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Upcoming Webinar: How to Cut Prescription Costs with Mail Order Pharmacy

Register for our webinar, April 30 at 11:00 am CST: How to Cut Prescription Costs with Mail Order Pharmacy

Nearly 3 in 5 American adults take at least one prescription drug, and the cost of medications show no sign of dropping with another 3.8% increase expected in 2020. If that’s not frustrating enough, add time in line to pick up prescriptions, delays from forgetting to request a refill, and the even greater costs for managing a chronic illness. Mail order pharmacies help cut the high costs of prescriptions with the added convenience of online ordering and home delivery.

“It’s all about convenience. You don’t have to leave home or wait in long lines. Plus, it’s easy to get all your medication refilled and shipped at one time and is usually more affordable,” says Mohamed Jalloh, a pharmacist and the official spokesman for the American Pharmacists Association.

New Benefits recently added a mail order option to our retail pharmacy benefit, giving members an additional resource to save big on prescriptions. Mail order pharmacy is ideal for patients who have gout, diabetes, arthritis, or other diseases requiring long-term maintenance medications. With an auto-refill service, medication reminders, and free standard shipping, mail order pharmacy helps members conveniently manage their health at a more affordable rate.

To celebrate New Benefits’ efforts to double down on prescription savings opportunities, we’re hosting a webinar with our mail order pharmacy vendor, Rx Valet. Join Amanda Franklin, New Benefits EVP Operations, and Greg Santulli, CEO and Co-Founder of Rx Valet, on April 30 at 11:00 am Central Time for our webinar: How to Cut Prescription Costs with Mail Order Pharmacy. You’ll learn how our mail order solution provides prescription discounts, when it’s best to use the service, and how simple it is for members to order and save.

New Benefits is Heading to BenefitsPRO Broker Expo!

Sunny Miami, here we come. New Benefits is sending a few of our benefits experts to the BenefitsPRO Broker Expo, April 2-4, to share our latest benefit and technology solutions. Come to booth 501 and chat with Brian Latkowski, Colby Ray, Jake Cleer, and Collin Ray about strategies to reduce healthcare spending and engage employees with their benefits through our new mobile app – My Benefits Work™. You’ll also be entered for a chance to win a smart watch, so don’t miss out!

BenefitsPRO Broker Expo gathers leading industry practitioners and experts to share educational, motivational, and innovative strategies for sustainable business growth.

New Benefits Attending NFP Summit

New Benefits is heading to the NFP Summit in Austin, March 25-27! Brian Latkowski (EVP Global Sales), Raygin Burris (VP Business Development), Meagan Ponder (Senior Account Executive), and Jenny Crane (Account Executive) are ready to catch up with colleagues and share our latest updates, including new benefit and technology solutions. We look forward to seeing our NFP clients and making new connections.

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.

New Benefits is Ascend-ing to Nashville This Month

New Benefits will exhibit at the Ascend NextGen Growth & Leadership Summit in Nashville, TN, taking place January 24-27. Booth #302 will be manned by NB sales experts Bill Gibson and Greg Schlatter, who are ready and willing to discuss how attendees can fill in the gaps of their traditional portfolios with non-insured benefits. Attendees who visit the booth will also be entered in a raffle for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.

The Ascend NextGen Growth & Leadership Summit brings together agency leaders and brokers with the desire to disrupt the benefit status quo, introducing innovative strategies to win new business.

The Women Who Lead Us

Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force, but only 11.5% hold positions in the senior-most ranks of the company. New Benefits believes every employee can be a leader, and makes personal and professional development a priority. Because of this emphasis on growth, many of our employees, including a large percentage of women, have been with our company for the greater part of their careers, earning recognition for their achievements and climbing the ranks.

Four of our top leaders are incredible women who have made New Benefits their home for a combined tenure of nearly 80 years. Terry Ray, Marti Powles, Dulce Bozeman, and Amanda Franklin are evidence of what happens when a company invests in leadership potential. They have helped make New Benefits what it is today, shaping our culture, business strategy, employee development, and innovative spirit. All four women have their own unique evolution stories at New Benefits, and hope to continue the cycle by investing in the next generation of leaders.

Terry Ray, Chief Leadership Officer

Initially, I was a client of New Benefits. I loved what they were doing and wanted to be part of it, so I came on board as Director of Marketing in 1995. Within five years I advanced to President, and have now taken on the newly created role of Chief Leadership Officer. Working with Joel [Ray, CEO] and pairing our different business experiences together has greatly impacted my growth as a leader. Where he’s a self-taught entrepreneur and visionary, I have a formal, diverse corporate background from my time at Xerox and Apple. He’s inquisitive with keen instincts, and I’m incisive, organized, and unabashedly enthusiastic. Our complementary qualities and insights have made for a strong partnership.

Culture played an important role in my previous corporate jobs, and I used those experiences to help develop the New Benefits culture and values. An integral part of our culture is Dare to Dazzle™, which I created 20 years ago to make “great customer service” a promise to our clients rather than a corporate platitude. Every quarter, we hold company-wide training sessions on strategies and tactics to deliver exceptional service.

The Chief Leadership Officer position allows me to focus exclusively on investing in our employees’ personal and professional development. Everyone should be a leader, regardless of their title. By understanding the competencies of leadership, like emotional and social intelligence, our employees will carry confidence into both their work and personal lives.

Marti Powles, Chief Operating Officer

I’ve been part of New Benefits since nearly the beginning. I joined in 1993 when Joel started a new concept, putting multiple benefits on one membership card. As a small, fairly new company, we all wore a lot of hats in the early years. I helped build the processes in our sales life cycle, from contracting a broker to sending out a membership kit. Over the years I’ve been involved in nearly every area of the company in some form or fashion, which has helped me be more effective in my current role as COO.

It has been an incredible journey over the last 25 years and I am proud of what we have become as a company, but I am even more excited about the future. We have some lofty and ambitious goals in the technology arena, but that is what makes New Benefits so special.

Someone asked me recently why I’ve stayed with New Benefits all this time. I told them it is because I love what I do and love the people I work with, who motivate me to improve and do better every day. Our employees are key to our success as a company and make me proud to be a member of the team.

Dulce Bozeman, President

I started my New Benefits journey in 1999 as a Member Services Representative. From the beginning, Terry Ray became my mentor and grew me personally and professionally, always challenging me to produce better work and go beyond average. With her guidance and a lot of hard work, I advanced through leadership roles in Member and Client Services, then entered the executive suite as EVP before becoming President.

I’ve loved every moment at New Benefits, but I’m especially proud of the relationships I’ve built and the management style I’ve developed, which is candid, yet human. I’m a strong believer in having the tough conversations, as painful as they may be, because a lack of transparency is a disservice to the employee. I love developing the potential in our employees, helping them understand their strengths and getting them out of their comfort zone. Any accomplishment I feel is from watching their success.

Entering into this new role as President, I’m excited to broaden my scope and influence, focusing on the individuals who make this organization thrive. I’d like to focus my efforts on engagement and communication, developing the middle layer of management, and creating a growth strategy to align with our company goals and objectives.

Amanda Franklin, Executive Vice President Operations

I came to work for New Benefits in 2007 as an Account Executive. More than ten years and five positions later, I’m excited to take on my new role as EVP Operations. On my path to the executive level, I’ve learned volumes about our business and industry, management, leadership, perseverance, and professionalism from Dulce and Marti. I was also able to stretch beyond my comfort level early in my career through our Emerging Leaders program, which gave me a direct line of communication to senior leadership.

While I’ve learned so much in my time at New Benefits, the greatest lesson has been about tenacity. When presented with something you aren’t sure how to tackle or solve, you don’t throw your hands up. You find the necessary resources, get advice from people willing to help (and everyone here is always willing), and keep working at it until you figure it out. There were several times I took on new roles with no idea what to expect, but I always dug in and figured out how to utilize each role to move the company forward and grow myself personally and professionally.

I’m excited for the direction New Benefits is taking. We’re building on our benefits core, heavily investing in technology, and improving client engagement tools. Stepping into the EVP Operations role, I’m looking forward to supporting strategic initiatives to help take our vision to a whole new level.

Prioritizing Growth

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has famously said, “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” New Benefits has made it a priority to develop our own leaders, investing in potential, recognizing achievement, and providing opportunity. Because of New Benefits’ investment in Terry, Marti, Dulce, and Amanda, we have a dazzling culture, ambitious goals, thriving employees, and the tenacity to be daring.

CEO Joel Ray says, “Leadership is about inspiring others to share your vision and implement it with passion. These four ladies bring their A+ game to the office every day, and as such, success is simply the byproduct of their determination and desire for greatness.” There are many employees within our walls with similar trajectories, and we can’t wait to see the impact they continue to have on our business. Under the leadership of Joel, these incredible four women, and every NB employee who steps up, the sky’s the limit to what we can achieve.

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.

Flexibility

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.

Leadership

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.

Integrity

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

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.

Passion

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 http://www.newbenefits.com/careers.aspx to see our current openings.

3876-Ashtyn

 

Ashtyn Williams, Human Resources Manager

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

Upcoming Webinar – Compass: Healthcare Navigation Redefined

Learn more about our healthcare navigation and price transparency benefits through Compass in our upcoming webinar, Compass: Healthcare Navigation Redefined, taking place October 30 at 2pm CST.

Healthcare is complicated. In an index comparing the simplicity of 25 industries, health insurance ranks second to last. This likely doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has attempted to navigate their health benefits on their own. And when faced with an unfamiliar system of network providers, CPT codes, and claims, consumers are not equipped to make smarter healthcare choices.

On top of the complications, healthcare is also expensive. People often overpay for services, with in-network healthcare prices varying by 300% or more, and 30% of medical bills being incorrect.

New Benefits has recently added Compass to our suite of benefits, and we’re excited to now share it with you! Compass eliminates the healthcare hassle by advocating on behalf of the consumer, ensuring they have the appropriate knowledge and tools to get the care they need at a price they can afford. A team of highly dedicated, extensively trained Health Pros help members understand their health insurance, review medical bills, compare providers, schedule appointments, and more.

Join our webinar with Madelon Parker, Client Success Senior Analyst at Compass, to learn more about how Compass helps members untangle the healthcare puzzle, saving them time and money.

Register for Compass: Healthcare Navigation Redefined by clicking here.

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.

 

 

 

 

Why the Workplace Needs to Address Mental Health

Mental health has increasingly made headlines, and for good reason. One in five Americans face mental health issues like anxiety and depression at any given time, and the majority don’t seek the appropriate treatment. Often this is because they don’t have the right resources, they can’t afford it, or they’re embarrassed to ask for help.

Regardless of why, delaying mental health treatment can set off a chain reaction of additional health issues. These issues aren’t left at home – they impact every aspect of a person’s life, including their work.

When the Mind Suffers, So Does the Work

Without some form of treatment, employees with poor mental health are less engaged and productive at work. Showing up to work doesn’t improve productivity any more than taking a day off; both absenteeism and presenteeism levels are higher when employees neglect to seek treatment for mental illness. Between the lost productivity and resulting physical health issues, employers lose at least $193 billion annually to employees’ untreated mental health disorders.

As much as the workplace hurts from poor mental health, most businesses aren’t actively addressing it. But if an employer invests in resources to address their employees’ whole well-being – including mental health – they experience a unique return on their investment: a return on health (ROH). This ROH is reflected in happier, healthier employees who are more productive at work, and more loyal to their companies. In the long run, ROH can also result in financial returns with fewer claims, more work accomplished, and less turnover.

Addressing Mental Health at Work

ROH can only be achieved by directly addressing mental health issues. Rather than stigmatizing mental health as a hush-hush problem, employers should start the conversation and show employees they care. Since actions speak louder than words, the most effective way to do this is by offering and promoting mental health resources.

While Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) may be the most commonly offered resources, they often include a limited number of sessions and tend to be better suited for short-term issues such as dealing with a recent loss. To give employees an accessible, long-term solution, employers can offer telemedicine behavioral health.

The number of options available through telemedicine continues to grow, as does the willingness for people to utilize it. Telemedicine behavioral health counseling allows employees to get the treatment they need over the phone or video chat, from the comfort of home. With lack of access and high-cost barriers removed, people with mental health issues are more likely to schedule therapy sessions – and they can receive treatment for as long or little as needed.

MeMD, one of the leading providers in telehealth, understood the growing need to address mental health more effectively and added behavioral health to their roster of services. “Providing behavioral health benefits via teletherapy allows employers to prioritize employees’ mental health in a cost-effective way, while also addressing access issues and improving confidentiality for employees who seek care,” said Kevin Wallquist, EVP of National Accounts and Health Plans for MeMD.

As employees feel more comfortable seeking treatment for their mental health, they’ll experience positive change in other areas of their life. The workplace will benefit too. The more an employer understands the necessity behind addressing well-being holistically, and the more they invest in their employees’ health, the greater return (on health) they’ll see.

Find New Benefits on the Road This Month!

September is a busy month for New Benefits, as we’ll be attending and exhibiting at three different tradeshows. For each tradeshow, attendees have the opportunity to learn more about New Benefits’ non-traditional benefits, technology, and print solutions. Those who stop by our booths will also be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card.

First up is the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO) Annual Conference, which started this week, September 5-7, in Phoenix, Arizona. Gene Wedgeworth, Benefit Solutions Manager, is representing New Benefits at booth 103. NAPEO invites the PEO industry to enjoy a variety of educational sessions, including a full day dedicated to technology.

The 2018 American Agents Alliance Convention & Expo brings independent insurance agents and brokers to Palm Desert, California, September 20-23. Between educational sessions and networking, attendees can visit with New Benefits at booth 700, represented by Greg Schlatter, VP of Sales, and Gene Wedgeworth, Benefit Solutions Manager.

Rounding out our September tradeshows is the Self-Insurance Institute of America’s (SiiA) 38th Annual National Educational Conference & Expo, September 23-25 in Austin, TX. Brian Latkowski, EVP of Global Sales, and Jake Cleer, VP of Sales, will represent New Benefits at booth 800.

Introducing: My Benefits Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Kenda Hoffman
800.800.8304×1618
khoffman@newbenefits.com

New Benefits Launches Mobile App, My Benefits Work

Streamlined delivery makes it easy for members to access and use their benefits.

DALLAS – Aug. 22, 2018 – New Benefits, the leading provider of non-insured benefits, announces the launch of its mobile app, My Benefits Work (web portal coming soon). The technology solution empowers members to use their benefits wisely with on-the-go access. Members can download My Benefits Work for free on the App Store and Google play.

“The driving force behind My Benefits Work is member engagement,” said Joel Ray, CEO and Founder of New Benefits. “We’ve had rave reviews from our clients because they love the ability to put benefits in front of members where they already spend hours every day – on their phones.”

Too often members forget they have benefits provided by sponsoring organizations such as employers, associations, insurance companies, and consulting/brokerage firms. With My Benefits Work, members are reminded to complete registrations, use their benefits to save on daily expenses, and periodically receive custom push notifications from the sponsor.

With full customization capabilities, My Benefits Work allows clients to white label our technology with their brand, driving loyalty and affinity to their unique programs. Additional features of My Benefits Work include:

  • On-demand support from BEN (Benefit Expert Navigator) – a chatbot powered by Artificial Intelligence
  • Interactive provider locator services
  • Ability to rate providers
  • Pricing tool for prescription drugs

Learn more about My Benefits Work at NewBenefits.com/mobile

About New Benefits
Since 1990, New Benefits has worked hard to keep money in people’s pockets, saving Americans millions of dollars a year on their healthcare and everyday living expenses. As the leading provider of non-insured health and lifestyle benefits, we make it our business to help your business by providing an all-in-one benefit experience with unbeatable products, customer experience, technology, compliance team, print services, and administration. For more information visit NewBenefits.com.

Return on Health: Taking a Different Approach to Employee Benefits

Any savvy business owner will tell you to analyze the Return on Investment (ROI) before making a purchasing decision. While it’s in every company’s best interest to evaluate ROI, many products and services, particularly in the employee benefits arena, do not deliver a direct dollar savings. They provide a different kind of value to the organization, best described as Return on Health (ROH).  

Download our white paper to learn:

  • The costs of financial, mental, and physical health
  • The impact of poor well-being on health and work performance
  • Resources employers can offer to improve well-being and see ROH

Download the White Paper

Highly-stressed employees take twice as many sick days per year. See some startling stats on how stress impacts employee health and work performance in our infographic.

Download the Infographic

 

See you at PiMA 2018!

New Benefits will host an exhibit at the PiMA 2018 Consumer Insights Conference in Broomfield, Colorado, June 11-13. Attendees can visit Brian Latkowski, New Benefits EVP of Global Sales, at booth #21 for the chance to win a $100 Visa gift card and learn about the wide selection of non-traditional benefits offered by New Benefits such as telemedicine, health advocacy, identity theft protection, and caregiver support.

The annual PiMA Consumer Insights Conference brings together leading brokers, insurance companies, and product manufacturers to discuss the latest marketing and technology strategies, tools, and trends for affinity benefits distribution.

New Benefits is hitting the road for trade shows!

Greg Schlatter, VP of Sales, is attending the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference in Chicago, June 17-20. The annual SHRM conference provides HR professionals with learning and networking opportunities to deepen their understanding of leadership, motivation, and success.

Colby Ray, VP of Business Development, and Jake Cleer, VP of Sales, are hosting a New Benefits booth at Gallagher’s GBS Sales Conference in Las Vegas, June 20-22. Any attendees who stop by the booth have a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.

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.

New Benefits Exhibiting at TAHU

New Benefits will host an exhibit at the Texas Association of Health Underwriters (TAHU) Convention in San Antonio, Texas, May 2-4. Gene Wedgeworth, Benefit Solutions Manager for New Benefits, will represent the company at booth #200, happy to discuss our wide selection of non-traditional benefits, including telemedicine, identity theft protection, dental and vision discounts, and legal assistance.

The annual TAHU Convention focuses on professional growth by bringing together hundreds of insurance professionals for continuing education sessions and networking opportunities. TAHU 2018

New Benefits is Silver Sponsor at BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2018

New Benefits will sponsor BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2018 in San Diego, CA, April 17-19. A gathering for benefit brokers, insurance companies, TPA’s, benefit technology and more—it’s the place to make meaningful connections with long-time partners and new ones. Visit us at booth #501 and enter to win Beats Wireless Headphones.

Haven’t registered yet? Contact info@newbenefits.com for a free guest pass.

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.