Exciting News…

Posted on: August 22nd, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Benefits By Design is now the Exclusive Broker for ASBB (Benefits Department for Arizona Small Business Association). We will be assisting ASBA members with any other products other than their current Association plans. We are very excited for this Excellent Opportunity!!!

Healthcare Reform Update

Posted on: August 22nd, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Last week it was decided that the ruling as to whether an Individual Health Insurance Mandate will be required for all citizens by 2014, has most likely been moved to the Supreme Court to make a decision next session.

The past few months Arizona has been meeting as a committee run by Don Hughes who was appointed by our Governor, Jan Brewer, to move forward with offering a Statewide Exchange instead of joining as part of the Federal Exchange. They are still waiting for the HHS requirements to see how to best set up the exchange, but currently they are researching several options. There are about 20 committee members ranging from Brokers, Insurance Companies and Department of Insurance Representatives. The Exchange will need to be set up by October 2013 and prepared operationally for January 2014 sales. This will affect both group and individual sales.

The Medical Loss Ratio will be required for Insurance Companies to report to the clients that they insure to see if any Rebates are owed to the client if their claims are below the loss ratio. This reporting will be required starting in 2011 and if any Rebating is owed to the client the checks must be distributed by August 1 of the following year. At that point the client will be required to reimburse their employees based on the amount of contributions the employer and employee contribute. You will be receiving more information on this from your particular carrier.

Presidents Message

Posted on: August 22nd, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Hello everyone! 2011 has brought about a few things to celebrate and those include you, our clients who have survived your own business challenges and continued to work with us to offer your team excellent benefits!! Thank you!!

We still continue to stay active in our non-profit volunteer commitments and we were recognized earlier this year as the 2011 NAWBO Phoenix Business Owner of the Year! It was a great awards ceremony in June and I am very honored. I was also recognized for the second time as a finalist for the Tempe Chamber Business Woman of the Year! These organizations have helped to make Benefits by Design what it is today by teaching us leadership and building relationships.

Healthcare reform was laying low for a while, but now it is back in the spotlight. I have been serving on two committees with the Department of Insurance to help stay educated. Those committees include the Rate Review Committee and the Arizona Exchange Committee. See below for more information.

Also, stay tuned as we will be adding another specialist to our team who will be focusing on Ancillary Products such as Disability Insurance, Life Insurance, Long Term Care, and Medicare Supplements. We are excited to be expanding into other areas in today’s marketplace.

Kristine Kassel

Congratulations Kristine!

Posted on: June 9th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

We are happy to announce Kristine Kassel as the winner of the 2011 NAWBO Phoenix Chapter Business Owner of the Year.

This award is given to a successful business women who has overcome obstacles, created jobs and contributed to the business community. NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) supports women business owners through education, leadership and connecting local women owned businesses.

To learn more about this amazing award click here

We would like to thank you our clients for your business and continuous support throughout the years.

Participants Needed for Online Health Insurance Rate Review Survey

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

HURRY! Deadline to participate: March 31, 2011

The Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI) wants to make health insurance rate information submitted by insurance companies more readily available to consumers, and to help the public better understand our procedures and authority to review health insurance rates. As part of our consumer outreach efforts, ADOI has created an online survey, designed primarily for those who purchase individual or small group health insurance in Arizona.*

This is your opportunity to give us your feedback about health insurance rates in Arizona. Your responses to our survey questions will better inform us about what health insurance rate information would be meaningful for you.

This survey should only take about five minutes to complete. All participants’ responses are anonymous. The survey may be accessed at the link below.

Please take a few moments to complete this survey, and let us know your concerns about health insurance rate review in Arizona. Should you have any questions about this survey, please contact Kathy Zatari, ADOI Rate Review Grant Manager, at (602) 364-2455, or at kzatari@azinsurance.gov

Thank you for your participation!

*This survey relates only to major medical health insurance for individuals and small employers (2 – 50 employees). We are not collecting information about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, AHCCCS plans, long term care, HMO’s or large employers insurance. ADOI is conducting this survey as part of a grant received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about this grant, please see: http://www.azinsurance.gov/RateReview/index.html.

Health Insurance Rate Review Survey

Client Spotlight

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber is not only ranked in Ranking Arizona, but one of its plumbers helped a homeowner last month find $8000.00 of missing cash and return it. They provide award winning valley wide service 24/7 with drug free background checked plumbers. Save extra money by using their real-time online booking system or call 480-812-1855, mention Benefits by Design for a $35.00 discount on any repair. Friend their facebook page, linked on their website and get helpful tips and special discounts.

Their service has been tested and proves to be a company you can trust and count on for all your plumbing, water heater and water treatment needs since 1985. They are the only plumber in the valley that has won the BBB Ethics award 2 times, referred by Rosie On The House, referred by To Fix It, 5 year award winner from Angie’s List, referred by Pat McMahon, KTAR’s Gayle Bass and a current company of Ranking Arizona.

Charity Corner

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Upcoming Events – Gabriel’s Angels Breakfast on May 6, 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore from 7:30am to 9:00am. Kristine will be sponsoring a table, so please feel free to call her if you would like to attend.

For more information please visit Gabriel’s Angels website.

Tempe Leadership

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Kristine has been involved with Tempe Leadership this year and her class recently raised $14,000 to help their class project, The Escalante Community Garden. They have been busy this past month on the weekends helping put the garden together for this Tempe community. For more information please visit their page on Facebook.

H.S.A. Guidelines

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

The contribution amounts for 2010 and 2011 are $3,050.00 for individuals and $6,150.00 for family. If you are over 55 years of age you are eligible to do a catch up contribution of $1,000.00.

You can contribute to your H.S.A. account for the prior year until April 15th or the day taxes are filed for the previous year.

Health Care Reform Wellness Grant Update for Small Employers

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Beginning this year, grants are available for small employers to provide their employees access to new workplace wellness programs.

Eligible employers include:

  • less than 100 employees working 25 or more hours per week, AND
  • did not have a workplace wellness program as of March 23, 2010

The program must include:

  • Health awareness initiatives
  • Efforts to maximize employee engagement
  • Initiatives to change unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle choices
  • Supportive environment efforts

Eligible employers must submit an application to HHS (Health and Human Services) that includes a proposal for the program. Their website is listed below. Grants will be available until the budgeted amount ($200 million) runs out.

Wellness Grant Application for Small Employers