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Group Benefits

Group-BenefitsStone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. recognizes that no two groups are alike. That's why we tailor a plan to meet the needs of your company. As independent insurance brokers we work for you not the insurance company. We will survey the marketplace to provide the best protection and value.

Group Benefits Include:

  • Group Critical Illness Insurance

  • Group Disability Insurance

  • Group Life Insurance

  • Group Health and Dental Insurance

  • Group Travel Insurance

To be competitive employers have to invest in their employees. Group Benefits can help you attract and retain top performing employees. Group benefits can also help you minimize the costs associated with high employee turnover.

Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. independent insurance brokers have access to many resources including employee benefits specialists, actuaries, lawyers, accountants, money managers and human resource professionals. Not all of these services are free and you are under no obligation to utilize them. If there is a need we will recommend that you obtain the service you require.

The 2011 Sonofi-aventis Healthcare Survey polled 1,598 employees with existing employee benefit coverage. When asked if they would rather keep their employee benefit coverage or receive $10,000, 59% said they would rather keep their benefit coverage. When asked if they would rather keep their employee benefit coverage or receive $20,000, 48% said they would rather keep their benefit coverage. The main reason why the employees would rather keep their employee benefit coverage was 45% of the plan members surveyed indicated they take at least one medication to manage a chronic illness or disease.

Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. will:

    1. Review your company's existing plan and recommend any changes to improve your benefits.

    2. Survey the market when necessary to obtain quotes from insurance companies for your company's group benefit plan.

    3. Analyze the quotations received to determine which option offers the best value for your insurance dollar.

    4. Present a detailed analysis of your options.

    5. Make recommendations based on the analysis.

    6. Facilitate the transaction for your group insurance business.

    7. Provide on-going consultation & service.

Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. will help your company to:

    1. Attract and retain quality employees.

    2. Build a custom benefits selection.

    3. Protect your company's group no matter how many employees participate.

    4. Make your plan a tax-deductible business expense.

A Group Benefits Plan will:

    1. Improve morale and increase productivity by providing added financial security to employees and their families.

    2. Provide all employees a guaranteed level of coverage without medical evidence (for groups of three or more employees).

    3. Allow you to deduct employer-paid premium from your company's taxes as a business expense.

    4. Give you the flexibility to provide custom benefits to key groups of employees.

    5. Show your commitment to employees by providing coverage.

    6. Provide your company and your employees with coverage at a reduced cost compared to individual plans.

    7. Give your company and your employee's peace of mind at a minimal cost compared to potentially large expenses the company's employees may face.

    8. Protect your business from costly litigation in the event of a long term disability of an employee.

How to set up Group Benefits:

    1. If your company is just setting up group benefits for start small with a basic benefit plan and review your plan after a year. This will allow your company to establish claims experience. Your company can make adjustments and modifications to the benefits after it determines which benefits their employees use.

    2. Do not select a plan based on price. Some business owners believe changing insurance agent and insurance companies is beneficial to them. Insurance agents shop the market annually making the company feel like they are providing a valuable service. This is a myth, no insurance company is out to lose money and even if you get a cheaper quote initially it is guaranteed to rise as soon as you experience higher claims. Eventually insurance companies will refuse to quote and insure the company altogether. If you already have an existing plan or are in the market for a new plan the only document Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. requires is an agent of record letter to engage our services. There is no cost to the employer for this service. 

    3. Don’t pay 100% of the premiums include employee contributions. The majority of insurance companies require that a minimum of 50% of the premiums be paid by the employer however some have lower limits of 25% or 33%. If the company pays 100% of the premiums there is more abuse in claims including frivolous claims. If the company wants to change their plan to include employee contributions after establishing a plan where it pays 100% of the premium it will face disgruntled employees.

    4. If you are a small employer avoid letting employees opt out of the plan even if they have benefits through their spouse. Enroll them as plan members with benefits that are not duplicated by their spouse’s plan, which are group life insurance, group accidental death and dismemberment, group travel insurance, group critical illness insurance and group short term and long term disability insurance. By joining the plan they are considered plan members and if their spouse lost their coverage they would not be subject to underwriting as a late enrollee and have their coverage restricted during the first year.

    5. Have the employees pay 100% of the premium for their short and long term disability benefits. When the employee pays the premium for their short and long term disability, the benefit is paid out tax free to the employee. Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. will make sure the company's new or existing plan is set up to maximize tax benefits to their employees. Your company's group benefit plan may also have a cap on the amount of disability benefits it will insure. Most plans will insure up to $5,000.00 of monthly disability benefits. Employee remunerations include salary, commissions and bonuses they need to be insured at a minimum of 66%. If the employee's remunerations exceed their maximum disability benefits there will be a shortfall. The employer can face costly litigation if there is a shortfall. Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. will provide the required solution to cover any shortfall with an additional group disability policy or top up policy. At the very least the employer should protect themselves to reduce the risk of employee frustration and possible litigation by the doing the following two things.

      1. Have each employee sign an acknowledgement that they have read and understood the benefit program features and benefits and have declined to purchase additional disability insurance to make up the shortfall.

      2. Insurability requirements are triggered by the employee's compensation threshold that exceeds 66% of their remunerations. When triggered notify the employee in writing and offer them to insure the shortfall through a top up disability policy. Have the employee sign an acknowledgement and keep evidence of the notification and acknowledgement on file.

    6. Review your plan annually. If the company's fully insured group benefit plan does not cover all the eligible medical expenses for their employees. The company can set up a self-insured plan for the non-covered eligible expenses. 

    7. Lastly don’t be penny wise and pound foolish. There are many providers that offer administrative services only (TPAs) but leave your company exposed to liabilities beyond its control. The benefit plans look cheap initially but often end up being the most expensive group benefits option in the long run. Many of these plans have experienced higher administrative costs and additional fees making them even less attractive. Companies are often locked into contracts with third party administrators (TPAs) that they have no control over.

Contact us for a Quote and Enrollment Form

 


The information provided on this web site is intended for general information only. It should not be construed as legal, accounting, tax or specific insurance and investment advice. Clients should consult a professional advisor concerning their situations and any specific insurance and investment matters. While reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that this information was accurate as of the date hereof, Stone-Hedge Financial Group Inc. and its affiliates make no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of this information and assume no responsibility for reliance upon it.







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