Blog

January 20, 2020
wharton power insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

January 16, 2020
employee group health benefits

ICHRAs Offer a New Landscape for Small Business Employee Health Benefits

In mid-June 2019, the US Departments of Health & Human Services and the Treasury issued a rule allowing employers to contribute pre-tax dollars for employee health care coverage through a new health reimbursement arrangement named ICHRA. Like previous HRAs, employees can use employer funds to purchase health coverage from the public exchange or other insurance plans. However, this ruling lifted many restrictions on how companies could use HRAs or even qualify for group health plans, such as employee participation rates and affordability. This news changes the game for small business employee health benefits. The flexibility and options offered by this new ruling are not well known, but Wharton & Power Insurance has already assisted many local employers in taking advantage of this opportunity. For example, we helped three small business clients offer ICHRAs to their employees: a remodeler with 12 employees, a homebuilder with 12 employees and a restaurant with 70 employees. Benefits of ICHRAs in Offering Small Businesses Employee Health Benefit 1) Flexibility in Coverage By allowing employers to provide funds for employees to choose their own coverage, ICHRAs provide the flexibility for employees to determine their budget and coverage, rather than the employer. 2) Fewer Restrictions Small businesses had a difficult time meeting the requirements for group health plans, such as the number of W-2 employees, participation rate and premium contribution levels. ICHRA removes those restrictions while placing more control in the hands of the employer and the employees. 3) Wider Employee Definitions ICHRA allows contractors, 1099, W-2, seasonal and temporary employees to participate, though they must be of similar employment class, such as hourly or salary. Employers may vary their contribution levels per employee. 4) No Set Contribution and Participation Levels The employer sets the amount of money they want to provide to employees to supplement health care premiums. And, not every employee has to participate, making no real downside to the employer to offer the program.   How ICHRAs Work Once a budget has been set and the paperwork has been filed, an insurance broker like our Wharton & Power Insurance Team will work with employees to choose a health insurance plan that works for them. Considerations include the amount of money coming from their employer, their personal budget for health insurance premiums and the coverage they need. W&P then explores the options offered through the public exchange and private insurers. We also test for federal subsidy opportunities which can further reduce the employee’s cost of coverage. Rather than a company-wide group meeting about coverage options, the employee experience is more personal and has the potential to provide more beneficial coverage. With W&P, there is no cost for this service. Partnering this program with Wharton & Power Insurance can make taking advantage of this new option easy for your business. We have been working with employers and employees on both group and individual policies for over 30 years. We can help guide you through your budgeting decisions, set up your program and then work with your […]
January 13, 2020
Wharton & Power Insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

January 6, 2020
business insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

December 31, 2019

Happy New Year from Wharton & Power Insurance

December 24, 2019
wharton power insurance

Happy Holidays from Wharton & Power Insurance

December 16, 2019
personal insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

December 9, 2019
business insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

December 4, 2019
personal insurance

Personal Insurance Coverage: Why Boutique is Better

You have probably experienced this phenomenon – the small start-up that once provided you with personalized products and services has grown to the point where you don’t hear from them anymore. Or, your point of contact changes every time you reach out. The fact is, many organizations are in business to get as big as they can. While growth is a good thing, doing it at the expense of your current customers is not. Wharton & Power Insurance started as a small shop and has purposely stayed one. Our business model is based on steady, healthy growth to ensure that the reason why we are successful – customer satisfaction – continues. Over the years we have added employees to match our growth while focusing on efficiencies to help us work smarter. That’s great for us, but more importantly, it serves our customers well. Sustaining a boutique agency focused on highly-personalized insurance products and service suits our clients and our philosophy. Once someone becomes a client of Wharton & Power Insurance, our relationship does not stop at signing them up. We are in personal contact throughout the year, checking in to see how our clients are faring, and making sure the products we have provided are still appropriate for their situations. When a claim is necessary, we are relentless advocates for our clients, working with our providers to cover claims quickly and at the maximum benefit. We are proud to say that we have retained 92% of our clients over our 30 years in the insurance industry. Our employees stay as well; turns out they value the relationships they create with our clients too. You may be thinking, “That’s what every personal insurance company says.” However, all you have to do is ask one of our clients and they will tell you – we really do what we say we will do. We are proud of the long-standing relationship we have with our clients, and they continue to send their friends and family our way as well – the ultimate compliment. Rest assured, Wharton & Power Insurance is a healthy, vibrant company. However, our business model is not about growth, rather we are focused on providing our clients with high-quality, customized products and continuous service they can count on. If this approach fits your expectations, reach out to us for your personal insurance needs.
December 2, 2019
personal insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

November 20, 2019
group health benefits

Why Employers Continue to Offer Employee Health Benefits

It’s renewal season for most companies that offer employee health benefits. As the costs of offering health care have continued to rise, this time of year can come with hard choices. With the passage and gradual implementation of the Affordable Care Act, some businesses have considered abandoning offering health benefits, but continue to hang on regardless of their bottom line. Others have chosen to eliminate their plans, increasing employee pay instead to help them afford their own insurance. However, those employers are now returning to their previous ways. Why do employers continue to offer employee health benefits? For a few reasons: 1) To retain employees – Even though the increased income and ACA plan choices gave employees more flexibility with their health benefits, losing that employer benefit also brought complexity and fear. Workers are accustomed to this “perk” and can feel less valued by an organization that does not invest in their well-being. Wading through the ACA-approved insurance plans each year is frustrating and time-consuming. Businesses run the risk of good people leaving for organizations that offer employer-based coverage. There is a high value placed on peace of mind, not just by the employee, but by the employer as well. Offering quality employee benefits tends to be a common trait of companies committed to creating a desirable place to work. 2) To attract employees – One of the most common complaints among business owners is the challenge of finding quality employees to hire. Once that rare gem is found, employers must have an attractive package to offer, which for most workers includes more than salary and PTO. Health benefits can be an important value-add to attract a stellar workforce. 3) There are cost-effective alternatives available – Organizations facing large rate increases in their group health insurance premiums are looking for more affordable alternatives. One of those options is to contract with a Professional Employment Organization, or PEO. For a business with a healthy workforce, the unique role PEOs play in the health insurance world can be particularly beneficial. PEOs are designated as MEWAs, Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements, which are exempt from the ACA’s community-rated requirement placed on most health insurance providers. This allows PEOs like Indiana-based WorkSmart Systems to offer private group health insurance plans, allowing employers to take advantage of the power behind economies of scale. A co-employment PEO, WorkSmart medically underwrites its plan for its 9,000 co-employees, with multiple benefit options. Employers are able to offer the quality coverage of a Fortune 500 company while managing their costs. WorkSmart also offers other HR services to help businesses be more efficient with their time and money, such as payroll, HR administration, and an HRIS platform. Continued change is on the horizon in the health insurance landscape. Regardless, businesses still want to attract and maintain a quality workforce while managing their bottom line. Reach out to us for more information on WorkSmart, as well as other opportunities to help you achieve this goal.
November 18, 2019
business insurance

Words to Thrive By | Business Quotes from Wharton & Power Insurance

Request a Consult