AMERIND Risk ALARM Newsletter - 2015 2nd Quarter 2015 - Page 5

AMERIND Risk and TWG Partner to Help Tribes Maximize Employee Benefits, Cut Costs Santa Ana Pueblo, NM-June 18, 2015— A recent acquisition by AMERIND Risk, the only 100 percent Tribally-owned insurance solutions provider in Indian Country, is opening doors for Tribal governments and businesses to increase employee benefits while cutting costs. In February 2015, AMERIND acquired TWG Insurance and Financial Services, a brokerage firm with a decade of success serving the minority market space in New Mexico and the Southwest. Since the companies joined forces, several AMERIND Risk clients have reaped the rewards of the new company, minted AMERIND Benefits, which designs customized employee benefits packages, streamlines benefits enrollment and implementation, and takes a holistic approach to wellness by promoting prevention and health education. AMERIND Risk can attest to TWG’s personalized service first-hand. The Tribal-owned nonprofit hired TWG as its broker in December 2013. TWG designed a robust benefits package for AMERIND Risk, earning the companies the 2014 carrier recognition award for “Most Innovative Benefits Design.” “We want tribes to be consumers of healthcare and not just users of healthcare. As the consumer, you have control,” said AMERIND Risk CEO Derek Valdo, who is also a council member at Acoma Pueblo. Now in addition to the property, liability and workers’ compensation insurance coverage that AMERIND Risk has provided Indian Country for nearly 30 years, AMERIND is a one-stop shopping resource for all insurance needs including employee benefits. TWG brings a wide range of core and voluntary products to the table through proprietary plans with numerous carriers, including health insurance, dental plans, vision coverage, short- and long-term disability insurance, accident plans, cancer insurance, critical illness coverage, and much more. AMERIND Benefits offers clients tailormade, affordable solutions, as opposed to cookie-cutter benefit options. And at no extra cost, they assist with benefits implementation and management long after open enrollment. Beyond its customized plans, what really sets AMERIND Benefits apart is its continuum of care. They ensure tribes meet the constantly changing Affordable Care Act standards for compliance, and that they understand how their benefits coordinate with Indian Health Services (IHS). Providing hassle-free enrollment through one-on-one consultations, web-based and laptop enrollment methods, or call center enrollments at no cost to employers. Rather than doing business with multiple brokers and agents, AMERIND Benefits consolidates communication. Customers deal with one certified, welltrained benefits manager and claims advocate for all their benefits questions. In addition, they implemented green, paperless technology, thus reducing costs and empowering employees by putting policy information at their fingertips. AMERIND Benefits is continually striving to raise the industry benchmark by engaging employers and employees in preventative healthcare education. “Wellness education and preventative medicine are the true cornerstones of healthcare reform and long-term healthy outcomes in communities,” said Angela Rodgers-Hesch, the founder and agency director of TWG Insurance and Financial Services, which now comprises AMERIND Benefits. “Healthcare education helps people understand how their lifestyles and habits are really driving the costs of healthcare and the costs of claims.” Based on the Santa Ana Pueblo in Bernalillo, New Mexico, AMERIND Risk was designed by over 400 tribes for tribes. AMERIND knows the importance of providing culturally sensitive care to employees. Roughly 80 percent of employees in tribal companies are Native American. AMERIND Benefits makes it a point to include traditional medicine men in its workers’ compensation and employee benefits programs, and to offer reimbursement for tribal healers. It’s common knowledge that high claims cause health plan rates to skyrocket. AMERIND Benefits works to lower premiums through risk management and prevention, as well as tax savings programs to reduce overall payroll expenses. Health and wellness programs provide employers advantages including reduced absenteeism, lower turnover rates, and increased employee recruitment potential—significant feats considering employee absence can account for as much as 36 percent of a company’s payroll. Meanwhile, diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease are prevalent in Indian Country, and chronic diseases like these account for nearly 75 percent of total healthcare expenditures. AMERIND’s goal truly extends beyond the workplace and into tribal communities. “If we can influence workers to adopt healthy behaviors, hopefully that will flow over into families. We have a higher mission— tribes helping tribes—that’s our cause and calling,” Valdo said. “We care about those greater benefits—the golden rule of taking care of the community.” Tribes Protecting 4