Colchester’s Benefit Group merges with Digital Insurance of Atlanta

first_imgDigital Insurance Inc. (www.digitalinsurance.com(link is external)), the nation’s leading employee benefits agency specializing in insurance for small businesses and mid-sized companies, has merged with The Benefit Group of New England LLC (BGNE), based in Colchester. The regional firm’s owners and all staff members will continue operating the company and clients will have access to more robust resources, sophisticated technology, price advantages and proprietary solutions available through Digital’s national platform.‘The new relationship with BGNE is part of our company’s continuing growth strategy to partner with leading agencies throughout the United States that have strong community roots,’ says Adam Bruckman, president and chief executive officer of Digital Insurance. ‘Digital gains experienced leaders with regional insights and relationships that cannot be easily replicated. At the same time, BGNE acquires resources and tools to help them prosper and better meet employer needs, particularly during this era of health care reform.’‘This partnership is the next step in our evolution and delivers tremendous advantages to our clients,’ says BGNE partner Deb Loughlin. ‘No other employee benefits agency in our region has the capabilities we now offer.’ New services include compliance assistance, in-depth communications and resources related to health care reform. In addition, employers benefit from access to a Customer Advocate Center which handles individual employee calls, an online Benefits Resource Center to assist with human resource issues and an online Wellness Management Center to help create a healthier workforce.‘The relationship with Digital also provides our firm with an optimal platform for continued growth,’ says BGNE partner Bob Gaydos. ‘We’ve been expanding into new municipalities in Vermont, New Hampshire and upstate New York, and this accelerates our plans to open a new office in Fort Myers, Fla.’Founded in 1990 and based in Colchester, Vt., BGNE is a group insurance agency and employee benefits consulting firm serving more than 300 New England and northern New York employers. With an annual growth rate of 23 percent over the last decade, the firm has experienced tremendous success and has a reputation for its progressive approach to creating benefits strategic plans that deliver long-term advantages for employer groups.Digital is in an aggressive growth mode and pursuing four specific revenue strategies in the small and medium business market (SMB) during 2011:Agency Acquisition: Digital recruits a top-performing firm’s entire employee benefits portfolio and retains its personnel to deploy a local market solution. Agencies gain a cash infusion, while clients experience enhanced service.P&C Growth Acquisition: Digital acquires and manages the agency’s employee benefits segment, freeing the P&C firm to focus on core business and/or pursue strategic growth plans.Block Acquisition: Digital purchases a block of the agency’s employee benefits book — often smaller accounts. This arrangement enables firms to grow more profitable business, and clients benefit from a more advanced service platform.Digital also is pursuing partnerships in which the local agency retains its customers. Through a shared commission arrangement, Digital manages a specified portion — or all — of the employee benefits business. Firms working with the company in this capacity are interested in growth and gaining efficiencies to better service their more profitable clients.About Digital InsuranceDigital Insurance is the nation’s leading employee benefits agency specializing in insurance for small businesses and mid-sized companies. The firm’s national footprint, technology, resources and benefits expertise help customers control costs and simplify the health care journey. Digital levels the playing field for employers and employees, delivering the same advantages experienced by large organizations. Respected for its industry leadership and responsive service by knowledgeable professionals, the privately owned company’s innovative solutions empower customers to navigate the complexities of health care reform and guide individuals to become better health care consumers. ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Digital Insurance Inclast_img read more

Courts fighting for adequate funding

first_img April 15, 2005 Senior Editor Regular News Courts fighting for adequate funding Courts fighting for adequate funding Jan Pudlow Senior Editor Stan Morris is chief judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit in Gainesville. But when he comes to Tallahassee, he trades his black robe for a suit and looks a lot like a lobbyist at the Capitol, as he assumes his role as chair of the Trial Court Budget Commission.On March 29, Judge Morris paused to give the News a status report on how things are shaping up so far with legislative funding of the court budget.“We haven’t been as successful as we’d like to be,” Morris said. “We are lined up on both sides to make another pitch for priorities.”One top priority is tackling a $2.5-million deficiency in the trial court budget. As Morris explained, the trial court budget is “very people-heavy in the sense most of our budget goes to salaries, and there is very little turnover.” Other branches of government, he said, are able to more readily adapt to lapses figured into the budget for hiring personnel.The court budget suffered from what he called “a series of inappropriate lapsed figures applied to our budget.”Last year, under the leadership of former TCBC Chair Judge Susan Schaeffer, of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, they were able to reduce that $2.5- million deficit to $1.7 million because of restrictions on hiring practices, he said.That means judges must hire judicial assistants and law clerks and other personnel at the base salaries—and that doesn’t always mean hiring the best candidate for the job.“Judges were used to having a 10-percent flex in that, so they could offer more than the base. We had to curtail that ability to hire good people,” Morris said.Another way they were able to save money last year was to instruct chief judges to hold off hiring anyone for 90 days.“It was a one-year opportunity in transition from county to state funding to attack the problem, and we did. That will not work for this year,” Morris said. “I think the legislature needs to be more understanding about the difficulties we have in this branch.. . . It’s very difficult to make up a shortfall without legislative assistance.”The turning point will come sometime after April 11 when they will go into conference with legislators on the court budget.“The worst case scenario is that people could be terminated if we can’t make our budget,” Morris said.Another issue deals with $5.3 million for court reporters and translators that is currently in the House budget, but not in the Senate budget, Morris said. It’s called a “shared cost issue,” Morris said, explaining that dollars for full-time equivalent positions are placed in state attorneys’ and public defenders’ accounts at the Justice Administrative Commission for court reporters and translators who are court employees, but those dollars have not been received by the courts.In the meantime, Morris and a covey of judges who are members of the TCBC are fixtures at legislative committee meetings related to funding the courts, ready for opportunities to try to avert any worst case scenarios.last_img read more