The Benefits Blog

Whether your clients are entrusting us with their stop loss policy or looking to bring financial peace of mind to employees through group life, disability or supplemental benefits, you have a partner with Symetra.

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Welcome Craig Hornsby, our new stop loss regional group manager

Welcome Craig Hornsby, our new stop loss regional group manager based in Northern California. Keep reading to learn more.

Welcome Leah Hoge, our new regional sales executive

Get to know our new regional sales executive, Leah Hoge. Leah will be helping our team serve our northwest markets. Keep reading to learn more.

4 things to know about accelerated death benefit options

Most people associate life insurance with a lump-sum payment to beneficiaries at the time of an insured’s death. And while that’s how the product is used most, there are times when an insured may need their policy benefits while they’re still alive. Learn more about how accelerated death benefit options can help.

Welcome Jodi Allen, our new voluntary sales executive

Meet Jodi Allen, our new voluntary sales executive based in Colorado. Keep reading to learn more about Jodi.

Welcome John Maines Jr., our new regional sales executive

We’re excited to welcome John Maines Jr. to Symetra! John is our new regional sales executive who will be serving the Louisiana, Arkansas and Southern Texas markets. Keep reading to learn more about John.

Imputed income and the straddle rule

Group term life insurance is a benefit most employees don’t have to think about until they need it. But employers need to be aware of the potential tax implications of employer-sponsored group term life insurance coverage with benefit amounts over $50,000. Employers are responsible for including this taxable income—known as imputed income—as wages on employee W-2 forms.

Symetra Spotlight: Miglena Rogan

Get to know our vice president of stop loss underwriting.

8 questions to ask when reviewing a potential group life insurance carrier’s waiver of premium option

Waiver of premium is a valuable benefit that allows employees who are unable to work due to a disabling condition to maintain their group life insurance coverage without making premium payments. Because the process for obtaining this benefit varies, here are some questions to consider when evaluating carriers.

The impact of high-cost pharmaceuticals on self-funded medical plans

We’re living in a time of great medical innovation, and while new medications are exciting for patients and their families, their growing costs can easily overwhelm the budgets of employer groups, particularly those who self-fund.

What’s the difference between fixed-payment and expense-based coverage?

In today’s world of rising health care costs, employers are looking for ways to manage their medical spending. This often means asking employees to share more of the cost via copays, coinsurance and deductibles. The prevalence of high-deductible health plans has led some insurers to develop expense-based and fixed-payment medical plans that help close these coverage gaps. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between these two plans and when it makes sense to implement one over the other.

4 things to know about accelerated death benefit options

Most people associate life insurance with a lump-sum payment to beneficiaries at the time of an insured’s death. And while that’s how the product is used most, there are times when an insured may need their policy benefits while they’re still alive. Learn more about how accelerated death benefit options can help.

Imputed income and the straddle rule

Group term life insurance is a benefit most employees don’t have to think about until they need it. But employers need to be aware of the potential tax implications of employer-sponsored group term life insurance coverage with benefit amounts over $50,000. Employers are responsible for including this taxable income—known as imputed income—as wages on employee W-2 forms.

8 questions to ask when reviewing a potential group life insurance carrier’s waiver of premium option

Waiver of premium is a valuable benefit that allows employees who are unable to work due to a disabling condition to maintain their group life insurance coverage without making premium payments. Because the process for obtaining this benefit varies, here are some questions to consider when evaluating carriers.

Supporting employee mental health in the workplace

Mental health conditions can have a significant effect on employee productivity and absenteeism. Here are some tips to help companies reduce the stigma of mental illness, encourage treatment and provide a welcoming space for employees.

The ADA, ADAAA and the “100% rule”

Understanding regulations around the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) is essential for providing a welcome workplace for employees with disabilities and avoiding penalties for noncompliance. In this article, we’ll discuss the regulations and highlight a few resources to help you navigate them.

3 ways to support employees with cancer

A cancer diagnosis is one of the most challenging things a person can face. Aside from the physical effects, cancer can affect a person’s mental health, productivity and relationships. Here are a few tips to help your clients support their employees.

10 things employers should know when offering group life insurance – Part two

There are many details to consider around group life insurance. Last week we covered five things employers need to know: evidence of insurability (EOI), continuation of coverage, waiver of premium, age reductions, portability and conversion. In this week’s post, we’ll discuss age band changes, enrollment, dependents and claims.

10 things employers should know when offering group life insurance – Part one, the first five

Buying group life insurance at work is an easy way for employees to get the coverage they need. But for the employers who offer it, there are many administrative details to consider. In this two-part series, we’ll cover 10 things employers should understand when administering their plan.

Understanding options for pregnancy-related leaves

Pregnancy is an amazing, yet sometimes challenging, time. Fortunately, many employers offer short-term disability income insurance that can help provide replacement income for time away from work due to sickness or injury, including time away for pregnancy-related conditions. In this post, we’ll explore some of the ways short-term disability coverage can help support pregnant employees and how these benefits may complement federal and state-specific leaves.

Protecting pilots’ income with loss of medical license disability insurance

Every commercial pilot is required to hold a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) medical certification in order to fly, and even a minor medical issue or medication can lead to grounding. Group disability insurance with loss of medical license protection can help.

What’s the difference between fixed-payment and expense-based coverage?

In today’s world of rising health care costs, employers are looking for ways to manage their medical spending. This often means asking employees to share more of the cost via copays, coinsurance and deductibles. The prevalence of high-deductible health plans has led some insurers to develop expense-based and fixed-payment medical plans that help close these coverage gaps. In this article, we’ll explain the difference between these two plans and when it makes sense to implement one over the other.

How critical illness insurance can help provide an added layer of financial protection when it’s needed most

While medical and disability insurance can help pay for the cost of care and potential loss of income, additional out-of-pocket costs can add financial pressure to an already difficult situation. Critical illness insurance is designed to help with these unexpected costs.

Understanding the difference between scheduled benefit and per occurrence accident coverage

You may have noticed that we offer two types of accident coverage: scheduled benefit and per occurrence. Understanding how both policies work can help your clients decide which plan best fits their benefits package.

Health Savings Accounts: At the Intersection of Health Care and Wealth Care

If you’re like most people, you mistakenly lump health savings accounts (HSAs) in with the flexible spending accounts (FSAs) offered by employers. But while FSAs have annual “use it or lose it” strictures, HSAs offer tax benefits and long-term, flexible utility that can pack a powerful one-two punch.

Maximizing the potential of HSAs

Whatever direction health care reform takes in the future, health savings accounts—or HSAs—appear positioned to take a larger role. Like a 401(k) for medical expenses, these tax-advantaged savings accounts are designed to help employees accumulate money to spend on qualified medical costs. Here are some of the tax advantages and other benefits HSAs can offer.

Financial wellness at work with voluntary benefits

In today’s high-deductible health plan marketplace, employees are expected to pay a growing share of out-of-pocket expenses. That’s why it’s important to balance a cost-effective benefits plan with coverage that meets the needs of employees and their families. Voluntary benefits such as disability, accident and critical illness coverage can help employers ensure their workforce stays financially well while managing the bottom line.

The impact of high-cost pharmaceuticals on self-funded medical plans

We’re living in a time of great medical innovation, and while new medications are exciting for patients and their families, their growing costs can easily overwhelm the budgets of employer groups, particularly those who self-fund.

4 things carriers consider when pricing their stop loss coverage

Carriers have a lot to consider when pricing their stop loss coverage. It all depends on the level of risk they’re taking on. The clearer the picture is, the easier it is to price coverage appropriately and competitively. Here are four factors your carriers are considering.

5 things HR professionals should ask a stop loss carrier

Choosing the right stop loss carrier can mean the difference between protecting your self-funded plan and leaving yourself open for unpleasant (and expensive) surprises. Whether you’re researching potential carriers or getting ready to renew your current contract, here are five questions you should ask.

Self-funding doesn’t have to be complex. Let us provide some clarity.

Employee benefits regulations are constantly changing which can make them a challenge to navigate, especially for groups who self-fund. Symetra Compliance Solutions can help.

What’s Driving Claim Costs and Employer Solutions

Marien Diaz, vice president of stop loss claims and Todd Dzen, director of product management for group life, disability and Select Benefits discuss what’s driving claim costs and solutions for employers in this on-demand webinar.

Stop loss in 2018: Part 1

Discover the three most important variables to think about when choosing a stop loss partner for a self-insured medical program.

Stop loss in 2018: Part 2

Are your clients exposed to coverage gaps between their plan document and the stop loss policy?

Stop loss in 2018: Part 3

When evaluating potential stop loss carriers, it's important to understand their claims experience. Here are four key questions to ask.

Stop loss in 2018: Part 4

Five things to consider when looking at potential stop loss carriers' underwriting practices.