2018 Voluntary Benefits Forecast

Posted by Emily Kubis on Dec 18, 2017 9:35:44 AM

Millennials are changing benefits—here’s how to keep up

Millennials are now the largest share of the American workforce. With more than 53 million Millennial employees in the U.S. workforce and a robust employment rate, employers are trying to figure out how to best recruit and retain these workers.

A competitive benefits package has always been a key tool for recruitment. But as workforce generations evolve, benefit offerings must as well, and many employers struggle to offer a competitive benefits package for Millennials.

Increasing the number of ancillary benefits offered is one way to stay competitive, but many brokers mistakenly believe that cost is what keeps employers from expanding their offerings. In fact, many ancillary options can be offered at little to no cost to the employer.

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, hr software, ancillary benefits, voluntary benefits, benefits software, benefits forecast

Using technology to improve HR

Posted by Emily Kubis on Dec 15, 2017 9:39:59 AM

Tech allows HR leaders to focus on value

As HR software platforms grow more common in U.S. workplaces, the HR department is becoming less about managing administrative tasks and more about adding strategic value to organizations.

This finding was highlighted in Paycor’s recent HR Trendcast, which reported that 48 percent of HR leaders believe many core HR functions will be fully automated by 2022. This is good news—technology is giving HR the room to focus more on people and skills.

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, hr software, benefits software, HR tech

How a benefits platform helps brokers address rising costs

Posted by Emily Kubis on Dec 13, 2017 8:22:16 AM

Premium rates still rising faster than inflation

What’s the biggest challenge facing the benefits industry right now? According to the 2017 Broker Benchmarking Report, the rising cost of health insurance.

Brokers are very familiar with the rising costs of premiums and prescriptions, as well as other out-of-pocket costs, and the many ways employers are trying to bend the cost curve. From wellness programs to self-insurance, we hear many employers are desperate for new solutions.

One key solution is adopting a benefits platform. Benefits software gives brokers another set of tools to use in structuring the most cost-effective benefits plan for their clients. Here’s how.

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, hr software, benefits administration, benefits software, health insurance costs

Moderate increases for employer-based premiums

Posted by Emily Kubis on Dec 11, 2017 8:02:50 AM

Rates still rising faster than inflation

Premium increases for employer-sponsored health plans rose moderately in 2017, by 4 percent for individuals and 3 percent for families.

Still, years of steady, annual increases have boosted the rate of premiums by 55 percent since 2007 and 19 percent since 2012, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey.

The annual average premiums in 2017 were $6,690 for a single employee, and $18,764 for a family.

The data also showed that employees at small firms have significantly cheaper premiums than those at larger companies—$17,615 for family coverage compared to $19,235.

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, hr software, compliance

5 benefits tech lessons learned in 2017

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Dec 8, 2017 9:04:51 AM

Check out this column in BenefitsPro:

As 2017 winds to a close, the benefits tech industry can look back on a year of big lessons. This market is continuously evolving — vendors are improving their products, finding new partners, serving client needs better and building the future of benefits tech. 

Here are five important lessons the industry learned in 2017. 

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, HR, hr software, broker, online benefit administation, benefitspro

Three sales strategies for your agency

Posted by Emily Kubis on Dec 6, 2017 10:40:15 AM

Boost the pipeline

Looking to increase your pipeline for 2018? As open enrollment winds to a close, you may be looking ahead to next year and considering ways to grow your list of prospects and book of business.

BerniePortal was created by the team at benefits brokerage Bernard Health, and we have a more than a decade of sales experience.

Here are three sales strategies for your agency

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, open enrollment, health insurance brokers, hr software, compliance

Three signs your platform isn’t performing during open enrollment

Posted by Emily Kubis on Dec 4, 2017 8:43:58 AM

What to look for

Open enrollment is a make-or-break moment for benefits administration software. This is the time your agency will most benefit from improved efficiencies, reduced errors and ease of use, but if your platform is not up to par, you may not recognize any of that ROI.

Of course, there is a learning curve in the first year with a new platform. But over time, you should feel comfortable enough with your platform to bring all your groups online and maximize the value of the investment.

How can you tell if your platform is performing during open enrollment? Here are three things to consider.

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, open enrollment, health insurance brokers, hr software, compliance

Weekdays with Bernie: Speaker Spotlight

Posted by Emily Kubis on Dec 1, 2017 10:21:49 AM

Join us for the BerniePortal users conference

Have you registered for Weekdays with Bernie yet? Our users conference is March 26-28, 2018 in downtown Nashville, and early bird spots are limited!

We’re confident the users conference will be really beneficial to you and your agency, in part because of the industry-leading speakers we’re convening for the conference's general sessions.  Weekdays with Bernie is dedicated to providing valuable business advice, industry information and cutting-edge sales and customer service strategies to BerniePortal licensees, and here are some of the speakers you’ll hear from.

Here are a few of those speakers, their session topics, and why we think you’ll learn a lot hearing from them.

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Tags: BerniePortal, users conference, Weekdays with Bernie

How much do employees spend out-of-pocket?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Nov 29, 2017 9:51:44 AM

Consumer spending on the rise

Families spent an average of $714 on out-of-pocket healthcare costs in 2016, a figure which is growing at an annual rate of 4.3 percent.

According to JPMorgan Chase, for every dollar spent on healthcare, families paid 11 cents out-of-pocket and 28 cents after insurance costs, according to a new study by JPMorgan Chase.

Where are consumers paying the most out-of-pocket? The study found average out-of-pocket dental costs are the highest, at $465. Doctor, dental and hospital spending accounted for more than half of all out-of-pocket costs.

The rise in out-of-pocket spending has a significant impact on consumers’ financial well-being. ‘Extraordinary’ medical payments are associated with 9 percent higher credit card debt a year later, the report found. Further, roughly 52 percent of all debts in collection are medical debts.

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, out-of-pocket costs

How to revamp your agency’s marketing for 2018

Posted by Emily Kubis on Nov 27, 2017 8:08:11 AM

Three tips for better visibility

As the year winds down and open enrollment concludes, this is a great time for agencies to take stock of their policies and processes. The end of the year is the right time to ask, what’s working and what can be improved?

In particular, we find a lot of agencies are not communicating their value proposition as effectively as they could. Put another way, these are benefits experts with a ton of tools to help clients implement the best benefits strategy, but they aren’t reaching prospects with that information.

So as you consider how to take your agency to the next level in 2018, be sure to include marketing in your plans. Here are three tips for revamping your marketing in the new year.

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Tags: broker software, marketing, health insurance brokers, prospect, win new business, new client

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