Who pays for American Union’s services?
Normally, American Union is paid commissions by the insurance company that you authorize American Union to use for your insurance needs. The commissions are disclosed in advance as a matter of best business practices for complete transparency. It’s the right thing to do.
When the client elects to do certain partial or self-funded programs, American Union may ask for a monthly fee for its services in lieu of commissions. The fee would not exceed the normal commissions earned as if the plan was fully insured. Again, all fees are disclosed in advance and agreed by the client. Complete transparency is always the right choice.
Which insurance companies does American Union use?
We use only the top financially rated insurance companies who are in good standing with the insurance authorities in Oregon and Washington, and with whom we believe have a higher quality of service for our clients. We monitor the number and type of complaints as made available by the insurance authorities and from our own experience to make sure our clients are getting the best for that insurance need.
Some of these companies include Kaiser Permanente (Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest), Regence - Blue Cross/Blue Shield, UNUM, and Providence Health Plan. We also work with Dental and Vision benefit providers.
Who should clients call for compliance and regulatory support?
The American Union team will assist clients with any questions regarding the use and/or distribution of any regulatory compliance materials. American Union cannot provide information specific to the employer/sponsored plan. We recommend that employers and/or plan sponsors seek legal counsel for consultation.
What about administration or claims questions?
If a client has administration or claims questions, we encourage you to contact American Union if the insurance company has not answered or resolved it to your satisfaction. We are happy to help. In fact, it is our duty to you the insured to make certain the insurance company is doing all they can to work toward a satisfying solution for you. We look after your interests and take all complaints very seriously.
If needed, we have access to, and will use, our contacts at the executive management level at each of the insurance providers on our approved list.
How can we contact you if we have a serious claim problem?
For our clients, we offer two emergency contact numbers that are available 24/7, holidays included, in the event of an emergency or other serious insurance claim. American Union’s service to its clients does not begin only on Monday and ends on Friday at 6 PM. We believe the best service is the one given when you least expect it. This also helps to set us apart from our competitors.
Are those insurance booklets good enough for compliance regulations?
While insurance companies usually provide booklets for participants that describe the benefits covered and limitations under the insurance contract, most of these booklets do not include all of the information needed to satisfy the plan’s Summary Plan Description (SPD) requirements. Providing an incomplete or inaccurate SPD could expose the plan administrator to the same penalties as not providing a SPD at all.
American Union is pleased to provide an additional resource to assist you in fulfilling your regulatory compliance obligations for best practices in SPD development and distribution. Insurance company booklets can be supplemented by a separate document that includes all of the required SPD information not provided in the booklet. The combination of the insurance company booklet and the supplementary documentation will be able to constitute a complete SPD.
Please contact us at American Union to make this resource available to you. We will include at no cost, a detailed explanation of the SPD requirements, and an Employer/Sponsor Compliance Checklist.
Once customized for your employee benefits plan, this ‘whole-document’ can be distributed to plan participants with your benefits booklets for health (medical, dental, vision, disability), life and other fully insured or self-insured welfare benefit plans.
We will also include a timetable for the latest COBRA and HIPAA requirements, and any update filings needed for new regulations, as they are made known.