The Excelsior Group offers a complete line of insurance and financial products and services ranging from life and disability income to group life and health insurance. These products and services are designed to provide solutions to your personal and business financial needs, including:
Group Insurance / Benefits
Group Insurance / Benefits
Many businesses today face challenges in attracting and retaining top employees. As a business owner, you know the importance of employee benefits and their contribution to your business success. We will work with you to develop a program tailored to your individual circumstances.
401(k) Retirement Plans
401(K) plans are tax-deferred retirement savings plans for employees. The employer sets them up and each company has a slightly different 401(k). They are part of a family of retirement plans known as "defined contribution" plans - the amount contributed is defined by the employer or the employee.
When you join a 401(K) plan, you tell your employer how much money you want to contribute to your account. This amount is deducted from your salary before taxes are applied, so you pay less income tax. More importantly, the money is deducted even before you have received it, making it the easiest savings plan to contribute to. Your employer may match a portion of your contribution. The money is invested by the plan administrator (on your behalf) in mutual funds, bonds, money market accounts, etc. You decide the mix of investments. They usually have a list of investment vehicles you can choose from as well as some guidelines for the level of risk you are willing to take. Since the plan is an incentive for retirement savings, there is one condition: if you withdraw the money before you are 59½ years old, you will have to pay tax as well as a 10% penalty fine to the IRS.
Buy / Sell Protection
If you have a partner in business, you have a need for insurance so that in the event of death or disability, you can buy out your partner's interest without having to take out a loan or liquidate company assets. This is also important where children and taxes are involved.
Dental Insurance is one of the benefits most requested by employees. Many employers provide dental insurance for their employees, but a growing number of employers are offering this as a voluntary benefit that is paid 100% by the employee through payroll deductions. Most dental plans provide full coverage with a 100% benefit for preventive exams & cleanings, an 80% benefit for basic services such as fillings and root canals, and 50% benefit for major services and prosthodontics such as dentures, crowns, etc.
Some dental insurance companies provide a dental buy-up plan which allows the employer to purchase a base plan, while employees purchase additional benefits as needed. Another newer option for dental insurance is a dual option plan that allows each employee to choose a basic plan or a more comprehensive plan based on his needs. This is a voluntary benefit, which means that each employee gets the coverage he needs for himself and his family.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Employer-sponsored flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are benefit plan arrangements that allow employees to pay for certain health care or dependent care expenses on a pre-tax basis. There are two FSA options. A Health Care FSA is an alternate way of paying your share of your health care costs. In the same manner, a Dependent/Child Care FSA reimburses you for expenses for dependents and childcare which are necessary to allow you and your spouse to work.
When you create an FSA, you choose to have a specific amount of your annual salary withheld from your paycheck and deposited to your FSA. These withholdings are on a pre-tax basis. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) are benefit options designed to increase your disposable income by reducing the amount of taxes you pay. An FSA enables you to use pretax dollars to pay for qualified health care expenses which are not reimbursed under any health care plan or insurance plan, while a Dependent Care FSA pays for your qualified dependent/child care expenses. However, FSA funds are not interchangeable.
Flexible spending accounts offer significant tax advantages. Employees do not pay federal income, state income, or FICA taxes on the salary they contribute to a FSA plan. Employers, in turn, do not pay matching FICA (7.65%) and FUTA taxes because employees' gross incomes are significantly reduced. A health care FSA, which allows employees to pay co-payments and deductibles with tax-free dollars, can go a long way to helping employees shoulder their share of the burden. FSAs are excellent tools for employees in savings significant tax dollars especially in this day of rising health care costs.
At The Excelsior Group, we are committed to health insurance for our commercial customers who need group coverage for their employees.
With the changing face of health insurance in today's market, we at The Excelsior Group are staying abreast of the latest developments that will affect the coverage you expect as well as the cost impact upon you.
Life insurance is an integral part of most employee benefits packages. When provided by an employer, employees appreciate the value of life coverage and the additional security it provides to their families.
Employers have a wide variety of optional plan designs to customize a Group Life plan. Optional coverages include Voluntary Life insurance, Supplemental Life coverage, Accidental Death and Dismemberment policies, and Dependent Life insurance. The premium paid for Group Life is generally a business deduction, and this stand-alone contract is usually less expensive than the life coverage provided with medical insurance.
A Group Vision plan is especially attractive for employers because it is inexpensive to offer, yet it's another employee favorite. This is a separate plan that provides coverage for eye exams and/or for frames, lenses and contact lenses. Many times the basic health plan may provide for routine eye examinations. However, it will usually not provide any benefit for frames, lenses or contact lenses; this is where a separate group vision benefit would be used.
Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)
A Health Reimbursement Arrangement is a tax-advantaged benefit that allows both employees and employers to save on the cost of healthcare.
HRA plans are employer-funded medical reimbursement plans. The employer sets aside a specific amount of pre-tax dollars for employees to pay for health care expenses on an annual basis. Based on the plan design, HRAs can generate significant savings in overall health benefits.
The primary requirements for an HRA are that (1) the plan must be funded solely by the employer and cannot be funded by salary reduction, and (2) the plan may only provide benefits for substantiated medical expenses.
HRAs may be designed in many fashions to suit the specific needs of the employer and employees. It is one of the most flexible types of employee benefit plans making it very attractive to most employers.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
A Health Savings Account (HSA) helps you save money on health care. By making you a part of the medical services decision process, HSAs are designed to help you manage medical expenses and reduce the continuing raising of health care expenses. Equally as important, the money you save remains part of your retirement account, even if you leave your present employer. You can also save the money in your account and grow your account through investment earnings. Funds in the account can grow tax-free through investment earnings, just like an IRA In short, if you don’t use all the money in your HSA for medical expenses, it can accumulate as tax-free savings for your retirement. One final benefit, HSAs can pay for many more procedures than were ever allowed before by government sponsored programs. Health Savings Accounts help you save money on unavoidable expenses and build investment savings for your retirement.
Account funds are used to cover medical expenses before the plan deductible has been met. Unspent account balances accumulate and accrue interest from year-to-year. Unlike amounts in Flexible Spending Accounts that are forfeited if not used by the end of the year, unused funds remain available for use in later years. Once the health plan’s annual deductible has been met, coverage resembles conventional insurance, typically in the form of a preferred provider organization (PPO) with little-to-no cost sharing for in-network services, and limits on total out-of-pocket costs.
Key Person Coverage
Your key employees are your most valuable business asset. Their skill, knowledge and experience are your real profit makers. Without them, the success and growth of your business could be in jeopardy. Key employee insurance is designed to protect your business from the adversities associated with the loss of a key employee, manager or executive. The death or disability of a key employee could result in a substantial financial loss due to hiring and training a replacement, lost sales, and/or slowed production.
Long-Term Care (LTC)
Long-Term Care is the type of care received either at home or in a facility, when someone needs assistance with activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing due to an accident, an illness or advancing age.
Rising life expectancy means that the potential need for "long-term care" grows with every passing year of your life. The likelihood is that you or a member of your family will need long-term assistance due to a prolonged illness, a disability, or general deterioration of your health and ability to perform routine daily activities. Most long term care expenses are not covered by Social Security or Medicare, Medicare Supplement ("Medigap"), or private health insurance. Medicaid pays for nearly half of all nursing home care, but you must meet federal poverty guidelines and may have to "spend down" most of your assets on health care.
Long-Term Disability (LTD)
In the event that an accident or illness prevents an employee from working for an extended period of time, the financial impact can be severe for the employee and employers. Long Term Disability (LTD) protection is designed to help cover the employee's expenses while their regular income is interrupted. Flexible plan design options and benefit alternatives are available to meet specific needs. This valuable protection is available with low-cost, tax-deductible premiums.
Short-Term Disability (STD)
A steady income is essential for most people. If an accident or illness interrupts that income, it affects both the employee and employer. Short Term Disability (STD) protection is designed to replace a portion of the wages lost when a short term disability occurs. An affordable, flexible STD plan can provide needed benefits to both the employer and employee.