Julie Jennings is vice president of employee benefits with the Sylvia Group of Insurance Agencies, based in Dartmouth, Mass. She recently became certified through the National Association of Health Underwriters new professional development course on the Affordable Care Act and serves as regional vice president on the NAHU Board of Trustees. She is also a past president of the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters. Heres a glimpse at a day in her life:
I look at the clock, nudge my husband to get ready for his ski trip to New Hampshire (Oh the life of a retiree!) and decide I need to start my day as well.
Fully dressed for work except for the shoes. I put my sneakers on and take our Airedale terrier, Gracie, for a brisk 30-minute walk before I leave for the office.
Changed into heels, breakfast in hand (clementine and a slice of peanut butter toast), lunch salad and work files packed up, Im off! I stop at Uncle Jons for my usual latte.
At the office, I check through email and complete my last minute preparations for morning meetings. We have a 50th birthday celebration for our CEO at 8:30 a.m., but shes late arriving. I decide to wait for her. A quick call to my client to say Im running late is met with understanding, but I will be looking for those lost minutes for the rest of the day!
At my clients office we complete the employer application and review employee enrollments for a new disability plan. We spend considerable time discussing how to define earnings for their commissioned sales people, hourly employees and bonus-eligible managers. Whisking everything into my folder, I get back in my car and make a quick call to my 10 a.m. appointment to let her know Im running 10 minutes late.
We have my clients employees assembled in the conference room to hear about their new health plan and a new wellness incentive. I remind everyone about the upcoming deadlines for flex spending plan enrollment and their 2013 fitness reimbursement benefit submissions. Everyone seems enthusiastic and appreciative we were able to hold payroll costs level for the coming year. An employee approaches me with claim issues shes seeking my advice on. I ask for copies of the claim and a HIPAA release so that I can intervene on her behalf.
Phone meeting with another client. Were trying to round out their employee benefits with a disability insurance plan, but I express my concern for getting required participation results. We decide its best to review the options in-person and schedule a meeting for Friday. I pick up my voicemail messages and make a few follow-up calls and emails.
Back at Uncle Jons coffee shop to meet with a contractor who was referred by another client. With only two employees, weve agreed he will just pay an advisory fee for my services. I show him another plan option with his current insurer which results in over $7,000 annual savings for the two families, with little increase in out-of-pocket medical costs. We agree on an action plan, sign some papers and I promise to send him additional plan information in the morning.
At church in the kitchen. Were preparing a meal for tonights Alpha class of about 25 people. Were setting tables, slicing bread, making coffee, pouring drinks and wishing for some wine.
Home again. My husband is resting in his recliner after a great day of skiing. I pour myself a big glass of ice water, nestle into the corner of the sectional and remember my laptop is still out in the car oh well, who needs it anyway? I watch the end of Rick Steves Europe on PBS, wondering aloud if we might get to Italy again sometime.
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