Employee benefits company expands offerings, relocates
Kathy Frazier is moving up – one floor to be exact. And in its first two years, her employee benefit planning and implementation business has grown steadily. In June, Frazier moved her business from the fifth floor to a flexible executive suite on the sixth floor in Vancouver’s Main Place building to allow for expansion and changed the name from Frazier Insurance to Frazier Benefits Group.
The previous name didn’t fully reflect the services the business provides, said Frazier.
“I have strategically associated myself with resources to expand what I do as far as employee benefits, such as 401(k) specialists, voluntary benefits specialists and payroll services,” she said. “All of those things come together to create an employee benefits package.”
Frazier began in the industry seven years ago in a customer service role with Henderson and Associates. Two years later, she had her agent’s license and began working for a former Henderson colleague, and in 2003, struck out on her own.
“For me to grow meant I needed to move out on my own,” said Frazier.
Frazier began with three small companies with fewer than 10 employees, and today has grown her client base to more than 50 companies, including several with more than 200 employees. Her clients include property management firms, construction companies and a hospital. As a Native American and with previous experience working with tribes, she hopes to work closely with the tribes and casinos in the area.
With the rising costs of healthcare, employers are looking for ways to reduce costs and still offer options to employees.
“Companies are realizing the cost of healthcare is going up,” said Frazier. “And it is hard for employers to continue to offer benefits or keep full-time employees.”
Employers are finding it difficult to pay 100 percent of employee benefits anymore, she said. Businesses are moving a lot more toward voluntary benefits, where the employers can still offer a good package but not have to pay for it, she said. And companies are looking for options for part-time employees.
“I am always trying to find what’s new and innovative out there,” said Frazier.
Frazier strives to maintain a high level of customer service by being available to clients and their employees, particularly when it comes to making them aware of how to best utilize the benefits they are paying for. For instance, clients can keep out-of-pocket costs down by visiting an urgent care facility as opposed to an emergency room.
“Employers have to be more educated on what drives costs up and how to keep costs down,” said Frazier.
Frazier plans to bring on an additional employee to support customer service and account management in the next couple months, and she is in the midst of launching a Web site designed to better serve existing clients.