3 tips for helping clients with short-term plans

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Jul 20, 2018 9:40:21 AM

Put steps in place now to help clients

Check out this column in BenefitsPro:

Most brokers are probably familiar with the new guidance from President Trump’s administration that would extend regulations around short-term health insurance plans.

The new regulations would allow these plans to provide coverage for up to 364 days, as opposed to three months. If these new regulations are approved, many expect more consumers will consider short-term plans as an alternative to comprehensive coverage.

Some brokers may prefer not to weigh in on short-term plans, but it’s possible that you will have some important clients who will want your experienced opinion. If a decision-maker, or a decision-maker’s family member, is asking for assistance, it may benefit your agency to have some steps in place to help.

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Tags: short-term health insurance, health insurance brokers, short-term health plan, broker, benefitspro

What is telecommuting?

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on Jul 19, 2018 9:50:13 AM

Definition: telecommuting

The past decade has seen a 115% increase in telecommuting. So what exactly is telecommuting and why is it so popular?

Telecommuting is the ability for employees to work from a location other than the office. Telecommuting is often marked by a large reliance on technology for communication and collaboration purposes, as employee teams are scattered in different locations. 


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Tags: employee benefits, workforce trends

Three steps to going online before Q4

Posted by Emily Kubis on Jul 18, 2018 10:04:11 AM

Pro tips for implementing in 2018

At BerniePortal, we recommend rolling out your new benefits administration platform with your clients during open enrollment. Because most groups will renew during the fourth quarter, it is best to be completely up to speed and comfortable with your new platform by that time.

Why do we recommend implementing during open enrollment? Our sister company, benefits brokerage Bernard Health, has brought thousands of users online with BerniePortal. We have found this is the best approach, because you are implementing change at an existing time of change.

But it does take some advanced preparation to be fully implemented by Q4. If you’re ready to streamline open enrollment and take advantage of business growth opportunities created by ben admin software, check out these three tips to getting online before Q4.

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, benefits administration

What is UX?

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


If you’re shopping software, you’ve probably encountered the term, UX. What is UX and why is it so important?

UX is a technical term that stands for “user experience,” which describes a user’s interaction with a given software. User experience is determined by many different factors that address the unique needs of a given software's users.

Learn more:


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Tags: user experience, UX

How benefits software helps small agencies

Posted by Emily Kubis on Jul 16, 2018 10:10:10 AM

Benefits of technology for smaller groups and agencies 

More brokers are using tech tools to maximize agency value than ever before. According to the 2017 Broker Benchmarking Survey conducted by BerniePortal, 70 percent of respondents are using a software tool to assist in benefits administration and agency management.

Small agencies and small groups in particular face a unique opportunity to take advantage of the efficiency gains that benefits administration and HR software represents. Here are a few of these advantages for both small shops and for small groups.

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, benefits administration

How to recruit Millennials at your agency

Posted by Emily Kubis on Jul 13, 2018 8:57:49 AM

Recruit for the future

The average broker is 60 years old, and many agency leaders are starting to look toward the future. As agency owners consider retirement, recruiting and retaining the next generation of advisors is becoming a key concern. But at the same time, a low percentage of Millennials are considering careers in insurance.

This presents a challenge to the broker industry, but also an opportunity. By making a few small changes in the way you think about your agency, you can market your brokerage as a great place to start and build a career.

Here are three tips for recruiting Millennials at your agency.

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, millennials, benefits administration, account management

What to look for in an HR software dashboard

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on Jul 12, 2018 7:15:00 AM

Evaluating HR dashboards

As an Human Resources professional, you are more than familiar with managing numerous moving parts. Your HR software platform should provide a dashboard tool that allows you to better navigate this balancing act. This dashboard should be a key tool in managing your employees and your responsibilities.

Naturally, you have options when it comes to picking a platform. Here's what you should keep an eye our for when evaluating each platform's dashboard: 


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Tags: HR tech, choosing a platform, user experience

Recruiting college grads? Focus on the 401(k)

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Jul 11, 2018 9:55:02 AM

Why a 401(k) is part of a competitive recruitment strategy

Check out this column in BenefitsPro:

Many small and mid-sized employers have recruiting on the brain. With a low national unemployment rate and new college graduates flooding the job market, your clients are likely turning their attention to their recruitment strategy. But there’s one mistake they may be making when it comes to recruiting millennials.

A robust benefits package is usually the cornerstone of many organizations’ recruitment strategies. But if your clients are trying to recruit recent college grads — the youngest generation of millennials — they may be focusing too much on their medical benefit options and not enough on other offerings that would actually make them more competitive with new hires at any age.

In particular, if your clients aren’t providing and funding a 401(k), they are likely losing out on valuable talent. Here’s how advisors can help employers think about this.

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Tags: health insurance brokers, broker, 401k, benefitspro

The most useful reports for new users

Posted by Gretchen Smitson on Jul 10, 2018 9:46:52 AM

Underutilized talent

Human Resources professionals must continually manage important pieces of information for large amounts of people. This requires keen attention to detail, significant time investment and the execution of redundant tasks. While HR professionals at large are fully capable of accomplishing these tasks, they have specialized skill sets that could be maximized.

That's why reporting options are essential for your organization. Reporting eliminates many of these redundant tasks and allows HR professionals to focus on specialized responsibilities. New to reporting? Here are the most useful reports for new users:


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Tags: Policy, legislation, time and attendance

How to build out account management careers at your agency

Posted by Emily Kubis on Jul 9, 2018 10:13:49 AM

Restructure responsibility for career and agency growth

Is the structure of your agency contributing to company growth and client success? The way that many insurance agencies divide responsibility doesn’t necessarily result in ideal account management or optimal career growth for employees, but there is a better way.

Here’s the problem. Most agencies divide responsibility by role, creating two “buckets” of responsibility, broker tasks and account manager tasks. Brokers call prospects, schedule meetings and sell. Account managers renew, quote, and manage eligibility, applications, billing, claims and more for their accounts. 

What’s the problem with this system? If you organization is like many agencies we work with, account managers are feeling the pressure. This negatively affects both workplace satisfaction and client relations. We often hear, “We need to hire more account managers. Taking an account or two from each of our existing team members will reduce their workload and solve our issues.”

But this isn’t actually the best solution, and there are a few reasons why.

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Tags: aca, broker software, health insurance brokers, benefits administration, account management

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