Thursday, June 8, 2017

Health in the Workplace Environment

 Keeping workers healthy in the workplace environment is a goal of many companies.  
It serves the employees well to reap the benefits of good health especially when they are able to use their vacation days for actual vacation time and not sick days.  It serves business owners in the sense that when people feel well their job productivity is increased.

Who doesn’t love a win-win arrangement? Companies across America take initiatives to create a good atmosphere for their employees. It is documented that there is a lower turnover of workers when a business owner cares for their employees, strives to make the workplace agreeable and provides good health benefits.

Having long-term employees is another win-win situation because it offers workers:

  • Job security
  • Familiarity with coworkers
  • Pride in accomplishment
  • Intellectual stimulation
  • An income to invest in their future
  • Finances to pursue their dreams

For the business owner the win-win shows in:

  • Workers able to accomplish more
  • Workers better able to contribute ideas leading to more productivity
  • More profitable teamwork projects
  • Less disruption in productivity output
  • Less resources in constant retraining new employees
  • More cooperative employer/employee relationships

If your company wants to go the extra mile, provide them with access to the best employee health benefits available at, an agency that has a BBB top rating for excellent service and works hard to offer savings that make a difference.

Here are some creative inspirations you can incorporate in your company:

New Ideas – your employees understand your company in a way that is different from yours. Tap into their insight for new product ideas, better ways to do business, solve a problem, increase sales, or increase productivity.  Offer a prize to the employee who offers the best idea; gift baskets, diner gift certificates, kindle, iPad, etc. Think about your employees to determine a gift that appeals to them. If you decide on a “cash bonus” include a physical trinket (amusing stuffed animal, mug, picture frame, etc) that will serve as a reminder of their accomplishment.

Perfect Attendance – this one is not announced. Recognize an employee who has not missed work for an extended period of time (barring vacation) with a simple card of appreciation and coffee gift card or similar. Appreciating and noticing an employee’s extra efforts or faithfulness benefits all staff.

Weight Loss Challenge – this is an optional participation in enjoyable competition.  Everyone who wants to participate contributes a token amount between $5 - $10 and the company kicks in a higher contribution.  (It’s more about the activity than the money) Everyone is weighed in and documented. After a period of 60 – 90 days there is another weigh in and the person who has lost the most weight wins the “jackpot.” Getting everyone thinking about better health rewards everyone. To add a little more thoughtfulness, keep a secret and recognize second and third place winners with a token gift such as a healthy meal cookbook, pedometer, or other small health related gift.

Gift Horse – A little pre-planning and lots of fun. This can range from serious to silly, depending on your crew size and their level of good ‘naturedness.’  You get 12 identical small objects (toy figures or other item,  about 2 inches tall, miniature rubber ducks or frogs are easy to find) A nice touch would be if you could make the object humorously work relevant. Number each one. Place them in odd, inconspicuous places (corner of window sill, supply cabinet, lounge refrigerator, etc) Send out memo or make announcement that there are several “toy ???” that have been misplaced and if anyone finds them to please bring them to office. Each toy’s number will correspond with a small gift. Gift items can be themed (different types of candy bars), trinkets (scented candle, unusual snacks, handy items).  If done quarterly, you can have coworkers conspire and add silly personal touches. For instance all gifts consist of a Reese’s peanut butter cup and added contributed items such as “A hug from Sarah”  “A bowl of John’s homemade chili” “Ruthies homemade cookies” “Eric’s favorite movie on DVD.”

All businesses want loyal employees that take an interest in furthering the companies aim. A business owner that creates a work environment that values employees will have workers that value their job.


For Group Health Insurance

That Gives You an Advantage


Call Us
(708) 754-5300

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Discover the many ways that Aetna Funding
Advantage can help your business save
Tired of rising health care costs? Switching to a self-funded plan may be easier than you think. It’s time to consider Aetna Funding Advantage.

The Advantage opportunity

Self-funded plans are more stable. Monthly payments are based on the health trends of your employees. And when health care costs are lower than expected, you get back a percentage of your funds. Control your health care costs with Aetna Funding Advantage, a self-funded plan backed by the strength of Aetna.
Savings and much more

Not long ago self-funded plans were only considered by larger companies. Then Aetna designed their self-funded plan with your smaller business in mind. It’s time you enjoyed these savings:

•You could save up to 25 percent upfront
•You could save long-term with the surplus sharing benefit
•You could save on taxes and fees
•You could save time on health care tracking and reporting.
Traditional Funding 

Subject to state mandates
Limited plan design options
No money back
Financial protection
Community rated

Generally not subject to state mandates 
More flexible benefit designs
Opportunity to get money back
Financial protection
Monthly costs reflect expected claims

Click the link below for the full Aetna Self-Funding Brochure
PDF of Aetna Brochure

Jeff Sopko
Sopko Insurance Agency
3333 Chicago Road
Steger, IL 60475
(800) 324-1004
(800) 324-1003 fax

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Special Enrollment (SEP) for Individual Health Insurance Eligibility

Individual Health Insurance is Still Available for Those Who Qualify For Life Event Special Enrollment.

If you were unable to get health insurance due to changing life events or circumstances beyond your control, call us for immediate help. Work with local agents and avoid the problems of call service centers. Our personal service enables you to have contacts that stay familiar with you and your needs.

(708) 754-1221

Following is a description of eligible situations that you may fall under that may have become an obstacle in obtaining individual medical insurance. As circumstances are unique, if you do not see one related to you, feel free to contact us for a Free Review of your issue and assistance in obtaining the health care plan for you.


  • Losing health insurance for any reason except not paying your premiums
  • Losing eligibility for Medicare, Medicaid, or Children's Health Insurance Program
  • Turning 26 and losing coverage through a parent's medical plan
  • Marriage or divorce
  • Having a baby or adopting a child
  • Losing coverage due to a family member's death
  • Moving to a different zip code or county
  • Being a student moving to or from school
  • Seasonal worker moving to or from a work location
  • Moving to or from a shelter or transitional housing
  • Becoming eligible for Medicaid
  • Becoming eligible for tax credits that will lower your premiums, if already on ACA plan
  • Gaining membership in a federally recognized tribe
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen
  • Leaving jail or prison
  • You faced a serious medical condition or natural disaster that kept you from enrolling
  • An unexpected hospitalization or temporary cognitive disability, or were otherwise incapacitated
  • A natural disaster such as an earthquake, massive flooding or hurricane

  • Misinformation, misrepresentation, misconduct or inaction of someone working in an official capacity to assist you in enrollment (ex: insurance company, navigator, certified application counselor, or agent/broker kept you from
  1. Enrolling in a plan
  2. Enrolling in the right plan
  3. Getting the premium tax credit or cost-sharing reduction you were eligible for
  4. A technical error occurred when you applied on
  5. Your insurance company was prevented from receiving your enrollment information
  6. The incorrect data was displayed at at the time you selected your health plan

Contact Us Today!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Small Business Insurance: Special Rates Save 30%

best business insurance

An insightful new small business insurance program offered by Farmers Insurance Sopko Agency helps businesses protect their investment. 

Take time to visit with an expert and learn how to acquire a business insurance policy that not only saves you money, but recognizes the best way to protect the business you have created.

If your just starting out, give us a call and we can guide you through the process. We can help you recognize what type of insurance will protect you best and insure you meet all state and federal regulations necessary for your particular business.

Businesses play such an important part in the economic community and we are proud to support your business in its efforts to operate and grow.

Call Today:

Debi Sopko

Protect your business with a trusted industry leader.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

3 Important Questions For Homeowners

       Get the most out of your homeowners insurance by understanding what your policy actually covers. Free insurance reviews help you to ask the pin- pointed questions that could make a big difference in your assumed coverage and actual coverage.

Can You Answer These Questions? 
  1. What is the top dollar amount of coverage I have with my insurance policy?
  2. Does my policy cover the estimated worth of my home OR ACTUAL REPLACEMENT?
  3. Will my policy replace my belongings OR only a percentage?

If you cannot answer all three of these questions, it is time to have your insurance reviewed.  Have your insurance reviewed with these questions in mind. Home is a wonderful place.

As we generally understand insurance, we can assume that everything is covered.  Often we do not fully take the time to comprehend the details of our insurance policy.  It is such a common thing to insure our homes and vehicles; but often we do not ask questions.  It may seem awkward or impertinent to us to ask questions with “how much” or “what if” starting our sentences.

Relax, your agent does not see this as impertinence. Your agent wants you to be informed and understand what your policy protects, this is how he services you best. He is eager to have this appropriate conversation.

Often our lives are so busy that homeowners insurance is something we purchase and then forget about it. However, this can be detrimental when the need arises to use your insurance. Never have the “it can’t happen to me” idea; that is human nature and everyone it happens to has to struggle through disbelief.

Those who believe in prevention and protection, are able handle a tragedy that affects the home better. Of course, no one ever feels it's smooth sailing, but with all the proper things in place, getting through it is easier.

Consider having to replace your belongings inside your home. As we own items they lose value over time. We invest in a bedroom set or our high end television with all the electronic systems that go with it;  it is important to protect our investments.  We need to be certain that our policy covers an actual replacement of the item and not a depreciated value of it. Imagine only getting garage sale prices or lower for the items in your home. That is why it is important to have these conversations.

Farmers Insurance Sopko Agency  is offering Free Reviews for your homeowners Insurance. Call today and make an appointment for your Review.  It’s a wonderful thing to be able to check this item off your list and have peace of mind knowing you are protected in the way you expect to be.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Circle of Champions Award for Jeff Sopko

Congratulations Jeff Sopko!

From the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight 200 in Washington, DC 

Congratulations! As a top performer, you have earned a spot in the Circle of Champions because of your outstanding performance enrolling individuals and families in Marketplace coverage. You have helped these individuals and families with more than 20 plan selections during Marketplace Open Enrollment. I would like to personally thank you for the work you have done to positively influence your clients’ lives. You play a crucial role in reaching the uninsured population and have contributed to bringing the uninsured rate down to a historic low.

Kevin J. Counihan Chief Executive Officer, 
Health Insurance Marketplaces Director,
Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight

Friday, December 9, 2016

Homeowners Insurance: What Do Gaps In Insurance Mean?

You Have Probably Seen the Commercials Talking About Gaps in Insurance; But What Does That Mean?

     Current statistics in a study by J.D. Power and Associates show that 59% of homeowners are under insured. As humans, we tend to tune out commercials. This may seem to have no impact on us, unless we realize we are part of that 59%.

     However, as homeowner or renter you need to be extremely aware of where you stand in this picture.  If you fall in the 59% range, this means that if something were to happen to your home, your insurance would only cover about 79% of what actually needs to be covered.  Worse yet, the under insured category includes, as documented by Chief Actuary, James Lynch of the Insurance Information Institute, that 4% of homeowners have no insurance whatsoever. This translates to them, having the full burden of replacing their home which would leave most people in dire straits.

Being insured only 79% of the way would be a hard hit because restoring the remainder of loss would rest totally on your shoulders. Your loss for being under insured would be 21%. The following example illustrates in practicality how this works.

For ease of this example, we will work with simple numbers. Let’s say your home is worth $100,000. In the occurrence of a catastrophic event that nearly destroys your home, you report to your insurance company. If you fall in the under insured category this is how it will play out. Your insurance company pays $79,000 to restore the damage; you have to come up with the extra $21,000 to get your home back to where it was.  Would this be easy for you to do? Keep in mind if you were at this basic level, your contents of the home would not be covered. Also note the replacement cost of your home may have increased.

It  is important to have your insurance reviewed at least every two years. Being aware that an increase in your home’s value, also means an increase in its replacement cost. Even if your home was to decrease in value, the replacement cost continues to grow. This is due to the nature of economics as labor and materials progressively cost more.

This is valuable information to take to heart. We insure our property for our protection. If you find your premium rises a bit to be properly insured, it is vital to understand that this is extremely lessening the risk on your shoulders. How much extra a month is worth not having to come up with $21,000 or more on your own?

Whenever improvements are made to your home, this is a cause to have your homeowners insurance reviewed and updated. Take advantage of free insurance reviews, they are very educational and in your best interest. 

(800) 324-1004

Our agents pay close attention to detail and are very thorough. They will keep you from engaging in risky business when it comes to protecting your home and loved ones.  Your agent will assess the cost to rebuild and replace your home and assets (as opposed to insuring only market value).