KINGSTON — Employee-benefits consulting company Creative Benefits has a new home in the Wyoming Valley, but the same commitment to local businesses and their workers.
Creative Benefits senior consultant Carolyn McLaughlin-Smith said the firm is “very excited” about its recent move.
“We are delighted to be moved before the beginning of the year,” she said.
The business moved to North Gates Avenue from the 900 Rutter building in Forty Fort, where it was housed since opening its Northeastern Pennsylvania office 13 years ago.
Creative Benefits was founded by McLaughlin-Smith’s sister, Ruth Graham, in Newtown Square, outside Philadelphia, in 1983.
“She started working with companies in the Philadelphia area and started knocking on doors, and was able to build a business,” she recalled.
McLaughlin-Smith said Creative Benefits is responsible for brokering all employee benefits — from health care to dental, vision, disability and FMLA administration work. With offices near Philadelphia and in Kingston, she said it’s able to cater to both larger and smaller companies.
She said its service platform and individual care to clients has helped the firm stand out over the last 35 years.
“Benefits are very complicated and very expensive,” she said. “And most employees don’t really understand what their benefits are until they go to use them, and we think it’s very important that we support that utilization and be advocates for them with insurance companies.”
On the heels of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, Creative Benefits launched a Health Care Advisory initiative.
“We made it our business to understand this law and how it applies to our client organizations,” said McLaughlin-Smith. “We have created a system of client alerts to keep our clients compliant and keep their businesses financially intact.
“So we take a proactive approach in working with employees of our clients.”
McLaughlin-Smith opened a local office in 2005, eventually finding a home as one of the first tenants in the 900 Rutter building.
“We quickly outgrew (the first) space and we moved downstairs in that building,” she said.
McLaughlin-Smith said the inspiration for the recent move and new building was to accommodate growth while showing the public it’s committed to the area.
“We think it’s important to maintain a presence here,” she said.
And it’s not just about having a professional presence. McLaughlin-Smith said every employee is involved with volunteer efforts in the area and giving back in some way. She said a committee helps identify different organizations the company can serve.
“We think to be good citizens you need to do that,” she said. “You need to give back to the community.”