What is BerniePortal Notices?

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on May 22, 2018 7:15:00 AM

Human resources software

BerniePortal Notices is an HR software feature that allows administrators to make announcements and to maintain compliance.

Read more for:

  • Functionality
  •  Differentiators
  • Additional content  

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Tags: BerniePortal, hr software, notices, small to mid-sized employers

How brokers can improve sales skills

Posted by Emily Kubis on May 21, 2018 7:38:51 AM

Sales tips for agency leaders

How can you take your agency’s growth to the next level? Consider a back to basics approach with these sales training tips from BerniePortal sister company, Bernard Health.

In ten years of using BerniePortal, Bernard Health has seen average annual revenue growth of 49 percent and approximately $500,000 in additional annual ancillary revenue.


Especially for young teams or new brokers, these tips can improve close ratios and drive agency growth. Bernard Health practice leader Brian Tolbert shared these tips at BerniePortal’s users conference, Weekdays with Bernie. If you couldn’t make it, read on for more—and be sure to save the date for next year!

Want to learn more about using BerniePortal to boost ancillary revenues? Click here to download the free guide.

 

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Tags: BerniePortal, users conference, Weekdays with Bernie, sales growth, jack daly

Reference-based pricing: The PPO alternative

Posted by Woody Waters on May 18, 2018 9:05:33 AM

Do you know the true cost of your healthcare?

With the cost to provide a health plan for employees continuing to rise year after year, many business owners are at a loss for how to continue to pay for coverage while still remaining profitable. Many are looking for a new way to offer benefits to their employees, and there are options available that brokers can present to clients looking to go beyond the healthcare status quo.

Do you know the true cost of your healthcare?

PPOs are overwhelmingly the most popular form of healthcare for employer-sponsored plans. Most PPOs claim that by utilizing their network, members are given a discount off of the regular cost of services. But PPOs typically keep the true cost of the medical services a secret, so most of the time, businesses don’t have a clear understanding of the cost savings. With the lack of transparency of what the true cost of service is, and premiums continuing to increase year after year, more and more employers are questioning if PPOs are actually the most cost-effective type of healthcare for their business.

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Tags: health insurance brokers, broker, reference based pricing

Communicating benefits with Spanish speaking populations

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on May 17, 2018 7:15:00 AM

The disconnect

Employee benefits are overwhelming as is — Imagine how you would feel if you had to enroll in benefits using an unfamiliar language.

Many workers in the United States, specifically those from the growing Spanish-speaking population, face this exact problem. Employees make incorrect benefit decisions or don't elect benefits at all simply because they can't understand them.

Learn more about communicating benefits and leveraging technology with Spanish speaking populations: 

 

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Tags: BerniePortal, Online Benefits Administration, benefits technology, communicating benefits

IRS sets HSA limits for 2019

Posted by Emily Kubis on May 16, 2018 9:41:34 AM

HSA limits slightly increased

The IRS has released the new Health Savings Accounts contribution limits and maximum out-of-pocket figures for 2019.

Next year, contribution limits for individuals rise to $3,500, from $3,450 in 2018. For families, limits rise to $7,000, from 2017’s $6,900.

Maximum out-of-pocket figures also rose—for individuals, the max out-of-pocket is $6,750, up from $6,650 in 2018, and for families, max out-of-pocket is $13,500, from $13,300 in  2018.

Brokers play a key role in supporting successful HSA-eligible plan strategies. Here are three things to know about HSAs in 2019.

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Tags: HSAs, broker software, health savings accounts, health insurance brokers, HR, hr software, broker, online benefit administation, HSA-eligible plans

Employee benefits stress: causes and solutions

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on May 15, 2018 7:15:00 AM

Benefits stress employees out

According to a benefits communications survey conducted by Jellyvision and Harris Poll “More than half of all employees whose company offers health insurance (55%) say they would like help from their employer when choosing a health plan.”

Even worse, this survey finds that 49% of employees report high levels of stress when making decisions regarding insurance. How exactly can employers help employees without spreading themselves too thin? The answer: BerniePortal.

 

 

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Tags: benefits administration, employee benefits, research

How P&C agencies can expand into benefits with technology

Posted by Emily Kubis on May 14, 2018 8:53:43 AM

P&C agencies can leverage relationships to win new business

Many primarily P&C agencies see the large opportunity the group benefits segment represents, and adopting benefits technology can help advisors expand that arm of their businesses.

P&C agencies have the unique opportunity to leverage existing relationships. For example, your odds are much higher to get a meeting with an employer you are covering or workers comp or liability over a new employer.

But once you get a meeting, what is going to set you apart from their current group health broker? More P&C agencies are using HR tech and benefits software to uniquely position themselves are more than just benefits experts.

Here are three tips for growing your agency with benefits technology. For more, download the e-book “Why P&C Agencies Should Adopt a Benefits Administration Platform.”

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Tags: broker software, technology, benefits administration, HR tech

Utilization or price: Which is the bigger healthcare problem?

Posted by Alex Tolbert on May 11, 2018 6:00:00 AM

Check out this column on healthcare costs in BenefitsPro:

Health care spending has skyrocketed in the U.S. over the last three decades, and continues to take up a larger and larger share of the nation’s GDP, hitting almost 18 percent at $3.3 trillion in 2016, according to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Of course, this is not news to brokers. Many employer clients have faced 10 percent, 15 percent, and 20 percent premium increases over the last few years, seemingly regardless of plan design changes or wellness initiatives. This trend has put pressure on employers and, in many cases, reduced benefits for employees. In turn, these parties pressure brokers to find a solution.

As with any problem, finding a solution first requires diagnosing the  biggest cause of the problem .
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Tags: health insurance brokers, broker, benefitspro, reference based pricing

Aquire new business with branded presentations

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on May 10, 2018 7:15:00 AM

Ecos presentations

Ecos is an online presentation-sharing platform that BerniePortal provides its licensees. Each agency using BerniePortal receives one login to Ecos. This login provides access to official BerniePortal marketing content that can be used to pitch BerniePortal to current and prospective clients.

Mix and match your own content with BerniePortal's content to quickly create presentations for your agency.

 

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Tags: ecos, prospective clients, marketing resources

Reference-based pricing: What about balance bills?

Posted by Emily Kubis on May 9, 2018 8:33:12 AM

How brokers can help groups address balance billing 

Reference-based pricing is a new way for self-insured employers to pay for employee’s medical costs. Instead of using a traditional insurance carrier’s network, employers simply pay hospitals a percentage in excess of Medicare’s reimbursement rate for the same service.

Why would employers adopt this plan?  Generally, the benefit that insurers provide to employers are their network discounts for services. But with healthcare prices skyrocketing, employers and brokers are questioning whether this strategy provides enough value.

In many cases, employers are finding it more valuable, sustainable and transparent to pay in excess of Medicare, than to receive a discount off an inflated chargemaster price.

In other words, if a patient is billed $60,000, but Medicare accepts $10,000, the employer would pay 150 percent of Medicare, which is $15,000, and encourage the hospital to accept the payment in full.

However, the risk is balance bills—that the hospital will bill the employee for the remaining $45,000.

(More: Three problems with reference-based pricing—and their solutions.)

In these instances, reference-based pricing administrators typically take two approaches.

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Tags: broker software, health reform, health insurance brokers, Self-Insured, self-funding, self-insured lite

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