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Whether you are required to offer group medical or not, we have plan options for you. We offer Traditional and Self-Funded products with Aged Based and Composite Rating. We also offer a wide range of plans from low co-pays to high deductibles. With a wide variety of options, you can build your group medical to meet the needs of your entire team.

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Update on Health Care Reform

AnchorUpdate on Health Care Reform

As everyone is aware, major changes in our nation's health care system are on the horizon. Regina Lowe, the Ware Agency's Benefits Specialist, cites the need for companies to take special note of the following changes for 2010.

For Employers:

  1. Employers are required to report the value of health care benefits on employees' W2 tax statements. Regina recommends that larger firms allow plenty of lead time to accommodate accounting system adjustments.
  2. A national risk pool has been created, as well as a tax credit for small businesses with less than 25 full time employees and average wages of less than $50,000 who provide qualified health coverage. Retroactive to January 1, 2010, small business employers could receive a maximum credit of up to 50% of premiums for up to 2 years if the employer contributes at least 50% of the total premium cost. The full amount of the credit will be available to employers with 10 or fewer employees and average annual wages of less than $25,000, and will phase out when those thresholds are exceeded.
  3. Beginning January 1, 2011, flexible spending accounts will no longer cover reimbursement for over the counter medications. Human Resource administrators may want to send an employee notification as re-enrollment periods approach.

For Individuals:

  1. Effective September 23, 2010, dependents aged 26 and under may be eligible to be added back to parent's coverage if the dependent a) is in school, b) is employed part time, or c) does not have access to other employer-sponsored plans. Dependents can be single, married or unmarried children. Some companies are allowing dependents to be added back after the 9/23/2010 date while others are requiring the group to wait until the open enrollment period. In other words, some carriers (including Anthem and Optima) will not add an eligible dependent back until the group renews in their open enrollment period. However, there are other companies (including United Healthcare) who are allowing dependents to be added back as of the September 23, 2010 date and not requiring that the group wait until open enrollment.

Wellness Programs -

AnchorWellness Programs – "Win Win" for all

Healthy employees are more productive, states Kathy Cassiglia of Vanguard Industries East – a valued, long-term Ware Insurance client. A supplier of military insignias with offices across the nation, Vanguard Industries has an employee base with diverse needs. Years ago, Ms. Cassiglia approached Ware asking for ideas on improving employee wellness.

Together Kathy and Regina Lowe, Ware's Group Health Specialist, reviewed Vanguard's coverage and employee needs to identify opportunities. As an Optima-insured group with 20 or more employees, Regina informed Ms. Cassiglia that Vanguard was entitled to an Optima-assisted Health Fair. Employees could have free check-ups for blood pressure, body mass index, as well as bone density and cholesterol screenings on a periodic basis. Flu shots may even be covered depending on the specific group insurance. "In the beginning, we had serious issues with weight and blood pressure," states Cassiglia, Vanguard's Human Resource Administrator. "That was 5 years ago and our corporate wellness has improved dramatically." Cassiglia believes the Health Fairs contributed to the company's wellness improvement. Over the years, Vanguard added screenings for cataracts and glaucoma and frequently has an Optima representative come on-site to make employee presentations on the group's EAP program as well as introduce specialty discounts such as chiropractic visits and therapeutic massage.

"Vanguard's philosophy is to encourage wellness through innovative, proactive programs such as the annual Health Fairs. We have compared reports after our Health Fairs and seen consistent improvement. Why is this so important? Because we know that health, productivity and employee morale are all interrelated. So, when our insurance carrier sees an organization focused and proactive on health and wellness, it definitely helps with our numbers during renewal time," Cassiglia adds. Today, some of Vanguard's most popular health-related activities are the corporate walks for non-profit organizations such as American Cancer Society and Muscular Sclerosis.