Chip Trefry Member Benefits CEO Gator100 2019

Member Benefits Selected to Gator100

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Member Benefits was named to the University of Florida’s 2019 Gator100 during a ceremony on Feb. 22 at UF’s J. Wayne Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.

Sponsored by the UF Alumni Association, in partnership with the UF Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, the Gator100 recognizes the 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UF alumni.  Ernst & Young calculated each company’s compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the past three years to generate the ranking.

Member Benefits is a family-operated, full-service insurance and financial services organization specializing in Third Party Administration of professional affinity group and association member benefit programs.

Chip Trefry Member Benefits CEO Gator100 2019Member Benefits has been previously featured in the Gator100 two other times since its inception in 2015.

Member Benefits CEO, Earl C. “Chip” Trefry Jr., CLU (72’) and COO, Nicklaus A. Trefry (01’) both graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in Business Administration from the Warrington College of Business.

On news of the selection, Chip Trefry had the following to say: “It is my privilege and honor to be selected to the Gator100 for the third time. There is just something extra special about being acknowledged by your alma mater.”

“The Gator100 honors UF alumni from across the university who are founding and growing amazing companies around the country,” said Kent Fuchs, president of the University of Florida. “It’s an incredible affirmation of the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the Gator Nation.”

To qualify for the Gator100, companies must have been in business for five years or more as of Sept. 28, 2018 and have had verifiable annual revenues of $250,000 or more every year since 2015. Additionally, a UF alumnus or alumna must have met one of the following three leadership criteria:

  1. Owned 50 percent or more of the company from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018; or
  2. Served as company’s chief executive from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018; or
  3. Founded the company and been active as a member of the most senior management team from Jan. 1, 2015, through Sept. 28, 2018.

View the full list of Gator100 honorees at gator100.ufl.edu.

 

About Member Benefits

Member Benefits is a technology-driven insurance brokerage and third-party administrator that focuses on benefit programs and insurance exchanges for member-based organizations. Member Benefits specializes in the design, marketing, and administration of programs for employer groups, associations, affinity groups and franchises. Member Benefits operates in many states with locations in Jacksonville, FL and Austin, TX. For more information, visit www.memberbenefits.com/.

3 Ways Pets Keep Us Happy And Healthy

According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, 68% of U.S. households (about 85 million families) own a pet. This number is up a whopping 56% since the first survey conducted in 1988 and has led to a steady increase in the amount of money people are spending to keep their pets happy and healthy.

In 2018, the American Pet Products Association (APPA) estimated that Americans were on track to spend approximately $72.13 billion on their pets, up $2.62 billion from the confirmed numbers of 2017.

But aside from spending our hard-earned money on our four-legged friends what do pet owners really get out of the relationship?

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business man sitting at a cafe discussing his health options on his cell phone

I Missed Open Enrollment and Need Health Coverage — What Are My Options?

The next official ACA Open Enrollment period isn’t slated to begin until November 1, 2019. But depending on your circumstances, you may not have to wait that long to obtain coverage.

Qualifying Life Events and Special Enrollment Periods

Sometimes our circumstances change, and if they change due to specific events, you and your dependents may be able to secure health insurance through a Special Enrollment Period. When this occurs, it is called a Qualifying Life Event, otherwise referred to as a QLE.

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The Washington State Bar Association WSBA Member Benefits Association page img

Member Benefits Launches Private Health Insurance Exchange to Assist Members of the Washington State Bar Association

Jacksonville, FL – Member Benefits, a national leader in association benefits and private health exchanges, announced that it has been selected as the provider of a private health insurance exchange for members of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA).

Member Benefits, a national leader in association member benefits and private health exchanges, announced that it has been selected as the exclusive administrator a private health insurance exchange for members of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA). The offering is a unique online marketplace that offers customized benefit plans for individual WSBA members and group health options for law firm groups of all sizes. With a full line of health insurance plans and other benefits, the exchange also provides an integrated and efficient shopping experience that utilizes decision support technology to help members choose the plans that best suits their needs.

The Washington State Bar Association joins several other state bar associations such as the State Bar of Texas, The Florida Bar, State Bar of Georgia, and The Missouri Bar currently taking advantage of leading association health insurance platform offered by Member Benefits.

“With healthcare on the minds of many of our members, the Washington State Bar Association is proud to partner with Member Benefits to offer an insurance exchange,” said Bill Pickett, president of the WSBA. “We’re delighted to offer an option that fits the needs of solo and small firm practitioners, as well as law firms alike.”

Initial offerings being introduced to WSBA members include:

  • Group Health Insurance (fully insured, self, and level-funded options)
  • Individual Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Long-Term Disability Insurance
  • Term Life Insurance

Products and services are available to WSBA members, their spouses, eligible dependents, and employees through Member Benefits proprietary insurance marketplace exchange technology.

The new WSBA Private Health Insurance Exchange marketplace helps address a clear need by members – assistance in finding affordable insurance for themselves, their families and their staffs. WSBA members may now access the information and services provided. 2019 ACA individual health insurance plans and rates will be ready to view when the open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2018.

“We find that when we launch new exchanges, the members are often pleased with the service model behind the exchange. Members find that there is much more that the exchange offers than just products. Our team of in-house Benefits Counselors have extensive experience working with lawyer’s insurance needs and provide an enhanced customer experience to the member” said Chip Trefry, President of Member Benefits. “As participation in the program grows, our goal is to have the numbers that allow us to add an exclusive group option such as an Association Health Plan (AHP) to include on the exchange” Trefry added.

About Member Benefits

Member Benefits is a technology-driven insurance brokerage and third-party administrator that focuses on benefit programs and insurance exchanges for associations and member-based organizations. Member Benefits specializes in the design, marketing, and administration of programs for employer groups, associations, affinity groups and franchises. Member Benefits operates in most states with locations in Jacksonville, FL and Austin, TX. For more information, visit www.memberbenefits.com/.

About the Washington State Bar Association

The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state’s nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals. In furtherance of its obligation to protect and serve the public, the WSBA both regulates lawyers and other legal professionals and serves its members as a professional association – all without public funding. The WSBA’s mission is to serve the public and the members of the Bar, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.

Female coworker with invisible disability

Invisible Disabilities And The Battles Within

Throughout the history of civilization, there have always been things that we did not understand— things that we believed to be real but couldn’t see. Faith, love— even germs all spring to mind though we may not have always had a scientific name for them.

While the human race has come a long way from our earliest beginnings, the simple truth is that science is ever-evolving and new things are discovered every day. Just as today we may laugh at some of the ancestral medical practices of the middle ages, our descendants may one day do the same to us.

The same could also be said for the discovery and further understanding and treatment of ailments previously attributed to an imbalance of the four humors or even demons.

The New Science On Invisible Disabilities

Most recently there has been a renewed focus on debilitating illnesses and diseases that may not always visible to the naked eye or even some advanced diagnostic testing techniques available to doctors and hospitals throughout the world. These ailments have been given the term invisible disabilities.

According to the Invisible Disabilities Association, in simple terms, an invisible disability is considered to be a physical, mental, or neurological condition that limits one’s mobility or senses to the point where the severely impact the individual’s everyday life and activities. Unlike other disabilities, invisible disabilities are imperceptible to onlookers and therefore can sometimes lead to misunderstandings, false perceptions, and judgment.

For example, according to the American Physical Therapy Association, “Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has come a long way since the 1980s when it was widely dismissed as ‘yuppie flu’ and was suspected by many health care providers of being a psychological rather than a physiological condition.” To date, there is no definitive test for CFS and it is instead considered to be diagnosed but exclusion.

Another well-known illness for which there is no definitive test to confirm its existence is fibromyalgia. The reigning Queen of Pop (disagree, if you dare) Lady Gaga, has recently (and very publicly) brought the topic of fibromyalgia front and center in the media. Gaga, born Stefani Germanotta, has struggled with the illness for years, and though invisible— she has chosen to bravely document her struggle with its debilitating effects in the recent Netflix documentary Five Foot Two and has even been forced to cancel a number of shows on her most recent Joanne tour due to the incredible debilitating pain associated with the illness.

Mental illnesses such as individuals who struggle with Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Bipolar Disorder, and more are also considered to have an invisible disability (if the symptoms they experience are severe enough); however, in these cases there are often more definitive ways of testing and diagnosing cases.

In addition to those previously listed, below are a number of other known invisible disabilities. Please note that though extensive, this is in no way to be considered a complete list of possible invisible disabilities.

  • Allergies
  • Arachnoiditis
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Brain injuries
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic pain
  • Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
  • Coeliac Disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Diabetes
  • Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
  • Endometriosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD)
  • Food allergies
  • Fructose malabsorption
  • Hereditary Fructose Intolerance
  • Hyperhidrosis
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Lupus
  • Lyme Disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Narcolepsy
  • Personality disorders
  • Primary immunodeficiency
  • Psychiatric disabilities
  • Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schnitzler’s Syndrome
  • Schizophrenia
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjogren’s syndrome
  • Spinal Disorders
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder
  • Transverse Myelitis
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Female smiling engaging in self-care but battling invisible disabilityTesting The Odds

According to Disabled World, it is estimated that approximately ten percent of Americans have been diagnosed with a medical condition that could be labeled as an invisible disability. “Ninety-six percent of people with chronic medical conditions live with a condition that is invisible. These people do not use a cane or any assistive device and act as if they didn’t have a medical condition. About twenty-five percent of them have some type of activity limitation, ranging from mild to severe; the remaining seventy-five percent are not disabled by their chronic conditions.”

It has been estimated by the National Council on Disability that one out of every four Americans will be diagnosed with a long-term disability within their working careers. Could your family afford for you to be out of work for an extended period of time while you recover?

If you wish to receive more information about how you can safeguard your financial future in the event you are diagnosed with a long-term disability, please visit your association page or www.memberbenefits.com/ltd/ to receive an instant quote, to view our complete Long-Term Disability Insurance brochure, download an application, or schedule an appointment with one of our licensed Benefits Counselors.

young female experiencing work-related stress

Could Workplace Stress Become A Workers’ Compensation Claim?

According to a CBS News article, it has been estimated that roughly 8.3 million Americans suffer from some form of psychological distress such as a general hopeless or nervous disposition or even clinically diagnosable depression and anxiety-related disorders such as PTSD. While the cause for the sudden uptick in depression, anxiety, addiction, and general stress has been linked to everything from overzealous doctors, supervisors, and hostile work environments, to politics and the economy, and the concern over the ever-increasing amount of “screen time” Americans spend per day, the truth is that no one is able to one-hundred-percent identify the source.

While psychology experts and the media keep digging into just what is causing the rise in stress-related disorders and situations, many of those suffering are plagued with the maybe more important question of what are we going to do about it?

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elderly man wearing eyeglasses and magnifying glass sitting at work bench tinkering with tools

What Medicare Supplemental Insurance Can Do That Medicare Can Not

Getting older is never any fun passed the age of 21. But oftentimes with age comes maturity, experience, and perspective. And by the time you find yourself approaching the golden age of 65, you’re probably able to look back at your earlier years and note a few things you wish you had done differently—drink less alcohol, quit smoking earlier, save more money and spend it wiser; invest more time with the people you love, and in taking care of yourself.

Don’t put taking good care of yourself on the backburner anymore.

elderly man surrounded by happy family blowing out birthday candlesMaking Sure Your “Golden Years” Are Golden

Throughout our lives, there are a number of birthday milestones that stand out— one, 13, 16, 18, 21, 40, 65, and if you’re lucky, many more beyond that. Each of these years has their own reasons for being special, but few birthdays carry the same significance that turning 65 does.

Beginning three months prior to your 65th birthday, you become eligible for a seven-month open enrollment period where you can enroll in Medicare benefits. If you miss your initial open enrollment period, you will still become eligible again during the general open enrollment period which begins January 1st and ends March 31st, with coverage beginning July 1st.

According to a Money Crashers article written by Michael Lewis, “There is a direct correlation between healthcare costs and age: The older you are, the more likely it is that you will need medical care. The elderly are more apt to suffer chronic conditions that require treatment for years, and accidents are more common, often requiring complicated treatment. As a consequence of the high healthcare costs for older Americans, private insurers prior to 1965 either did not offer health insurance to the elderly, or charged such high premiums that insurance was not affordable. Medicare was created to solve a human welfare crisis that threatened to unravel the social and economic fabric of the nation.”

The truth is, that while highly beneficial, Medicare Part A and Part B may not necessarily cover everything you may need as you get older. A prime example of this is the often-cited fact that Medicare does not cover basic eye health, most forms of dental care, and hearing aids. And while many may be under the impression that they won’t need something like a Long-Term Care Insurance policy because Medicare will cover the costs, unfortunately, it won’t because while Medicare Part A will cover care in a nursing home, it will not cover custodial care meaning, the activities of daily living such as getting dressed, bathing, eating, etc).

Investing In Your Health With Medicare Supplemental Insurance

A Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy can help you fill in the gaps left behind between the services and care that you need and the services and care that Medicare is willing to pay for.

If you or a loved one is approaching the age of 65, it may be wise to discuss with your doctor if all of your medical needs will be covered by Medicare. Oftentimes, people assume that Medicare will cover them no matter what and ultimately find out otherwise. In order to avoid any surprises, it is always wise to consult with your primary care physician about your individual health needs now and any that you may be at risk of developing in the future.

For more information regarding Medicare Supplemental Insurance (Medigap) and what it can do for you or someone you love, please visit your association page.

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