August 2020 Newsletter
Thank you for your interest in Edward Spencer Employee Benefits Group (ESEBG). Our August 2020 Newsletter includes our "Origin Story," a Survey Request, and a feature piece entitled "3 Benefit Solutions that Will Make Your Employees Feel Safe and Secure in Difficult Times." If you would like more information on any topics included here, please do not hesitate to contact us. Feel free to share this information with anyone who would find it helpful, and be sure to follow us on our social platforms via the links at the bottom.
Why Group Benefits? The Edward Spencer Group’s Origin Story
People often ask me why James and I started this company, why we specialize in employee benefit solutions, and why we are so passionate about the solutions that we provide to our clients. The simple answer is that, throughout our lives, and careers, risk management and risk mitigation have played major roles.
First, for those of you who do not know, James and I are both Veterans. James served in the United States Army as Battalion S-1 NCO, and finance specialist; and I served in the United States Air Force as a C-130 pilot, instructor pilot, and mission commander. While there are definitely some cultural differences between the services, and some good-natured rivalry, every combat veteran quickly learns the importance of proper advance planning and having your affairs in order before you deploy to a hostile environment. By doing so, we can focus on the mission; knowing that, if God forbid something should happen, our families and loved one’s back home are taken care of. Before every deployment, we would update our will, our power of attorney, and make sure that our insurance policies were paid, up to date, and had the proper beneficiaries identified. Luckily, James and I returned home safely after every deployment, and our families never had to deal with any catastrophic results or tragedies.
However, later in my life, I dealt with a personal tragedy firsthand when my father was diagnosed with, and quickly passed from, pancreatic cancer at the young age of 60. Throughout his life, my father had taken the time to financially plan for, and insure against, this type of risk. Because of this, my family was able to focus on filling his last days with love and remembrances, rather than any potential financial hardships that might arise. My father had his will in order, had a long-term care policy that helped cover the costs of hospice care, had a trust established to protect assets like the family home, had selected survivor benefits for his pension, and had adequate insurance coverage in place to ensure that his family would be financially secure. In retrospect, I now recognize that seeing the positive effects of this foresight, and comprehensive planning, was my father’s final loving lesson to me.
Today, James and I are both husbands and fathers ourselves. We have worked diligently to ensure that we have done adequate planning and put the protective tools in place to protect our assets, our business, and our families. And we work hard every day to ensure that our clients are taking care of their families, their employees, and their employee’s families. Because, no matter what industry vertical our clients operate within, each of them would agree that their employees are the most important resource for their business success. And just like James and I learned serving our country, we know that we all work best, and can most effectively focus on the mission, when we feel secure and have the appropriate financial protections in place.
In our daily work, these protections include life insurance, health insurance, dental insurance, vision coverage, short-term and long-term disability insurance, accident and critical illness coverage, long term care insurance, legal insurance, identity theft protection, and other executive benefits and key employee protections. Our clients directly benefit from our need’s analysis, plan design, and premium negotiation expertise; as well as from our cutting-edge benefits administration technology solutions, scalable human resource services, and compliance support. Working with us, our clients can better recruit, retain, and reward top talent, and ensure that their employees are operating at the highest level, knowing that their families and financial futures are protected.
How can Edward Spencer Employee Benefits Group best help you?
One of the ways ESEBG stays abreast of current employee benefit trends is by conducting peer group surveys on a regular basis. Our current survey deals with Employee Benefit Offerings, Benefit Administration Technology, and HR Support and Functionality. We would very much appreciate it if you could take 2 minutes and complete the survey using the "Take The Survey" button below. If you will share your email address with us when taking the survey, we will provide you with a summary of the survey results and let you know how your company compares with our other respondents.
3 Benefits Solutions That Will Make Your Employees Feel Safe and Secure in Difficult Times
With all the uncertainty in the world today, many of your employees are probably dealing with increased anxiety and stress, potential financial hardship, and struggling with new and unfamiliar life circumstances. There is help available! Here are three great, inexpensive benefits that you can provide to your employees to help them navigate the “new normal.”
Identity Theft Protection In 2019, almost 15 million Americans became victims of identity fraud; that’s 1 in 15 people. In 2020, it we are seeing a new victim of identity theft every 2 seconds. Compound that with more and more folks working remotely, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we really have set the stage for the perfect storm. The risk of a data breach, hack, or unintentional release of sensitive information has never higher. However, business owners can go a long way towards protecting their employee’s well-being by offering an Identity Theft Protection Plan. We recommend IDShield. IDShield offers low cost individual and family plans that provide 3 key benefits to members:
Identity Consultation Services. This includes direct assistance with privacy concerns, security best practices, and event driven consultation and support (think data breach, hack of personal information, or stolen wallet/ID/credit card).
Security Monitoring. IDShield continuously monitors a litany of personal information to include credentialing (ie username/password combinations); court records; credit tracking, monitoring, and alerts; payday loan monitoring; and address change verifications. They will even monitor social media platforms and maintain continuous dark web surveillance.
Identity Restoration. Probably the most valued benefit is IDShield’s identity restoration services. IDShield has teams of licensed Private Investigators that will work on your employee’s behalf to get them back to “pre-theft” status. Furthermore, IDShield provides a $1M protection policy to cover costs incurred as a result of identity theft. This includes lost wages, travel expenses, elder and childcare, legal consultation, and CPA costs. This can be a real lifesaver!
Legal Assistance Plan
The appearance of the novel Corona Virus has shaken the world and dramatically altered all our daily lives. Your employees are probably not alone in wanting to ensure their affairs are in order or in wanting assistance in dealing with issues that they likely have never had to deal with before. LegalShield offers 5 key benefits to its members through high-quality local law firms in their area.
1. Legal Advice. Members receive unlimited toll-free phone consultation to discuss any potential legal situations that they may find themselves in. The company provides a great 100 reasons why list that outlines examples that include family law, contract law, real estate law, and many others. Many of our client’s employees are currently dealing with COVID related legal issues surrounding rental agreements, gym memberships, and other financial contracts.
2. Letters and Phone Calls on Members Behalf. Trust us when we say that a call, or a letter, from a licensed attorney goes a long way towards resolving issues expeditiously. LegalShield attorneys will place phone calls and draft letters on their member's behalf. This type of focused attention can save members a ton of time, money, and legal headaches.
3. Contract and Document Reviews. Having trouble understanding an agreement or contract? LegalShield attorneys will review contracts and explain their meaning in layman’s terms to make sure members understand their rights are the consequences of signing. This is often very valuable since many people have found out the hard way that “the large print giveth and the small print taketh away!”
4. Motor Vehicle Services. Have you ever gotten a speeding ticket and had to miss a day of work to attend traffic court, only then to find that your insurance premiums went up at the next renewal? LegalShield attorneys work on your behalf to help resolve traffic violations saving time and money.
5. Will Preparation and Review. For many members, this is worth the cost of membership, all by itself. With basic will preparation costing anywhere between $500 and $1500, members can find immediate value in taking advantage of LegalShield’s will preparation services. This service includes a comprehensive will, a living will, and healthcare power of attorney. In today’s uncertain world, many of our clients find peace of mind in having this difficult task taken care of.
Employee Assistance Program
If COVID-19 has shown us anything, it is that life is unpredictable; and you never know what your employees may be experiencing on a daily basis. But we all know that every business runs on the same thing - the energy of its people. When your employees can effectively manage their personal ups and downs, they’ll be more productive on the job. EAPs can improve overall employee wellness, reduce absenteeism and turnover, boost morale and cooperation, increase workplace safety, and cut health insurance claims.
With an EAP, your employees have access to resources to help them handle life’s every day – and not so every day – challenges. Relationship issues, anxiety, addiction, aging parents to care for – all can make balancing work and life stressful. EAP services can include the following:
Self-assessments for identifying issues with stress, depression, and substance abuse.
24/7 phone consultation with licensed mental health professionals and referrals to supportive services.
Ongoing personal coaching sessions with scheduled appointments.
Online assistance with eldercare, childcare, parenting, teen, and adolescent issues.
Access to health and wellness articles, guides, webinars, podcasts, and calculators.
The best part about employee assistance programs is that they are confidential and are provided to your employees at no cost to them. Employee Assistance Programs can be stand-alone, but many employers can secure these programs at no additional cost, as a free add-on to their existing group short-term or long-term disability plans.
So, while the recent pandemic, social distancing restrictions, and the shift to remote work environments have undoubtedly created new and additional anxiety for you and your employees, there are programs available to assist you. These programs (IDShield, LegalShield, and EAP) are affordable and can be offered as employer-paid or on a voluntary basis. If you have any questions about these programs, would like additional information, or would like ESEBG to educate your employees about them, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (919) 925-3345.