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Crane Agency – One of St. Louis’ Largest Employee Benefits Firms

Did you know for the last two years, Crane Agency has been named one of St. Louis’ Largest Employee Benefits Firms by the opens in a new windowSt. Louis Business Journal?  Crane is your single-source solution for benefits consulting and cost management. We maintain strong relationships with all national and regional medical insurance companies, as well as all the major life, dental, disability, and voluntary worksite underwriters.  More importantly, we are committed to efficiency, transparency, and service. We don’t just manage your benefits—we serve as your advocate in an uncertain world.

Crane Agency – March Wellness Newsletter, HR Brief, Benefits Buzz & Compliance Updates

opens in a new windowCrane Agency – House Republicans Release ACA Replacement Planopens PDF file
opens in a new windowCrane Agency – Market Stabilization Proposed Rule Issuedopens PDF file
opens in a new windowMarch 2017 – Live Well Work Well Newsletteropens PDF file
opens in a new windowMarch 2017 – HR Brief – Crane Agencyopens PDF file
opens in a new windowMarch 2017 – Benefits Buzz – Crane Agencyopens PDF file

Please find attached your March Wellness Newsletter from The Charles L. Crane Agency.  The Live Well, Work Well newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finance. This month’s issue provides tax preparation tips, examines lowering workplace stress levels and lists tips for spring break travel plans.

You will also find attached this month’s Benefits Buzz and HR Brief.  This month’s Benefits Buzz looks ahead at what the ACA might look like under President Trump, discusses the challenges to becoming health care literate and explains block grants and their importance.   This month’s HR Brief gives an overview of company culture and its importance, provides an update on the status of the delayed overtime rule and briefly explains how the national average wage increase may impact your company.

In other news, we continue to receive a number of questions regarding the impact on Health Care Reform (PPACA) as a result of the Trump administration.  On February 15, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule to help stabilize the individual and small group markets. It is the first example of how the Secretary of HHS may reduce the “economic burden” of the Affordable Care Act, as directed in the January 20, 2017 Executive Order issued by the White House. The proposed changes impact a number of existing regulations specific to individual and small group market plans, effective for the 2018 plan year.

The proposed rule does not directly impact large group or expatriate health plans, but rather intends to help stabilize the Health Insurance Marketplace, provide more flexibility to states and insurers, and give individual health plan consumers more coverage options. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the proposed changes aim to help protect enrollees in the individual and small group markets while future reforms are being debated.  We expect more details from the current administration this week and welcome any/all questions as your advisor.

Thank you for your continued confidence in the Benefits Department of the Crane Agency.  Please do not hesitate to contact your agent or service representative with any additional questions.

Crane Agency – February Wellness Newsletter, HR Brief, Benefits Buzz & Compliance Updates

opens in a new windowFebruary 2017 – Live Well Work Well Newsletteropens PDF file

opens in a new windowFebruary 2017 – Benefits Buzz – Crane Agencyopens PDF file

opens in a new windowFebruary 2017 – HR Brief – Crane Agencyopens PDF file

opens in a new window2017 Employee Benefits Compliance Chart Notice & Disclosureopens PDF file

Please find attached your February Wellness Newsletter from The Charles L. Crane Agency.  The Live Well, Work Well newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finance. This month’s issue provides heart disease prevention strategies in honor of American Heart Month, highlights the dangers of e-cigarettes and lists three tips for hosting a safe Super Bowl party.

You will also find attached this month’s Benefits Buzz and HR Brief.  This month’s Benefits Buzz provides an overview of the 21st Century Cures Act (Act), explains the highlights of the Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2018 and discusses the latest developments with the Republican lawmakers’ proposed budget resolution that would repeal parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  This month’s HR Brief gives five examples of over-the-phone tax scams to avoid, provides an overview of employee leave-sharing and donation programs, and explains how two technology industry leaders are changing the way employers recruit talent.

We have also included an updated 2017 Compliance Chart highlighting Notice and Disclosure rules.  Thank you for your continued confidence in the Benefits Department of the Crane Agency.  Please do not hesitate to contact your agent or service representative with any additional questions.

Crane Agency – January Wellness Newsletter, HR Brief & Benefits Buzz

opens in a new windowJan 2017 – Live Well Work Well Newsletteropens PDF file
opens in a new windowJan 2017 – Benefits Buzz – Crane Agencyopens PDF file
opens in a new windowJan 2017 – HR Brief – Crane Agencyopens PDF file

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Please find attached your January Wellness Newsletter from Crane Agency.  The Live Well, Work Well newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finance. This month’s issue includes a summary of how the New Year may impact your benefits, explains the difference between making a lifestyle change focused New Year’s resolution versus a quick change focused resolution and offers information on National Blood Donor Month.

You will also find attached this month’s Benefits Buzz and HR Brief.  This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the latest developments with the overtime rule delay, highlights the delayed ACA reporting deadlines and provides a brief overview of President-elect Donald Trump’s plan for his first 100 days in office.  This month’s HR Brief explains the significance of the DOL overtime rule being blocked, offers suggestions for handling post-election tension in the office and provides insight for retaining millennial workers.

Thank you for your continued confidence in the Benefits Department of the Crane Agency.  Please do not hesitate to contact your agent or service representative with any additional questions.

Crane Agency – December Wellness Newsletter, HR Brief & Benefits Buzz

opens in a new windowDecember 2016 – Live Well Work Well Newsletteropens PDF file
opens in a new windowDecember 2016 – Benefits Buzzopens PDF file
opens in a new windowDecember 2016 – HR Briefopens PDF file

Please find attached your December Wellness Newsletter from Crane Agency.  The Live Well, Work Well newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finance. This month’s issue includes a summary of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Safe Sleep guidelines, information on how positive relationships with your co-workers can improve your health and tips for reducing holiday stress.

You will also find attached this month’s Benefits Buzz and HR Brief.  This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the increased premium costs of the 2017 Marketplace, introduces the new flexible spending account (FSA) limits for 2017 and provides a brief overview of the 2016 election and its potential impact on compliance issues. This month’s HR Brief gives an overview of the IRS retirement updates, summarizes the report of decreasing workplace injuries and illnesses and offers suggestions on how to protect your business from cyber-crime.

Thank you for your continued confidence in the Benefits Department of the Crane Agency.  Please do not hesitate to contact your agent or service representative with any additional questions.

Crane Agency – November Wellness Newsletter, HR Brief & Benefits Buzz

opens in a new windowHow the 2016 Election Could Affect Healthcareopens PDF file
opens in a new windowNovember 2016 Live Well, Work Well Newsletteropens PDF file
opens in a new windowNovember 2016 HR Briefopens PDF file
opens in a new windowNovember 2016 Benefits Buzzopens PDF file

As you can imagine, there are a lot of questions after the 2016 Presidential Election.  We will do our best to keep you all updated but for now we have attached a piece that was put together prior to the election.  This article provides a brief overview of each candidate’s health care platform, so you can better understand how Trump may affect the employee benefits landscape now that he has been elected into office.

Please find attached your November Wellness Newsletter from The Charles L. Crane Agency.  The Live Well, Work Well newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finance. This month’s issue includes information on money-saving tips for prescription medications, a potential danger in your tap water and important updates on the 2016-2017 flu vaccine.

You will also find attached this month’s Benefits Buzz and HR Brief.  This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the EEOC’s finalized rules for employer-sponsored wellness programs, the 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey results and the DOL grants awarded to six states as part of the Disability Employment Initiative. This month’s HR Brief gives an overview of why covered employers must consider the FMLA when an employee requires leave under workers’ compensation, clarifies the changes effective Dec. 1 to the “white collar” exemption rules and informs employers of significant changes coming to EEO-1 reporting obligations.

Thank you for your continued confidence in the Benefits Department of the Crane Agency.  Please do not hesitate to contact your agent or service representative with any additional questions.

Crane Agency – October Wellness Newsletter, HR Brief & Benefits Buzz

opens in a new windowOctober 2016 – Live Well, Work Well Newsletteropens PDF file
opens in a new windowOctober 2016 – HR Briefopens PDF file
opens in a new windowOctober 2016 – Benefits Buzzopens PDF file

Welcome to the Crane Agency October Wellness Newsletter.

The Live Well, Work Well newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finances. This month’s issue includes information on how to prevent backpack-related injuries, safety tips for celebrating this Halloween with your child and prevention strategies to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

You will also find attached this month’s Benefits Buzz and HR Brief.  This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the approaching ACA reporting deadlines, the Marketplace’s “simple choice health plans” available for the 2017 enrollment period and the FLSA employer accommodation requirements for nursing mothers.  This month’s HR Brief gives an overview of calculating FMLA leave entitlement for employees who work overtime, alerts employers on forthcoming IRS ACA penalty liability letters, and also alerts employers about increased fines for Form I-9 paperwork violations.

On a regular basis we receive calls from clients seeking recommendations or guidance as you review opportunities to complement your Benefit offerings.  We simply wanted to remind you that on top of our robust portfolio of services provided we are happy to recommend vendors when it comes to:

  • Voluntary Worksite – Accident, CI, HI, Cancer, etc.
  • Key Person Life and/or DI
  • Payroll
  • FSA, HSA, Cobra, POP, TMA, etc.
  • Wellness/Population Health Management
    Tele-Medicine
  • Form 5500

Thank you for your continued confidence in the Benefits Department of the Crane Agency.  Please do not hesitate to contact your agent or service representative with any additional questions.

Crane Named St. Louis’ Largest Employee Benefits Firm by St. Louis Business Journal

Earlier this month, the St. Louis Business Journal released its list of the largest employee benefits firms in the local St. Louis area… and Crane came out as #1 on that list.

Crane currently has 104 local, full-time employee benefits employees, and hires a total of 245 people locally. The next company on the list employ 96 and 197, respectively. For the purposes of this ranking, “local” was defined as the area including St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren, Franklin, Washington and Jefferson counties and the city of St. Louis in Missouri, along with St. Clair, Madison, Jersey, Clinton, Calhoun, Macoupin, Bond and Monroe counties in Illinois.

Of course, size isn’t everything. All the companies on that list have to train and supervise those employees. And all need to work hard to provide great customer service. Still, we think that our size and presence in the area makes it clear: we are dedicated to the region.

Why Rank Employee Benefits Firms?

Let’s start with employee benefits. Your benefits package is your #1 tool for attracting and retaining your best talent. That means that all organizations should want to offer the best benefits they can…within budget, and with the least amount of administrative hassle.

There are certainly many agencies who can provide benefits management. Bigger agencies can take advantage of an economy of scale: they can offer more options, provide better customization and better consulting, and leverage more resources, all while staying competitive in terms of cost. Indeed, this has been an aim of the Crane Agency for decades.

Size, though, can be a double-edged sword. When people think of large corporations, they think of impersonal companies, rigid policies, and unhelpful people housed in silos. That’s why it’s important to look at the size of the local workforce. When your agents are from the same hometown area as you, they tend to care a little more.

The folks here at Crane wouldn’t be nearly as proud if we were the biggest provider of employee benefits, full stop. We are, however, ecstatic to be the biggest in the area in terms of the local workforce.

If you want to hear more about how and why we topped the list, contact us. We’d love the chance to prove that we aren’t just big– we’re personal, too.