Monthly Archives: July 2015

Get Ready for Marketplace Open Enrollment

FFM Agent & Broker Training for Plan Year 2016 Will be Available Through Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)-Approved Vendors and the CMS Marketplace Learning Management System (MLMS)
CMS is pleased to announce that, in addition to the plan year 2016 FFM agent and broker training provided by CMS that is launching on the new MLMS web platform later this summer, training will also be offered by a limited number of CMS-approved vendors to fulfill the FFM training requirement for agents and brokers registering participating in the Individual and/or SHOP Marketplaces.
To learn more about the upcoming years process, join their webinar: Plan Year 2016 Registration and Training for Agents and Brokers
These presentations provide an overview of the requirements and highlight changes since plan year 2015. Registration for the August 19 session from 1:00-2:30 PM ET is still available. If you wish to register for this session, please log in to https://www.regtap.info/ and complete the following steps:
Select “Training Events” from “My Dashboard.”
Select the “View” icon next to event Title “Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) Agent and Broker Plan Year 2016 Registration and Training Requirements.”
Select “Register Me.”

Benefits Network Acquires Somerset-based VCS Group Inc.

New consolidation makes Benefits Network one of the largest employee benefit firms in Western Pennsylvania and leading broker of UPMC and Highmark insurance product

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Benefits Network, a full service insurance firm in Wexford, Pa. has come to an agreement with Somerset-based VCS Group, to consolidate under the Benefits Network umbrella. The venture will make Benefits Network one of the largest employee benefit firms in Western Pennsylvania employing 26 people in their two locations. Benefits Network, driven by its expansive client base, will become one of the leading brokers of UPMC and Highmark insurance products in the region.

Benefits Network President David Straight says plans to consolidate operations have taken place over the last several months and were finalized Thursday, July 16. He expects a smooth transition, saying, “We have worked with VCS Group for the past decade and our employees are very familiar with each other. I’ve been impressed that both organizations share a similar culture where customer service and attention to detail is a priority.”

Benefits Network, now in its 17th year, is a perennial “Pittsburgh 100 Fastest Growing Firms” recipient and three times named as the #1 overall “Best Place to Work in Western PA.”

VCS Group Inc. was founded by Glenn E. Miller, Jr. in 1995. With 12 employees based in Somerset, the organization provides group and individual insurance products, employee benefit administration, health care reform consulting and employee education and support. In 2012, VCS Group opened Your Health Insurance Shop, a retail insurance store, to respond to the growing demand for individual health insurance brought on by the Affordable Care Act.

In coming weeks, the VCS Group name will be changed to Benefits Network and Your Health Insurance Shop will become a Benefits Network company continuing to serve the Medicare and individual health insurance market.

Miller, who plans to retire from VCS Group in the next several months, says, “This new venture brings tremendous benefits and enhancements to both our group and individual insurance customers.

Miller and Benefits Network President David Straight have worked with each other for many years and were both involved in forming E.MAP (Employers Medical Access Partnership) – a business coalition serving employers in Cambria, Somerset, Blair and Bedford counties.

Glenn Miller and David Straight
Glenn Miller and David Straight

Straight is Vice President of the board of directors for E.MAP and serves as Executive Director to two other coalitions – REHA (Regional Employers Health Alliance) serving employers in Washington, Westmoreland, Greene and Fayette counties and COG Care (Councils of Government) serving municipal government members in 29 counties in Western Pennsylvania.