Patrick Rees, Marketing Operations Superstar

We’re back from Thanksgiving and the collective waistbands of the nation all feel a little tighter thanks to a long weekend of overindulgence and inactivity. We convince ourselves that we will lose that excess holiday weight once the New Year hits, but the reality is that this weight is hard to lose. It’s not our genetics, but our lifestyles that are the problem with this weight gain.

The newest edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans was released earlier this month and set a public health target range of 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity per person. The report found that the entire country has a long way to go in order to meet these levels as half of the US adult population does not meet this target. Some other eye-opening findings were presented as well:

  • 80% of Americans are not active enough.
  • Only 26% of men, 19% of women and 20% of adolescents meet the recommended levels of physical activity per week.
  • 30% of the US population does not engage in any moderate or vigorous physical activity.
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Patrick Rees, Marketing Operations Superstar

For over a year, cities across the United States pitched for the coveted location of Amazon’s HQ2. In the last week, it was announced that the new headquarters will be split between two locations - Arlington, VA, and the Queens neighborhood of New York. Economic development officials in these areas may well be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of the internet behemoth pitching up, but local companies may be beginning to sweat. Will key employees be casting longing glances to Virginia and New York? And if they are, how can employers make them resist the temptation?


Companies on the East coast who rely on skilled engineers, product managers, and legal and accounting staff may be thinking that their labor costs will skyrocket to stop Amazon from poaching their best staff. It makes sense, right? To retain employees you have to pay them higher salaries and boost their perks. This is one method that stops Amazon from strong-arming companies and poaching their top performers, but the reality is that should Amazon flex their financial muscle, it may just be too appealing for even the most loyal workers.

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Kieran Pittman, Director of Strategic Growth

When something happens, and it always does (a cold strikes, a cough gets stronger), we are forced to endure the dreaded waiting room. Whether it’s during your primary physician office hours, or after hours, the choice is to load up the afflicted and brace yourself for the all-too-familiar experience. Once there, you look around, and anxiety creeps in about all of the future ailments you might acquire with your visit. You become the crazy germaphobe! How many flu-laden children with snotty noses curled up with the same book your child is now reading during their hours of waiting time in the waiting room? Sick.

Last weekend my 10-year-old daughter had been complaining about tooth pain. Truth be told, she told me on Friday when the dentist was closed, so I decided to ‘stick it out’ and see if it got better with time. Made total sense because tooth pain always “just gets better with time”, right?  By Sunday morning her left cheek was swollen all the way up to her eye. I freaked out.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Spartanburg, SC, August 26, 2018 – East Coast Underwriters (ECU) and BeniComp, Inc. ® have joined forces to launch a revolutionary health insurance product for self-funded employer groups called IncentiCare® that radically reduces healthcare costs. The solution prevents expensive claims from happening by identifying health risks on nearly the entire population, and proactively reducing lifestyle-related claims. Additionally, IncentiCare employer groups earn a spot in a profit-sharing Healthy Pool Captive Cell where the reduction in claims can become profit to participating groups.  

IncentiCare approaches two issues simultaneously that have plagued employer groups for years: rising employee deductibles; and increasing healthcare claims linked to chronic disease.

IncentiCare allows employees to control their own deductible by earning significant rewards linked to health results. Outcome-based deductible incentives are placed on five health biomarkers in the blood that are controllable through lifestyle:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Blood Pressure
  • Blood Glucose
  • LDL Cholesterol
  • Tobacco Use

Unidentified Health Risks on Virtually Every Employee

The plan’s unique filings make IncentiCare the only product that can offer thousands of dollars of potential earned deductible credits. Using significant financial rewards, IncentiCare achieves an unmatched 96% average participation in annual blood screenings, identifying health risks on virtually every employee in the company. IncentiCare’s custom application provides the Preventive Health Management (PHM) team with real data from blood biomarkers, historical claims, and ongoing claims to engage with at-risk employees. This allows IncentiCare to reach the employees who need intervention the most. The result is educated, empowered employees who work together with health professionals to address the root cause of their health risks.

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March 28, 2018

Eighty-six percent of the nation’s $2.7 trillion annual health care expenditures are for people with chronic health conditions, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported in 2017.

That’s why Fort Wayne-based BeniComp, Inc., a provider of secondary health insurance, supports the goals and philosophy of kNew Health, said Benicomp president Doug Short. kNew Health, founded by Fort Wayne physician Dr. Jeff Gladd of GladdMD is a Web-based lifestyle coaching service that gives members the tools, support and guidance to make lifestyle changes that promote and maintain wellness.

BeniComp has had to jump through many legal hoops to provide what is called exempt supplemental insurance coverage that encourages and incentivizes people to take charge of their health.

“The medical system of the past is diagnose and prescribe, diagnose and prescribe. The medical system of the future is helping you help your body to help itself,” Short said, pointing out [the] definition of insanity was “doing something over and over and getting the same results.” Such is the case of the traditional system of health care, he said.

“I think insurance companies will rally around people like Jeff Gladd. If the left hand is health care and the right hand is sickness care, then the left hand is Jeff Gladd and the other side is diagnose and prescribe.”

From an insurance perspective, Short added, “The left is all about controlling what causes the claim; on the right it’s about controlling the costs, either by a different PPO (preferred provider organization) or HMO (health maintenance organization) or a different carrier,” with none of the latter really addressing cost control. On the left, the insured is encouraged to get preventive and routine care; on the right, you don’t want to be seen by a health care provider unless you’re sick.

Benicomp’s IncentiCare program is focused on preventive health management, giving insured participants actionable health information and knowledge through blood chemistry and other measurable health parameters along with lifestyle coaching to improve or maintain health.

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benicomp celebrates 55 years

Progressive health insurance company celebrates 55 years of continued service

FORT WAYNE, Ind.June 21, 2017

2017 adds a new milestone for Indiana-born insurance company, BeniComp. Established in 1962 by Fort Wayne resident, Donald L. Short, BeniComp celebrates 55 years of business stability under the leadership of second-generation family business owner, Doug Short.

Indiana House Majority Leader, Matt Lehman, presented a commemoration of achievement to Doug Short and BeniComp for continued success throughout the years during a celebration at BeniComp's Fort Wayne office.

"I look at Doug as someone that we're going to rely on as we look at the ACA and what's going to happen in the state of Indiana," Lehman said. "We will have to make some changes. Those of us who are elected officials will bring people like Doug who can bring that passion and that knowledge outside the box. Doug can help Indiana implement reforms that will improve coverage and affordability by helping us redefine insurance for future generations of Hoosiers."

"The knowledge we've gained from our large client base over the years has allowed us to purpose-build innovative health insurance solutions that identify health risks early - before they become claims," said BeniComp President, Doug Short. "We combine the right mix of intuitive technology and actionable data to lower trend with meaningful outcome-based incentives."

By coupling an HDHP with outcome-based deductible incentives, BeniComp provides employers the ability to identify, realign, and manage their risk in order to truly control the cost of health insurance premiums.

About BeniComp
Founded in 1962, BeniCompⓇ is a full captive insurance company offering health insurance solutions in nearly all 50 states. Now spanning three generations, BeniComp's services have received numerous awards for innovation and best practices and include: BeniComp Advantage, BeniComp Select, and IncentiCare. BeniComp has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Employee Benefit News, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Medscape and other publications for its solutions. For more information about BeniComp, visit www.benicomp.com.

Preventive health management insurance helped this Florida County save thousands in premiums and enjoy a flat renewal rate.

TAMPA, FL -- Like many counties in America, one Northern Florida county was seeking a solution to rising health insurance costs. Faced with another increase, the options were raising premiums or decreasing benefits. In an effort to continue comprehensive coverage for employees while maintaining fiscal responsibility with taxpayer money, the choice was made to raise the health plan deductible. However, raising the deductible to lower the cost of the plan for one year was only a temporary solution that also created greater financial stress on employees. Without addressing claims, they would again face rising health insurance costs.  

BeniComp Advantage is a supplemental, preventive health management (PHM) insurance product that rewards participants for meeting or exceeding health goals based on annual biometric screenings. After creating a customized strategy with BeniComp, the County used BeniComp Advantage to empower employees to earn a low deductible.  Instead of a 5% increase, the premiums decreased by 22%, resulting in first year savings of over $182,000. Decreasing the number, size, and frequency of claims led to two years of total health insurance premium decreases at a time when most companies experience double digit increases.

Since implementing BeniComp Advantage, the County has saved $8,357 per participant for a total of $651,842.

annual insurance costs florida county

BeniComp Advantage uses a preventive health approach that begins with an on-site health screening, and includes outcome-based incentives. Like a good driver discount, employees who participate in the screening, and demonstrate a lower risk in body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and nicotine, are rewarded with a

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Worksites take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity

Tampa, FL –  BeniComp Insurance Company has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for the second year in a row by helping employees eat better and move more.

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at BeniComp. We are honored and excited to be recognized for two years in a row by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,” said Doug Short, President and CEO of BeniComp Insurance Company. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall.”

Platinum-level employers:

  • Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
  • Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

BeniComp’s primary achievement in securing their second Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite award was due to increased

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Like many employers today, one Arkansas County was struggling to provide an attractive health insurance benefit plan to its current and prospective employees.  The cost of insurance and their experience with

a self-funded plan created a dilemma that would have hindered their ability to provide even catastrophic coverage to the members of their plan.

The anticipated increase in premiums, in addition to the reduction in benefits, would have adversely affected the take home pay of every single employee, regardless of whether or not they were on the plan. In order to have funded their claims, they would have had to take from other discretionary lines, specifically payroll.

Simultaneously, they realized that the typical strategy of paying for increasing health insurance premiums would only work temporarily. In order to ensure a better future for their plan they would have to identify and deal with cost drivers, which ultimately was the size, number, and frequency of claims.

Overall Claim Spend Increased Dramatically

A two year claim review revealed some eye-opening facts. Additionally, their claim spend was increasing by over 1 million dollars a year.

  • Total claim lines had increased from 6,424 to 11,682 in oneyear
  • The average claim amount per participant was $6,574.55, a 50% increase in oneyear
  • The percentage of total claims that were considered catastrophic jumped from 13% to37%
  • In two years, they were spending 50% more just on pharmacycosts


total claims history

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BeniComp chosen as employee health and wellness programs presenter for 2016 HR Florida conference in Orlando, FL August 29th through 31st.

TAMPA, FL - JUNE 14, 2016

BeniComp Insurance Company, a supplemental group health insurance company that offers national employee wellness solutions, today announced it was chosen as a presenter for the 2016 HR Florida Conference and Exposition, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

This year's presentation examines why wellness in the workplace doesn't work, why we need it to work, and what to do about it. In an industry that makes up over one-sixth of the GDP, it's important that our country's companies know there are solutions to managing healthcare costs.

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Studies show that by coupling a high deductible health plan with outcome-based deductible incentives, employers will see a jump in employee participation and, thus, a sustainable financial future.

FORT WAYNE, IN -- BeniComp Insurance Company, a leading national provider of supplemental group health insurance, has seen a significant spike in their clients’ employee participation for their wellness initiatives. BeniComp clients experience nearly 100% participation in their annual biometric health screening by implementing a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with outcome-based deductible incentives. As a result, BeniComp clients have been able to cut their healthcare spending and offer lower premiums in exchange.

“Companies need to identify, realign, and manage their risk in order to truly control the cost of health insurance premiums,” says Doug Short, President and CEO of BeniComp Insurance Company. “When a company invests in the health of their employees they are not only saving dollars, they are investing in their most valuable asset. The results are a win-win for everyone.”

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While most employee wellness programs get 30% employee participation, BeniComp Advantage engages nearly 100% of the employee population through supplemental health insurance and deductible wellness incentives.

Tampa, FL April 12, 2016 - It’s no secret that America has a health insurance problem. Rising health care costs and declining health has left companies struggling to provide the kind of health insurance employees had 10 years ago. Affordable Care Act customers turned out to be much sicker than anticipated, and now health insurance companies are seeking rate increases of 20-40% or more.

dark secret of wellness 24 percent participation

The industry’s answer was to offer wellness programs designed to promote awareness, education, and lifestyle change. The programs have evolved into an overly saturated market of wearables, apps, and fun programs without accomplishing the original goals. A recent study by MetLife claims that nearly 75% of employers offer a wellness program1 but only 24% of employees actually participate.2 Worse yet, those who participate are primarily employees who have already adopted healthy lifestyles. The remaining participants are those with greater health risks. When cash incentives are used, the employer pays low-risk employees resulting in an expensive program with little to no improvement in employee health or reduction in health care claims.

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A part of Baylor’s commitment to employee wellness is its partnership with BeniComp Advantage, which rewards healthy lifestyles by allowing employees to earn credits toward base health plan costs, and Baylor affords employees many opportunities to make positive and healthy lifestyle choices. According to Brenda Waddell, Director of Human Resources for Baylor School, healthy lunch menus in Guerry Dining Hall, free on-campus exercise and yoga classes, access to Baylor’s exercise facilities, a monthly health newsletter written by Baylor coach and fitness expert Julian Kaufman, and the BeniComp biometric screenings have all stimulated the commitment to improving personal wellness. Baylor employees and families also have access to the nurse practitioner and registered nurses at the school’s Health Center, including free or discounted flu shots each year. 

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at Baylor, and our long partnership with BeniComp has been significant,” said Mr. Joseph. “There is no greater benefit we can offer our employees than helping them live healthier, happier lives. Through this venture, we’ve seen a great improvement in our employees’ health and well-being, and Baylor is honored to be recognized..." Click here to read the full press release.


When you are trying to navigate the compliance web, being exempt is a good thing-but what is Exempt?

Webster’s Dictionary defines EXEMPT as:

Adjective

Released from, or not subject to, an obligation, liability, etc.

Synonyms: free from, not liable to, not subject to, exempted from, excepted from, excused of/from, absolved of

navigating the compliance web 400

In todays complicated- regulated world of health care, the above definition makes it easy to see why being “exempt” is desirable. Let’s take a closer look at what that means.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has affirmed to us that “to the extent benefits qualify as excepted benefits, they are exempt from the provisions of Part 7 of ERISA, chapter 100 of the Code, and Title XXVII of the PHS Act, including the relevant provisions added by the ACA.”

As stated above, excepted benefits are exempt. Excepted benefits, as defined by Federal Law, are benefits that are supplemental to a group health plan if provided under a separate policy, certificate, or contract of insurance. These regulations clarify that, for coverage supplemental to a group health plan to qualify as excepted benefits, the coverage must be specifically designed to fill gaps in primary coverage, such as coinsurance and deductible.

To further connect the dots, our A rated carriers have attested that the products we sell through them are excepted benefits and therefore exempt.

What does this mean for you?

By issuing policies, insurance risk and compliance risk are transferred. Our carriers have accepted that risk and the DOL has validated our position. In other words you are protected.

In 2010, BeniComp Advantage launched their Predictive Health Management (PHM) division, which offers the analysis and coaching of participants biometric screening results by Registered Nurses, Dietitians, Nurse Practitioners and MD’s to further the awareness and prevention of future claim spend. In this recent case, an employee of a client in Indiana whose data BeniComp has acquired for almost 4 years completed the annual blood screening, yet this one was different. Upon receiving the results, BeniComp’s medical professionals were able to detect an elevated serum GGT level which is an enzyme found primarily in the liver. In high risk circumstances, this is an indicator of liver or bile duct disorder and/or heart disease. In this specific case, it meant a hepatitis C diagnosis. 

An estimated 3.2 million people in the United States have chronic hepatitis C, a blood-borne virus that can cause liver failure, liver cancer, or even lead to death if left untreated. In February of 2014, BeniComp was able to pinpoint hepatitis C in one individual, and provide access to immediate intervention and treatment. While the 12 week treatment is almost completed, the prognosis is excellent and the participant’s new lease on life is priceless. 

Hepatitis C is becoming more and more of a known diagnosis, and there have been many advances made in the search for a cure. One well known drug is called Sovaldi, and is actually the drug prescribed to our client’s employee. For people in a clinical trial for the new drugs daclatasvir and sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), hepatitis C cure rates were astonishingly high at 98 percent, even for the hardest to treat patients. Additionally, Sovaldi can treat patients in 12 weeks, while previous drug combinations took 24 or 48 weeks.

The key is prevention and early detection. Many potentially life threatening diagnoses (and pocketbook threatening too) have been thwarted by routine wellness screenings and predictive outreach. This is BeniComp’s modus operandi. And this method is what keeps claims controlled, trend suppressed and employees healthy.