New Private, National Health Insurance Exchange Targets Small Group Employers
Offered Exclusively through United Benefit Advisors Partner Firms, benefitbay™ is a First-of-Its Kind, Defined-Contribution Solution Serving the Small Business Market
Indianapolis, Ind., [Nov. 5, 2013] - United Benefit Advisors, the nation’s leading independent employee benefits organization, today announced the launch of benefitbay™, the second private exchange solution offered through UBA’s Exchange Marketplace. benefitbay™ is an online platform that allows employers with 50 or fewer employees – which account for 96 percent of all U.S. businesses -- to offer their workers the advantages of large group medical and ancillary insurance benefits with a wide choice of carriers, while allowing subsidy-eligible employees to go to government exchanges. Employers benefit from fixed costs, known as defined contributions, by choosing how much they will contribute -- a strategy gaining popularity for its ability to control benefits expenses through fixed costs.
In addition, the benefitbay™ system provides employers with greatly simplified enrollment and administration, and the online portal guides employees earning lower wages or salaries to help determine if they may be better off going to a government exchange. Those employees can still leverage the benefitbay™ platform for premium ancillary benefits the employer may have chosen to offer. benefitbay™ will operate a customer care center from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Central time with live agents to help employees with benefits questions.
“By pooling individuals across the site who are choosing the same policies, we can offer the cost savings and benefits of group policies, which can lead to cost savings for employers and employees,” says Zach Harris, President of benefitbay™. “Everyone has more choice and the opportunity for better benefits and cost savings. It’s a win-win solution.”
The platform, which opens in early December for coverage to begin Jan. 1, 2014, allows employers the option of adding ancillary insurance choices typically reserved for bigger business budgets, such as vision, dental, disability, life insurance, hospital indemnity and more, at affordable rates.
How benefitbay™ works:
- An employer decides to drop group health insurance and instead pay each worker an amount of money to be used toward insurance. (Employers also can purchase or let employees choose ancillary benefits and other coverage through benefitbay™.)
- Employees sign up on benefitbay’s™ online system and answer questions, mostly about health care use, such as medications, names of doctors and number of doctor visits per year.
- benefitbay™ responds with a choice of health insurers, with each offering a range of plans that vary by coverage, premiums and other factors. The insurers are those licensed in the employee's state.
- The employee can accept one of the plans and pay monthly premiums via payroll deductions made by the employer.
- The employee also can visit a state exchange and compare policies there, along with finding out whether he or she qualifies for a federal subsidy. The employee can compare costs and plans from benefitbay™ and from the public exchange.
- An employer who renews with an existing group policy outside of benefitbay™ is still eligible to participate in the ancillary insurance portion, available as a stand-alone component of the benefitbay™ platform.
- The employee also can decide not to buy insurance, instead being subject to a fine paid along with federal income taxes.
“Even though smaller companies with less than 50 employees are exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s ‘employer mandate’ – a requirement taking effect Jan. 1, 2015 that dictates employers must offer insurance or pay a penalty -- employers are looking for an economical way to provide good benefits for their employees as a way to attract and retain talent,” says Thom Mangan, President and CEO of UBA. “By leveraging the government health marketplace exchange and the benefitbay™ platform in tandem, costs can be reduced dramatically for many.”
“benefitbay™ costs will be competitive with the government exchanges, which will offer tax subsidies for many people,” says Harris. “Workers with decent wages, however, may not qualify for subsidies, or only for small subsidies, which could make benefitbay™ a better choice.”
For further information about benefitbay™, contact a UBA Partner Firm.
benefitbay™ is a private, national health insurance exchange offered exclusively through United Benefit Advisors, and is based in Omaha, Nebraska. Based on a defined contribution model, benefitbay™ is a simple online solution for small business owners to provide premium health, life and ancillary benefits to their employees. Visit www.benefitbay.com.
About United Benefit Advisors
United Benefit Advisors is the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization with more than 200 offices throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Visit www.UBAbenefits.com.
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