• Starkweather and Shepley Benefits Solutions
S&S Benefits Insurance

Starkweather Benefits Solutions brings the finely honed client focus of Starkweather & Shepley into the Employee Benefits arena. Our unique combination of practical experience and professional expertise enables us to fully understand the challenges facing employers, and guide them to the best options. We strive to provide data-driven, creative solutions for our clients so they can make well-informed choices that benefit both their employees and their bottom line.

Starkweather Benefits SolutionsRanked in the Top-100 U.S. Brokerage firms by Business Insurance Magazine, Starkweather & Shepley has the relationships and commitment to service to bring you the Benefits Solutions your company/organization needs. Our market presence and record of service excellence have earned us a place on the Broker Advisory Boards of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, United Healthcare of New England and Tufts Health Plan. Additionally, through our partnership with Assurex Global, we are able to provide outstanding Benefits Solutions for your employees in all 50 states, or in 170 countries, on six continents around the globe.

Let the Starkweather Benefits Solutions team work with you to create customized programs, not only designed to meet your company’s needs but to help you establish/maintain a corporate health care strategy. We are uniquely qualified to assist your organization in sorting out consumer-driven healthcare options and to bring powerful educational tools and expertise to support your human resources department.

Compliance

The upcoming year promises to be another busy one in the area of employee benefits compliance. Employers will have to deal with HIPAA, ERISA and other constantly evolving compliance requirements, all while the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is reviewed again and possibly revamped. This could be another year that completely changes the regulatory landscape.

complianceStarkweather Benefits Solutions has you covered. We provide access to compliance specialists and analysts unmatched in depth of experience. Our team includes leading experts on a variety of benefit compliance issues including COBRA, FMLA, and CDH rules as well as extensive experience in fiduciary assessment and training, HIPAA privacy and security, wellness programs, eligibility audits, merger and acquisition transaction support, nondiscrimination testing, plan documents, and vendor contracts, as well as general compliance reviews and health care reform compliance. We have increased our capacity to deal with these complicated issues so that you can be confident in your compliance through the coming year and beyond.

Additionally, the following tools are available to our clients to assist with their compliance needs.

Health Reform Impact Analysis Tool
The Starkweather Analysis Tool uses our client’s unique information to create a customized report that estimates the financial impact of various health reform rules including:

  • The employer “shared responsibility rules” and possible employer penalties
  • The potential cost of expanded eligibility requirements
  • The effect expanded Medicaid eligibility rules will have on employer plans
  • The cost of not offering a health plan to all full time employees

ERISA Compliance
Employers face strict deadlines and potential liability under ERISA law to provide plan disclosures to plan participating employees and beneficiaries under your various employee benefits programs. We maintain a close alliance with a firm with years of compliance expertise to help you remain fully compliant by providing all required documents, communications, notices, and record-keeping for your Plans. This includes document and form preparation, annual ERISA notices, record keeping assistance and health and welfare 5500 filing.

Legal Support
We have a full range of compliance support services, with access to benefits and ERISA related advice when needed. When support is needed on general legal issues, we have a team of lawyers and consultants that can provide information and guidance at no additional cost to our clients. When specific legal advice is needed, and there is a need for the protection of a lawyer-client relationship, we can assist with that as well.

Compliance Alerts
These alerts are released with breaking news as soon as important compliance issues occur, changes to legislation are passed, or new regulations are released.

Issue Briefs
These publications summarize a specific compliance related issue. The briefs are written in a concise manner designed for employers to review and absorb.

White Papers
White Papers describe a compliance issue in greater detail than Briefs or Alerts. These are a resource for employers needing help with a specific topic

Client Webinars and Seminars
We provide monthly webinars on compliance topics, including presentation materials for future reference. The schedule is published quarterly so clients can plan ahead for scheduling. Seminars for deeper exploration of certain topics are held on a regular basis.

For more information regarding our compliance services, contact the Starkweather Benefits Solutions team at 1-800-854-4625.

HR Consulting

In today’s environment, running a business is hard enough. Understanding and correctly navigating your way through the complexities of Benefits Compliance, Wage and Hour rules, etc., puts tremendous demand and strain on many employers and HR professionals.

hr consultingAt Starkweather Benefits Solutions, we are continually looking for ways to make your job easier. Our HR Hotline and Reference Center offers you ‘best in class’ resources you can access when an issue needs resolution.

Starkweather HR Hotline
A direct link to PHR/SPHR certified professionals. Phone calls and emails receive verbal assistance from a consultant followed by thorough, written documentation of the issue discussed. Hotline consultants provide quick, expert answers or second opinions on various questions and issues across many HR disciplines including, but not limited to:

  • Benefits
  • Employee Relations
  • Recruiting & Hiring
  • Terminations
  • Compliance
  • Leaves of Absence
  • Wage & Hour
  • Workers’ Compensation

Starkweather Reference Center

  • Federal HR and Benefits Compliance
  • State Specific HR and Benefits Information
  • Templates for Handbooks or Job Descriptions
  • Forms, Policies, Checklists

For more information regarding the Starkweather HR Hotline and Reference Center, contact Starkweather Benefits Solutions at 1-800-854-4625.

Communication Technology

starkweather benefits solutionsAt Starkweather Benefits Solutions, we consistently hear from our clients and prospects that their employees do not fully understand or appreciate the value of their benefits package, and yet it is extremely costly to employers. We have a solution to eliminate this expensive disconnect.

By partnering with the Starkweather team, through our Starkweather BenePortal, your employees can access their benefit information in a clear, concise and easy to use format, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A simple, one click process gets them to up to date materials, not just for their medical plan, but for all Employee Benefits and Human Resource communications. This provides clarity and consistency of message to employees.

Starkweather BeneStatements can clearly and effectively illustrate the true value of your employee’s entire benefit package. Employees can review their “hidden benefits,” such as the cost of vacation and holiday time, or sick time, or other employer paid benefits. The format is easily understood with clear graphics to further emphasize the content, enabling employees to fully grasp the value.

Researching a topic? Need a sample plan document? With StarkweatherHR Essentials, an online resource for the HR professional, you will have access to a library of critical information, from sample plan documents to state specific employment law, and more, right at your fingertips.

Starkweather e-enrollment will reduce confusion and errors for HR administrators, with one click control over open enrollment, employee eligibility and census tracking. Save time and money by having employees input and update personal information for themselves and their dependents, with the added security for employers of limiting access as needed.

For assistance with communicating your Employee Benefits, contact the Starkweather Benefits Solutions team at 1-800-854-4625.

Health Risk Management

health risk managementSavvy employers are seeking to control their costs by attacking the source of the issue — health risk management. The positive impact workplace wellness can have goes well beyond just your health care costs. Studies evidence direct effects on your workers compensation results, improved productivity, and reduced absenteeism.

Starkweather Benefits Solutions offers client a unique, state-of-the-art wellness analysis to match your organizations specific goals, objectives, and, most importantly, your budget, to the wellness vendors with the specific expertise to best suit your needs. We do NOT use a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to your wellness program. Rather, we have the tools to customize your program to drive maximum results.

Programs like those listed below, are all available to Starkweather clients. They are tailored to engage employees and keep them motivated through appropriate incentives.

  • Health risk assessments
  • Biometric screenings
  • Targeted communications plans
  • On-going education
  • Health coaching
  • Online health portals

The programs are HIPAA compliant with the goal of promoting good health and preventing disease.

To find out more about our unique approach and analysis for health risk management and how it can best work for you, please contact Starkweather Benefits Solutions at 1-800-854-4625.

Areas of Expertise

areas of expertiseOur Employee Benefits expertise includes:

Coverage

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Life/AD&D
  • Short-Term and Long-Term Disability
  • Vision Care and Other Voluntary Benefits
  • Long Term Care
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Wellness Programs

Communication

  • Web Based Employer Portal
  • On Line Enrollment Tools
  • Legislative and Compliance Updates
  • Benefit Statements
  • Monthly Newsletters and Breaking News Compliance Alerts
  • Educational Seminars

Retirement Planning

  • 401(k) & Profit Sharing Plans
  • Pension Plans
  • Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans

Individual Services/Planning

  • Key Person Life & Disability Plans
  • Estate Planning & Insurance
  • Financial Plans
  • Individual Life Policies
  • Buy/Sell Agreements

Employee Assistance Program

Ever had an employee who is fully trained and performed well in the past, but is struggling for some reason?

Starkweather Benefits Solutions & Coastline EAP – A Partnership for Effective Employee Assistance Programs

RIEAS“Stressors” (issues such as grief, anger, depression, addiction, eldercare, financial worries, etc.) take their emotional toll on your employees. These same “stressors” directly and indirectly impact your organization via higher absenteeism and lower productivity. Hiring and training new employees is a costly business expense.

CoastlineEAPThat is why Starkweather Benefits Solutions recommends employers implement an Employee Assistance Program thru Coastline EAP to assist employees during this troubled period.

Since 1985, more than 180 companies (union & open shop), schools, and municipalities in over 30 states have been using Coastline EAP’s comprehensive clinical and consultation services to help employees manage job performance, behavior problems, and critical incidents in and outside the workplace. Services (for employees and their family members) provided by Coastline EAP are confidential and easy to access.

Although Coastline EAP will pay for itself through employee retention by assisting employees and helping them return to their prior level of productivity, Starkweather Benefits Solutions and Coastline EAP have partnered to provide our clients preferred pricing, making this service too cost effective for employers to pass up. Coastline EAP Consultants have at least a master’s degree and many years of assessment experience to ensure the individual receives the help he or she needs. Coastline EAP consultants develop an action plan with the employee and follow through until services are in place and progress is made

For more information regarding the Coastline EAP services offered through Starkweather Benefits Solutions, please contact us at 1-800-854-4625.

Private Exchange

The StarShep Private Exchange, powered by Assurex Global, is a private marketplace platform that gives employers an unprecedented range of administrative flexibility and employee health benefit options.

Key Features:
Starkweather Benefits Solutions now offers a unique proprietary Private Health Insurance Exchange. A Private Exchange, also known as Marketplace, allows employers to reduce administrative work, provide more employee choice and move to a defined contribution approach for employee benefits.

assurex logoIn collaboration with a leading employee-benefits outsourcing partner, Businessolver, this private exchange allows you to maintain a competitive advantage by offering best-in-industry benefits, while removing the heavy lifting of administration.

Advantages include:

  • The ability to choose either a defined contribution or a defined benefits plan
  • Access to a variety of medical and ancillary benefits customized for employers and their employees
  • Support for Affordable Care Act record-keeping responsibilities
  • Business data integration that enhances the benefit administration experience
  • Flexible decision support tools that make employee choice easier

To learn more about how the StarShep Exchange can work for you, contact the Starkweather Benefits Solutions team at 1-800-854-4625.

Captive

Benefit Captives

An increasing number of mid-market organizations (generally 100-500 employees) are considering moving away from insured programs to fully self-funding their health benefits programs, for improved cost and control purposes.

Benefits Captives can offer a better solution than conventional self-funding for many of these groups. But all Benefit Captives are not created equally. Indeed, our preferred Captive delivers strategic and cost advantages to its members that differentiate it from the competition. However, not all groups will qualify for acceptance.

If you are interested in improving the strategic and financial results of your benefits program, you owe it to yourself to contact us and learn more.

Testimonials

We depend on Starkweather for all of our insurance needs. We have continued to be impressed by their professionalism, prompt follow-up, and always keeping our interests at the center of the work that they do. We often see our reps going “above and beyond” for us, and our organization would not be the same without them by our side.

Benefits Solutions Customer

We have worked with Jim Moniz and Starkweather for many years and I consider him to be valued business partner, not simply a benefits adviser. Jim’s strategic approach and expert knowledge of the health insurance industry, combined with his background as a CFO, help create a competitive advantage for us in the employee benefits arena. The team at Starkweather is very customer focused and always willing to provide us with responsive, friendly and thorough service.

Benefits Solutions Customer

To develop employee benefit programs that work to retain talent, you need a partner who understands how to enrich your benefits while reducing the overall expense of providing employee benefits. Starkweather & Shepley has been a pivotal partner with AIPSO who has brought vendors to AIPSO that reduce our administration fees and provide ways to cost effectively enhance our benefits. Starkweather & Shepley serves AIPSO well bringing us a team approach and staff to help us that shows the highest level of professionalism. The responsive service of our dedicated brokers helps us make timely decisions and the brokers provide market based data that aids us in effective decision making regarding our employee benefits programs.

Benefits Solutions Customer

I have personally enjoyed the strategic partnership working with the Starkweather & Shepley team for more than a decade. Starkweather & Shepley serves AIPSO well bringing us a team approach and staff to help us that shows the highest level of professionalism. Our brokers communicate effectively and think strategically and proactively to meet the needs of AIPSO with a clear understanding of our company culture. I would highly recommend their services to an organization seeking to form a partnership with an agency that shows they are deserving of the national recognition they receive.

Benefits Solutions Customer

Jim Moniz and the team at Starkweather and Shepley are collaborative and trusted business partners, not simply another benefits advisor. Jim understands our business and has always taken a strategic approach to our employee benefit programs. Whether discussing actuarial cost drivers with me or presenting to employee groups, Jim knows his audience and is a skillful communicator. Starkweather has a culture of service and responsiveness that shows through in all our dealings. When it comes to health insurance, Jim has navigated us through some very difficult renewals, using a combination of creative plan design and high touch negotiating skills. Fiberon counts Jim Moniz and the Starkweather and Shepley team as important advisors and advocates for our company.

Benefits Solutions Customer

Our organization made a change to the Starkweather team approximately 6 years ago. Why? They offered greater resources and different vendor selections which reduced premiums. Their depth-of-knowledge has helped us to navigate the increasingly complex world of employee benefits. Over the years our relationship has grown, the customer service experience is excellent, and they have taken the time to become familiar with and support our business.

Benefits Solutions Customer

As a non-profit organization, managing increasing health insurance cost is a priority. We are a very demanding customer, known to ask the tough questions. The team is always up to the challenge and approaches the conversation in a professional and trustworthy manner. It is not uncommon for us to request detailed claims information and the Starkweather team has been more than willing to provide data, sliced and diced as requested. Our agent can be trusted to jumped through hoops, every year, in supporting our organization to make the best decision possible. I have complete confidence in the Starkweather team and I would recommend them as a premiere organization.

Benefits Solutions Customer

Resource Center

Featured Products