Just SWOB it!
The following outlines the general process we take with our clients. Obviously this process can vary or change depending on the needs or desires of a specific client.
The first stage in the SWOB process is an initial meeting. This is where we take the time to meet a new client face to face to discuss their needs. It is important for us to get to know our clients, find out what is important to them, and to educate them on the services we provide. Only by meeting a potential new client and discussing with them their priorities, needs and concerns can we hope to provide the best possible service and products to meet their needs.
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When we are working with a potential new client that has a benefit plan already in place it is important to start the process with a full analysis of their existing plan. Often new potential clients ask us if the first thing we do is market their plan. No it is not. We cannot suggest marketing the plan before we take a good look at it to see where it is falling short in terms of the client's needs. By doing an analysis we hope to uncover areas in the plan where there are favorable or unfavorable trends, pricing discepancies, service issues or the like. Once we have completed the analysis we prepare a report for the client's consideration. The report will contain reccomendations including cost containment suggestions if need be, potential plan enhancements, and whether a marketing is warranted.
When do we perform a marketing? In the event a potential client does NOT have a benefit plan currently, but is interested in exploring the possibility of getting one, we would perform a marketing. We would also conduct a marketing if a client had an existing benefit plan and there were issues surrounding the plan such as service, coverage, or price. A marketing can tell us if the pricing of a benefit plan is reasonable compared to the marketplace. It can also give us pricing info on alternate benefits, funding methods or the like.
In order to perform a marketing we must obtain certain information from the client or direct from the current carrier when applicable. Once we have received this information we prepare marketing specifications which we send to various insurance companies. Once the companies have responded we compile the results into a marketing report for the client's consideration. We will also make reccomendations related to the marketing for the client's consideration.
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In the event a client is going to implement a new benefit plan or change the carrier of it's existing plan we need to undergo an enrolment. We handle this process on behalf of our clients. We would look to meet with every employee and fill out the neccessary forms to enrol them on the new plan. We take this opportunity to meet all the staff, introduce ourselves, answer any questions they may have on the new benefit plan, and ensure that all documents are filled in correctly.
Once all the neccessary forms and documents have been filled out and submitted to the insurance company who will be underwriting the benefit plan, they will prepare all the ID cards, booklets, plan administrator guide, and other supporting documentation. Once this is all prepared we go out to see all the staff again. We give them their booklets, ID cards etc. and we give them a presentation on their new benefit plan. We review items such as the coverages, how to make claims, how to access the website etc. We also arrange training for the plan administrator(s) to ensure they know how to manage the plan, use the online systems etc.
Employee Education Session:
Once the plan is up and running we always make ourselves available to answer employee questions or to assist with any issues. Besides this regular ongoing support, we conduct at least one employee education session per year for each of our clients. These sessions are generally designed to be about an hour and are often held during lunch breaks. Often we will arrange for a pizza lunch for the staff to encourage their participation. The topics of discussion at these sessions are decided by the client working in unison with SWOB Group Benefits Inc.
Every year an employee benefit plan undergoes a renewal from the insurance company. The insurance company in question provides us with a copy of the renewal outlining the various factors they have used in it's calculation along with various reports and other information. We then take this information and compile it into a renewal report which we provide to our clients generally 30 days in advance of the renewal. Our report verfies and outlines the information as provided by the insurance carrier. We have underwriting expertise in-house which allows us to perform all of our own calculations using the factors as provided by the insurance company to ensure that the renewal rates are fair. We negotiate all of our clients' renewals and generally we save our clients 5% - 10% at each renewal. Our renewal report will also contain information on claim trends, plan enhancement considerations, cost containment features and reccomendations.
As part of our regular ongong service, we provide all of our clients with quarterly experience reports so that you always know how your plan is performing. We assist employees directly with claim issues including disability application assistance for those employees who may require assistance in filing an LTD claim. We produce newsletters that can be sent to your employees and can be customized to your comnpany's specific needs. Ongoing training for Plan Administrators, HR Staff, or new employees as required. We also provide consultation on issues related to Collective Bargaining Agreements, Leave Policies, and other related HR issues. When it comes to your Benefit and Retirement Plans we are a full service provider.