“Most of our small to medium-sized clients complain about rate hikes every year. They want to do more for their employees but they can’t afford it.”
Value Point Associates (VPA) is a Member Association that offers a variety of employee benefits to employers of all sizes at an affordable rate. They leverage the strength of their collective members and work with trusted, nationally-recognized providers to deliver large group benefits at the best possible rates.
With VPA, we can help you with your benefit design and administration services to provide you with a choice of benefit programs and solutions ideally suited to your specific business to meet all your employees’ needs.
As the Director of Sales & Marketing at Value Point Associates (VPA), Michael Schifferle is the first point of contact for clients looking for employee benefits. While working with small to medium-sized business owners who had an average of 18 employees, finding affordable benefits was challenging for Michael. These employers needed comprehensive employee benefits—particularly health benefits—that would attract and retain employees but wouldn’t break the bank.
One recurring pain point Michael’s clients experienced during open enrollment was an increase in their rates when they renewed their traditional group health insurance plans.
Annual rate hikes were inevitable each year, and his small employers couldn't keep up with the rising costs. His clients also found it too challenging to keep up with their insurance companies’ ever-changing group policy offerings and ongoing administrative tasks.
Michael understood that his clients were struggling to provide their employees with quality health coverage without breaking their budgets or spending too much time on administrative tasks. Eager to help, Michael worked with the owners of VPA to find a solution.
In 2020, VPA and Michael began researching alternative solutions to group health insurance. They initially only knew about health savings accounts (HSAs), but given the pre-funding requirements of HSAs, they needed to find a more flexible option. In their research, they found a local health reimbursement arrangement TPA that introduced them to HRAs. After diving deeper into this type of health benefit, they did additional online research and quickly found PeopleKeep and saw how working with PeopleKeep to set their clients up with HRAs would allow them to help alleviate their client’s troubles—both financially and administratively.
With an HRA, employers of all sizes are able to provide tax-free reimbursements to their employees for health insurance premiums and qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses. While group health insurance offers a one-size-fits-all approach to health coverage, an HRA allows employees to choose the individual health plan that works for them. Employers simply choose an allowance amount for reimbursement that works for their company’s budget.
“I really feel that within the next year, HRAs will be the new, hot alternative to group health insurance in the employee benefits world.”
Two of PeopleKeep’s HRAs made the most sense for Michael’s clients—the qualified small employer HRA (QSEHRA) and the individual coverage HRA (ICHRA).
The QSEHRA would work for clients with fewer than 50 employees, and the ICHRA worked for employers of all sizes who wanted more flexibility in how they structured their benefit. Both HRAs would allow business owners to provide their employees a health benefit without signing up for traditional group health insurance. They would also eliminate yearly rate hikes and rising benefit costs. Plus, with PeopleKeep’s software solution, employers would only need to spend a few minutes each month administering their benefit.
Michael and VPA knew they had a winner with PeopleKeep and the HRA. A major aspect that enticed Michael about PeopleKeep was how well-equipped the company was in helping its customers—from educating employees on how to use the software with onboarding training sessions, to reviewing documentation, to providing expert customer support via online chat.
Confident PeopleKeep could meet their clients’ needs, Michael and the owners of VPA decided to partner with PeopleKeep and start referring clients.
Since becoming a partner, client satisfaction with PeopleKeep is at 100%, and VPA’s small to medium-sized clients are now enjoying the advantage of having an affordable health benefit that can help them compete with large employers for talent.
One of Michael’s clients in particular benefitted from being able to offer an HRA. Before they had a health benefit in place, they had lost a valuable employee and were at risk of losing another. By offering a QSEHRA through PeopleKeep, they were able to retain their employees and save $3,500 per year over other health benefits options. The money saved has enabled the client to put more towards maintaining business operations and hiring efforts.
“Our clients are impressed with the flexibility that PeopleKeep offers, particularly with how they can set their own allowance limits.”
For VPA’s clients, the flexibility that PeopleKeep offers is the real winning factor. They no longer have to choose a one-size-fits-all insurance policy or deal with confusing insurance company procedures.
With PeopleKeep, each client’s benefit onboarding process is straightforward, and PeopleKeep’s customer support team answers any questions they may have quickly and thoroughly. By partnering with PeopleKeep, VPA’s clients have access to an award-winning platform and customer support team to help them manage their employee benefits.
Because of their clients' results with the HRA, VPA’s new strategy for initial interactions with their clients is to review all their health benefits options before renewing their group health insurance plan. This simple move of informing clients that they have more options than they realize when considering health coverage gets clients’ attention quickly, and they’re interested to learn more about how HRAs can help their organization.
“Working with PeopleKeep has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for us.”
For Michael, working with PeopleKeep has opened doors for his business. As a partner, he aims to educate more of his clients on QSEHRAs and ICHRAs. At the end of the day, referring clients to PeopleKeep to sign up for an HRA saves these clients time and money, which for business owners, is the main priority.