Benefits Consulting & Technology
At MBL we have a vested interest in the success of our client’s benefits programs. Our commitment to client service is unparalleled and it’s the foundation of our success. The MBL team can be counted on as an extension of each client’s Human Resources Department, allowing them to focus on their most value-added functions, rather than administration of benefits. MBL also offers a wide range of products and services to add value to benefits packages.
MBL also partners with technology-forward platforms to simplify everything around enrollment and paperless benefits. Depending on each client’s needs we can support existing infrastructure or perform a needs assessment to identify opportunities to enhance current systems. We know how overwhelming integrating new technologies can be and are available to provide support throughout the process. We are with you every step of the way:
- Healthcare Reform
- Healthcare Compliance
- Employee Communications
- Group Benefits Evaluation/Implementation
- HR Administration Support (Remote and Onsite)
- Technology Needs Assessments
- Technology Evaluation & Selection
- Technology Implementation Support
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Healthcare Reform Consulting
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), has been a game changer for employers, employees, insurers, medical providers, and consultants. In light of the ever-changing landscape of Healthcare Reform, MBL has allocated the resources to stay apprised of developments and guide its clients accordingly. MBL and its dedicated Benefits Consultants take great pride in not only staying abreast of the changing landscape, but in navigating through it and providing MBL’s clients with the most up to date guidance, solutions and options.
Some of the services provided include:
- MLR rebate allocations
- Employer penalty guidance
- Variable employee calculations
- Assistance with individual and family coverage
HR/Admin Services (On-Site Support)
As an extension of each client’s Human Resources Department, we provide the support, tools and technology needed to provide timely information and responses to employees. This is done through customized employee communication and enrollment materials, annual statements, benefit counselors and more. A consolidated administrative platform can allow our client’s HR personnel to manage eligibility, enrollment, communications, and COBRA in one system.
MBL offers clients:
- An on-line HR research library
- An Internet page to publish benefits plan particulars to employees and post documents such as employee manuals and carrier forms
The success of any benefits plan is dependent on employee education and communication. We know that the strategies we develop with our client will be most effective if the employees understand all of their benefit options. To ensure clarity among employees, we carefully craft communication materials that are consistent with their philosophies and deliver concise information on the benefit offerings.
With a complete benefits overview, employees receive an outline of all of the coverage that is available, definitions, costs, and important contact numbers. Our goal is to collaborate with our client, vendors, and third parties (if necessary) to deliver communication that educates employees, alerts them to changes and trends, and increases the value of the benefit program. We will provide support in design and review of customized pre-enrollment, enrollment and post-enrollment materials.
Employee attitudes and perceptions about their benefits packages have a significant impact on the success of benefits plans. We create and deliver web-based benefits surveys to gather feedback directly from employees. Every survey is customized to the client’s unique needs and we elicit client input in the design process. Surveys are useful in pinpointing which aspects of a benefits plan employees like or dislike. This can help us determine what changes or adjustments to make to the plan. Our clients have found this to be a powerful, non-invasive tool to determine what is on the minds of their employees.
We begin the enrollment process by meeting with client employees. We provide them with detailed descriptions of the benefits package along with enrollment forms. We then begin employee education by explaining the particulars of the selected plan and how to get the maximum use out of it. We continue to educate employees with new program enhancements and benefits as well as supporting the roll-out of new programs throughout the year.
With rapid changes in federal and state benefits regulations, meeting compliance requirements has become an overwhelming task for employers and their HR teams. MBL Benefits Consulting and its service network assist clients through the compliance labyrinth these statutes and their regulations create. We enable them to know employee notice deadlines and meet them. When questions arise, our team is here to help identify solutions.
MBL dedicates significant resources in the following areas to ensure programs and processes are integrated into the strategic solutions we put together for our clients:
- IRS Form 5500
- COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act)
- HIPAA Compliance (Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act)
- ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Income Act) Reporting and Disclosure
Group Benefits Evaluation
I. Existing Coverage Comparison
The evaluation process begins with an in-depth analysis of the client’s current benefits package, including insurance carrier information. We analyze which benefits are currently offered, determine the most important aspects of the coverage from the employer’s perspective, and discuss what benefits might be added. We thoroughly investigate the trends in their existing coverage. For example, has the company been eliminating benefits because of cost increases or have they been transferring the cost increases onto the employees. We also review the company’s claims experience and claims history.
For us to do the most thorough review for our clients, we work closely with their benefits administrator. We will need a complete group census, a complete benefits description, claims experience, current invoices, and any renewal letters received from the insurance companies. After we receive this information, we begin the next phase of the review.
The best way to develop the optimal benefits package for each client is to involve employees in the process. The research we do for interested clients utilizes an employee’s point of view regarding the benefits plan. We determine what benefits are most important to key employees. We send out a short questionnaire to employees either via email, a payroll insert, or in their company mailboxes. After we receive the completed questionnaires we analyze the information and determine what ought to be changed in the group benefits plan. This can play a major role in the cost analysis. The research generally takes two weeks to complete.
III. Cost Analysis
We gather the information from both the employer and employees and contact all of the providers. We share this information with them so they can help us design a plan to meet the client’s specific needs. Once we receive the information from each provider, we perform a comprehensive analysis to determine which offers best meet client criteria. The carrier’s ability to provide quality service for each account at a cost-effective rate is our foremost priority.
After our analysis we determine the two or three best options for the client’s benefit plan. We then meet with them to discuss these choices and offer an in-depth explanation of our conclusions. Depending on the size of the company, the next meeting may include the insurance carriers. We introduce each client to the representatives from the insurance companies who will implement the plan and help us provide exceptional customer service.
We create a cost-sharing structure which takes into account the costs the client wishes to pass on to its employees and which costs the company will absorb. At this point, we finalize the plan design together.
IV. Implementation & Education
The implementation stage is where we meet with employees to begin the enrollment process. At the enrollment meeting, we provide in-depth descriptions of the benefits package along with enrollment forms. Our goal is to have this meeting occur at least one month before the plan effective date. This allows ample time for employees to complete and return their enrollment forms.
During the implementation meeting, we begin the ongoing employee education regarding the benefits plan and what changes, if any, have been made to the previous benefits package. We explain the particulars of the plan and how to get the maximum benefit out of it. We continue to educate the employees with new program enhancements and benefits throughout the year.
We then begin a Q&A with the employees to cover any aspect of the plan where further explanation is needed. Our staff is available for one-on-one meetings with employees to answer their questions and review their plan choices. The implementation stage requires one to four meetings depending on the size of the group.
Tracking is an ongoing process. We will contact the client benefits administrator at least monthly to see that everything is running smoothly and everyone understands the benefits plan.
The MBL Benefit Consulting staff is available to answer employee’s questions whenever necessary. With client permission, we also send out random questionnaires to employees to see if there is anything we can improve. By tracking the plan closely, we will be better prepared for the next year’s review.
At MBL Benefit Consulting, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with outstanding customer service. In the ever-changing world of group benefits we are continuously finding new ways to improve benefits packages while keeping cost increases to a minimum.