Employee benefits are more than a list of plans you offer to your employees. They should improve your financial outcomes, relieve administrative burdens and help you attract and retain valued teammates. Employee benefits should engage employees, improve their physical and financial well-being and increase employee satisfaction, while helping to achieve corporate objectives.
The average employee benefits broker sells insurance and tries to reduce premiums. This represents only a small part of our broader strategy, which focuses on the total cost of human capital, not just premiums.
Taking an active approach to consulting on your employee benefits program is important. We look at what’s happening inside your organization and offer creative solutions tailored to meet your benefits needs and budget. By understanding what is driving your costs, we will implement effective strategies that provide employees with a robust benefit package while remaining aligned with your financial goals.
Built upon a tradition of integrity, industry leadership and excellence, we deliver benefit solutions with thoughtful strategic planning, valuable professional services and technology-based solutions. By leveraging our consulting suite, we help you find answers, implement solutions and anticipate consequences.
You will get more than a list of benefits products, tools and services. We provide creative solutions and customizable plans for all areas of employee benefits. We work with you to gain an understanding of your needs for plan design, structure, funding and contributions.
Want to explore the feasibility of going from fully-insured to self-insured? Looking for PPACA analysis for the Employer Shared Responsibility Act (Pay or Play) or Cadillac Tax forecasting? Need assistance evaluating adequate IBNR reserve levels? Want to review the value of your plan changes relative to the premium credit that you are getting? Let our in-house actuarial team help.
By performing complex financial and predictive modeling, we can evaluate the actuarial value of the benefit differences between competing offers. This includes the value of differing medical copays and/or deductibles, differing drug copays or even a differing number of drug tiers in the benefit design. If you’re self-funded, our actuarial team can provide the needed budget projections, reserve analysis and often the actuarial certification required by auditors. Even if you’re fully insured, we can analyze alternative funding arrangements, forecast models, budget projections, network performance and provide benchmarking on cost and quality of your benefits program.
We use industry benchmarking information from local, regional and national sources to continually assess the performance and competitiveness of your programs. We evaluate your plan’s components and employee and employer costs as compared to similar organizations by industry, geography and employee demographics.
Benefits Administration: HR@hand®
When it comes to running your company’s benefits program, shouldn’t you insist on the most automated employee-focused system available? Despite having systems in place, many organizations are only partially automated, resulting in higher costs, inefficiencies, and inaccuracy of data. Implementing an automated benefits administration system, fully supported by an experienced and responsive service team, creates an immediate positive impact for both employees and administrators. With HR@hand, provided through First Niagara Benefits Consulting, you receive a secure web-based application, custom-designed to meet your organization’s administration needs and to empower and inform your employees.
Even before exchanges became popular from the ACA, FNBC has offered a private exchange solution to businesses with 100 or more employees. Our private insurance exchange can accommodate a wide range of employer contribution approaches to offering employee benefits. Employers can reduce their overall health care spend by offering their employees more choices. With robust decision support tools, employees will be able to select benefits that are best suited to their benefits coverage needs.
Call Center Solutions
When you need additional support during open enrollment or an alternative to your HR team for answering benefits questions, our call center is able to respond to employees and HR staff from first contact to final resolution. Licensed insurance professionals trained in your benefits plans and insurance carriers staff our US-based call center. Available by phone, email, fax or chat, our team can accurately respond to employee inquiries and resolve benefits issues.
Compliance & Healthcare Reform Taskforce
Federal compliance and Healthcare Reform requirements have placed unforeseen burdens on HR teams and employers, large and small. Enjoy our collaborative learning experience by tapping into our taskforce that is dedicated to following and interpreting the policy and implementation of these regulations. With regular webinars, seminars and updates, we work to ensure you remain compliant at both federal and state levels and are aware of any laws or regulations that may affect your employee benefit program.
For all organizations, the demands on money and time are at an all-time high. Data is absolutely critical to measuring the success of health and prescription drug plans. Now there is more actionable data available than ever before. But you need to understand the data before you can determine what to do with it and how to define success.
Using a web-based claims analytic system for self-funded clients, we benchmark and measure the performance of your health plans and determine potential at-risk areas. We aggregate all medical, pharmacy, enrollment, and health improvement information into one database to continually monitor your claims activity.
We uncover key cost drivers, understand your employee population’s health risks and determine the effectiveness of carrier and network partners. From here, we work together with you to address cost drivers or gaps in care, and more importantly determine the success of your corrective measures.
All companies want to know how their benefits, plans, costs and perks match up. With a wealth of data at our fingertips, we can benchmark your data to determine the impact of specific plan design changes, new plans and benefit offerings. Our advanced modeling techniques can show “real time” costs associated with certain plan changes.
Employees and their dependents need to be able to understand their benefits. With strategic planning around your communication objectives, we will help you deliver key messages to employees and their families in person, via paper or electronic media. From benefits communications to wellness education, we want to help your employees understand the plans available to them; and most importantly, provide tools for their personal analysis of the benefits program.
Merger & Acquisition Support
Strategic partnerships and acquisitions can happen anytime. We’re here to support any due diligence activities from discovery to execution. As your consultant, we will evaluate plans and networks, assess adherence to compliance regulations, provide recommendations on fees, forecast the financial impact on your benefits spend and the various degrees of combining multiple programs, their differences and exposures.
Pharmacy expenses are by far the highest trending area of employee benefits today. We have developed strategies to mitigate risk and reduce trend in Pharmacy Benefit Management. In looking at solutions, we focus on transparency, lower total pharmacy costs, better contract terms, improved data management, clinical programs and elimination of waste. Our analysis goes well beyond Average Wholesale Price and typical pricing components.
Let our consultants help you:
- Manage the past - retro claims audits, recovery, inforce contract audit
- Manage the present - model contract, model RFP, therapeutic alternatives
- Manage the future - control formulary, rebates, network, plan design – lowest net cost AND real clinical; pharmacogenomics
Employees appreciate the ability to purchase additional protection and insurance. While you might offer employer funded plans, voluntary programs allow you to offer expanded benefits. These can be employer funded or employee paid at discounted group pricing. Employees can personalize their voluntary benefits selection to meet their financial, health and family needs.
As your consultant, we work with you to develop tailored wellness programs by identifying important cost drivers. We optimize the many no-cost and low-cost wellness initiatives offered by insurance companies and many local non-profits and hospitals to close wellness gaps. Often, the greatest success results from addressing preventive screening and immunization rates, tobacco usage, nutrition and physical activity, low back pain, cholesterol, Body Mass Index (BMI) and glucose levels. Empowering employees and their families to live healthier lives, while appropriately incentivizing and rewarding those actions, is essential for making a significant impact on our client’s total cost of human capital.
Organization at a whole new level. hrAssist is your personalized library, tool set and administrative team. Stay up to date with the latest HR news and organize your Human Resources Department with efficient tools and a company library. You may also use hrAssist to communicate with your First Niagara Benefits Consulting team. Start today and immerse yourself in resources, tools and industry information.
Knowledge Hub is your one-stop portal for all your workplace needs. Designed to offer time-saving tools and resources that build convenience into managing work flows, whether you want to find the latest legislative news, learn more about creating a wellness program, access safety resources, or tap into industry peers to solve a tough HR issue.
Webinars & Conferences
Insurance services, benefits consulting services and insurance products are offered through Key Insurance & Benefits Services, Inc. (“KIB”), which is a licensed insurance broker and agent. Insurance policies are obligations of the insurers that issue the policies. Insurance products may not be available in all states. KIB and KeyBank are separate entities, and when you purchase risk management services, business consulting services or insurance products you are doing business with KIB, and not KeyBank.