Sign Up For Any of Cornerstone’s July Webinars!

Cornerstone’s Our Strategy Your Success weekly webinar series is back in July. Learn more about Cornerstone’s value-added programs and services, including Agency Services Division Referral Program, Broker Centric, succession planning, and more!

 

Join us every Thursday in July from 2:00–2:30 pm. Register today!

 

Cornerstone’s Agency Services Division Referral Program

July 6, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Earn $$ for Individual, Group, and Medicare referrals

REGISTER

 

Cornerstone — Our Strategy Your Success

July 13, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

A presentation showcasing our service programs and value-added resources.

REGISTER

 

Cornerstone’s Succession Planning Program

July 20, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Do you have a plan for your business and your clients in the event of your death or disability?
We can help!

REGISTER

 

Cornerstone’s Broker Centric Knowledge Base & Marketing Solutions Platform

July 27, 2017 | 2:00–2:30 pm

Create customized marketing pieces and gain access to carrier product, and industry resources.

REGISTER

Medical Mutual SHOP Marketplace Exit Beginning January 1, 2018

Medical Mutual will no longer offer plans through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) marketplace effective January 1, 2018. Coverage will terminate for affected groups on their renewal date. Medical Mutual will be releasing a letter to small group members informing them of the change. Group officials with affected members will also receive a letter.

Contact your Cornerstone representative for groups affected so we can assist you with a new plan selection.

 

RESOURCES

Medical Mutual Broker Update — July 3, 2017

Broker Update- Medical Mutual

Medical Mutual released an update that includes two important notices concerning their group clientele:

1. Medical Mutual identified a handful of small groups that may not have received updated Certificate Books when benefit changes were made at renewal time. New Books are being mailed to the affected by the end of June.

2. Effective May 15th, 2017 Riverhills Neurology Group will be back in Medical Mutual’s SuperMed and Medicare Advantage Network.

 

RESOURCES

Medical Mutual Broker Update

 

Ask us about our value added programming today!

Request for Free CE Vouchers

2017 NW Ohio CE Training — Lima/Toledo

WHERE*: Lima: 3745 Shawnee Road, Suite 104, Lima, OH 45806
Toledo: 4444 Keystone Drive, Suite F, Maumee, OH 43537

*Location may change based on response/need for space
*Please RSVP to Jenni Henry (jhenry@crnstone.com) no later than 2 weeks prior to event to reserve your place.

WHAT: FOUR (4) hours of CE available each day with product updates and training from our carrier representatives. There is a 15-minute break between each speaker so you can check emails/phone calls.

PLEASE NOTE: The first and last CE of the day is a repeat from the prior CE Day in MAY. You may come for just the sessions you need.

Anthem to Pay $115M Settlement Over Data Breach

Anthem has agreed to a $115 million settlement to resolve a cyber attack in 2015 that affected nearly 79 million people. Attorneys are calling this the largest data-breach settlement in history. $15 million from the proposed settlement will be used to pay for out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the data breach. The proposed plan also requires Anthem to spend an undisclosed amount to protect the information of its current and former customers for the next three years.

The data breach compromised the names, birthdates, Social Security numbers, medical IDs, street and email addresses, and employee data of current and former customers and employees of Anthem.

Cyber attacks can happen to anybody at any time. Have you talked to Cornerstone about offering your customers LifeLock? Reach out to your Cornerstone representative today for more information.

RESOURCES

Anthem agrees to $115M settlement over data breach

The EEO-1 Reporting Requirements Are Changing

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is looking for race, gender, ethnicity, hour and wage disparities in the workplace. If they find them it could result in huge fines. In an effort to fight inequity in the workplace, the EEOC has updated the EEO-1 Reporting Requirements.

This year, the document has been expanded from two pages to eight pages and information will be collected from both the employer and the employee (In the past it was solely collected from the employer). Employers will report on wages using W2 information, while Employees will have to self-report their gender and ethnicity to make sure that information is as accurate as possible.

With an understanding that this new document might pose an influx of questions, the reporting deadline has now been moved from September 30, 2017 to March 31, 2018.

High Performers Thrive With More Vacation Time

Namely looked through the records from over 125,000 employees nationwide to determine a correlation between the amount of time taken off from work and performance. The results were outlined in the HR Mythbusters 2017 report, breaking the long-held belief that taking vacation time would negatively impact employee performance.

The company specifically asked, “Were high performers more or less likely to take vacation days off in 2016?” The results of the study were that high performers tended to take an average of 19 days off per year, while individuals categorized as lower-ranking performers took only 14.

The company also did research regarding millennials and tenure, turnover at high-growth companies, and more. The results of all of these studies are outlined in the report.

For more information about the study and what the results mean for HR, click here.

 

RESOURCES

The Secret For Boosting Employee Performance? Vacation Time

2017 HR Mythbusters: The Reality of Work at Mid-Market Companies Nationwide

How to Successfully Get Through a DOL Audit — Free Webinar from HR360

As a dedicated broker, we know how important ERISA compliance is to you and your clients. With more and more small and medium-size firms being audited by the DOL, we want you to have a vitally important “inside look” of what happens during an audit, and how to avoid common mistakes that will protect your clients.

Click on the link below to register for our free webinar.

DATE: July 12, 2017

TIME: 1:30 pm–2:30pm

PRESENTER: Lillian Shapiro, President of HR360

This special webinar, prepared by HR360’s staff of attorneys, will provide you with bottom line steps and tips to help your clients successfully navigate through a DOL audit, including:

  • What triggers an audit
  • Dos and don’ts for producing requested documents
  • Top tips for dealing with on-site interviews
  • How DOL audits are resolved

Contact Cornerstone with any questions!

Join Cornerstone and Dental Care Plus for a Free Training Event!

Cornerstone and Dental Care Plus Group present:

Dental 101 and Vision 101

Click here to RSVP.

Image of business partners listening to female employee at meeting

DATE: July 6, 2017

TIME: 10:00 am–12:00 pm

PLACE: The Hampton Inn

986 E. State St. | Athens, OH 45701

 

TRAINING SCHEDULE:

10:00–11:00 — Vision 101

11:00–11:15 — Break

11:15–12:00 — Dental 101

Benefits With Technology

Paul Conroy

Paul Conroy, Director of Employee Benefits, Cincinnati and Northern KY

Everyone would prefer to do away with the outdated paper-based process. If an employer is managing benefits with paper today, the benefit administration burden often falls to broker consultants who, in turn, must figure out how to run an efficient, cost effective operation with carriers.

In pursuit of paperless benefit administration, those that have tested the waters have been saddled with an expensive and clunky software program with virtually non-existent support.

Admittedly, constructing a benefits administration system using only technology is difficult to do, especially when considering data security, configuring benefits, and maintaining direct connections with multiple carriers. Add to the mix constant changes in state and federal regulations, rising premiums, and the growing prevalence of high deductible health plans, and the result is a higher standard in what we need from a vendor.

Ideally, the next wave of benefit administration solutions will successfully merge technology, process, and people.

Innovation now seems to be focused on the experiences surrounding the benefits program. As more data accumulates and becomes readily available, benefit administration technology can easily convert the data into recommendation engines and decision support tools. These immediate online resources can help people understand the costs and complexity of what they are buying and help consumers select from their options and allocate costs within their budget. As benefit consultants, we must adjust how we fit into the process and flow of engaging employees, work in accord with technology, and establish our relevance within a purchasing logic founded on data analytics.

Adam Kenter, a Market Sales Executive with Paycor explains:

“On a personal note, when I enrolled in my benefits at Paycor, I was tasked with selecting the right plan for myself and my family. My wife, a teacher, brought home a giant stack of paper for her benefits and asked me to sort it out for her. Rather than spend hours sorting through and calculating, we just added her to my plan in seconds with Paycor’s Perform Benefits, and had an exact calculation of our expenditure per pay period and annually. It has been my experience, and that of our clients, that an online enrollment tool will drive more participants to employee benefit plans due to the simplicity of enrollment.”

While this continues to develop, benefit consultants should consider how to adjust the way they position their skill sets and services to employers. In addition to the core benefits strategy we have always offered, become more familiar with ever-changing technology. One other important observation: Technology is now in the hands of the brokers, the employers, and the employees. Don’t get squeezed out.

Studies continue to reflect that HR technology is a top priority among employers. Investment in HR management systems is growing exponentially, and organizations are frequently replacing older systems. Employers are searching for knowledgeable partners to guide them through the complex process of finding the best tech solution for their organizational needs. This is an ideal scenario for brokers/benefit consultants to fill a need and contribute to the client’s decision-making process. Overlooking this opportunity could result in clients turning to another broker.

The trend is headed toward paperless enrollment and self-service for employees. So what specific features are required to meet this need?

Decide what the client needs. There’s definitely a trend to set up lots of simple tools specifically designed for the annual open enrollment. The shortcoming to this more focused approach is that you lose the ability to use the program throughout the year. It takes a different technology to handle the administration rules that come outside of open enrollment. Decide upfront: Do you only want support for open enrollment, or do you need something year round?

Look for an established business partner. There are many newcomers to investigate beyond the novelty and creative marketing. While conducting your search, look for an organization with a proven reputation for being responsive and delivering hands-on service to their clients. A perfect technology company does not exist, so when something goes wrong, you may need people to fix it.

Agility is just as important as ability. Any technology investment in this day and age should be dynamic and continuously improving. Agile, cloud-based technologies are built to evolve and improve over time. The platform you select today should be better six months or a year down the road. Look to work with companies that release product updates on a regular basis, and most importantly, look for a company that listens to their customers’ feedback and freely implements suggestions to improve functionality. The utopia everyone is looking for is integration with a payroll system. True integration allows for one point of input. Based on the obsession we have with our smart phones, I believe the demand for systems with mobile app enrollment will increase, so it’s good to ask if the system offers this technology now or in the near future.

Availability to small business. Any system needs to be user friendly. If it is too difficult to use then it is a flawed system. One simple test: How easy is it to correct an enrollment/election mistake? Technology service being available to the small business market is often a sign that it is easy to use. Small companies don’t have a lot of resources to deploy and manage a technology. For any solution to be successful in this environment, it needs to perform and automate as much of the busy work as possible. For example, employees should be able to enroll in all benefits via the system and benefit descriptions should be easily available in the system or via links.

Employee education. It is more than providing relief from administrative burdens. Does the process help employees understand the benefits they’re being offered and how to use them throughout the year? Benefits plans are designed to make sure that employees are healthy and productive at work, but that value is only realized if employees know what they have. Can the system help provide a better, more convenient information source? Are you, as the Benefit Advisor, able to deliver content and provide information about benefits in this format? With help from you, the portal can become a central information source that expands benefit awareness. Adam Kenter explains:

“With Paycor’ s Employee Benefit Tools, administrators can create and run online enrollment events to make new hire benefit enrollment and open enrollment periods paperless. Administrators can manage individual employee elections to account for life events or employee corrections. These tools will make the end user experience less time consuming, and will allow them to better budget for and decide on the best possible employee benefit package.”

Keep an eye on all the mobile technologies that look beyond the open enrollment period and engage employees year round in their benefits. With these programs and apps, employees can better understand the financial impact of their benefit plan, locate network providers, and compare costs conveniently through their smart phones. Mobile engagement is bound to increase, and insurance brokers and benefit advisors will need to adapt.

Cornerstone aims to be the trusted partner in solving complex benefit challenges. For more information on our value-added services and how we can help you grow your business, be sure to contact us today.