The firm serves as the resource for its clients' employees' questions
by Kris Ann Hegle
SBJ Contributing Writer
These days, the benefit package an employer provides is just as important to some employees as the salary. Even after a benefit package is in place, an employer must keep up with new government regulations, changing health care delivery systems and other information. Managing employee benefit plans can quickly turn into a full-time job.
Enter Employee Benefit Design LLC. In 1997, Springfieldians Dan Burns, Dan Ruggeri, Ken Stephens and Chance Potts decided to combine their experience and form Employee Benefit Design.
"EBD helps employers design and manage cost-effective employee benefit plans," Burns said. "Many employers use EBD as an outsourced human resources department. We help them put together a complete employee benefit package health care, dental care, eye care, disability insurance, life insurance and retirement. We also develop benefit plans for some clients who are self-insured."
After a year-and-half in business, EBD has more than 300 corporate clients located throughout southwest Missouri, according to Burns.
Some of the larger employers EBD serves include the Assemblies of God, Balanced Care Corp., the Springfield Police Officers Association, Alltel and Central Bible College.
The company also works with a number of smaller businesses, such as Millwood Country Club.
Although employee benefit management is a growing industry, EBD still has its competitors. Small independent agents and large agencies that have property and casualty divisions compete with EBD for business. According to Ruggeri, EBD's rates are competitive for the industry.
"We're one of the few companies in the area that handle nothing but employee-benefit plans," Ruggeri said. "We sit down with an employer, analyze their company, determine the type of plans they want to offer and figure out how to fund those plans."
In addition to analyzing the business, Employee Benefit Design also goes on site to educate employees about the benefits provided through their employer.
According to Burns, EBD's staff develops all the educational and benefit package information that is distributed to employees.
EBD also provides ongoing support. For example, if an employee has a question about a claim that has been filed, he or she would call EBD rather than take the issue up with the employer.
"A big part of what we sell is customer service," Burns said. "We provide the best professional support around. If an employee has a problem with a claim, all they have to do is call our office, speak with a member of our staff, and it's taken care of. Our staff is experienced. They know who to call to fix the problem, what questions to ask and how to get results."
Currently, EBD has three account service representatives and one assistant. All of the service representatives are licensed insurance agents in the state of Missouri.
"I believe there will be more and more demand for people who have expertise in the employee benefit industry in the coming years," Ruggeri said. "Delivery systems and government regulations are going to get more complicated. Employers will need more help evaluating and implementing benefit plans for their workers."
Employee Benefit Design LLC:
Philosophy: "To provide clients with cost-effective employee benefit plans and to implement those plans through effective employee education and communication."
Year Founded: 1997
Address and phone number: 3126 S. Pickwick Place, Springfield 65804; 889-6345
Owner's name: Employee Benefit Design LLC
Dan Burns and the staff at EBD also provide employee education and information to clients.
From left, Chance Potts, Ken Stephens, Dan Ruggeri and Dan Burns joined forces in 1997 to begin their own company and now have more than 300 corporate clients.
From left, Dan Burns, Ken Stephens, Chance Potts and Dan Ruggeri manage Employee Benefit Design LLC. [[In-content Ad]]
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