Marcum LLP

Nonprofit & Social Sector - Employee Benefit Plans

Raffa - Marcum’s Nonprofit & Social Sector Group delivers employee benefit solutions that mitigate your risk and improve your efficiency through strategic review of your benefit program needs and objectives.

In today's turbulent economy, the question is not whether or not to review your benefit program, but rather how to ensure that your business has explored all opportunities for efficiencies and cost control. Finding an experienced advisor to overcome these challenges is critical to realizing your strategic employee benefit goals.

Specifically, we examine your needs and deliver:

  • Solutions-focused planning across all lines aimed at minimizing rising health care costs.
  • Comprehensive, straightforward claims analysis tools for strong cost control.
  • Program modeling tools to maximize your benefits investment while understanding employee utilization impacts.
  • Strategic communications and benefit delivery tools to improve employee involvement and satisfaction with valuable health care benefits.

During the last 12 years, we have supported more than 400 corporate clients - proof of our effectiveness in delivering sound benefit solutions.

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Related Services:      EBP Strategic Planning   |   Comprehensive Wellness   |   Compliance   |   Voluntary Benefits   |   Employee Communications   |   EBP Management   |   EBP Audits

EBP Strategic Planning

Competitive employee benefits packages are essential for attracting and retaining quality employees, but continuing to offer them can be tough with the rising cost of health care squeezing an already tight budget.

Cutting benefits may seem like a necessary reality for some companies, but could have serious long-term consequences. Retaining employees throughout these rocky economic times is vital so that your company remains competitive and positioned favorably in its industry when the economy rebounds. One remedy could be implementing a strategic benefit plan, which will help you find ways to contain or even cut costs while still offering competitive benefits.

What is a strategic benefit plan?
A strategic benefit plan is a three-to-five-year plan crafted by you and your Marcum representative that outlines goals, strategies and action plans in regards to your employee benefits program. In creating the plan, you and your broker will strategically analyze ways to contain costs through various plan improvements. This approach is a methodical and logical long-term approach to benefit planning, as opposed to making decisions year to year, and will provide a well-thought-out road map for your future benefits.

What are the benefits of implementing one?
At the company level, creating a strategic benefit plan will help greatly with internal budget planning and can also be incorporated into your corporate strategic plan. This will bring HR and employee benefits into larger strategic conversations and ensure that a competitive benefits package continues to be available.

Employees will also see the benefit of a strategic benefit plan in many ways. First of all, by finding ways to cut and contain costs for the company, the employee will likely reap some of the savings as well. In addition, this type of plan will provide assurance for employees worried about their benefits. Next to job security, employees worry most about their benefits and compensation, namely that they could be reduced or cut at any time. Studies have shown that workplace morale is strongly linked to the quality of employee benefits, so reassuring employees that their benefits will continue is a beneficial move for companies. The strategic benefits plan can include an employee communication initiative, which will keep employees informed and assured on the future status of their benefits package.

Comprehensive Wellness

The numbers don't lie.

  • More than 70% of claims are lifestyle related.
  • Indirect costs of poor employee health are 2 to 3 times greater than direct medical costs.
  • More than 97% of current wellness programs are ineffective.

Best Practices when Developing a Wellness Plan

The Wellness Council of America (WELCOA), an organization dedicated to the promotion of worksite wellness, has identified seven best practices ("The Seven Benchmarks") for employers to follow when building a comprehensive, effective worksite wellness program within their organization.

Improving and enhancing your employees' lives will not only decrease health care costs, but it will have an even larger impact on productivity and the profitability of your company. We will deliver the resources your company needs to effectively create and manage a comprehensive wellness program.

Comprehensive Wellness

Capture senior-level support.
A commitment from the top is critical to the success of any wellness initiative. Management must understand the benefits of the program for both the employees and the organization, and be willing to commit sufficient funding. Link health promotion to business goals, values and strategic priorities, and emphasize improved employee productivity and health care cost savings.

Create a wellness team.
Wellness teams should include a cross-section of people from all levels of your company to ensure broad ownership of the program, help garner buy-in from the rest of the company and make sure the program is responsive to the needs of all participants. These individuals will drive program development, implementation and evaluation.

Collect data that will drive your health initiatives.
Once your team is in place and management is on board, it is time to gather baseline data to help assess employee health interests and risks, which will guide you in crafting your program. This process may involve a survey of employee interest in various health initiatives, health risk assessments (HRAs) and claims analysis to determine current employee disease risk.

Craft an annual operating plan.
An annual operating plan is important for your program's success and should include a mission statement along with specific, measurable short- and long-term goals and objectives. Your program is also more likely to succeed if it is linked to one or more of the company's strategic initiatives, as it will have a better chance of maintaining management support. A written plan also provides continuity when members of the wellness committee change and is instrumental in holding the team accountable to the goals, objectives and timeline agreed upon.

Choose appropriate health initiatives.
The health initiatives that you choose should flow naturally from your data (survey, HRA aggregate report, claims) and be cohesive with your goals and objectives. They should address prevailing risk factors in your employee population and be in line with what both management and employees want from the wellness program.

Create a supportive environment.
A supportive environment provides employees with encouragement, opportunity and rewards. A culture of health might have such features as healthy food choices in the vending machines, a no-smoking policy and flexible work schedules that allow workers to exercise. Also, your workplace should celebrate and reward health achievements and have a management team that models healthy behavior. Most importantly, be sure to involve employees in every aspect of the wellness program from its design and promotion to its implementation and evaluation.

Consistently evaluate your outcomes.
Evaluation involves taking a close look at your goals and objectives to determine whether you achieved your desired result. Evaluation allows you to celebrate goals that have been achieved and to discontinue or change ineffective initiatives.



There are countless rules and regulations governing employee benefit plans, many of which are complex.

We will help you meet your compliance obligations and keep you up to date on laws and regulations that affect your employee benefits program. We provide our clients with:

Legislative Briefs: Our easy-to-read articles summarize recent federal legislative developments in insurance and employee benefits.

Legislative Guides: Gain access to a Client Portal to find answers to your common questions. Clients will also find the forms that needed to meet their everyday compliance needs. Specific topics include:

  • Health Care Reform.
  • COBRA.
  • FMLA.
  • HIPAA.
  • ERISA.
  • Section 125.


Voluntary Benefits

As health care costs continue to rise, so has the increased demand for voluntary benefits.

Since many employers find it increasingly difficult to provide employees with a complete benefit package, and employees need new ways to supplement their core benefits, voluntary benefits have become an ideal solution. Voluntary benefits allow employer to offer benefits that are attractive to employees, but without added cost to the company. Employees benefit because they have a variety of insurance options available conveniently in one place, and often with lower premiums than individual policies they would have bought themselves.

What are voluntary benefits?

Voluntary benefits are coverages and products made available to employees for elective purchase. These innovative programs have four key characteristics. They are:

  • 100 percent employee-paid.
  • conveyed through an employer.
  • solicited and enrolled by a carrier or enrollment firm.
  • paid for automatically through payroll deductions..

Because of their cost efficiency and portability, as well as their contribution to an employee's work–life balance, voluntary benefits are increasingly becoming a central component of many companies' overall benefits strategies.

What are some common voluntary benefits?

  • Permanent life insurance.
  • Disability income insurance.
  • Accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D).
  • Supplemental health insurance.
  • Long-term care insurance.
  • Retiree medical insurance.
  • Dental/vision insurance.
  • Auto/homeowners' insurance.
  • Prepaid legal services.
  • Pet health insurance.
  • Identity theft insurance.
  • Computer purchase programs.
  • Adoption assistance.

Why should employers consider expanding to include voluntary benefits?

  • Trends show employees have strong, emotional appeal toward these benefits and have come to expect them.
  • Usually there are no fees or costs to employers.
  • Complement goals of most corporate work-life programs.
  • Offer easy implementation (most do not have legal and regulatory issues associated with insurance benefits).
  • Require little post-implementation administration or support​.

Employee Communications

Employees need to understand their benefits in order to be wise consumers.

We have the resources to help our clients overcome all of their communication challenges and educate employees on their benefit options so they can make informed decisions.

Our Tools for Your Success

Benefits Announcements
We have memos, flyers, payroll stuffers and articles for our clients to use to annouce and explain current benefit offerings.

Benefits Statements
Help employees understand their "hidden paycheck" with custom benefits statements.

Consumer-Directed Health Care (CDHC) Resources
Empower employees to be the directors of their health and medical care. We have everything our clients need to do so—flyers, articles, payroll stuffers, emails and posters.

Monthly Newsletters
Keep employees healthy, well and safe with our monthly Live Well, Work Well newsletter. Flyers are also available for targeting specific health conditions.

Retirement Education
Ensure that employees are financially fit and ready for retirement with our communication pieces.


Employee Benefits Program Management

Marcum has managed employee benefit programs for hundreds of employer groups in an effort to keep costs below comparable levels experienced by other employers.

As the employee benefits arena continues to change, we have remained ahead of the game. With leading-edge technology, we obtain meaningful information that helps us evaluate cost drivers, trends and savings opportunities associated with our clients' benefits programs. In addition, we work to evaluate the impact of future plan changes.

We provide employer groups with tools that will offer consistent year-to-year data, reporting formats and comparative benchmarks. This highly meaningful – yet understandable – information enables us to work together with your data in a continuous, interactive manner as plan management issues arise.

Employee Benefit Plan Audits

Marcum has been providing employee benefit plan audit services for more than 25 years.

We understand the complexity of employee benefit plans and the numerous regulatory requirements. Our team of dedicated professionals possesses the specialized knowledge and experience to help ensure compliance with the appropriate standards and changes in regulations that may impact your organization's employee benefit plan and audit.

Our staff have extensive expertise in the accounting, auditing standards and regulations governing employee benefit plans, including resolution of matters with the Department of Labor, IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

We provide full-scope and limited-scope audits for single and multi-employer plans that include:

  • 401(k) and 401(a).
  • 403(b).
  • Defined Benefit.
  • Money Purchase.
  • Profit Sharing.
  • Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) plans.
  • Health and Welfare Plans.
Employee Benefit Plan Audits

As a member of the AICPA's Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, we are committed to adhering to the highest quality standards. We have a senior partner designated and responsible for our Employee Benefit Plan Audit Practice; we have established quality control and training programs; we have internal and external inspections and we participate in the EBPAQC events.


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