The Benemax Way — Blending technology, human interaction, and “outside-the-box” thinking to bring real change to your health benefit plan design

Hoping everyone had a fun and stress-free 4th of July holiday. Maybe I’m biased, but I feel Boston and the surrounding cities and towns do it best. From beaching it during the day, to late afternoon cookouts, only to finish with an evening firework display projecting magnificent color as far as the eye can see. These are the little things that are important to me and are the reason why I love celebrating our Independence here in Massachusetts.

The little things are also why I love my job. For me, helping people gain peace of mind is a euphoric feeling. If you haven’t read my first post discussing why I decided to enter the exciting yet convoluted world of employee benefits check it out here. Today, I want to expound on whom my employer is as well as why and how we do what we do.

Let’s dive in. Benemax, The Benefits Management Company, is actually quite famous. We hold a pretty sweet distinction as being the oldest continuously operating consumer driven healthcare company in the US. My father, Willie Garnett, along with his partner, David Cowles launched this wily start-up back in 1985. I was negative one just so you all are aware.

At that time, the health insurance landscape looked much different than it does today. Just how different? Check out below:


- Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) was the major player and sold directly to companies (no brokers).

- Competing carriers (Guardian/State Mutual/Aetna) sold through a “Broker” channel.

- Most plans paid 100% of the cost of care if administered in a hospital setting.

- HMO’s and PPO’s were non-existent.

- And normal pregnancy was NOT covered as it was deemed elective.


- We have multiple “local” carriers as well as huge nationals’ including Aetna, United Healthcare (UHC), and CIGNA.

- The ACA ushered in mandatory coverage requirements while also boosting state/federal mandates.

- HMO’s, PPO’s, and laser networks make up 95%+ of the market.

- The rise and increasing use of high deductible plans, which includes 1st dollar coverage, has created complex decision-making challenges for both employers and its covered members.

While the health insurance industry looks a lot different today than it did 30 years ago our mission has remained the same — Strive for real innovation. We drive innovation by blending technology with human interaction allowing us to develop plan designs and deploy live support that are member-centric, price competitive and easy-to-use.

In recent years our mission has become more critical as employers are challenged with rising health care costs, ever-changing regulations, and health care reform uncertainty. CEO’s and HR teams, especially those located in competitive markets like Boston, must get creative in attracting and retaining top talent while also managing costs. As a result companies are finding it increasingly valuable to use specialists to help design and manage their complex employee benefit programs.

So how do we help companies navigate the convoluted and laborious world of employee benefits? We don’t just think benefits; we think strategy. Benemax custom designs every benefit solution to reflect and support the employers’ overall business objectives. More specifically, we leverage lower priced, high value/high deductible health plans and add an additional layer of benefits around that deductible. This allows us to meet the employee’s overall benefit needs at considerable cost savings to the employer.

With your plan design complete we then deploy two critical assets to ensure piece of mind and a user-friendly experience, technology and human interaction.


Companies are able to view their benefits and plan information through our Virtual Benefit Manager®. The VBM acts as your command center for all things benefits. Members are able to amongst other things:

· Review a summary of their benefits.

· Conduct open enrollment with the click of a button.

· Report a claim problem as well check the status of any current and past claims.

· Access health and fitness tools.

· Ask questions should confusion or an issue arise.

· Access health and fitness tools.

Human Interaction:

Every member has access to a dedicated Account Service Executive (ASE). They are there to help you from the beginning; they will walk you through your plan upon implementation and assist with its launch. Once your plan is launched Benemax provides an additional level of support via our Independent Member Advocate (IMA). They are your point of contact going forward and can handle all benefit questions and claims issues for your employees.

All told, the result from doing the little things is a customized benefit package that maximizes the total value of your limited benefit dollars. This is how Benemax strives for and creates innovation. We push the limits in designing plans that are member-centric, price competitive and user-friendly. We are able to accomplish our mission by blending technology with human interaction. While 1985 is becoming more of a distant memory it remains that Benemax has and will continue to be an innovator and market leader as long as we stick to our mission. FYI, I can guarantee we will!

Should anyone be interested in learning more or has questions about their health benefit package please feel free to reach to me at

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