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FAQs - Private Insurance Exchange - Digital Benefits Marketplace
  1. What is defined contribution compared to defined benefit?
  2. How does defined contribution help me and my employees?
  3. Isn’t this just a cost-shift?
  4. Are there many businesses using private exchanges like Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  5. How will the employees buy their plans?
  6. What is the difference between Digital Benefits Marketplace and a cafeteria plan?
  7. How do I determine how much employees will have available to spend in Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  8. Is the funding we are giving our employees taxable?
  9. I’m concerned that my employees will “take the money and run” and not spend it on benefits. How do I prevent this from happening?
  10. How do I determine what benefits to offer on Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  11. Do I have to have all my benefits on Digital Benefits Marketplace, or can I just have health, ancillary or voluntary benefits?
  12. What if I have employees in more than one state?
  13. How does my company get set-up on Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  14. What kinds of benefits can my employees buy on Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  15. Do these benefits still fall under Section 125?
  16. How do my employees enroll on Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  17. How long does it take for an employee to enroll in Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  18. What kind of training will be available to my employees – this is a whole new concept!
  19. What about those people who do not have access to a computer?
  20. How do my employees choose a plan from so many options?
  21. Who do I call when I have questions?
  22. What tools are available to me on Digital Benefits Marketplace?
  23. How does the billing work?

What is defined contribution compared to defined benefit?

Instead of trying to figure out the best benefit plan for your employees, the defined contribution model gives the employees a fixed amount of money (that you, the employer, determine) to go buy their own benefit plans. Thus you are moving away from a defined benefit model where you define the group plans to offer your employees, to a defined contribution where you give them the funding to buy their own plans.

How does defined contribution help me and my employees?

With defined contribution, you are getting a fixed and determined budget that has a proven ability to bend the trend of overall cost increases, as your employees can make more economical and relative purchases.

Isn’t this just a cost-shift?

The defined contribution model is no different than what you do today to contain costs – increase deductibles, co-insurance or payroll deductions. You are now giving these decisions to your employees. They are choosing their own deductibles, copays, coinsurance and the ability to buy plans with richer benefits depending on their specific situation.

Are there many businesses using private exchanges like Digital Benefits Marketplace?

Private health insurance exchanges are gaining in popularity. According to research from Mercer, 56% of employers are considering moving to this model for active or retired employees, tripling in number over the last year.

Private exchanges will help employers better manage their costs and reduce their administrative tasks, while ensuring employees have easy access to a variety of plans. Because of these advantages, we predict this will be a viable choice for more employers in 2014 and beyond.

How will the employees buy their plans?

Your employees will have access to an on-line benefit store, called Digital Benefits Marketplace, where they can purchase a variety of benefits to suit their own personal situation and needs.

What is the difference between Digital Benefits Marketplace and a cafeteria plan?

In a cafeteria plan, the choices are often limited and administration is a burden.  With Digital Benefits Marketplace, you have much more choice in the benefits provided, along with a powerful HRIS system to help you manage these benefits.  You and your employees will also have access to a call center for benefit questions.

How do I determine how much employees will have available to spend in Digital Benefits Marketplace?

Deciding on how much money to allocate to employees is a critical decision we can help you make.  What you contribute will help to determine what your employees can buy.  Many factors go into this decision such as your company objectives, culture, how much you can afford and employee need.  We will create a funding worksheet taking into effect your goals and budget.

Is the funding we are giving our employees taxable?

No, the funding you are giving the employees is tax-deductible, and operates tax-wise the same way as your current benefit plan.

I’m concerned that my employees will “take the money and run” and not spend it on benefits. How do I prevent this from happening?

Your employees will have a defined place to buy their benefits.   You are now leaving the choice of which benefits to buy up to them.   You set the parameters on what and how they can spend the company funding.

How do I determine what benefits to offer on Digital Benefits Marketplace?

We will help you determine what benefit mix is right for your company.  We will quote preferred vendors to find the best rate for your customized  benefit “store.”

Do I have to have all my benefits on Digital Benefits Marketplace, or can I just have health, ancillary or voluntary benefits?

You can have as much or as little on your customized Digital Benefits Marketplace “store.”  We recommend you put as many benefits on your store as possible to give your employees more choice in benefits and plans.

What if I have employees in more than one state?

The benefits on Digital Benefits Marketplace are customized to your group.  If your group has out of state employees, we will make sure benefits work for ALL your employees, regardless of where they live.

How does my company get set-up on Digital Benefits Marketplace?

After the funding worksheet and benefit store overview is completed, we will set up an implementation meeting to get going!    Plan on an implementation meeting where you discuss your benefit store, the employee experience , as well as training on system capabilities so you can track who enrolled and what benefits your employees have chosen.

What kinds of benefits can my employees buy on Digital Benefits Marketplace?

Your employees can buy an array of traditional benefits such as health, dental, vision, life and disability plans, as well as accident and critical illness plans.  Non-traditional plans featured in the Marketplace include telemedicine, identity theft insurance and pet insurance.  Contributing toward a health savings account or health reimbursement account is also an option.

Do these benefits still fall under Section 125?

Yes, the benefits on Digital Benefits Marketplace still fall under Section 125.   Typically, the pre-tax benefits include medical, dental and vision, with life and disability remaining post-tax.  However, you are able to customize this.   We can help with a premium only plan document to make sure you are in compliance with Section 125 as well.

How do my employees enroll on Digital Benefits Marketplace?

A welcome email will be sent to employees with an ID and password.  They simply log onto the website and start enrolling.

How long does it take for an employee to enroll in Digital Benefits Marketplace?

We estimate that it takes approximately 30 minutes to enroll.  That said, some employees can enroll in 20 minutes, or some may want to take their time and it can take up to an hour.  The website is filled with educational information, videos and calculators as you scroll through each benefit.

What kind of training will be available to my employees – this is a whole new concept!

We will provide employee materials as well as webinars or meetings to tell employees about this new way to buy benefits.

What about those people who do not have access to a computer?

Digital Benefits Marketplace features a “one-stop shop” call center that can enroll employees in their plan choices telephonically.

How do my employees choose a plan from so many options?

The system is smart!  It has decision support software to help you choose each plan.  By carefully worded questions that you answer as you enroll, the system will make recommendations on which plan may be best for you and your family.  You can choose to take the recommendation, or use comparison tools to choose your own plans.  You can also contact our call center for questions and help.

Who do I call when I have questions?

Your Digital Benefits Marketplace representative will walk you through implementation with a specialized implementation team.  Then you will be assigned an experienced Digital Benefits Marketplace representative to help you with day-to-day questions on the portal.    Your employees will have access to a call center to help them with plan questions or enrollment during your open enrollment, and benefit and claim questions throughout the year.

What tools are available to me on Digital Benefits Marketplace?

You can be as involved as you want – or you can let our team of experienced benefit professionals help you run the day to day benefit administration.  You will have access to a variety of reports, plan information, communication pieces, and employee support services.

How does the billing work?

You will receive the bills pre-reconciled, “check ready” each month from Digital Benefits Marketplace.  It’s that simple.