Archive for February, 2013
Monday, February 18th, 2013
5 Great Sources for Identity Theft Information
Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Spotlight on Benefits… LegalShield
Protect Yourself From Crippling Legal Expenses
What happens when you find yourself in need of the services of a lawyer? It can happen as suddenly as a traffic accident or tax audit, or as everyday and normal as buying a house or preparing a will. Can you pay for these services as you need them? Would you rather keep your life savings for yourself and your family?
These are the questions that inspired the creation of LegalShield more than 40 years ago, when its founder had a terrible car accident. Although the other party was determined to be at fault for the accident, they filed suit against him. The costs of legal defense depleted his life savings.
This got him thinking, that although we have insurance for everything else, we don’t have insurance for our legal needs. Inspired, he formed LegalShield (then known as The Sportsman’s Motor Club), one of the first companies in the United States organized solely to design, underwrite and market legal expense plans to consumers.
LegalShield now provides legal services to approximately 1.4 million families across the US and Canada. For one low monthly fee these legal plans, called memberships, offer a variety of legal services in a manner similar to medical reimbursement plans or HMOs.
Members have direct, toll-free access to their provider law firm, rather than having to comb through the yellow pages for a referral. Provider firms are carefully selected and the quality of service is closely monitored to maintain the highest of standards.
The Legal Needs Study
To read more about the effects of Legal Issues on employees, read LegalShield’s Summary of the Legal Needs Study here:
So, how does it work?
LegalShield is now available as a Voluntary Benefit!
LegalShield offers our legal plans to families, small business owners, and to employees of companies as a voluntary benefit through payroll deduction added as an enhancement to compensation benefits packages.
Benefits Connection offers LegalShield plans that give you access to a wide variety of legal services from a carefully-selected law firm for a low monthly rate. In addition, you can get add-ons to your plan – Identity Theft and Safeguard for Minors.
Want to watch a short video from LegalShield? Here it is:
LegalShield Video on mybenefitspeople.com
Who is included in the plan?
- The member
- The member’s spouse
- Never-married dependent children of the member or member’s spouse who are under 21 and living at home
- Children under age 18 for whom the member or member’s spouse is the legal guardian
- Full-time never-married students under 23 years old if the student is a dependent of the member or member’s spouse
- Any dependent child, regardless of age, who is incapable of sustaining employment because of mental or physical disability and who is chiefly dependent on the member or member’s spouse for support
What is included in the plan?
- 24/7 Emergency Assistance
- Letters and Phone Calls on Your Behalf
- Legal Document Review (up to 10 pages each)
- Standard Will Preparation
- Motor Vehicle Legal Services
- IRS Audit Legal Services
- Trial Defense
Tell me about the Add-Ons…
In addition, LegalShield offers a superior Identity Theft product, which in combination with our legal plan, creates a wall of security that is unsurpassed in the industry to fight the growing issue of identity theft. Benefits Connection also provides you with a NO-COST Identity Theft Awareness Training.
And because children under the age of 18 have a much higher risk of identity theft than is commonly realized, Safeguard for Minors was created. For only $1 more per month for the family, up to four minor children can be enrolled. Thieves target minors because the child’s information may be used for years without discovery – until the minor is old enough to establish credit. With Safeguard for Minors, dependent children up to 18 are covered for consultation and restoration.
Add LegalShield to your Voluntary Benefits!
LegalShield’s nationwide premier network of 2,500 high-quality legal firms provides you with affordable access to the legal system.
Monday, February 11th, 2013
Spotlight on Benefits… LegalShield Video
If you cannot view video, click here: http://vimeo.com/55631468
Add LegalShield today!
Contact Benefits Connection at (888) 518-6684
Friday, February 8th, 2013
Why You Need Benefits Connection
In your business, whether you are a small business owner or the Human Resources Manager of a huge corporation, you know how difficult it is to stay current with all the ever-changing health care rules and regulations. For many of you, staying up to date on all the changes in health creates a drain on your resources, both in time spent maintaining the necessary knowledge and understanding the systems, and in profits when and if mistakes are made and your company is fined for noncompliance.
Your problem is even more difficult when managing with the complex web of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, better known as COBRA. The program was designed to provide a way for your employees and their families to maintain their group health benefits after their job loss, divorce, or other loss of dependent status, known as a “Qualifying Event”.
Too many companies underestimate what is involved with COBRA administration. The complex program has a large number of requirements, such as notices, account tracking for varying time frames, and more, depending on the type of qualifying event. It is not something that most companies can, or should handle on their own.
So, what makes COBRA Administration so complex? How should I handle this for my company?
What is COBRA?
COBRA gives workers and their families who have lost their health benefits the right to choose to continue their group health benefits which had been provided by their group health plan, for limited periods of time. The circumstances for their loss of health benefits may be voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours they are working, transition between jobs, death, divorce, or other life events.
Why does my company need an outsourced COBRA administrator?
COBRA is complex to administer. You must be aware of deadlines and details that can make it difficult to be compliant with COBRA regulations. Because mistakes can be costly, in terms of fines or in lost time, it makes sense to outsource the task to an expert. That usually means you will need a third-party administrator for your benefit programs.
Benefits Connection’s COBRA administrators are experts in staying up to date on the regulations and in keeping their employer clients in compliance.
What does COBRA require from employers?
COBRA requires that employers send notices to employees, former employees and their spouses and children, and to calculate and collect premiums. Employers are required to keep track of employees who are eligible and employees who are not. They also need to have a record of who received notices and when they were sent. And finally, they need to determine whether premiums are accurate and paid on time.
What are my advantages to outsourcing COBRA administration?
In a sense, outsourcing COBRA administration can be considered a form of risk management for the employer. Because of the legal issues that surround proper administration of COBRA, it is essential that every aspect of the process is done correctly. One of the primary reasons employers outsource COBRA administration is in an effort to minimize their exposure to risk.
How can I determine if I need to outsource COBRA administration?
To determine whether or not outsourcing COBRA administration makes sense for your organization, ask yourself these three questions:
First, does the company have the time to administer COBRA correctly?
Second, is the company knowledgeable about the latest COBRA requirements?
Third, can the company afford the cost for the liability of noncompliance should it get it wrong?
If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’, then the employer should strongly consider outsourcing COBRA administration to a professional administrator such as Benefits Connection.
What features should I look for in a COBRA administrator?
There are several features employers should expect from their COBRA administrator:
You should expect billing and collection service on a monthly basis.
You may want online credit and debit payment options available to COBRA participants.
You may want flexible remittance options that give an employer the choice of how the premium will be paid to the carrier, the employer or both.
It’s important that COBRA administrators be capable of monitoring and tracking. This would include the 60-day election period, the 45-day initial premium payment period,
the ongoing 30-day grace period and cessation of COBRA coverage.
Expect an administrator to provide user-friendly monthly activity reports that summarize billing and collection from COBRA participants.
Offering an employer a portal to view COBRA participants and activity in real-time, or even to enter information is now offering in COBRA administrators’ menu of services.
What else can I gain by outsourcing COBRA administration?
Because COBRA can be difficult to understand as well as confusing, access to experts who can walk participants through the process is essential. Employers benefit by being able to rely on an experienced COBRA administrator which understands COBRA and can answer COBRA questions from your former employees. Being able to provide 24/7 access to account information online and happily accepting participant calls are two more important factors that employers can expect from any well-rounded COBRA administration service.
And, most importantly, when you outsource with Benefits Connection, you can expect to avoid the excessive work needed for you to stay current on all COBRA regulations, and to avoid the risks associated with doing it yourself and making a mistake!
Friday, February 1st, 2013
Today, Benefits Connection turns 10!
We couldn’t have done it without you and our other wonderful clients! Thank you!
Ten years ago today, Kelly Walker purchased the Benefits Services division of the brokerage firm where she had been making clients happy for many years, and created the Benefits Connection umbrella for clients and employees.
For ten years, Benefits Connection has been building a reputation for strong customer service, integrity, and the ability to think outside the box. We always look for the best solution for your business and your employees. In all of our years of providing services, we have never failed to meet a performance guarantee.
The Last 10 Years
Through the years, we have expanded our services and won many awards for our work on your behalf. Just look at some of the many accomplishments that you made possible:
- Nominated three times as the Nashville Business Journal’s “Best in Business”.
- Certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) by the Women’s Business
Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
- Received the CAS designation as part of the charter COBRA certification class.
- Kelly Walker named Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association
of Professional Women for 2010/2011.
- Kelly Walker graduated from the Tuck Executive Program, a world-class accomplishment
made available by Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and IBM.
- Kelly Walker honored by the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South.
- Appointed as a Carrier Representative for Colonial Life, making many additional options
and services available for you!
- Expanded our services again, to include the offering of Voluntary Benefits to complement
our Cafeteria Plan Services.
- Formed a strategic partnership with Inova Payroll.
- Featured in WBEC South’s September 2012 WBE Spotlight.
- One of the 5 Finalists in the National Supplier Spotlight Contest, coming in at
NUMBER 3 Nationwide!
Without your support, none of this would have been possible. Thank You!
We continue to add and create services for you. Benefits Connection has the insurance background and resources to implement winning strategies for you, with emphasis on communication and education, assisting our clients with plan design, cost savings, and an overall strategy.
Benefits Connection continues to stay informed and updated on all changes in laws and procedures, and is able to access the best from the insurance world for you.
We adhere to strict world class standards, which you can be proud to support. You are assured that by partnering with Benefits Connection, you will receive the best from your insurance partners!
Thank You for a wonderful 10 years, and for many more yet to come!
Kelly Walker and the staff of Benefits Connection.