Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the questions we sometimes hear related to getting medical coverage, personal and group insurance. As one of Atlanta’s premier insurance brokers, we’re always happy to answer any questions you have. If the following don’t fully answer your concerns or questions regarding insurance coverage, please feel free to give us a call at 770-645-6908 or contact us by email. We are here to serve your needs!

How large does our company have to be to have group benefits?

In the state of Georgia an employer can offer a group health insurance program as long as that employer has a minimum of two full-time employees and both employees participate in the program.

Does our company have to wait until renewal time to move our group medical plan?

No—if you are fully-insured, you can move to another medical carrier at any time (1st or 15th of each month). Although your premiums and contract may change at each renewal (every 12 months), you are not obligated to wait until your renewal period to make a change. In changing medical carriers, your firm is responsible for premiums up until the date of the change. The new insurance carrier will “pick up” where your previous carrier “left off” regarding premiums and claims (including ongoing).

Yes—if you are partially self-insured, it may be best to wait until your renewal period to move to another insurance carrier because of the liability involving your stop-loss and aggregate exposure.

Why do the quotes for our group medical insurance vary from broker to broker?

If the brokers providing quotes are accurately entering all requested information the quotes from the same insurance carrier should be identical. Therefore, if the quotes are different the “information” submitted to the carrier may be incomplete or inaccurate. Common errors include:

  • Birthdates and age of employees don’t match
  • Type of coverage applied for by the employer don’t match
  • One RFP (Request for Proposal) may include more detailed information
  • SIC codes on the application don’t match
  • The requested effective dates differ
  • One quote may include a Chamber Discount
  • One quote may include a multi-product discount

At BIS Benefits we aim to provide as much information as possible to the carriers in order to t receive the most accurate quote for you. Contact us today for a free quote.

Where can I find a timeline for Healthcare Reform? Can we choose a 'Short Year Contract' with our current group medical plan in order to align with other company timelines? (ex. 6, 8 or 9 month contract)

Yes. Although group medical premiums are guaranteed for the 12 month contract period, that timeframe can be altered. For example, companies that want to align their renewal with the first of the year or their fiscal year may want to negotiate a “Short Year Contract.” If a contract is written for a period of less than 12 months, the premium will only be guaranteed for that period of time. Some clients, in wanting to change their renewal date and maximize the guarantee premium period, have requested a 13 month contract. In doing so, they have been able to accomplish their goal of adjusting their renewal date over a span of years.

What is a Captive Agent?

The captive agent is an insurance agent that offers products of only one insurance company or carrier. Captive agents are often limited in what they can offer their clients. Your licensed agents at BIS Benefits are not captive agents and are free to find the best options for you among a large selection of carriers.

What is an Insurance Broker?

A Broker works with multiple carriers and advises the client on the best fit to meet the client’s insurance and employee benefits coverage and rates.

What is the advantage of using a broker?

The strength in using a broker is you have the advantage of utilizing an expert who has access to a variety of different insurance carriers and who can help you sort through the various options and medical insurance plans. Medical plans and offerings are constantly changing and an experienced broker will know what your best options are based on your needs, current trends, recent legislation and new carrier choices.

How are insurance brokers compensated?

Brokers are typically compensated by insurance carriers and not by employers or employees. Brokers are compensated in one of two ways: 1) Insurance carriers pay a small percentage of the premiums as compensation to the broker or they pay a PEPM (Per employee per month) fee to the broker. 2) For larger employers, typically 100 employees or more, the employer may pay a fee for the broker’s services. These fees are typically negotiated by the employer and the broker and mostly represent a percentage of the overall premiums paid.

How long has BIS Benefits been in business?

Ray Bachman, President and Founder of BIS Benefits, started in the insurance business in 1978. In 1997 he formed Bachman Insurance Services, Inc. (now BIS Benefits, Inc.).

Does our company have to wait until renewal time to make BIS Benefits our broker?

No. At any given time throughout the year, an AOR (Agent of Record) or BOR (Broker of Record) is required to change brokers assigned to an account. BIS has successfully acquired AORs from companies that, at the time, weren’t comfortable with their existing broker. Because of the size and experience of our staff, our “Added Value” offerings, and our commitment to excellence, many companies have made the decision to change their broker relationship to BIS Benefits, Inc.

Am I insurable? Can I qualify for medical insurance?

This is a common question we receive when it comes to private health insurance.  The insurance carriers have the flexibility to exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions and to decline coverage.  Various factors like height, weight, and medical history are taken into consideration when determining “eligibility.”  We encourage any individual who is asking this question to not assume they are uninsurable. Rather you should contact our office and speak with one of our Georgia individual and family medical insurance specialists.  We are happy to talk through your personal situation. If you do not qualify for health insurance we will help point you toward other options and solutions. Contact us today for our free Georgia Individual Insurance Quote.

Does BIS Benefits provide insurance services for nonprofits?

Yes.  Approximately 25% of BIS Benefits’ clients come from the nonprofit arena, including churches, ministries and schools. Learn more about our services to nonprofits.

Is an Association Plan the best option for my organization for medical insurance?

Association plans for medical insurance are common among churches, nonprofits and some professional organizations. One of the advantages of an association plan is it often allows an organization, which finds it difficult to obtain group insurance, to participate in a medical plan. A disadvantage is the associate plan often has higher rates because it consists of groups with higher utilization of the medical benefits—which drive up the costs of the coverage. We recommend anyone considering an association plan to also obtain a separate quote from a broker for an employee benefits medical insurance plan.

What are Outcome-based Incentives?

Outcome-based Incentives are employee wellness programs where employees receive a financial reward for meeting specific health outcomes. In some programs there may also be a penalty for failing to meet the health goals. A primary purpose of Outcome-based Incentives is to increase participation by employees through the motivation of financial reward.  For additional information or to explore if Outcome-based Incentive programs are right for your organization, contact a BIS Benefits today.

Can BIS Benefits recommend anyone for Worker’s Comp, General Liability or other Business Insurance needs?

Absolutely. BIS Benefits maintains a list of preferred vendors and strategic partners with whom we have a high level of trust. In addition to preferred vendors for other insurance needs, we can also make recommendations for your payroll, HR assistance, legal consultation and more.

Is BIS Benefits owned by a bank or out-of-state firm?

No. BIS Benefits is privately owned and is one of the most respected employee benefits firms in Atlanta. In 1997 Ray Bachman founded BIS Benefits in North Fulton County and has led the firm in becoming one of the largest independently owned employee benefits brokerage firms in Atlanta.