Pet Insurance Enrollments Surged by 56% in 2022

Pet Insurance Enrollments Surged by 56% in 2022

Today is National Dog Day, which was first celebrated in 2004 across the country to increase awareness about dogs in need of rescue and to encourage pet adoption.

Now celebrated annually on August 26th, members of the 69 million U.S. households who have at least one dog recognize the day by taking to social media to post photos of their pups and share information about local animal shelters and pet rescues. 

As a nation, why are we so obsessed with our pets?

The benefits of pet ownership are evident. According to a pulse survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 75 percent of pet owners surveyed reported that spending time with their pet helps them manage stress levels while increasing their sense of well-being.

From the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, pets quickly emerged as the ultimate work from home companions. Office closures, social distancing, and lockdowns forced Americans to spend much more time at home, leading to a surge in new pet adoption and ownership across the country.

As of March 2021, more than 23 million American households had brought home a new pet since the start of the pandemic. With more than 70 percent of U.S. households owning pets, the majority of which pay more than $2,000 annually in pet care, many employers are offering supplemental benefits to assist employees with pet care costs.

Data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) shows that there has been yearly double-digit growth in pet insurance enrollments since the mid-2010s. Empyrean’s 2022 enrollment data shows a dramatic 56.37 percent increase in pet care benefit adoption over 2021, with almost 35 percent of plan participants offered the benefit electing coverage.

As more U.S. households welcome pets home each year, employers can expect employees to continue to seek ways to offset the financial costs associated with pet ownership – especially during times of economic uncertainty.

Pet Benefit Solutions – An Empyrean Preferred Partner

Pet Benefit Solutions is a valued partner in our carrier network, integrating directly with the Empyrean platform to create simplified administrator and employee benefit experiences. Comprehensive coverage under Pet Benefit Solution’s Total Pet Program includes veterinary care, pet product savings, and pet care services.

There are several key advantages for employers looking to offer pet insurance benefits through Empyrean’s partnership with Pet Benefit Solutions, including:

  • Simple and straightforward employee enrollment directly in the Empyrean platform
  • Easy setup and streamlined administration
  • Coverage for all pets with no pre-existing condition exclusions, waiting periods, or deductibles
  • Flat rate family pet plan coverage for multiple pets
  • Simple billing processes with no reconciliation needed
  • High employee participation and engagement rates

Please contact our team at info@goempyrean.com with any questions regarding the Empyrean platform or our ability to integrate with your preferred pet insurance carrier.

Happy National Dog Day!

Empyrean Adds Kelly Knick to Channel Enablement Group  

Empyrean Adds Kelly Knick to Channel Enablement Group  

Houston, TX. [Aug. 19, 2022] Empyrean (www.goempyrean.com), a leading technology and service-focused employee benefits administration provider, has announced that Kelly Knick has joined the growing organization as a Director of Channel Enablement. In this role, Knick will focus on building and nurturing broker and carrier relationships across the country.

“Kelly has been a wonderful addition to our organization and has been able to make an immediate impact with our broker partners and carriers,” said Chris Rossi, Empyrean’s VP of Sales. “She will be instrumental in spearheading our channel enablement efforts alongside the rest of our channel enablement team.”

Knick is an industry veteran, spending the majority of her career in the BenAdmin technology and service space. Prior to joining the Empyrean team, she served in sales roles at both Benefitfocus and Nayya.

“I am excited to get to focus on our Channel Partnerships here at Empyrean,” Knick added. “If there is anything I have learned working with large employers, it’s how much value and trust there is in an employer’s established broker and carrier relationships.”

The addition of Knick comes at a time of sustained growth for the organization, including the continued development of strong partnerships across the benefits ecosystem.

Throughout 2022, Empyrean has had a continued focus on creating tailored, personalized, and connected benefit experiences that result in better outcomes for participants, employers, and brokers and advisors across the country. This focus has included the development and enhancement of several Empyrean technologies and services, including updates to employee mobile experiences, rollout of new communication platforms, and enhancements to Pilot+, Empyrean’s decision support and healthcare navigation tool.

Knick earned a B.A. from the University of Maryland.

About Empyrean

Since 2006, Empyrean has provided employers of varying size, industry, and benefit plan complexity with the innovative technology and best in class service necessary to accelerate their benefit strategies and bring their benefit programs to life.

Empyrean’s platform and services were designed to create connected employee benefit experiences that enrich lives, strengthen employer brands, and improve workplace cultures. Focused on total employee health and wellness, Empyrean is dedicated to delivering scalable and tailored experiences that empower participants to better understand, access, and engage with their benefit programs not just at enrollment time, but on a year-round basis.

Today, more than 4.6 million participants across the U.S. rely on Empyrean’s cutting-edge platform and top-notch support teams to inform and guide their benefit enrollment and utilization decisions.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Empyrean has additional office locations in Minneapolis, MN and Nashville, TN, as well as remote teams located throughout the U.S.

Empyrean is a subsidiary of Securian Financial (www.securian.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brienne Driscoll
Head of Content & Communications
Empyrean
bdriscoll@goempyrean.com

Empyrean Announces EVOLVE\23 – April 12 – 14 in Savannah, GA

Empyrean Announces EVOLVE\23 – April 12 – 14 in Savannah, GA

Connecting Benefits, Enriching Lives

Empyrean is excited to announce that EVOLVE\23 will be held from April 12-14 at Savannah’s Hyatt Regency along the city’s historical riverfront.

The theme for our upcoming EVOLVE conference is “Connecting Benefits, Enriching Lives”, a topic closely aligned with our mission to deliver optimized and connected benefit experiences to the over 4.6 million people who rely on the Empyrean platform every day.

Conference programming will be developed and presented by HR and benefits industry experts, with content anchored around the realities that employee populations are made up of real people, each with a unique background and personal story. These stories determine what employees need from their benefits program to thrive both inside and outside of work.

Our dynamic sessions will provide participants with the strategies and insights they need to tackle the ongoing challenges tied to supporting individual benefit needs while also addressing populations with economic efficiency.

EVOLVE\23 will also explore how to ensure employees understand how to choose and use their benefits, including how to create personalized, connected, life-enriching benefit experiences that result in high levels of employee trust, psychological safety, and physical wellness, all leading to happy, energized employees and successful organizations. 

DATE: April 12-14, 2023
LOCATION:
Hyatt Regency – Savannah, GA

Event registration will open in Fall 2022, and additional conference details will be shared at that time. For now, we invite our clients to mark your calendars for this engaging event!

The Growing Role of Financial Wellness Programs in Support of Total Employee Wellbeing

The Growing Role of Financial Wellness Programs in Support of Total Employee Wellbeing

Human resources and benefit leaders continue to navigate one of the most volatile and fast moving business and economic landscapes many of us have ever known. The Great Resignation, increased levels of caregiver responsibilities, financial uncertainty tied to the ongoing pandemic, inflation, and other macroeconomic factors have brought an even stronger focus on the need to support total employee wellbeing in the form of financial wellness benefits.

With 62 percent of employers reporting that they feel “extremely” responsible for the financial wellness of their employees, organizations are taking this challenge more seriously than ever. Back in 2013, just 13 percent of employers said they felt this same level of obligation to their teams.

Companies that offer financial wellness programs have an opportunity to play a vital role in bridging the gap between work and financial health. The advantages of supplying this level of support for employees is well documented, with improved outcomes in areas like employee engagement and productivity, recruitment and retention, cost containment, and workforce management and diversity.

Caregiving Needs Can Threaten Financial Wellness


As employers develop their benefit strategies, it is critical to consider programs that support the needs of employees serving as caregivers – especially those in the sandwich generation caring for both children and older adults.

More than one in five U.S. adults have acted as unpaid caregivers in the past 12 months, a statistic that often goes overlooked by employers as only half of employed caregivers say that their manager is aware of their caregiving responsibilities. Demographic trends indicate the need for caregiving will continue to increase, negatively affecting employers due to rising employee stress levels, decreased productivity, and increased rates of absenteeism.

Employers can help employees balance work and caregiving responsibilities while protecting their financial health by offering tools and programs designed to meet their needs, helping to improve emotional, financial, and physical wellness across their employee populations.

Offering benefits like caregiving support services, paid family and medical leave programs, and flexible work schedules and arrangements can help foster an inclusive and supportive environment for employees that serve as caregivers.

Carrier Partner Spotlight: Prudential


Prudential Financial continues to be one of Empyrean’s strongest carrier partners, and together we are committed to helping our clients’ employees get the financial protection and support they need as they navigate life’s challenges. Through simple and efficient delivery, we make it easy for employers to provide options that help their teams work towards both short and long-term financial goals while simplifying the enrollment process and improving overall employee experiences.

With operations in the United States, Asia, Europe and Latin America, Prudential provides customers with products and services that include life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management.

There are several advantages for employers looking to offer Prudential’s financial wellness benefits through the Empyrean platform, including:

  • Easy setup and administration
  • Zero cost implementation for employee-paid products
  • Expanded employee choice
  • EOI Connect and EOI decision status update API capabilities
  • Streamlined data integration and reduced production-ready timelines due to standard EDI templates

Access the full Prudential report, “Why Employers Should Care About Caregiving,” to learn more about how to provide increased financial wellness support to the caregivers in your organization.   

For more information about the Empyrean and Prudential partnership, please contact us at info@goempyrean.com.

Empyrean is an independent third-party administrator and is not affiliated with Prudential.

Group Insurance coverages are issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, a Prudential Financial company, Newark, NJ.

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Empyrean Welcomes Ken Gooch to Their Sales Team as Director of Channel Enablement

Empyrean Welcomes Ken Gooch to Their Sales Team as Director of Channel Enablement

Houston, TX. [May 18, 2022] Empyrean, (www.goempyrean.com), a leading technology and service-focused employee benefits administration provider, has announced that Ken Gooch has joined their expanding sales team as Director of Channel Enablement. In this role, Gooch will focus on building valuable partnerships to accelerate Empyrean’s growth across all U.S. regions.  

“As an industry veteran, Ken’s ability to establish and nurture long-lasting partnerships is nothing short of exceptional,” said Stephanie Haney, VP of Sales. “With his can-do attitude, industry knowledge, and ability to drive revenue growth by building third-party relationships, Ken is going to be instrumental in spearheading Empyrean’s channel enablement efforts.”

Gooch has held a variety of noteworthy positions throughout his career with Unum, MetLife, and Aetna. For the past decade, he’s been focusing on strategic business development to increase market share in the Voluntary Worksite space. This involved aligning with top national consultants, brokers, enrollment and communication firms, and benefits administration companies.

“My entire career has revolved around building sustainable partnerships that optimize operational efficiencies and deliver customer satisfaction and profitable growth,” said Gooch. “I’m excited to be joining the Empyrean team, and look forward to working with some of the same carrier and broker partners that I’ve been developing relationships with for years.”

Gooch joins the Empyrean team at a time of heightened market expansion and strategic positioning. As a leading employee benefits administration provider, Empyrean’s tech + service approach is designed to empower organizations to create a culture of wellbeing through the delivery of their benefit offerings. In early 2022, Empyrean released its yearly Benefit Trends Report, outlining the top five trends influencing the state of employee benefits today.

Gooch resides in Frisco, Texas.

About Empyrean

Since 2006, Empyrean has provided employers of varying size, industry, and benefit plan complexity with the innovative technology and best in class service necessary to accelerate their benefits strategies and bring their benefit programs to life. Empyrean’s platform and services were designed to create connected employee benefit experiences that enrich lives, strengthen employer brands, and improve workplace cultures.

Today, more than 4.6 million participants across the U.S. rely on Empyrean’s cutting-edge systems and top-notch support teams to inform and guide their benefit enrollment and utilization decisions. Focused on total employee health and wellness, Empyrean is dedicated to delivering a scalable and tailored benefits experience for all employees and their families by combining innovative technology with employee-centric services to empower participants to better understand, access, and engage with their benefit programs not just at enrollment time, but on a year-round basis.

Empyrean’s platforms and services empower employees to not only better understand the value of the benefit programs offered to them, but to then connect with these benefits in a way that drives better outcomes from themselves, their families, and their organization.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Empyrean has additional office locations in Minneapolis, MN and Nashville, TN, as well as remote teams located throughout the U.S.

Empyrean is a subsidiary of Securian Financial (www.securian.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brienne Driscoll
Head of Content & Communications
Empyrean
bdriscoll@goempyrean.com

Maureen Gardner Joins Empyrean’s Growing Sales Team as Director, Business Development in the Plains Region

Maureen Gardner Joins Empyrean’s Growing Sales Team as Director, Business Development in the Plains Region

Houston, TX. [April 26, 2022] Empyrean, (www.goempyrean.com), a leading technology and service-centric employee benefits administration provider, has announced the addition of Maureen Gardner to their growing sales team. In this role, Gardner will focus on strengthening Empyrean’s presence in the Plains region, developing employer and broker relationships with a focus on groups above 5,000 benefits eligible employees.

“Maureen joins us with extensive experience in the HR technology realm, and her impressive track record in sales and client partnerships will undoubtedly lead to Empyrean’s increased expansion in the Plains region,” said Mark Lawson, Empyrean’s VP of Sales. “Her wide range of abilities and knowledge across the HR and benefits space make her an invaluable addition to our team.”

Gardner began her sales career at Ceridian as a National Account Manager, and has held several high-level sales and partnership positions including Senior Director of Strategic Client Partnerships at ADP, where she spent 13 years managing national accounts and fostering revenue retention and overall client success.

“After spending decades in the HR Technology space helping organizations become more efficient through technology, I understand the value and importance of building culture through benefits,” said Gardner. “I am very excited to work with a team of professionals who believe in and are committed to delivering a ‘service-first’ approach.”

Gardner joins Empyrean at a time of strategic growth as the organization broadens its client base across all U.S. markets. Leading with a focus on tech + service, Empyrean continues to enhance and roll out new benefits administration technology, including COVID-19 vaccination tracking and attestation capabilities, enhanced ACA reporting functionality, and Pilot+, Empyrean’s claims-based decision support and personalized healthcare navigation product.

In late 2021, Empyrean also launched its new website, reflecting the organization’s mission to help employers create positive workplace cultures by connecting their employees to life-enriching benefits.

Gardner earned a B.A. from Bowling Green State University, and resides in Denver, Colorado.

About Empyrean

Since 2006, Empyrean has provided employers of varying size, industry, and benefit plan complexity with the innovative technology and best in class service necessary to accelerate their benefits strategies and bring their benefit programs to life. Empyrean’s platform and services were designed to create connected employee benefit experiences that enrich lives, strengthen employer brands, and improve workplace cultures.

Today, more than 4.6 million participants across the U.S. rely on Empyrean’s cutting-edge systems and top-notch support teams to inform and guide their benefit enrollment and utilization decisions. Focused on total employee health and wellness, Empyrean is dedicated to delivering a scalable and tailored benefits experience for all employees and their families by combining innovative technology with employee-centric services to empower participants to better understand, access, and engage with their benefit programs not just at enrollment time, but on a year-round basis.

Empyrean’s platforms and services empower employees to not only better understand the value of the benefit programs offered to them, but to then connect with these benefits in a way that drives better outcomes from themselves, their families, and their organization.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Empyrean has additional office locations in Minneapolis, MN and Nashville, TN, as well as remote teams located throughout the U.S.

Empyrean is a subsidiary of Securian Financial (www.securian.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brienne Driscoll
Head of Content & Communications
Empyrean
bdriscoll@goempyrean.com

Empyrean Releases Full Agenda & Speaker Details for EVOLVE/22

Empyrean Releases Full Agenda & Speaker Details for EVOLVE/22

Empyrean is excited to welcome some of the industry’s top thought leaders and benefits experts to EVOLVE/22!

DATE: April 6-8, 2022
LOCATION: The Hutton Hotel, Nashville

Building Culture Through Benefits

The theme for this invitation-only event is “Building Culture Through Benefits”, and from our high-energy opening keynote all the way through our closing session, our dynamic speakers will explore the strong connections between employee benefits, company culture, and positive organizational outcomes gained from employee health and wellness.

Our conference agenda is designed to challenge participants to think differently about benefits and their own role in sparking change within their workplaces.

Conference Agenda & Speaker Information

April 7, 2022

Opening Keynote: Culture That Rocks! How to Amp Up & Rev Up Company Culture

Presented by:

Jim Knight
Owner & Founder
Knight Speaker

  • Strategies for defining company culture, including understanding the differences between your organization’s “heritage” and your current workplace environment.
  • Why your benefits strategy is the foundation for a strong company culture.
  • Approaches to “amp up” employee communications to drive improved outcomes.
  • Methods for managing through organizational change.
  • Tactics for creating employee brand ambassadors.
  • Techniques for building resilient teams.  

Regardless of your company’s cultural history or status, this program will provide you with the insights and tools necessary to build positive workplace cultures within your own organization.

Diversity & Equity in Benefits

Presented by:

Dede Orraca-Cecil
US Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Egon Zehnder

Antoine Carter
Sr. Director, Client Services
Empyrean

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been long recognized as critical to any healthy workplace culture, but have these pillars made their way into your benefits strategy?

While your benefits program may be designed to support your different employee populations, your team members may not understand how certain programs or benefits are advantageous for someone in their unique situation or circumstance.

This session will explore the importance of diversity and equity in benefits, including:

  • Positive correlations between diversity and favorable organizational outcomes.
  • Impacts of equity and inclusion on employee and organizational performance.
  • Employing a benefits strategy that is inclusive and supportive of employees of all backgrounds.
  • Employee communication approaches that meet employees where they are and fuel a stronger understanding of how each benefit offering in your program can support their own unique needs and that of their family.
  • How to use the Empyrean platform to fuel your DEI benefits strategy.

You will leave this session with the insights, strategies and techniques needed to improve benefit inclusivity across all employee populations, creating a more equitable workplace.

Fueling Improved Employee Experiences Through Decision Support Technology: A Pilot+ Case Study

Presented by:

Tammy Kaplan
Product Manager, Employer Strategy Enablement
Empyrean

Desta Millner
Strategic Account Advisor
Empyrean

This micro-session will explore how Pilot+, Empyrean’s claims-based decision support and personalized healthcare navigation tool, has driven positive employee experiences.

This quick-moving discussion will provide real-world insights and direction on how to:

  • Leverage decision support technology to fuel a better employee experience.
  • Utilize predictive analytics to help employees understand future health risks and corresponding costs.
  • Influence improved enrollment and utilization decisions using claims-based data.

You will be left with the actionable data and insights necessary to improve the experiences and health and wellness outcomes of your own employees and organization.

Creating a Culture of Benefits: Supporting & Engaging the Whole Employee

Moderated by:

Elizabeth Rennie
HR Technology & Services Research Director
NelsonHall

Panelists:

Michelle Latham
Senior Director, Benefits
Dollar General

Shaun Snyder
Sr. Director of Benefits, Wellbeing & Shared Services
The Aaron’s Company, Inc.

Scott Kline
Director, US Benefits
Sanofi US

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting changes to our everyday lives have created physical, mental, and financial challenges that American workers had never faced before, causing employers to pivot towards benefit strategies that support total employee health and wellness.

Empyrean’s recent study of 2022 benefit enrollment trends shows that this shift is expected to continue, driven in part by employee demand and increased enrollment in supplemental benefits.

Join our expert client panel with representatives from Dollar General, The Aaron’s Company, and Sanofi US as they discuss why benefits that support total employee heath, wealth, and wellness are a critical part of any employer’s ongoing employee benefits strategy, including:

  • What total employee wellness means at their organization.
  • Connections between health, wealth, and company success.
  • How their support of the total employee has impacted employee attraction, retention, and diversity and inclusion efforts.
  • Shifting employee expectations and demands related to benefit offerings.
  • Why total employee wellness drives positive employee experiences and positive workplace cultures.

Participants will learn the strategies and approaches needed to build and execute a benefits strategy that supports the whole employee, including how to drive their employees towards offerings that support them in their life at work and outside the office.

Emerging Risk & New Compliance Standards

Moderated by:

Colleen Waymel
Chief Operating Officer
Empyrean

Panelists:

Chris Condeluci
Principal
CC Law & Policy

Rocco Muratore
Director, Strategic Partnerships
Equifax
Event Gold Sponsor

The past several years have been filled with new regulatory compliance standards at the local, state, and federal level, as well as emerging areas of consumer risk in our increasingly digitized world.

This session will feature our panel of compliance experts as they explore emerging legislation impacting the benefits space as well as new areas of risk to the consumer which employers can hedge against through voluntary benefit offerings.

The Hidden Paycheck: Using Benefits to Attract & Retain Employees

Moderated by:

Angel Seufert
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Empyrean

Panelists:

Bob Murray
Executive Leader, Benefits and Wellness Strategy
Whole Foods Market

Jeff Streeper
HR COE Director, Benefits and HR Service Center
Securian
Platinum Event Sponsor

Whether you call it The Great Resignation or The Big Quit, employees continue to leave their jobs at the highest rates ever recorded. These employees are seeking greener pastures, whether it be the ability to work from home, improved flexibility and a better work environment, increased pay, or better benefits, employers have been left struggling to backfill positions while also recruiting to fill newly created roles.

Benefits are often viewed as “The Hidden Paycheck”, since many employers fail to demonstrate the true value of their benefits offering to both candidates and existing employees. This is a major miss when it comes to employer branding and employee experience opportunities.

Employers who neglect to properly educate future and current employees about their benefits offering leave it up to the individual to acclimate themselves, demonstrating both a lack of employee support and an uncaring company culture, no matter how generous an employee benefits plan may actually be.

This session will explore:

  • How to improve your benefits strategy to focus on the programs your employees care about most.
  • Strategies to fuel improved employee attraction and retention through enhanced candidate and employee communications.
  • Approaches for benefits leaders to be a stronger partner for talent acquisition and HR teams to improve attraction and retention outcomes.

This session will provide strategies and techniques needed to better leverage your benefits offering to attract and retain the talent your organization needs to be successful.

April 8, 2022

The Future is Now: Our Forward-Looking Product & Partner Vision

Presented by:

Jim Priebe
Chief Strategy Officer
Empyrean

Kelly L. Clark
Chief Information & Technology Officer
Empyrean

During this session, Empyrean’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jim Priebe, and Chief Information & Technology Officer, Kelly Clark, will provide our audience with an overview of Empyrean’s go-forward brand vision.

Throughout the discussion, Jim and Kelly will talk through the various macro and micro factors influencing the space, including areas where Empyrean will make a concentrated investment in using our technology and services to solve for the evolving challenges impacting our clients. 

Removing the HDHP Stigma Through Year-Round HSA Engagement

Moderated by:

Desta Millner
Strategic Account Advisor
Empyrean

Panelists:

Scott MacDonald
SVP, Regional Sales Manager
HSA Bank
Event Gold Sponsor 

Crystal Thomas
Benefits Manager
Hearst Media

High deductible health plans (HDHPs) often have a bad rep, with many employees failing to see their value – and consequently fueling a narrative that organizations that offer them are looking for cost savings at the expense of their employees.

Benefits leaders know that HDHPs are a strategic choice that not only save employees money through lower premium payments, but also offer the opportunity for employees to divert pre-tax earnings into a health savings account (HSA) that builds financial health.

This session will explore ways to remove the stigma of your HDHPs and change the negative narrative. Content covered will include:

  • Approaches for creating a communication strategy that educates employees on the benefits of HSAs as a financial wellness tool.
  • Methods for improving employee HSA contributions and utilization.
  • Strategies for demonstrating the savings offered through HDHPs especially when complemented by HSAs, including the costs of being over-insured.

You will leave this session with proven strategies to remove the stigma around your own HDHP and demonstrate the true value of your benefits offering.

Closing Keynote: The Changing Role of the Strategic Benefits Leader

Presented by:

Elizabeth Rennie
HR Technology & Services Research Director
NelsonHall

In our closing keynote, we will share the findings of a proprietary research study of more than 100 HR and benefits leaders, co-commissioned by Empyrean and HR analyst firm, NelsonHall.

This qualitative study explores the changing role of benefits leaders and uncovers the insights, tools, and education needed to become a successful member of your broader HR organization while overcoming challenges presented by the ever-changing business landscape.

Content covered will include:

  • The many roles played by today’s benefits team that go beyond the oversimplified label of “benefits administration”.
  • The strategic role benefit teams play within their organization to build successful business outcomes through the deployment of wellness programs and enhanced employee experiences.
  • The evolving demands on the providers of benefits administration platforms, uncovering how these technologies must evolve to support the increasingly strategic role that benefits programs play within HR strategy.

Findings will also uncover how benefits leaders are key contributors to the success of your HR team, overall business, and the employees who make up your organization. You will leave this session with actionable insights to adopt and implement within your own business as you enable a benefits strategy that serves to build positive employee experiences and strong company cultures.

Evening Events & Musical Performances

Beyond our daytime programming, our team has made sure to leave ample time for networking opportunities, evening fun at exciting venues, and performances by some of Music City’s hottest performers!

With musical performances by:

  • High Fidelity
  • George Shingleton
  • Gwen Levy Duo

The sweet sounds of Nashville and our culture-focused educational sessions will inspire our attendees to spark change within their own organization by building culture through benefits.

Please contact info@goempyrean.com for more information about this invitation-only client conference.

Empyrean Adds Randy Alvarez to Expanding Sales Team as Director of Business Development in the Northeast Region

Empyrean Adds Randy Alvarez to Expanding Sales Team as Director of Business Development in the Northeast Region

Houston, TX. [March 18, 2022] Empyrean, (www.goempyrean.com), a leading technology and service-centric employee benefits administration provider, has announced that Randy Alvarez has joined the organization as Director of Business Development. In this role, Alvarez will concentrate on the continued expansion of Empyrean’s presence in the Northeast, developing employer and broker relationships in this region focusing on groups above 5,000 benefits eligible employees.

“Randy joins Empyrean at a time of substantial growth, and we are thrilled to kick off 2022 with the expansion of our sales team on the East Coast,” said Chris Rossi, Empyrean’s VP of Sales. “With an exceptional 20 year track record as a top sales performer, Randy not only brings experience, but an extensive understanding of the employee benefits and HR technology sector. We are eager to leverage his expertise as we continue to strengthen Empyrean’s presence across the Northeast.”

Alvarez has spent the last decade of his career at ADP in the PEO division in New England, where he worked as both a District Manager and Sales Lead. There, he helped businesses evaluate their HRIS technology and employee benefits strategy. Prior to that, he was a vital member of the sales team at Quadrant Software and WorkHuman.

“Having worked closely with clients in the HR technology and benefits space for over a decade, I understand what an important role technology and service play in creating positive employee experiences,” said Alvarez. “With our innovative benefits administration technology and service-first approach, I’m excited to show employers the value of Empyrean’s platform and partnership.”

Alvarez joins Empyrean during a time of accelerated growth, as the organization continues to add new clients in the Northeast and across all U.S. markets. Amidst this growth, Empyrean has developed new benefits administration technology, including COVID-19 vaccination tracking and attestation capabilities, enhanced ACA reporting functionality, and Pilot+, Empyrean’s claims-based decision support and personalized healthcare navigation product.

In late 2021, Empyrean also launched its new website, reflecting the organization’s mission to help employers create positive workplace cultures by connecting their employees to life-enriching benefits.

Alvarez attended Rutgers University, and resides in Swansea, Massachusetts. He stays involved in his local community by coaching youth sports and supporting local charities.

About Empyrean

Since 2006, Empyrean has provided employers of varying size, industry, and benefit plan complexity with the innovative technology and best in class service necessary to accelerate their benefits strategies and bring their benefit programs to life. Empyrean’s platform and services were designed to create connected employee benefit experiences that enrich lives, strengthen employer brands, and improve workplace cultures.

Today, more than 4.6 million participants across the U.S. rely on Empyrean’s cutting-edge systems and best in class support teams to inform and guide their benefit enrollment and utilization decisions. Focused on total employee health and wellness, Empyrean is dedicated to delivering a scalable and tailored benefits experience for all employees and their families by combining innovative technology with employee-centric services to empower participants to better understand, access, and engage with their benefit programs not just at enrollment time, but on a year-round basis.

Empyrean’s platforms and services empower employees to not only better understand the value of the benefit programs offered to them, but to then connect with these benefits in a way that drives better outcomes from themselves, their families, and their organization.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Empyrean has additional office locations in Minneapolis, MN and Nashville, TN, as well as remote teams located throughout the U.S.

Empyrean is a subsidiary of Securian Financial (www.securian.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brienne Driscoll
Head of Content & Communications
Empyrean
bdriscoll@goempyrean.com

The Critical Role of Supplemental Benefits in a Go-Forward Benefits Strategy

The Critical Role of Supplemental Benefits in a Go-Forward Benefits Strategy

Webinar presented by Dr. Kristin Tugman, VP Health + Productivity, Prudential | Desta Millner, Empyrean | Melanie Haniph, HR Consultant. The COVID-19 pandemic has created physical, mental, and financial challenges that American workers have never faced before, causing employers to quickly shift their benefit strategies to one in support of total employee wellness. A recent study conducted by Empyrean shows that this is a trend that is expected to continue, driven in part by employee demand. Join our expert panel as they discuss why supplemental benefits will be a critical part of any employer’s post-pandemic employee benefits strategy. 

HR’s Growing Role in Data Privacy & Protection

HR’s Growing Role in Data Privacy & Protection

Insights and Advice from an Empyrean Expert

The role of our HR and benefits leaders continues to evolve and expand, and now our human resources teams are at the forefront of the battle to ensure both company and employee data remains protected and secure in our increasingly digitized world.

Gone are the days when only certain subgroups of an employee population relied on technology to perform their jobs. Today, nearly every American worker touches technology in some form on a daily basis, putting an increasing burden on HR teams to manage and train our evolving workforce on the best practices for ensuring data protection and security.

HR professionals are tasked with ensuring that employees follow IT and security policies and protocols to protect not only the company they work for and the customers they serve, but also themselves. Following the trend of supporting total employee health and wellness, more and more employers are offering identity theft protection as a voluntary benefit. However, an analysis of Empyrean’s enrollment data shows that only 13.8% of those employees offered the benefit enroll.

While we may tend to focus on highly-publicized and wide-spread security and data breaches impacting huge numbers of consumers, a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute found that just eight percent of all data breaches are caused by external cyber-attacks. Instead, the overwhelming majority of data breaches are caused by human error.

While experts recognize that it is a huge undertaking, they caution that HR professionals need to partner with IT to concentrate efforts on building a workplace culture where all employees are playing an active role in keeping data safe and secure, including instilling a sense of accountability across teams to ensure that data security needs are a priority.

In recognition of Data Privacy Day, we sat down with our Senior Security Analyst, Joel Tristani, to discuss the importance of data privacy and protection, including how we protect our own client data here at Empyrean.

Let’s start with the basics. Why is data privacy so crucial, and what should employees and organizations know about it?

Organizations are entrusted with handling personal data, and must take all necessary precautions to ensure it remains protected while in their care, including while it is being stored, processed, or is in transit to another authorized party.

There are many reasons why an employee might want to keep data about their identity, health, finances, or other matters private, and it is every person’s right to decide who has access to their personal data, and how it should and should not be used.

How can employers help employees safeguard data privacy?

There are a myriad of ways that employers can support safe and effective cyber hygiene. At Empyrean, we provide security awareness training to all of our employees, which includes important tips and tricks on how to look out for various red flags when using email, browsing websites, and operating computers and other devices.

We encourage all employers to ensure your employees are equipped with the proper tools, resources, and guides to help them handle their own data, and their clients’ data, in the safest, most secure way possible.

How does Empyrean protect our own client data?

At Empyrean, the protection of client data is a top priority.

Client data is always encrypted while at rest within our systems and during transfer in from a client or out to an authorized partner. In addition, before it’s transferred through an encrypted pathway, data is further encrypted at the file level to ensure that only the owner of that data can decrypt and access it, even after it reaches its final destination.

Access to client data while in our care is limited to only the client team members that require access in order to service the account. Beyond secure data handling practices, we maintain a robust security control environment and multi-layered defense strategy to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our own and our clients’ information assets.

What’s your best advice for everyday data privacy protection?

A quick tip for everyday data privacy protection is to enable multi-factor or two-factor authentication for bank, insurance, and other websites that store your personal data.

And please – I cannot stress this enough – do not re-use passwords! If one of your accounts is compromised, all of your accounts with the same email and password combination will also be at risk. Multi/two-factor authentication mitigates this to some extent, but your best bet is to create different, strong passwords that will help protect you against cyber threats. Establish your own multi-layered defense, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Whether you’re an employee trying to protect your own personal data, or an organization safeguarding client information, everyone has a responsibility to ensure sensitive data is sent, stored, used, and viewed safely and appropriately.

About Joel Tristani, Senior Security Analyst at Empyrean

Joel joined the Empyrean team in 2021, and plays a pivotal role as a member of the organization’s IT and security teams. His decades-long IT career includes time spent at corporations like Widespread Technologies and BCI, as well as time spent at municipalities and within the private consulting space.

Joel earned a B.S. from Hodges University, as well as a M.S. in Cybersecurity from DePaul University. He resides in Tucson, Arizona.

The Changing Role of the Strategic Benefits Leader

The Changing Role of the Strategic Benefits Leader

Since the start of the pandemic, company benefits have played an increasingly important role in helping organizations protect the safety, wellness, and health of their employees. This is increasingly the case, not only for physical wellness, but organizations now have greater awareness of mental health and financial wellness impacts on their staff given recent challenges and mass resignations.

2022: a perfect storm for benefits

The dominance of remote/hybrid work environments also opens up new opportunities for benefits functions to offer new benefit types that could be seen as tangible expressions of a company’s culture. Therefore, If employee welfare, attraction, and retention are not top of the list of your key strategic priorities for 2022, they should be. Not only are organizations and HR functions adapting to new ways of working and changing business environments, they are also facing the fact that employees have started to “vote with their feet”, demanding a better work-life balance. We are experiencing the largest wave of mass resignations seen in most of our lifetimes. This is also not helped by the retirement of baby boomers and an aging workforce. 2022 is the year to act, and these challenges also offer a great opportunity for benefits teams to relook at the role they can play in strengthening the resilience of companies and their workforce.

Katie McCabe Joins Growing Empyrean Sales Team as Strategic Director, Business Development for New York

Katie McCabe Joins Growing Empyrean Sales Team as Strategic Director, Business Development for New York

Houston, TX. [Jan. 19, 2022] Empyrean, (www.goempyrean.com), a leading employee benefits administration service and technology provider, has announced the addition of Katie McCabe to their rapidly expanding sales team. In this newly created role, McCabe will focus on the continued development of Empyrean’s presence throughout New York State, working to build employer, broker, and carrier relationships focusing on groups from 1,500-5,000 benefits eligible.

“Katie is one of several key sales hires we have added to the Empyrean sales team over the last few quarters,” said Chris Rossi, Empyrean’s VP Sales for the eastern region. “She is a fantastic addition to our team, and is well respected in the NY/NJ marketplace for her leadership and collaboration with the clients and broker partners she has worked with throughout her career.”

An industry veteran, McCabe has with more than 17 years of diverse experience with organizations including Emerson Reid & Co. (a subsidiary of USI) and The Standard, and most recently served as a Premier Account Executive for Prudential.

“I’m excited to be joining such a dynamic team during this time of growth for Empyrean,” added McCabe. “After spending much of my career on the carrier side, I have witnessed firsthand how critical administrative platforms are for employers and how pitfalls can create significant challenges, derailing the execution of benefit strategies. In addition to the exceptional company culture, the capabilities Empyrean brings to the marketplace are not only impressive, but also focus on the future of work to give clients and their employees much needed peace of mind.”

The addition of McCabe comes during a year of great headcount and client growth for Empyrean, including a concentrated expansion in the northeastern U.S. Much of this growth has been fueled by new technology enhancements and rollouts, including COVID-19 vaccination tracking capabilities, enhanced ACA reporting functionality, and Pilot+, Empyrean’s claims-based decision support and personalized healthcare navigation product.

In late 2021, Empyrean also launched its new website, reflecting the organization’s mission to help employers create positive workplace cultures through benefits.

McCabe earned a B.A. from the State University of New York College at Oswego, and resides in New York City.

About Empyrean

Since 2006, Empyrean has provided employers of varying size, industry, and benefit plan complexity with the innovative technology and best in class service necessary to accelerate their benefits strategies and bring their benefit programs to life. Empyrean’s platform and services were designed to create connected employee benefit experiences that enrich lives, strengthen employer brands, and improve workplace cultures.

Today, more than 3.6 million participants across the U.S. rely on Empyrean’s cutting-edge systems and best in class support teams to inform and guide their benefit enrollment and utilization decisions. Focused on total employee health and wellness, Empyrean is dedicated to delivering a scalable and tailored benefits experience for all employees and their families by combining innovative technology with employee-centric services to empower participants to better understand, access, and engage with their benefit programs not just at enrollment time, but on a year-round basis.

Empyrean’s platforms and services empower employees to not only better understand the value of the benefit programs offered to them, but to then connect with these benefits in a way that drives better outcomes from themselves, their families, and their organization.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Empyrean has additional office locations in Minneapolis, MN and Nashville, TN, as well as remote teams located throughout the U.S.

Empyrean is a subsidy of Securian Financial (www.securian.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brienne Driscoll
Head of Content & Communications
Empyrean
bdriscoll@goempyrean.com

Empyrean Announces EVOLVE/22 – April 6-8 in Nashville, TN

Empyrean Announces EVOLVE/22 – April 6-8 in Nashville, TN

Empyrean is excited to announce that this year’s EVOLVE conference will be held in beautiful Nashville, TN from April 6-8, 2022.

The theme for EVOLVE/22 is “Building Culture Through Benefits”, with an educational agenda focused on the strong connection between the role benefits can play in building company culture and the positive organizational outcomes gained from employee health and wellness.

Event participants will hear from HR industry leaders, benefit practitioners, and peers during our dynamic educational sessions, and there will also be plenty of networking windows and opportunities to explore the historic city of Nashville and its exciting music scene.

DATE: April 6-8, 2022
LOCATION: Nashville, TN

Event registration will open in the coming weeks, and the full event agenda and conference details will be released at that time as well. For now, we invite all of our clients to mark your calendars for this engaging event!

Empyrean Adds Rob Veatch as Director, Business Development in the Central Region

Empyrean Adds Rob Veatch as Director, Business Development in the Central Region

Houston, TX. [Nov 2, 2021] Leading employee benefits administration service and technology provider, Empyrean (www.goempyrean.com), has announced that Rob Veatch has joined the growing organization as Director, Business Development, supporting the central region. In this role, Veatch will focus on the continued development of Empyrean’s presence in the Upper Midwest, expanding on broker and client relationships in this area.

“Rob joins us with an impressive background on the carrier side of the business,” said Stephanie Haney, Empyrean’s VP, Sales. “His insights and experience in solving for the benefit strategy needs of his clients, brokers, and carrier partners will be incredibly impactful for employers across the Upper Midwest.”

An industry veteran in the employee benefits space, Veatch previously served as Regional Sales Executive for leading vision benefits carrier, Versant Health. He also spent much of his employee benefits career with PreferredOne as Director of Sales, and with Minneapolis-based HealthPartners.

“Rob will be a great addition to our Central Region sales team as he brings Empyrean’s innovative technology and solutions to help employees and their families when they need their benefits the most,” Haney added.

“I have always looked to improve the lives of those around me in any way that I can, and Empyrean helps me do that by educating and engaging employees throughout the year to help them get the most out of the benefits offered by their employer,” said Veatch.

Veatch joins Empyrean at a time of strategic growth for the organization, with concentrated expansion not only in the central region, but across all U.S. markets. Earlier this year, Empyrean launched its new website, which reflects the organization’s mission to help employers create positive workplace cultures through benefits. The company has also rolled out several new technology capabilities in 2021, including COVID-19 vaccination tracking and attestation capabilities, enhanced ACA reporting functionality, and Pilot+, Empyrean’s claims-based decision support and personalized healthcare navigation product.

Veatch earned a B.A. from Luther College. He stays involved in his local community by supporting local youth activities programs and charities like the Special Olympics, and is a decades-long donor with Memorial Blood Centers in the Twin Cities area.

About Empyrean

Since 2006, Empyrean has provided employers of varying size, industry, and benefit plan complexity with the innovative technology and best in class service necessary to accelerate their benefits strategies and bring their benefit programs to life. Empyrean’s platform and services were designed to create connected employee benefit experiences that enrich lives, strengthen employer brands, and improve workplace cultures.

Today, more than 3.6 million participants across the U.S. rely on Empyrean’s cutting-edge systems and best in class support teams to inform and guide their benefit enrollment and utilization decisions. Focused on total employee health and wellness, Empyrean is dedicated to delivering a scalable and tailored benefits experience for all employees and their families by combining innovative technology with employee-centric services to empower participants to better understand, access, and engage with their benefit programs not just at enrollment time, but on a year-round basis.

Empyrean’s platforms and services empower employees to not only better understand the value of the benefit programs offered to them, but to then connect with these benefits in a way that drives better outcomes from themselves, their families, and their organization.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Empyrean has additional office locations in Minneapolis, MN and Nashville, TN, as well as remote teams located throughout the U.S.

Empyrean is a subsidy of Securian Financial (www.securian.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brienne Driscoll
Head of Content & Communications
Empyrean
bdriscoll@goempyrean.com

Kelly Clark Joins Empyrean as Chief Information & Technology Officer

Kelly Clark Joins Empyrean as Chief Information & Technology Officer

Houston, TX. [Oct. 12, 2021] Empyrean, (www.goempyrean.com), a leading benefits administration technology platform and service provider, has announced that industry veteran Kelly Clark has joined the organization as Chief Information & Technology Officer.

A proven technology leader in the HR and employee benefits space with vast experience driving business transformation through IT modernization, Clark will oversee Empyrean’s future software engineering, artificial intelligence (AI) expansion, infrastructure development, business intelligence (BI) and data analytics, and innovation research initiatives at a strategic level.

“Empyrean has always been focused on bringing forward leading technology solutions to support our clients’ most complex needs and enable our robust service delivery model,” said Empyrean’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Wolfe. “Kelly’s background and experience will help us continue to drive technology solutions that support our customers’ future challenges and objectives while ensuring we provide the best tools to support our service delivery organization.”

Prior to joining the Empyrean team, Kelly held several C-level positions at organizations like Maximus and OptumHealth, and most recently served as the Chief Information & Digital Officer at Alight Solutions. There, he led the group’s digital transformation to solve highly complex business and client needs while improving technology capabilities and overall operational excellence.

“Kelly has had a successful track record leading the technology organizations for successful startups as well as Fortune 100 and 500 companies,” added Wolfe. “Empyrean is focused on continuing to successfully scale our business, providing innovative technology and service solutions that support the unique needs of our employer clients, and providing growth opportunities for our employees.”

Last month, Empyrean launched its new website which reflects the organization’s mission to help employers create positive workplace cultures through benefits. By connecting their employees to life-enriching benefits and making stronger connections between the important role benefits play in building a company culture, Empyrean believes that companies can achieve positive organizational outcomes tied to total employee health and wellness.

“I wanted to join an organization where I could make a difference, and Empyrean’s focus on innovative technologies to improve people’s everyday experiences and drive better outcomes was crucial in my decision making process,” said Clark. “I am humbled and honored to join Empyrean at such a pivotal time and lead the IT team as we support the future of benefits administration technology.”

Empyrean’s focus on supporting total employee health and wellness has driven the company’s product roadmap as the organization continues to develop and roll out enhanced employee-centric technologies, services, and strategic carrier partnerships designed to improve employee experiences and strengthen employer brands. Some of the most impactful product rollouts this year have included new vaccination tracking features, enhanced ACA reporting capabilities, and the launch of Pilot+, Empyrean’s claims-based decision support and personalized healthcare navigation product.

Kelly earned a B.A. and Master’s Degree from the University of Manitoba. He was awarded Large Company CIO of the Year honors in 2012 by the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, and stays very involved in philanthropic and charitable endeavors through his support of organizations including the Feed my Starving Children, United Way, and Toys 4 Tots. Kelly resides with his family in the Minneapolis area.

About Empyrean
Since 2006, Empyrean has provided employers of varying size, industry, and benefit plan complexity with the innovative technology and best in class service necessary to accelerate their benefits strategies and bring their benefit programs to life. Empyrean’s platform and services were designed to create connected employee benefit experiences that enrich lives, strengthen employer brands, and improve workplace cultures.

Today, more than 3.6 million participants across the U.S. rely on Empyrean’s cutting-edge systems and best in class support teams to inform and guide their benefit enrollment and utilization decisions. Focused on total employee health and wellness, Empyrean is dedicated to delivering a scalable and tailored benefits experience for all employees and their families by combining innovative technology with employee-centric services to empower participants to better understand, access, and engage with their benefit programs not just at enrollment time, but on a year-round basis.

Empyrean’s platforms and services empower employees to not only better understand the value of the benefit programs offered to them, but to then connect with these benefits in a way that drives better outcomes from themselves, their families, and their organization.

Headquartered in Houston, TX, Empyrean has additional office locations in Minneapolis, MN and Nashville, TN, as well as remote teams located throughout the U.S.

Empyrean is a subsidy of Securian Financial (www.securian.com).

MEDIA CONTACT:
Brienne Driscoll
Head of Content & Communications
Empyrean Benefit Solutions, Inc.
bdriscoll@goempyrean.com

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