Employee Navigator Licenses its 100th Broker Agency
Gaithersburg, MD - July 27, 2012 - Less than 11 months after offering our licensed product, Professional Enrollment, we are pleased to announce the sale of our 100th self-service professional license to an agency in southeastern Pennsylvania who represents 65 employers. Agencies with 2 - 250 employees representing over 25,000 businesses in 28 states across the country have begun installing Employee Navigator's agency branded solution with their clients.
Employee Navigator Aims to Help Agencies Compete With Exchanges
Gaithersburg, MD - July 17, 2012 - The Supreme Court's decision to not overturn the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means that insurance brokers will have 18-24 months to prepare for the new realities of Exchanges. Forward thinking brokers have already begun to put a fence around their clients by offering a platform such as Employee Navigator's, which will look and feel like an Exchange. "In reality, brokers are already providing an exchange that is a marketplace for their clients, but Health Care Reform is going to speed the technological changes” said George Reese, the CEO of Employee Navigator. "Prior to Health Care Reform, an agency sponsored platform was optional. Going forward, brokers who are competing against Exchanges in 2014 will need to look and act like one." The major difference between a private exchange run by a group insurance agency and a public exchange will be that the public exchanges will offer multiple insurance carriers to their employers. "If this was 1990, that would be material difference; however, health insurance is now a commodity. Unlike 1990 when offering a health plans required an analysis of physician penetration, plan exclusions, and maximums today most plans are just about the same due to state and federal regulations," added George. The value a broker is going to bring to the table is in designing a contribution formula and implementing it; that’s one thing a public exchange won't be able do.
Employee Navigator Launces SBC Support
Gaithersburg, MD - May 17, 2012 - Health Care Reform requires all employers offering health plans coverage to provide access to a federally standardized Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) notices. Beginning today, employers can upload and display their SBC Notices on Employee Navigator's communication and enrollment portal at no additional cost.
Employee Navigator Completes Payroll Integration
Gaithersburg, MD - February 3, 2012 - Employee Navigator has completed its integration process with two Execupay licensees in Florida and Philadelphia, allowing the payroll bureau's to leverage Employee Navigator's enrollment and communication portal. Employees can now view their paycheck on Employee Navigator's web and mobile platform while HR managers can view payroll details such as withholding allowances and deductions. "This provides the foundation to offer a truly integrated platform to brokers and payroll bureaus seeking to compete against ADP and Paychex" said George Reese, Employee Navigator's CEO. The integration also permits data changes in Employee Navigator's system to instantly update in payroll databases as well as in payroll deduction amounts. Employee Navigator's foundation can easily be leveraged to support other payroll platforms.
Employee Navigator Rolls Out its Professional Enrollment Platform & Begins Development of Agency Based Exchange
Gaithersburg, MD -September 21, 2011 - Aimed at leveling the playing field for small and mid-market agencies, Employee Navigator has taken their Enterprise Enrollment solution and removed the carrier file feeds. We have begun licensing our enrollment and communication engine to brokers for $2,500/yr for unlimited companies and employees. "We'll provide the software, you provide the service" is the tag line for the new product, which features self-service plan set-up for brokers. "Brokers can now set-up and manage their client enrollments without a third party. While we don’t think brokers are going to put all of their clients on our platform today, they will be testing the waters to see how their agencies might transform themselves into a private exchange" said George Reese, Employee Navigator's CEO. "We see a similar trend happening with enrollment platforms as we did with 401(k) and HR consulting services. In an effort to generate revenue and make their agencies sticky broker's began to market 401(k) services and subsequently HR support service to their clients, and we expect this trend will continue with agencies offering branded enrollment platforms. Employee Navigator will provide support for the services over the next 12 months as we evaluate our support model and see what happens when brokers start to use the nation's first affordable enrollment engine."
Employee Navigator launces HR & Broker Mobile Apps
Gaithersburg, MD - September 1, 2011 - Employee Navigator has updated the iPhone apps to include support for HR managers and brokers as we continue to roll out our industry leading mobile strategy. HR managers can now securely view virtually all of an employee's HR records including salary history and complete dependent records. Plan information is also available to see the enrollment data for each employee including their plans as well as dependent enrollment information. Finally, all of the benefit plan details are now available including plan level eligibility, premium rates, and contributions. Our broker app now supports all of these HR functions across their entire client base, giving brokers and HR managers the ability to get the answers they need to provide more accurate and timely information.
Employee Navigator Introduces App for iPhone
Gaithersburg, MD - April 29, 2011 - Today Employee Navigator unveiled its new iPhone Application, which lets brokers put real-time employee benefits data, HR information and other first of a kind tools in the hands of their clients' employees.
"This is truly the first tool of its type and are already working on our 2nd generation which will be a game changer. Three primary audiences that will get immediate benefits from using this application: HR managers, employees and the insurance brokers who manage employee benefits for their clients," said Employee Navigator's Chief Software Architect John Crowley.
HR managers will find this the most efficient way of putting up-to-date information about employee benefits right where it's easiest for employees to get to it - on their smartphone. In addition to benefits information, HR managers can also use the tool as a repository for other HR documents and information, and as a way to get that information to employees quickly with the added security of class based restrictions.
For employees, the new iPhone application means always having immediate access to really useful benefits information, such as contract numbers, benefit amounts, copayments, and insurance carrier contact numbers when problems or questions arise. Integration with Google Maps means finding the nearest pharmacy, lab or diagnostic imaging center is one tap of the touch screen away. "Unlike the other communication tools that have been introduced in the past - static websites, online enrollment tools - this is something that employees will go back to again and again throughout the year," Crowley said.
The iPhone app is free to use for brokers using Employee Navigator's "Essentials" broker software suite. The suite includes a web based benefit communication portal in addition to the iPhone application, document library, onboarding, a HR database for unlimited employees and Total Rewards statements. Employee Navigator will be adding more products to Essentials throughout 2011 with the objective of giving insurance brokers the tools they need to effectively compete with payroll providers. "Brokers, who have taken large revenue hits from health care reform in recent months, will find this tool will quickly go from being a nice service to offer to being something that you have to have if you're going to stay competitive, " Crowley added. "You want to be the first to show this to your clients and prospects, but even if you're not, you'll need to have access to it if you want to keep them from going somewhere else."
"The best part may actually be the pricing itself," Crowley said. "I really don't think there's an agency out there that can't afford it or afford to be without it." The application was introduced for the iPhone first and an Android version will be released shortly.
Employee Navigator Strengthens Staff
Gaithersburg, MD - April 11, 2011 - Employee Navigator announced the addition of a new members to the growing Employer Navigator team with the hiring of Kevin Wales. Kevin Wales has joined the Employee Navigator's software development team which is headed by John Crowley and brings with him extensive experience in enterprise systems for IBM, Accenture and Oracle, as well as mobile application development across multiple platforms. Kevin will focus his efforts on integrating Employee Navigators new payroll service with its proprietary benefits administration software as well as the development of mobile applications, the first of which will debut in April 2011.
Employee Navigator Begins Major Platform Expansion
Gaithersburg, MD - March 15, 2011 - Employee Navigator has embarked on a 12-month expansion of its proprietary software-as-a-service benefits administration platform. "We've had great success to date, and based on the feedback we've gotten from our broker partners and their clients, we've decided to expand on that success by adding services which employers have traditionally paid for, such as applicant tracking systems, at no cost," said Employee Navigator President and CEO George Reese.
"In addition to benefit administration and payroll services, we're adding a new product suite that we're calling Essentials, which features not only our current benefit communication portal, document library, Total Rewards statements, and so on, but other things that HR managers have asked for – like mobile applications, dependent audits, an integrated HR compliance resource, employee reviews, even an applicant tracking system."
"Unlike most systems which charge a per employee per month fee for each service used, our fees will be a flat fee per company regardless of the number of services used or employees loaded to the system. This pricing methodology for "Essentials" will allow brokers to give a suite of service to their clients at no cost and meets our objective to reduce costs by up to 80%," Reese said. In addition to the introduction of the Essentials suite of tools, Reese plans to fully integrate Employee Navigator's benefits administration services and new payroll platform as well. "It makes no sense for employers to have the same information in four or five different places," Reese said. The new services will be gradually released over the next 12 months with the major features released by the fall.
Payroll Services Added to Employee Navigator Suite of Tools
Gaithersburg, MD - January 1, 2011 - Employee Navigator is pleased to announce the addition of a payroll solution to its suite of technology tools for insurance brokers and their clients. The company now offers payroll services using Execupay, a payroll engine which is used by more than 150 licensees throughout all 50 states and pays over 1 million employees not only in the United States but also in 25 foreign countries.
"Payroll is a critical piece of the solutions puzzle for insurance brokers today, not only because health care reform has reduced revenues, but because payroll is the central data repository the information that employers and insurance brokers need to access to better care for employees," said George Reese, President and CEO of Employee Navigator. "It's also a defensive tool as more and more payroll vendors are entering the brokerage business. If you don't have payroll, chances are you'll lose your best clients to someone who does."
Employee Navigator plans to begin pulling data from the payroll system into the company's current benefits administration software and mobile app (currently in development), and to fully integrate payroll and benefits administration before the end of 2011.
Employee Navigator Integrates Benefits Admin, FSA and COBRA
Gaithersburg, MD - September 2, 2010 - Employee Navigator is pleased to announce a partnership with HFS Financial to provide large employer groups (100+ employees) with integrated employee benefits administration, flexible spending account and COBRA administration services – all at a single price point.
"We're excited about this arrangement because historically large-group brokers and their clients have struggled in this area. Different platforms could not communicate with each other, and the redundancies and expenses were incredible. Our benefits administration technology makes bringing these pieces together easy, and our pricing structure is guaranteed to reduce expenses and headaches for large-group brokers and for their clients," said Employee Navigator President and CEO George Reese.
HFS Financial is a full-service provider of administrative services including Section 125 plans, Premium Conversion Plans, Flexible Spending Accounts, Transportation Plan, Health Savings Accounts, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, and COBRA Administration. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, HFS Financial has been delivering excellent service and technical advice to clients since 1996.
Employee Navigator Introduces New Onboarding Service
Gaithersburg, MD - December 16, 2009 - Employee Navigator has released a new service to support the evolving concept of "onboarding new employees" as an extension of the current paperless benefit enrollment process. The service allows HR managers to create virtual "task lists" to assist in the completion of new hire paperwork. New hires can now be presented with a list of documents to complete and return and return to HR. The system then tracks the status of each requirement, with time and date stamps for audit purposes. For items that do not need to be returned to HR - an employee handbook, for example – the system tracks the employee's receipt of the document online.
"Onboarding is a lot more than the old ‘employee orientation' of the past," said Employee Navigator President and CEO George Reese. "It's not just a way to manage paperwork, but more importantly it's a tool for quickly turning new employees into productive members of their workgroups."
Employee Navigator Opens New Office
Gaithersburg, MD - April 29, 2009 - In order to better accommodate its increasing number of client groups and growing staff, Employee Navigator has opened an operations center in Hagerstown, MD. The office will house the client service and implementation teams, in addition to being responsible for insurance carrier relationship management.
The teams are led and largely staffed by veteran benefits specialist who worked with President and CEO George Reese at his former company, FlexAmerica, which was acquired by PayFlex in 2007.
iPower is now Employee Navigator
Gaithersburg, MD - February 4, 2009 -On Friday, February 6, 2009, iPower will be changing its name to Employee Navigator. Our new name better reflects our vision of helping brokers, employers and employees navigate the increasing complexities of employee benefits.
iPower, which was founded by Walter Hill, made a strategic decision last fall to improve the quality of the services and expand the services offered to brokers and employers. As part of the expansion efforts, it became evident we needed to separate iPower's Benefit Administration services from Alexander Randolph to create a new, independent company focused on providing Benefit Administration services exclusively through brokers.
Chief Software Architect Hired
Gaithersburg, MD - October 15, 2008 -Employee Navigator today announced the appointment of John Crowley as chief software architect. John is responsible for the overall software development and QA of Employee Navigator's enterprise systems. John's expertise in Open Source Software and rapid development methodologies enable Employee Navigator to develop software that adjusts to demanding timelines and changing requirements .
Prior to joining Employee Navigator, John spent 11 years as a Lead Software Engineer at AOL. His responsibilities included development of infrastructure, authentication systems, and parental controls products. Prior to joining AOL, John worked at ADP developing analytic software. John graduated from St. Josephs University in 1991 with a degree in international relations.
George Reese, III Appointed as President & CEO
Gaithersburg, MD - September 3, 2008 -George Reese was appointed President and CEO of Employee Navigator, LLC effective October 1, 2008. Mr. Reese brings significant employee benefit industry, TPA and software design expertise to Employee Navigator as the company continues to expand in the benefit administration field. Throughout his career in the employee benefits business, George has focused on developing pioneering products and services to meet the rapidly evolving needs of employers. He has an exceptional track record of understanding needs and developing cost effective solutions. Prior to founding Employee Navigator, George was the founder and CEO of FlexAmerica, Inc. which was acquired by PayFlex in 2007. FlexAmerica was an independent administrator of consumer based healthcare, transportation and COBRA benefits servicing employers with 2-50,000 employees serving over 1.2 million eligible employees. George's pioneering use of debit card technologies, web based self-service portals, BPO services in India and benefits expertise enabled FlexAmerica to grow into one of the largest providers in the U.S. all while maintaining over 97% customer satisfaction.
Prior to founding FlexAmerica, George was a partner at CompDesign, an employee benefit brokerage agency which was acquired in 2002 to allow him to focus on FlexAmerica. George received his BA from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. George is also Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Registered Employee Benefit Consultant (REBC) Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) and is a Certified Flex Consultant (CFC).