-in. It’s a great team-building exercise and a fun way to make employees more mindful of their eating and exercise habits.

#3: Wellness Programs

According to Optum, 80% of wellness budgets have increased or stayed the same this past year, and it’s no wonder why. Wellness programs help employees stay fit and maintain a healthy lifestyle. At New Benefits, we offer two distinct wellness solutions.

First, there’s Health Wealth Connection, a comprehensive information resource for employees looking to improve both their physical and financial health. Since financial stress can unquestionably lead to poor physical health, employees benefit from having unlimited access to articles and videos from experts like Suze Orman and Deepak Chopra. Secondly, we offer MyEWellness, another creative solution that provides employees with personalized fitness plans, guided assessments and health-related articles and tips.

Of course, these are just a few ways employers can encourage workers to stay healthy, happy and productive. Employers may also consider providing healthy food options at the office. For example, New Benefits provides employees with nutritious breakfast options including fruit, yogurt, oatmeal and granola bars every Friday. This is a cost effective way to get employees thinking about what they eat—not to mention a powerful way to boost morale and productivity.

Marti Powles COO–Marti Powles, COO

Copyright © 2015 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

[1] According to a survey of 3,105 full-time non-government and not self-employed workers aged 18 and over by the Harris Poll on behalf of between February 11 and March 6, 2015.

[2] According to a 2012 Reuters report.  [3] Source: Optum [4] Source: Optum

The Workforce is A-Changin’

Brian LatkowskiBob Dylan hit the nail on the head when he sang, “The times they are a-changin’.” Even though that was written decades ago, it still applies, especially to today’s workforce. And brokers need to adapt if they want to survive.

The American workforce continues to expand beyond full-time W2 employees to an increasing number of contracted and part-time employees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now 27.7 million people working part-time (less than 35 hours a week) in the U.S[1].

Obamacare critics say the growth of part-timers is the direct result of healthcare system pressures pushing employers to reduce hours. Others point to innovative business models like Uber, which are bringing more contracted employees into the workforce. No matter what the cause, brokers need to be in tune with this growing part-timer trend.

A Golden Opportunity

Virtually every company—whether it’s a small or mid-size business or a massive corporation—employs part-time workers. While their role may not be as significant as full-time employees, part-timers are integral to the success of these companies.

Therefore, retention of part-time workers is just as important as full-time employees. Plus, the majority of part-time employees don’t have access to a core benefits program. This opens up a world of opportunity for brokers. If you can present clients with perks to keep their contracted and part-time employees healthy, happy and loyal, you’ll be way ahead of the competition.

Part-Timers are Uber Important

In this day and age, contracted W-9 associates are critical to the success of many companies. Take Uber for example. Recently valued at an unprecedented $41 billion[2], this smartphone-based ride-sharing car service has exploded in the past six years. Without part-time drivers, Uber wouldn’t even exist.

In fact, I recently caught a ride from a young Uber driver, who told me the part-time gig is a great way to earn extra cash while she pursues another career. When I told her about some of the solutions New Benefits offers, she said they sounded awesome. Although Uber provides some benefits, she said it’s nothing she actually needs.

This got me to thinking. If Uber continues to expand at its current breakneck speed, the company will continue to hire more and more part-time workers. Other companies will undoubtedly follow suit, mimicking Uber’s genius business model. Smart brokers will cater to this demographic and offer solutions designed to boost part-time worker retention for employers.

As a broker, what’s in it for you? Let’s see: client retention, additional revenue and an expanding brokerage firm, just to name a few. After all, you’re adding a different employee to the voluntary scenario: part-time associates. Plus, providing benefits to part-time and contracted workers helps you round out your employee benefits practice, which gives you an edge on the competition.

New Benefits provides solutions designed to help part-time employees stretch their healthcare and lifestyle dollars. From vision to lab and imaging to prescription drug discounts, these valuable benefits reduce out-of-pocket expenses for part-timers. Telehealth also provides a low-cost option for part-time employees to receive care for non-emergency medical issues. (Check out Marti’s blog to learn more about these perks.)

The most successful brokers are full-service; and part-time employees represent yet another essential gap that needs to be filled. Offer your clients knowledge and expertise about part-time populations and customized solutions for these workers, and you’ll be as good as gold.



–Brian Latkowski, EVP Global Sales

Copyright © 2015 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

4 Clever Ways to Help Employees Stretch Healthcare Dollars

In today’s health care climate, employers are searching for new ways to help employees stretch their health care dollars. Self-insured employers in particular have every reason to encourage workers to tap into their HSA and HRA plans whenever possible.

In fact, HRAs and HSAs have grown increasingly common in recent years. While HRAs have held steady (8.6 % of employers offered the plans in 2013), HSAs are skyrocketing in popularity. In 2013, the number of employers offering HSAs jumped to 15.1%, and employee participation in HSAs rose to 8.8%[1].

So, how can employers help employees stretch their health care dollars, including those spent through their HRAs and HSAs? Here are four non-insured benefits designed to do just that.

  1. Vision Discounts:

In most cases, traditional vision insurance is nothing more than a prepayment plus an administration fee—and thanks to limitations, employees often incur out-of-pocket expenses on eye care and eyewear purchases. This is where vision discount programs like Coast to Coast Vision™ can help. These discount programs offer employees major savings on eye exams, glasses, contacts and even LASIK surgery after they have exhausted their insurance benefits.

  1. Dental Discounts:

With dental insurance plans, employees not only have to shell out monthly premiums, but they often have to pay out-of-pocket expenses on dental care as well. However, dental discount programs like Aetna Dental Access® can fill in the gaps by offering employees deep discounts at thousands of dental practice locations nationwide.

  1. Prescription Discounts:

Even if employees have health insurance, many of their medications are not covered under their plan—and some workers simply cannot afford to pay for these expensive prescriptions out-of-pocket. This is why a non-insurance prescription discount program can be incredibly valuable. The prescription discount program offered by New Benefits provides anywhere from 10 to 85% savings on prescription medications. To top it off, this prescription program extends the life of an HSA or HRA by lowering the cost of prescription drugs for employees.

  1. Telehealth:

Telehealth provides employees with 24/7 access to medical care. With this benefit, employees and their families can consult with a doctor about non-emergency medical issues over the phone or by video consult, and physicians can prescribe medication when necessary. When brokers partner with New Benefits to promote Telehealth, they can select a $0 consultation fee. This means employees do not have to pay a single cent to call a physician. This gives employees every incentive to call the doctor for minor illnesses instead of paying a primary care, urgent care or Emergency Room co-pay.

Want to learn more about the phenomenal cost savings non-insured benefits offer? Check out our infographic or contact us today!


[1] According to a 2014 survey from United Benefit Advisors

–Marti Powles, COO

Copyright © 2015 by New Benefits, Ltd.  All rights reserved.

I Wish You Knew How to Quit Me

small dulceWe’ve all heard the saying, “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” I used to buy into this theory, but something changed my mind. I learned quitting isn’t always a bad thing—and there is a healthy way to do it.

The art of quitting

It all started when our President, Terry Ray, suggested I read the book Mastering the Art of Quitting by Peg Streep and Alan Bernstein (Da Capo Lifelong Books 2013). To this day, this book inspires my beliefs and helps drive my approach to taking action or not taking action in and out of the office.

Sadly, far too many employees don’t know how or when to quit and they become victims of their own displeasure. This not only results in employee unhappiness; it also leads to presenteeism. As Marti explained in a recent blog, presenteeism is when employees continue to come to work while they’re suffering from illness or dealing with financial or emotional issues. They might be physically present, but they’re on auto-pilot—oftentimes producing sub-par work.

Employers share some of the blame, too. We hang on to employees too long because we feel bad or like them personally; or worse… we know it means more work for us if we let them go. In reality, we are already doing extra work to make up for that less-than-productive employee. We will be more efficient sooner if we stop putting off separating from someone we know isn’t working out. If no one is winning—the employee isn’t fulfilling their purpose and the employer is losing quality production – it’s time to let the employee go.

The relationship between employer and employee is not that different from any relationship in our personal lives.  Friends, spouses, partners… if neither one is happy or wants to be in the relationship, then why are you still in it?

Quit while you’re ahead

Everyone wins when an employee is passionate about their career and actually cares about what they do.

Personally, I’m not a quitter.  At least I try not to be.  In the worst of times I’ve told myself “every challenge is an opportunity.”  But reading this book provided a new perspective…  “Quitting permits growth and learning, as well as the ability to frame new goals. Without the ability to give up, most people will end up in a discouraging loop. The most satisfied people know when it’s time to stop persisting and start quitting.”

Quitting isn’t always bad. If you complete something just to check the box, it’s not meaningful. There is a huge difference between completing something and achieving something. People who stick with jobs they aren’t passionate about because of complacency, guilt, or fear of the unknown are only doing themselves (and their company) a huge disservice.

Just quit it!

It’s never too late to quit for the right reason. I’ve been involved in several projects that started out as a great idea—but as we discussed it more, it became clear there wasn’t a true business need. It’s easy to get attached to projects and feel like you need to check the box of completion. This is where I’ve had to stop myself and say, “It’s not worth it. Sure, we’ll complete it, but will we actually achieve something?”

Probably not.

–Dulce Bozeman, EVP

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