Small Group Coverage Q&A – episode 1 (captioned)

Small Group Coverage Q&A – episode  1 (captioned)

– My name is Trevor Croley, with Croley Insurance & Financial. I also have with me today Greg Cain. Greg’s with Principal, and today we’re going to talk about non-medical employee benefits. With a lot of our smaller employers to medium-sized employers,
these non-medical benefits are in some cases the only
benefits that they provide. Some of these larger employers, employers of medium size and small that already have medical
benefits also come to us and say, “What can we do to
enhance what we’re doing to provide a golden
handcuff type of situation for those employees that may
be working down the street or being lost to employers providing some of these non-medical benefits?” So again today, Greg’s
gonna help me go through the A to Z, the nuts and bolts of what that means to an
employer, and more importantly, how to implement those things. So Greg, let’s get started. What does a non-medical
employee benefit plan typically look like? – Yeah, I think there’s
two kind of categories of a product, driven by who pays for it. The first would be voluntary
benefits, where the employee is paying the full portion of the premium, versus contributory, where
the employer will pay some or all of that
premium for the benefit. The core non-medical employee
benefits would include dental, life, long- and
short-term disability, vision insurance, accident,
and critical illness. – Greg, we’ve got a lot of employers that ask us questions. So, what’s the difference
between providing some of these non-medical
employee benefits, as opposed to us just
giving employees money to go out and buy their own? What are some of the things that you might take away with this? – Yeah, there’s several advantages. I think the first and foremost that’s probably buying in bulk. That non-employee benefit group product is gonna be priced at a
more competitive rate, versus the individual market. You’re also gonna get some key, I think, plan-designed advantages, life insurance, disability insurance, is
gonna be guarantee-issued, versus the individual market, there’s going to be medical
underwriting involved. Dental insurance and vision,
you’re gonna get access to full coverage day one, versus, a lot of times there’ll be
layered waiting periods in there. And I think that the last thing
is just the ease of payment, through payroll deduction, and savings potentially through that Section 125 tax plan. – For both the employer
and the employee, correct? – Yeah, exactly, yeah. – Alright Greg, so once an employer has made the determination
that, “Hey, we’re looking at some of these non-medical
employee benefit programs.” And this could be an employer who has never done this before. It’s a brand new fresh start. They’re implementing it from the get-go, or it could also be situations where, if an employer has some of these benefits, but they’re really wanting
Principal to come in and help implement these
things for them, with them. Traditionally sometimes these
can be tricky, technical, employees don’t always understand
sometimes what they need, how they need to do that. So, you guys have done
some different things in the marketplace. So maybe explain a little bit, you know, how you take a look at
these types of scenarios. – Yeah I think, well we’ve created a fresh, innovative new way to engage employees by personalizing their
enrollment experience by using the principals
of financial psychology and behavioral economics. We know that people process
financial decisions differently. So, our benefit enrollment experience encourages productive decision-making. It’s easier, more
effective, more intuitive, unique to each individual, personalized to align with
the employee’s preferences. And it helps that employee
select the benefits that best meet their needs. – In the past, when we’ve
done enrollments with groups, new or old, traditionally we’ve done
the paper application route, and certainly there’s
nothing wrong with that. We still do that a lot today. However, you guys have come up with some real innovative ways
to kind of get around the old paper applications. It’s maybe sometimes
even a little bit easier to get out in front of employees who are in remote locations. Maybe give us a little idea of what we’re talking about with this. – Yeah, great question Trevor. I think today, more than ever, employees, consumers are expecting a slick and easy, Amazon-like experience. And we understand that, which is why making it easier for employees to enroll in their benefits online is key. We’ve seen an uptick of ten to fifteen percent
increase in participation online versus our traditional
paper-enrollment methods. – In terms of that online
enrollment process, Greg, are there any certain sized employers that this is really meant for? Because in the past, when we dealt with an online enrollment site or portal, generally speaking, those
are for large employers. So, how does Principal
handle that with enrollment? – Great question, and this an experience that really delivers value
for employers of all sizes. From small to large, and in between. We see it as a great solution
for that small business owner, because the tool provides an easy process for enrollment and education, and really saves them valuable time. – So Greg, an employer’s
gone through this process from start to finish with Principal, and they’ve used that online process. Is there any fees involved with an employer using that online process in going through the
enrollment in that fashion? – There’s no additional cost to use the online enrollment experience. It’s just simply part
of our standard package to offer implementation, enrollment, education for that
employee benefit purchase. – That’s good. Certainly, the other
thing we always get into as far as timing goes, in kind of concluding with
what we’re talking about in terms of the process. How much advance notice should
an employer expect to have in order to implement this program, from kind of the start to
finish that we’ve gone through? – Well we always recommend to have that enrollment
experience opened and then closed, at least three to four weeks in advance of that
effective date for coverage. – Thank you Greg for taking the
time to visit with us today, regarding the non-medical
employee benefit program. As the open enrollment process
heats up at the end of the year employers and employees will be looking at these types of things. And certainly, we’re here to answer any questions or concerns, to help you in any way possible. In fact, we’ll get Greg
involved and bring him down, and we can answer those questions as well. So, thank you for your time.

Author: Kevin Mason

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