Since the Lewer Charitable Fund (LCF) was established in 2007, nearly $10,000 has been donated to area organizations through the LCF and funds raised by employees.
The fund was established as a result of the interest Lewer employees expressed in “giving back” to the Kansas City community and other areas, especially areas impacted by natural disasters in recent years. “We are privileged as a company to have a growing number of employees who have the desire to become more involved in our communities,” said President Mike Lewer. “I am proud of the fact that members of our team understand the value and the importance of community involvement, both as individuals and as a company.”
Benefactors of the LCF, since its inception, include individuals and families supported by the Adopt-A-Family, Seattle Global Impact, Make-A-Wish, Children’s Trolley Run, Catholic Charities, Reiser Relief, American Cancer Society, Jay Doc Clinic, and the Down Syndrome Guild organizations.
Prior to the LCF, the Lewer companies supported a number of local charitable organizations as corporate sponsors, such as the Kidney Foundation, United Way, Amy Thompson Run, and Harvester organizations.
The LewerBenefits team has announced the launching of MVP II, a new health insurance plan designed for large employers looking for affordable health insurance for their employees. Vice President, Commercial Lines John Owens and Account Manager Tom Kohl have been busy meeting with employers who are eager to make a decision by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) deadline of January 1, 2015.
“MVP II was designed by Companion Life,” said Owens. “The actuarial value plan is a new concept and meets the Bronze level employer requirements of the ACA. The MVP II product provides three key features – affordability, sustainability, and ease of enrollments. Lewer is the first to bring this type of plan to the market. It is a creative approach that envisions how companies who have lots of hourly non-exempt employees can solve the whole issue of the ACA employer mandate.”
Owens and Kohl are gearing up for a busy fall. “Employers will be moving forward with installing new plans because the ACA employer mandate deadline is January 1, 2015,” said Owens.
A recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) survey revealed that 59 percent of NACS member companies surveyed have reduced employees to under 30 per week in response to the ACA. In response to the survey results, Kohl is anticipating a run on Minimum Essential Coverage plans in conjunction with Lewer’s new MVP II product. “Generally speaking,” said Kohl, “employees working less than 30 hours are eligible for benefits but on a voluntary basis. This means a majority will likely elect the Minimum Essential Coverage with Limited Medical package included in the plans since there would be no employer contribution. This is up to the employer as to whether to make it available or not.”
How are prospects responding to the new product? According to Kohl, who, along with Owens, continues to work hard to provide employers with answers during this complicated, ever-changing ACA landscape, the concept is drawing a lot of positive response from both employers and brokers. “MVP II is the affordable solution that meets employer and employee ACA requirements,” said Kohl.
The Lewer Insurance Agency Ltd., headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, has been renamed Lewer Canada Ltd. Lewer Canada Ltd. and officially became part of the Lewer Companies on January 1, 2014.
Since the company’s formation in 1974, Lewer Canada Ltd. has expanded its operations across Canada through its affiliate office in Laval, Quebec. The certificate of name change and articles of amendment were finalized by the law firm Black, Sutherland LLP in Toronto, Ontario, on December 2, 2013.
“The primary reason for the name change was to reflect the fact that over the past few years the company has evolved beyond its insurance agency operations to include a growing commitment to developing the technology to support Third Party Administration of benefits for the Lewer companies as well as other producer organizations in Canada,” said President Mike Lewer. “The name change also anticipates the future expansion of the company into providing financial services to our affinity markets in Canada.”
The name change is one of the most recent developments announced since Lewer U.S.A. assumed the financial management of its Canadian affiliate last summer. Craig Griffith, who was named Director, Business Development at Lewer Canada on July 8, 2013, is leading the transition. As he stated after joining the team, his first priorities are to “preserve the Company’s existing business relationships and income, develop new markets and new client accounts, and explore the development of other new business opportunities, including student insurance and retirement plan sales in Canada.”
Shortly after the name change, Lewer Canada Ltd. launched a new website. The website includes a number of new user-friendly options such as online enrollment and quote request forms.
The Lewer Agency, Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Rodney Vallejo to the position of Vice President, Client Services. Prior to his promotion, Vallejo was responsible for providing Lewer clients extraordinary customer service as Director of Client Services.
In his new senior management position, Vallejo will continue to be responsible for the administration and service activities of Lewer’s commercial and student health products, including claims, auditing, billing and customer service functions.
He joined Lewer as a managed care account manager in 1996 and was promoted to Manager, Marketing Services that November before leaving Lewer and the industry in 2001 to work as an international account manager in the export beef industry. Vallejo returned to Lewer as Manager, Marketing and Sales Support in January 2005. He said he returned because of “a great experience during his first tour of duty.” He also said he had realized that he had a preference for the health insurance industry. Vallejo has a Bachelor of Business degree and an MBA from the University of Missouri.
Vallejo commented that he is looking forward to his VP role. “Change is good,” he said. “In my management role, I am always looking forward to helping the company grow and continuing to develop its good business reputation.”
Representatives of Lewer Canada Ltd. and Lewer U.S.A. were honored to participate in a number of conferences recently hosted by sponsoring companies. The Shell, Shaw, 7-Eleven, and BP conferences were the largest conferences on the Fall/Winter conference agenda.
Kicking off the conference season was the National Association of Shell Marketers (NASM) conference, held the first week in October in Houston, Texas. Vice President, Special Markets John Owens enjoyed participating in a Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament which resulted in a $1,010 donation to the Fisher House Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation, established 20 years ago, is an A+ rated military charity that helps service members, Veterans, and their families. While at the conference, Owens also appreciated an opportunity to present on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
A Lewer Canada team attended the Winter Markets for Shaw Flooring Conference held in Niagara Falls, Canada, January 21 – 23. Director, Business Development Craig Griffith gave a presentation to a number of territory managers, regional managers, and vice presidents who attended the conference. “Approximately 95 percent of the TMs stopped by the Lewer booth,” said Griffith. “Some wanted to discuss my presentation. Others just dropped by for some social time. The conference was an excellent experience.”
In late January, a Lewer U.S.A. team attended the 2014 7-Eleven Experience Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. According to 7-Eleven Account Manager Tom Kohl, the team enjoyed visiting with the approximately 150 franchisees who stopped by the Lewer booth.
Wrapping up the exciting Fall/Winter 2014 large conference agenda for Lewer U.S.A. was the BPAMA Convention and Business Expo in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event, also attended by BPAMA, BP and fellow BP branded marketers, was held February 3 – 5 in Scottsdale, Arizona. President Mike Lewer and Vice President, Special Markets John Owens represented Lewer at the conference. Owens presented The Affordable Care Act: Time for Action, which drew approximately 40 BPAMA members. “Based on the audience engagement and the individuals interested in visiting after the meeting, John’s message resonated with this audience,” said Lewer. “We received excellent feedback from several attendees and look forward to following up on new opportunities.”(331)