Booncast Winner’s Circle 1: Building and Delivering a Compliant Contractors Plan

Booncast Winner’s Circle 1: Building and Delivering a Compliant Contractors Plan

Today is a very special episode as it is the first episode in our Winner’s Circle series. Booncast’s Winner’s Circle is your opportunity to see Boon’s expertise and solutions in action. Members of Team Boon will be invited to share their experiences in helping employers and using Boon’s solutions to address current challenges, needs, and concerns.

Booncast is joined by Nicolas Cersosimo, one of Boon’s leading benefit consultants. Nic shares his experience with a client that had a very unique set of challenges, discusses the importance of compliance, and demonstrates how Boon is able to develop solutions that are truly customized to the individual business.

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Episode Transcript:

Hello and welcome to Booncast, a podcast where we discuss evolving healthcare needs and flexible employee benefit solutions. Join our experts for unique insight into the niche market of fringe administration, solutions to address the needs of the American employer and the hourly worker, compliance concerns, and updates on developing topics in the industry.

Caitlin Kennedy with Booncast: Welcome to Episode 3 of Booncast. Today is a very special episode as it is the first episode in our Winner’s Circle series. Booncast’s Winner’s Circle is your opportunity to see Boon’s expertise and solutions in action. Members of Team Boon will be invited on to share their experiences in helping employers, and using Boon’s solutions to address current challenges, needs, and concerns. We are joined today by Nicolas Cersosimo, one of Boon’s expert benefit consultants. Nic, thank you so much for coming on.

Nic Cersosimo: Oh, you bet. Pleasure to be here. Pleasure to be on and look forward to talking about Boon’s solutions and how we help our clients.

Caitlin Kennedy: So wonderful to have you on. Okay! So Nic, for those of us that don’t know, will you please introduce yourself to the listeners and tell us a little bit about you and what you do here at Boon?

Nic Cersosimo: Yeah, name’s Nicolas Cersosimo. I’m the Senior Regional Consultant for the Central time zone. So, all states covered within the Central time zone, as well as Colorado and New Mexico. I’m born and raised here in Austin, Texas — so one of the few left. My expertise is really focusing in on federal government contracting/private company/employer companies out there that have contracts through the federal government that are subject to the Service Contract Act, or Davis-Bacon prevailing wage.

Caitlin Kennedy: Okay, fantastic. So, Nic, you are here because you’re a winner! You have successfully been guiding multiple clients to finding their perfect solution here at Boon, and we’re going to talk about one of those instances today. Nic, you recently consulted with a client specializing in administration, staffing and call centers, and were able to connect them with a meaningful solution. Can you tell us about that client and the challenges they were facing?

Nic Cersosimo: Yes. This specific client, to your point, specializes in staffing, call centers. So variable hourly employees, right, that aren’t working a full, say, 20-80 hours in a given year. So, their hours worked fluctuate month to month, depending on the job, etc. Our meaningful solution that we were able to implement was our hourly solution that we have for federal government contractors. The client, at the time, was having some issues trying to fit the designated fringe rate that’s built within their contracts into the cost of their medical plan.

What Boon was able to do was we were able to create a solution that flowed with the hours that these employees were working, so that the employer didn’t have to come out of pocket to true up any additional costs. So, for those of you that maybe aren’t familiar with the Service Contract Act, those employees get a base wage, and then they get what we call a health and welfare rate or a fringe rate on top of that to spend on benefits. And so what our goal is for our clients — and this one — is to have their medical spend cost no more than what’s already designated within the contract.

By using our hourly solution, we were able to create a predictable cost model around their contracts that will positively affect the bottom line of the company and give those employees a benefit that them and their families can use. So the client really liked it, it set them up for success for not only the contracts that they have in place today, but as they win more contracts. Basically a turnkey solution to “plug and play” as they win more and grow their company. So that’s kind of the challenge that the company was facing was really trying to mitigate any additional exposure outside the spend that they had allotted to them through the federal government.

Caitlin Kennedy: Interesting. So, I understand that this solution included both a government and hourly, or commercial, solution that was designed to support all of the employees with this particular client. Is that typical in your line of work?

Nic Cersosimo: Sometimes it is. In the government contract world not only do you have (in this instance) your SCA employees, or Service Contract Act employees, that are working on the contract but then you also have your administrative staff, right, or your project managers that aren’t subject to a fringe rate or subject to that SCA contract. So maybe they’re salaried employees. A lot of the time, when we’re doing the discovery process, and we’re talking to these government contractors, there’s one of two things we can do. We can carve out the SCA population and create a benefit package just for them and let the managers in the the exempt — I guess, is what we call them — the exempt employees out of out of the SCA contracts do a plan on their own.

But after talking further and further with this with this client, they really wanted ease of administration. We’re able to put a solution together that encompasses the whole company — so both the commercial, or exempt employees like we call it, but also the SCA employees. So one, that they’re all on one plan, and then it also creates a single point of administration for the whole company. So that client liked ease of administration, simplicity, a single pay point for the company, instead of having multiple vendors out there. We’re really able to hone in on that and make their life a lot more simple, from a from a day to day, month to month aspect.

Caitlin Kennedy: So kind of alongside that ease of administration, a large part of Boon’s benefit offerings and value is also focused on compliance. Can you explain why compliance is so important when it comes to employee benefits for these types of clients?

Nic Cersosimo: Oh, absolutely. Well, I would say that employee benefits and compliance for any company is important, right? Because the Affordable Care Act, because of ERISA, everything that goes into having a compliant benefit plan and offering to the employees of whatever company is important. And so it’s even more important when you’re a government contractor. Right? Because essentially, you are receiving these contracts from the federal government to do a job. And so these are federal dollars, that the these companies are awarded to do “XYZ,” whatever that might be. The onus is really on the contractor to make sure they remain in compliance with the Department of Labor, and the Affordable Care Act.

So there’s even more compliance and nuances that go into being a federal government contractor, than just being maybe your typical commercial employer out there. That’s a large part of what Boon does when offering these benefits, is providing that level of compliance from a Department of Labor standpoint. Weighing in and having that expertise not only here, in-house, but with our benefit plans to create that peace of mind for the client. Throughout the years and knowing that they have that support with any compliance questions, or maybe they get a DOL audit, we can support him in that, etc. So it’s big in the fact that we can sit there and support and help them navigate through that. It’s just an added value that we give to our clients.

Caitlin Kennedy: In your experience, how well equipped are contractors to understand and address their compliance needs?

Nic Cersosimo: I would say not very well equipped, in some instances. You know, a lot of times in the government contracting world not all of these contractors are big corporations with a lot of, I guess, manpower, and legal and compliance advice, maybe internally. And so oftentimes, they need to outsource to an attorney or something like that, to have their best interest, because they just can’t have that in-house at that time. So, I would say not well-equipped often, but that doesn’t mean that a lot of them out there are. So being able to, to my point earlier, just being able to provide that level of compliance to to our clients, and equip them with the tools that they need to make the best decisions for their business really goes a long ways.

Caitlin Kennedy: Well, Nic, you are one of our leading benefit consultants here at Boon. So what do you believe has contributed to your success? Both just within your team and working hands-on with clients?

Nic Cersosimo: Well what has contributed to my success, besides the team that we have here at Boon collectively, is the expertise, and the years, and the wealth of knowledge that our team has. That has really contributed a lot to my success. So I’m learning stuff every day. As the nuances of government contracting changes, from day to day, year to year, different laws are put in place, different fringe rates are put executive orders, all of that. So having that that wealth of knowledge here, from our C-Suite down, you know. Collectively, you know, that’s 80+ years of government contracting experience. There’s no better place for me than to be here. To have to have that knowledge that contributes to my success.

And then working with clients, you know, I really like working with government contractors all across the country. Helping them create business strategies and adding business value to what their goals are, and helping them accomplish that. And so that kind of really drives me in helping them achieve their goals.

Caitlin Kennedy: Oh, I love that. We love a team player, and we love someone who wants to be on their client’s team. I think that’s kind of a great way to summarize that is that you, you’re part of a team, and you become part of a team. Which I just think that’s fantastic. Which brings me to my next question: In your own words, what value does Boon provide to its clients?

Nic Cersosimo: Yeah, well, Boon provides a lot of value to to our clients in many different forms, right. So, depending on what that is, we accommodate to really help our clients meet their business goals. The various solutions, from some of the proprietary products that we have in place, to my point earlier, helping them mitigate maybe some additional costs, because you really can’t find another model out there like Boon’s model when it comes to maybe an hourly solution. Or giving them that peace of mind and you utilizing our legal team here in-house to help them with their compliance concerns. Or maybe they just need help with, you know, hourly fringe accounting, and nothing else, and they really liked their benefit plan.

So, you know, full gamut of solutions. But I think the value that we provide to our clients is compliance, right? All that goes into that. Competitiveness. So making our clients more competitive, maybe compared to their competitors out there. Helping them win more contracts. Educating them on how to do that, and giving them that competitive edge from a cost-saving standpoint. Right? So our “3 Cs” are a cost saving standpoint to grow their business. Right? That’s every business owners goal is to grow their business and make it the best it can be. And so I think our capabilities that that Boon has created over the 40+ years that we’ve been in business helps bring that value to our clients.

Caitlin Kennedy: Well, I think that’s a fantastic note to end things on. Nic, thank you so much for coming on. Congratulations on your recent wins. Really fantastic work you’re doing. And thank you so much for sharing with us today.

Nic Cersosimo: Absolutely. Caitlin, thank you for having me.

That’s all for this episode of Booncast! Thank you for listening! Visit us on for more podcasts, blog posts, and information on Boon’s benefit offerings.