Employee Benefit Consulting

Employee Benefit Consulting

The employee benefit planning process is constantly evolving and has become increasingly complex.  Since the advent of Health Reform and the Affordable Care Act, it has become increasingly difficult for decision makers to remain compliant, avoid penalties and understand the benefit options available on a new playing field.

Howell partners with employers of all sizes to eliminate the guesswork and confusion associated with implementing and perpetuating competitive and affordable solutions.

We provide comprehensive and customized benefit consulting and administration that address strategic business goals. We have built our reputation on outstanding customer service, attention to detail, technological innovation and creativity.  As a result, our clients have been able to control benefit costs, remain compliant, improve workflow efficiencies and enhance employee morale.

Services available from Howell:

Benefit Evaluation and Strategic Planning

  • Review existing plans, future needs and trends
  • Engage employer in strategic discussions
  • Examine and determine current and ongoing compliance obligations as they relate to the Affordable Care Act.
  • Create long term strategic plan and timeline
  • Develop plan designs and creative solutions
  • Evaluate various plan options and interface with carriers
  • Establish employee cost-sharing policy

Employee Benefit Budgeting Services

  • Analyze current employer benefit costs
  • Ensure benefit plans align with strategic goals
  • Evaluate Insured and Self Insured options
  • Create interactive budget spreadsheet to forecast employer and employee plan expenses

Self-Funding Feasibility Analysis

  • Participate in strategic planning and financial goal discussions with management, finance and human resource department to determine objectives
  • Complete analysis and present recommendations to decision makers
  • Act as a contracted liaison between employer and carrier or Third Party Administrators (TPAs)
  • Assist in setting the specific stop loss reinsurance claims limits and select appropriate and required administrative services
  • Secure catastrophic reinsurance bids, administrative services fees and claims fiduciary liability protection options from a cross section of technically competent and financially stable carriers or TPAs
  • Provide written recommendations including benefit plan design options, financial analysis and employee premium contribution alternatives
  • Assist with any matters arising from the conversion of health plans from fully-insured to self-funded.

Carrier Selection

  • Identify carrier specifications and initiate bidding process
  • Analyze carrier responses, plans and costs
  • Evaluate carriers, including network accessibility match
  • Negotiate with carriers and present options to management
Employee Enrollment

  • Manage employee enrollment process
  • Develop communication plan for open enrollment
  • Conduct on-site and webinar enrollment meetings
  • Produce announcement letters and benefit
    outline summaries
  • Build customized employer website with benefit communication material

Ongoing Benefit Management and Carrier Relationship Services

  • Provide integrated online benefit enrollment and HRMS
  • Review carrier documents and contracts
  • Coordinate and distribute booklets and ID cards
  • Review Summary Plan Descriptions and SBCs
  • Manage carrier relationships
  • Provide licensed customer service representatives for all coverage areas
  • Conduct compliance review

Collective Bargaining Benefit Strategy

  • Consult with management, before and during collective bargaining negotiations to develop strategic benefit approach and cost projections
  • Serve as employee benefit resource for management
  • Develop and conduct benefit transition communications to non union and union employees.

Merger/Acquisition and National Account Consulting

  • Conduct reviews for employee benefit plans including benefit and financial analysis
  • Identify areas of conflict and potential liabilities
  • Recommend strategies and provide communications for integrating benefits management and human capital processes
  • Provide on-going consulting to address “after the sale” benefits management and human capital issues
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