• As MEC TPAs Fail, ESC is Here to Help

    Over the past few years, we have seen a number of Third-Party Administrators (TPAs) enter the complex and challenging world of the staffing and temporary employment industry. Most administrators have proven to be opportunist with little understanding of the unique needs and concerns of the staffing industry.

    As a result, these TPAs are failing their clients with poor administration of benefits and little or no customer service. Under normal circumstances this would be unacceptable, but in an ACA transitioning world, the impact of a TPAs shortcomings in administration or service can have a devastating effect on your bottom line.

    Recently ESC has been approached by number of staffing groups that are looking to change MEC programs that are being poorly administered by failing TPAs.

    Our experience and innovative spirit has enabled us to build the industry’s only Staffing Specific Administrative Platform (SSAP), and our commitment to our clients’ needs means your employees will experience an easy transition process regardless of future changes to the ACA.

    As the largest provider of health insurance and benefits in the staffing industry, ESC provides over 1,500 staffing clients with unparalleled administrative and customer service.

    If your current plan administrator is letting you down, call us today to learn how ESC’s Staffing Specific Administrative Platform can work for you!

  • New Study Links ESC Indemnity to Employee Retention

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, open positions in the United States reached an all-time high in July of 2017, peaking at 6.17 million available jobs. 
    Staffing firms are being challenged, more than ever, to find and keep quality candidates to fill open positions. 
    New research by Essential StaffCARE reveals a key indicator of employee interest, attitude
    and longevity is the availability of affordable, useable health benefits. In the most comprehensive study of its kind, an analysis of over a half million temporary employees revealed those enrolled in ESC Indemnity plans stayed with their employer 47% longer (3.6 weeks) on average. 
    Longer tenure translates into bottom line revenue, satisfied clients and motivated employees. 
    Download the full report here.

     

  • Health Networks Pull Out of Plans Leaving Clients Potentially Exposed

    Essential StaffCARE has been contacted by several staffing companies reporting they have received unexpected mid-year termination notices from their Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) Trust/Captive plan. These notices made reference to their networks pulling out of the plans.
    The possibility of VEBA Trust/Captive plan promoters putting their clients at risk was predicted by Essential StaffCARE in our October 2015 Industry Alert.
    The U.S. Department of Labor has issued a temporary restraining order to protect enrollees and beneficiaries who had been participating in this plan, and has filed a Cease and Desist order to prevent further marketing of the failed fund.
    The abrupt failure of these VEBA Trust/Captive self-funded plans leaves their clients potentially exposed to ACA penalties and employee claims that are not being paid.
    Continue to Exercise Caution
    Staffing companies that offer major medical healthcare benefits through alternative plan funding scenarios should remember to exercise caution and diligence. Group plans structured under VEBA Trusts, Captive insurance scenarios or those designated as ERISA-exempt are likely to draw attention from industry regulators, and for good reason.
    Unregulated Operation
    VEBA Trusts and captive off-shore organizations such as these are not regulated by state law, the way a licensed health insurance company would be. The plans they offer are often appealing because of their perceived low pricing, tax advantage and self-operated structure. Their status as exempt, however, can open the door to a host of operational and financial pitfalls if not managed with proper oversight.
    The Federation Of Regulatory Counsel (FORC) – a national association of attorneys specialized in the arena of insurance regulatory law – saw this coming as ACA legislation was being enacted. In 2010, they quickly warned, “Some unauthorized insurance promoters, wary of the administrative burden and cost of insurance regulation, seek to avoid state regulation of these products as insurance. They do so by cloaking these programs as “exempt” from regulation by flawed reference to federal law, such as the Internal Revenue Code or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).”
    Employers May Be Responsible for Unpaid Claims
    It is important to not only understand the inherent risks involved with unlicensed insurance scenarios, but also the liability of cost should the claims fund become insufficient. In self-funded scenarios, the employer is ultimately responsible.
    Essential StaffCARE urges any staffing company currently participating in a VEBA Trust/Captive scenario or other ERISA-exempt plan to evaluate the financial stability, managerial acumen and funding equilibrium behind their plan.
    If you have recently received an unexpected termination letter from your VEBA Trust/Captive self funded plan, or have any questions surrounding this industry issue, ESC can assist. 
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