Will Zenefits’ ‘next chapter’ benefit brokers?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Oct 20, 2017 8:58:02 AM

Tech company changes its tune on local agencies

The company that made its name trying to circumvent brokers is now publicizing its pivot away from that strategy. Zenefits announced in September the company would begin selling its software directly to brokers, instead of acting as a remote broker for employers.

Now, the company is focusing on, and marketing, its ‘next chapter,’ including an initial partnership with One Digital Agency in Atlanta, and plans to target other brokers as clients in the coming months.

Though this is the most dramatic in terms of business model, this is one of many pivots for the embattled tech company. Zenefits has ousted two CEOs and laid off half its workforce in less than two years.

The rapid pace of change raises important questions for brokers.

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

How to stay ahead of the curve amidst ACA changes

Posted by Emily Kubis on Oct 18, 2017 8:42:17 AM

Uncertainty remains

President Donald Trump’s executive orders on healthcare quickly made waves across the benefits industry, as stakeholders worked to determine how they may be affected by the deregulation.

The decision to end cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers has already faced a potential reversal from Congress, and the new rules around association plans, short-term medical plans and HRAs aren’t expected to result in dramatic changes in the short term.

Still, here are three things to know about the orders.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, aca, broker software, health insurance brokers, Donald Trump

What’s keeping brokers offline?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Oct 16, 2017 8:36:52 AM

Cost concerns alleviated by ROI

While more brokers than ever are taking advantage of tech tools, BerniePortal’s 2017 Broker Benchmarking Survey shows 30 percent are still offline.

Using benefits administration software has many advantages, including improved efficiencies, HR and compliance solutions, increased ancillary revenue and more, but what’s keeping the holdouts from taking the plunge?

Most brokers without a platform said cost was the main factor keeping their agency offline. The second-most cited reason was perceived implementation challenges. Making the decision of which platform to use and uncertainty whether clients will use the technology were tied for third.

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, broker benchmarking survey

The risks of using paper during benefits election season

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Oct 13, 2017 9:23:10 AM

Check out this column in Employee Benefit Advisor:

Open enrollment is right around the corner, and brokerages can be classified in two ways: those handling enrollment on paper, and those taking advantage of tech tools to streamline open enrollment.

An online platform makes it easy to compare benefit options, reduce errors and improve efficiencies. Enrolling in coverage through a platform is more like online shopping than what most brokers typically envision when open enrollment comes around.

Though there are many advantages to moving online, often it is risks of paper enrollment that cause people to go online. Those who had been on the fence have told us four risks of using paper:

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

Tech adoption on the rise

Posted by Emily Kubis on Oct 11, 2017 10:40:04 AM

Modern agencies using multiple tools

Brokers are using a variety of technology tools to grow and manage their agencies, according to BerniePortal’s 2017 Broker Benchmarking Survey.

To improve efficiencies, address client concerns, and offer comprehensive HR and benefits advice, brokers are using benefits administration platforms, HR software, CRM tools and agency management technology.

Rates of use are also up. Seventy percent of brokers surveyed reported using some time of software to manage benefits information, up from 30 percent in 2016 and representing a more than 133 percent increase.

Why is tech adoption on the rise?

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, broker benchmarking survey

What is the BerniePortal Knowledge Base?

Posted by Coby Randles on Oct 10, 2017 8:47:58 AM

Knowledge Base

If you have been to our website recently, you may have noticed a new tab at the footer section titled “Knowledge Base”. This is our newest addition to BerniePortal and we could not be more excited! Here, you can easily search just about any question or issue you may be experiencing. The layout is very user friendly, broken up by user type and then by BerniePortal feature. Below, we’ll walk through the general idea and functions of the Knowledge Base, so you are able to jump right in and begin utilizing immediately.

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Tags: COBRA, Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, employers, employees, hr software, broker, agency management, onboarding, features, PTO, Time & Attendance

3 ways P&C and benefits brokers can set themselves apart

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Oct 9, 2017 7:50:34 AM

Check out this column in BenefitsPro:

Insurance agencies that historically focused on property and casualty have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to expand into benefits in a really meaningful way. The opportunity is related to benefits technology, and the best agency leaders are taking advantage. 

The window is that most employers aren’t yet handling benefits and HR online, but increasingly want to be. P&C agencies have never had trouble landing meetings, but have had trouble finding a clear differentiator over other benefits brokerages. Right now, before the window closes and every employer and broker is online, benefits technology can be that differentiator. 

Here are three steps to setting yourself apart. 

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, HR, hr software, broker, online benefit administation, benefitspro, property and casualty, p&C

More brokers are online than ever before

Posted by Emily Kubis on Oct 6, 2017 10:37:37 AM

Broker Benchmarking Survey shows increased need, adoption of tech tools

Brokers are increasingly recognizing the need for online tools to help administer benefits and track clients, according to the 2017 Broker Benchmarking Survey conducted by BerniePortal.

The data, compiled by surveying brokers serving the small to mid-sized employer market, found a significant increase in agencies using online tools.

It also found that more brokers are recognizing the value in offering a single software solution to clients as part of the agency’s value proposition. However, the survey shows brokers still perceive challenges in going online, particularly around implementation and client use.

Industry trends are also affecting brokers, including legislative uncertainty, rising costs, and increased compliance pressure.

Click here to download the full survey results.

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Tags: Online Benefits Administration, broker software, health insurance brokers, broker benchmarking survey

Auto-enrollment boosts retirement saving

Posted by Emily Kubis on Oct 4, 2017 10:38:41 AM

Small tweaks can lead to big results

Implementing auto-enrollment and auto-increase features to retirement savings accounts boosts participation and contribution rates, according to new data released by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

The study advises that small changes to plan design can have big impacts on engagement, contributions and creating a company culture of financial wellness.

The report found that more than 97% of auto-enrolled employees don’t opt out of their 401(k). Further, the higher the default rate, the higher the levels of employee participation.

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

What is BernieBill?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Oct 2, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Reduce errors and streamline billing

Some carriers use BerniePortal as their eligibility database, which means no integrations are necessary. Employers can generate bills in real-time – providing a more accurate and timely billing process, a smaller chance for errors and real-time edits

BerniePortal’s database already holds all pertinent information, including carrier billing rules, elections, effective dates and premiums. This allows for the generation of an accurate bill for employers directly through BerniePortal, so there are never any discrepancies between who is enrolled and what is on the carrier bill.

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

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