Blue Sky Contracting, LLC
We asked customers a series of questions about their experience with the AGC Alternative program.
Here’s what one firm had to say:
What employee benefits did you offer your employees prior to implementing the AGC Alternative?
Blue Sky Contractors did not have a traditional health care plan before the AGC Alternative. The owner has done a wonderful job of organizing a skilled and talented workforce for his company by hiring employees that were looking to make a change or attracting employees that were previously self-employed. During the hiring process, health care was, of course, a major sticking point. Because we were reluctant to open ourselves up to a plan and all that it entails, we dealt with the issue by providing a stipend’s or a raise in salary or hourly pay to compensate the employees for their health care costs.
What other employee benefits did you provide employees?
We offered short- and long-term disability and life insurance through national carriers. We had 100% employee participation in these plans.
Why were you “shopping” for health insurance when you reached out to the AGC Alternative?
As we’ve grown over the past five years, we realized that in order to reciprocate the respect and efforts we were getting from the employees in the field, we needed to offer the employees a sustainable health care option in return for their efforts.
In doing our research, we initially reached out to some local independent agents before contacting the AGC of America. There were three main reasons we ended up choosing the AGC Alternative. The first and most important was the trust, credibility, and resourcefulness that the AGC has always provided. Our company has always benefited greatly when using the member services the AGC provides, which is a necessity for a small construction company like ours. The second was choice. There is something for everyone all housed under the same roof with the AGC Alternative. There were multiple choices of medical plans, long and short-term disability coverage, life insurance, HSA’s, and COBRA administration… all streamlined through one source. The third was fiduciary responsibility. One of the hurdles a small company has to jump over is the prospect of finding the space internally to add another “hat”. The AGC Alternative is a great resource. Large companies could benefit as well by cutting the time the HR department spends on benefits administration.
What interested you/intrigued you about the AGC Alternative program? What made it attractive?
The fact that you can control costs by selecting a set dollar amount (defined contribution) that allows employees to do what they want with those dollars set aside was very attractive.
One of the benefits of the AGC Alternative is simply how smooth the enrollment process is. As far as administering plan, the online enrollment process is invaluable. The enrollment was almost entirely taken care of by the AGC Alternative plan and they have an online tutorial that walks the employees through the enrollment process of choosing plans that are custom fit for each individual. There is not just one or two plan levels of deductibles, out of pocket cost, etc., but rather a breadth of coverage of different plans to fit each individual employee’s needs.
Has the AGC Alternative program made your life easier in any way? If so, how?
Once we began the enrollment process and educated employees, all that was left to do was write checks for the premiums. If we need to add an employee or move them over to COBRA, it can all be done quickly online and in one place. The AGC Alternative benefits specialist handle the rest.
There were two questions of concern regarding the move to the AGC Alternative. One was the change employees might experience with switching network health providers. This would have been a challenge no matter what carrier we may have chosen. The other was not having an agent in the vicinity to go over things with us. So far, neither of these have been an issue.
Would you recommend that other AGC member firms “take a look at” the AGC Alternative? If so, why?
Absolutely. We would recommend this to other AGC member firms. Once set up and in place, the program is streamlined in a way that is easy for employees to use and makes the administrative process more efficient for HR. All the pieces are in place to focus company attention away from HR output and puts the bulk of the work on the AGC Alternative.