Swift Kennedy Hires Chris Young

Swift Kennedy is pleased to announce the hiring of Chris Young as our Small Business Insurance Solutions Representative. Chris comes to Swift Kennedy with 12 years in the banking industry working with small businesses. He is passionate about ensuring that the needs of small businesses are met when they are offering group employee benefits & HR services. Chris will be responsible for the Mid-Atlantic region sales and services for Swift Kennedy’s Small Business Insurance Services Program.

Small Businesses’ insurance needs have often been under-served when it comes to group employee benefits. Swift Kennedy has created a benefits platform to give clients more services and access to programs that help attract and retain employees, as well as provide much-needed guidance and service for day-to-day insurance and HR needs. President & CEO, Jerry Calistri, says the addition of an SBIS department will give clients and prospective clients the resources they need to help better run their businesses. Often groups in the 2-20 employee market don’t have a dedicated HR or benefits staff member to administer these programs. Much of this is due to costs, but simply not having a staff member who understands the market, has time to educate staff, answers questions, and negotiates renewals is costing business owners much more in the long run. Our Small Business Insurance Solutions department addresses these issues for business owners. Chris has the right mindset and understanding to fully help small businesses enjoy a better benefits experience!

Swift Kennedy Welcomes Administrative Assistant

Casey Welby has been hired as an Administrative Assistant at the Scranton branch of Swift Kennedy & Associates, an insurance brokerage firm specializing in group employee benefits and senior insurance plans.

Ms. Welby’s previous work experience includes serving as the Lead Training Manager at Precision Software Innovations and working as a cosmetologist at All That Pizazz.

Ms. Welby graduated from Empire Beauty School in Moosic in 2002 and from Lackawanna Trail Junior-Senior High School in Factoryville in 2000.

Swift Kennedy helps businesses find affordable employee benefit plans, including medical, dental, vision, life, disability, and alternative funding options. This full-service agency works with all health insurance carriers in Pennsylvania and has offices in Scranton, Williamsport, DuBois, State College, Johnstown, and Virginia Beach.

How to Attract and Retain Good Workers

At a time when many business owners are having trouble filling job openings, more and more employers are realizing that offering better benefit packages might greatly assist their recruiting efforts. 

Studies have supported this approach over the years.  For example, a Ranstad US survey found that 66 percent of workers say that the biggest determining factor in choosing a job is the prospective employer’s benefit package.

Finding the Best Plans

But with so many employee benefit plans available, how can companies be confident that they have checked out all the options they can afford?

That’s where insurance brokerage firms come in.

“Insurance brokers help business owners get the biggest bang for their buck where benefits are concerned,” said Jerry Calistri, President and CEO of the insurance brokerage firm Swift Kennedy & Associates. 

“Agencies like ours shop around and compare the employee benefit plans offered by all the major insurance carriers in the region, and then we present employers with their best options,” he said.

Greener Pastures

While good benefit packages are vital in attracting the best workers, it is also critical for employees to recognize the value of their benefits after they have been hired, so that they are not tempted to join the many workers who have left jobs when they have found better benefits or perks elsewhere.

But employees need to understand their benefits in order to appreciate them.  So, how can employers help reduce employee confusion over benefit packages?

One very effective way for a business owner to help employees comprehend their benefits is to upgrade the company’s benefit administration by replacing its paper-based benefit system with a digital one.

Enhanced Benefit Experience

Not only do digital benefit platforms allow employees to have a clearer understanding of their choices, but they also help them to make better informed enrollment decisions by providing them with online support aids like plan comparison tools, cost calculators, provider directories, and videos, as well as online benefit summaries. 

In addition, these systems can speed up the benefit enrollment process, since digital platforms reduce the number of errors that are so common with manual applications.  As a result, employees often receive their insurance identification cards and other information more quickly, which most workers appreciate.

Furthermore, digital benefit administration enables employees to access their benefit information 24/7 year-round, a feature that is particularly valued by millennials and Gen Z employees.

Other Advantages

Digital benefit systems also offer employers tools that help with absence management, federal regulatory compliance, tax forms, bills, payroll integration, and other important aspects of human resources.  This allows a company’s HR staff to spend more time on employee training, professional development and engagement – all of which are popular with employees.

In addition, these systems allow employers to access claims data, which enables them to select the most appropriate benefit plans for their workers. “The combination of good benefit packages and digital systems that enhance employee benefit experiences not only helps business owners attract and keep the best workers, but it also enables them to concentrate less on recruitment and retention and more on what they do best – running their companies!” said Calistri.

Swift Kennedy Helps Companies with HR & Benefits Administration

The proliferation of vaccinations and recent easing of restrictions on some Pennsylvania businesses are giving hope to many local employers that they may soon be able to jumpstart their businesses and hire new employees or rehire old ones.

However, many business owners have learned a valuable lesson from this crisis – namely, that to operate successfully in a world of unpredictable lockdowns, they need to update their Human Resources and Benefits Administration systems.

That is one reason that so many companies are now turning to insurance brokerage firms like Swift Kennedy & Associates to help them streamline their systems and manage HR issues ranging from onboarding and employee education to terminations and COBRA administration.

Virtual HR/Benefits Administration

Swift Kennedy offers employers a virtual HR/Benefits platform that enables them to hold digital open enrollment meetings and to keep track of how far each employee has advanced in the enrollment process through an enrollment progress dashboard. 

This system also streamlines a company’s absence management and enhances both its benefit communications and employee education.  In addition, employers have access to Swift Kennedy’s benefit support team via webchat, video conference, phone, and email.

Employees appreciate the fact that this platform lets them use virtual plan comparison tools when selecting benefit packages and enrolling online.  They also like being able to view their benefits digitally 24/7 on both their computers and mobile devices.

Swift Kennedy’s other HR/Benefits services include day-to-day benefits administration (including claims assistance, billing support, enrollments, and terminations), COBRA administration, and access to a comprehensive digital library of HR and benefits information.

The agency also helps businesses find affordable medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance plans, as well as alternative funding options.  

“We pride ourselves on helping employers manage their HR and Benefit needs from start to finish,” said Jerry Calistri, Swift Kennedy’s President and CEO, who is a Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist.

Swift Kennedy, which specializes in group employee benefits and senior insurance plans, works with all health insurance carriers in Pennsylvania and has offices in State College, Williamsport, Scranton, DuBois, Johnstown, and Virginia Beach.

Swift Kennedy Volunteers Help Distribute Food

Employees of Swift Kennedy’s Scranton branch volunteered to assist with a food distribution program sponsored by the Scranton-based Keystone Mission at its Wilkes-Barre office on January 28.  Over 250 people received bags of food and clothing at this event.  The Swift Kennedy volunteers included William Fleming, Sr., Camille Holmes, and Jessica Smitchel.