Our History with Healthcare

Ed and Kathleen MacConnell’s daughter Katelin was born in June, 1988. Ed’s father had already started his insurance agency, katie-held-by-dadAshwood Associates  a few years earlier. It wasn’t until many years later that Ed and Kathleen joined the agency which eventually became Total Benefit Solutions, Inc.

Katelin was born with a fatal liver disease, Biliary Atresia. After many attempts were made to avoid it, and many days and sleepless nights in the hospital, the doctors determined that the only recourse they had to save her life was a liver transplant. At the time Ed’s job provided health insurance benefits but they had to wait until the open enrollment

Father Dextre from St Michaels Parish came to Christen Katie in the hospital while she was waiting for a liver.
Father Dexter from St Michael’s Parish came to Christen Katie in the hospital while she was waiting for a liver.

period to enroll the new baby. Health insurance rules were much different then, and even more misunderstood by the family. Ed’s insurance company denied the claims and advised that they would not cover the procedure.

So the family, friends and neighbors  took to fundraising to try to cover the exorbitant cost. Needless to say the fundraising would fall way, way short. Clips below show some of the newspaper stories from the fundraising effort!

Ed and Kathleen made it their mission to find out as much as they could about health insurance rules and regulations including state and federal government programs, grants, foundations and loans. After all, there were no advocates they could hire at the time.  Accepting no was not the answer! They spent hours reading books, writing letters, knocking on doors, visiting government officials and making phone calls. Of course they could not just look things up on Google it was 1988!

They became health insurance experts by accident, simply by advocating for their child. With time running short over the winter holidays, things took a turn for the worse and it began to look bleak. But finally on January 5th 1989, while sitting in ICU on life support at St Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia,  Katelin received the liver transplant she desperately needed to survive.

Katie and her dad at St Chris waiting for that liver!
Katie and her dad at St Chris waiting for that liver!

It was the beginning of a long second chance journey for the family that continues to this day.

Later that year Ed left the company he had been working for and in 1990 they started their own business. They decided that they would always offer their employees comprehensive health benefits.  During this time they received many calls from people, mostly parents, desperatly in need of some guidance and assistance because they were in similar situations and had no where else to turn. Even when  while subletting office space from his father’s firm, questions about insurance and benefits would come up from the firm’s clients and they’d often wind up on the phone with Ed. After  few years, they left the cleaning business because the call of the needs of health insurance consumers and small business owners  kept coming back again and again.

Katie with her mom Kathleen and Kathy Faulkenstein from St. Christopher's Hospital for Children.

So in 1995, Ed joined his father at the firm and became a licensed insurance producer. He decided to be a broker so he could impartially represent and advocate for his clients best interests, even if it was not in the best interests of the insurance company! Kathleen joined in 2002 to complete the family business.

Even now the family business strives to always represent their clients and advocates for their best interests in all areas including rates, claims, service, denials and appeals.  Stop in and you may even find Katelin, her older brother Robert and younger brother Ed working at the office from time to time. Working with Total Benefit Solutions means our team of dedicated professionals and our family always works for you!


The History of Our Firm:

Total Benefit Solutions Inc started out life as Ashwood Associates Inc  in 1982 as a financial planning and consulting firm dedicated to providing only the finest financial advice to small business owners. As the years progressed, it became more and more apparent that there was a growing need for a firm that specialized in benefits for small organizations and individuals. By 1987 the firm was split into two organizations, Ashwood Associates spun off to handle the property and casualty clients, and Edward A MacConnell continued as the newly adopted. EMA Group Inc.

Coupled with his own personal experience fighting a healthcare giant, Edward T. MacConnell joined the firm in 1995 with one mission in mind: To bring the services most commonly saved for large employers to small business owners who needed them more and fill this rapidly growing need.

With the dawning of Health Care Reform in 2013 we again restructured our business model to better serve our clients after the implementation of PPACA.

We pride ourselves in providing quality service to every client. We have achieved a solid record of growth by doing what it takes: working closely with our clients to develop real benefit solutions, not merely provide raw data.

As each year rolls around, we feel that we have accomplished much but that we still have plenty of work to do. With Total Benefit Solutions Inc as your broker, you can always be certain that we will strive for the highest level of customer service and seek out advancements that our clients can benefit from for years to come. And with all the changes in healthcare these days, you need to know when things change that affect you!

You aren’t just working with a broker-you have engaged the services of a team of professionals, dedicated to helping you. When you hire us we represent you our client, and NOT your insurance company.

What you get is an experienced employee benefits firm and a dedicated support staff to handle your needs. With us your benefit plans are not an afterthought, it’s our primary focus. We aim to preserve our excellent standing in the business community by emphasizing a “client first” commitment to our clients at all times. We continually challenge ourselves to look for better solutions to our clients’ needs. We listen to our clients and address their concerns as the most important factor in developing appropriate employee benef

Christine Taylor

lquote

I have been working with Ed and his team for a few years now and their level of professionalism as well as timeliness never fails, even when it is late into the night at times. Thank you all for making this process smooth & easy which would certainly not be the case on my ownRquote.

Christine Taylor: Self Employed

2016-02-06T12:43:18+00:00

Christine Taylor: Self Employed

I have been working with Ed and his team for a few years now and their level of professionalism as well as timeliness never fails, even when it is late into the night at times. Thank you all for making this process smooth & easy which would certainly not be the case on my own.

I am so grateful for the amazing service!



 

I was completely lost when looking for new health insurance. I called several brokers, and none would take the time to explain everything to me. He took his time and explained everything to me and answered every question I asked, without sounding annoyed. I am so grateful for the amazing service! I highly recommend!

Ariel Muller

2017-12-31T09:21:57+00:00

Ariel Muller

I am so grateful for the amazing service!

Lou Grossman

lquote-grnEd and his team go the extra mile for you. They truly care about your benefits ...And Ed knows more about benefit details and regulations than anyone around . He is the best-and a nice guy to boot.- Lou Grossman, President-Grossman Public RelationsRquote-grn
2016-05-05T17:54:09+00:00
Ed and his team go the extra mile for you. They truly care about your benefits ...And Ed knows more about benefit details and regulations than anyone around . He is the best-and a nice guy to boot.- Lou Grossman, President-Grossman Public Relations

Bryan Perchick

lquoteAs a commercial realtor I spend 90% of my time on the road and do not find myself at a desk very often. Having Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. as my broker makes the task simple, fast and to the point. And I never waste time on hold with the insurance company any longer. Thanks again Ed and Total Benefit Solutions Inc!  Rquote

-Bryan Perchick

4.0
2015-01-26T10:07:47+00:00

-Bryan Perchick

As a commercial realtor I spend 90% of my time on the road and do not find myself at a desk very often. Having Total Benefit Solutions, Inc. as my broker makes the task simple, fast and to the point. And I never waste time on hold with the insurance company any longer. Thanks again Ed and Total Benefit Solutions Inc!  

Pete’s Clown House Luncheonette

lquoteEd MacConnell and his team make me feel like I’m their only customer! Whenever I need help they’re ready, willing and able. It makes it easier to focus more on keeping my restaurant profitable and smooth.

Ron Bordone-PresidentRquote
2015-01-26T09:44:33+00:00
Ed MacConnell and his team make me feel like I’m their only customer! Whenever I need help they’re ready, willing and able. It makes it easier to focus more on keeping my restaurant profitable and smooth. Ron Bordone-President

Neil Greenberg

lquote-grn

There is no more valuable advisor, agent, friend or guru than you, Ed. You have helped me through numerous conundrums, assisted people who might not even be good client candidates, and explained things in language even I can understand. There isn't a circumstance which I don't take the opportunity to recommend you to someone. If I had more Rquote-grninfluence, I could repay you for all the good you've done for me, my family and friends.


Neil Greenberg
4.0
2015-01-26T09:21:26+00:00
There is no more valuable advisor, agent, friend or guru than you, Ed. You have helped me through numerous conundrums, assisted people who might not even be good client candidates, and explained things in language even I can understand. There isn't a circumstance which I don't take the opportunity to recommend you to someone. If I had more influence, I could repay you for all the good you've done for me, my family and friends. Neil Greenberg

Bonnie Greisler

lquoteThank you for taking great care of me- and my son! You guided us to workable medical insurance plans, I am very appreciative for your expertise and knowledge!- Bonnie Greisler., President of The Men and Boy's Store, Huntingdon Valley PA Rquote

Bonnie Greisler, President of The Men and Boy's Store

2016-02-08T09:59:24+00:00

Bonnie Greisler, President of The Men and Boy's Store

I am very appreciative for your expertise and knowledge!

Rachael Cappella

lquote-grn


Ed MacConnell was extremely patient and helpful when assisting me in choosing the health insurance that was right for me.... He was very knowledgeable about different options and took time to answer all my questions. Total Benefit Solutions is definitely the place to call for your health insurance needs.Rquote-grn

 
5.0
2016-02-06T12:38:58+00:00
Total Benefit Solutions is definitely the place to call for your health insurance needs.

They really know what they are doing



 

They really know what they are doing and will take great care of you! 

Carol Woytus, Vacation Magic Travel

2017-12-31T09:11:31+00:00

Carol Woytus, Vacation Magic Travel

They really know what they are doing and will take great care of you!

BKZ Contractors Inc.

lquoteI found out the hard way what having the wrong coverage can truly cost. Even though I had insurance I found out later that my child’s birth was not covered and I had to pay 100% of the costs. After that I found the guys at EMA (Total Benefit Solutions Inc.) and Ed found me a plan that was not only better, the premiums were lower as well. Thanks again!

Brian Zeldes, President BKZ Contractors Inc.Rquote
5.0
2015-01-26T10:02:52+00:00
I found out the hard way what having the wrong coverage can truly cost. Even though I had insurance I found out later that my child’s birth was not covered and I had to pay 100% of the costs. After that I found the guys at EMA (Total Benefit Solutions Inc.) and Ed found me a plan that was not only better, the premiums were lower as well. Thanks again! Brian Zeldes, President BKZ Contractors Inc.

Totally Zen

lquoteEd, Great follow up! Thanks again your service is incredible!!

Stephanie Churchill, PresidentRquote
2015-01-26T09:36:32+00:00
Ed, Great follow up! Thanks again your service is incredible!! Stephanie Churchill, President

Sales Pros 4 Hire

lquoteEspecially thank you for helping my wife and I sail through the new Affordable Care Act. You and your team made the complicated seem simple and select the plan best suited for our health insurance needs. Thanks!

Mike Hilbert, President, Sales Pros 4 HireRquote
5.0
2015-02-02T21:04:03+00:00
Especially thank you for helping my wife and I sail through the new Affordable Care Act. You and your team made the complicated seem simple and select the plan best suited for our health insurance needs. Thanks! Mike Hilbert, President, Sales Pros 4 Hire

Stephen Forbus

lquoteEd, thanks for helping me solve the ACA puzzle. After multiple problems with the site and with the operators, you got me a bigger savings than I was able to get on my own, and saved me over $2,250! Thank you!

Stephen ForbusRquote
2015-01-26T09:23:16+00:00
Ed, thanks for helping me solve the ACA puzzle. After multiple problems with the site and with the operators, you got me a bigger savings than I was able to get on my own, and saved me over $2,250! Thank you! Stephen Forbus

Bruce McIntyre

lquote-grnEd, and his group, is perhaps the most knowledgeable in PA for healthcare. Note that while Ed has major misgivings with ACA, he has taken the time to read the legislation, and to understand it's implications, and to provide advice to his customers based on reality, not some right or left wing fantasy.  If you want actual information on healthcare, talk to Ed and his group.-Bruce McIntyreRquote-grn
2015-01-26T09:24:16+00:00
Ed, and his group, is perhaps the most knowledgeable in PA for healthcare. Note that while Ed has major misgivings with ACA, he has taken the time to read the legislation, and to understand it's implications, and to provide advice to his customers based on reality, not some right or left wing fantasy.  If you want actual information on healthcare, talk to Ed and his group.-Bruce McIntyre

Zola Makrauer DMD

lquoteEd is an expert in health insurance. I am a health care provider myself and I know how difficult this business can be. He is knowledgeable with all of the health insurance companies in our area. If you are looking for health insurance I would not pass up Ed for a quote he is great for single plans as well as plans for groups for business owners. Zola Makrauer DMD Rquote
2015-02-09T07:53:06+00:00
Ed is an expert in health insurance. I am a health care provider myself and I know how difficult this business can be. He is knowledgeable with all of the health insurance companies in our area. If you are looking for health insurance I would not pass up Ed for a quote he is great for single plans as well as plans for groups for business owners. Zola Makrauer DMD

over and above the call of duty



 

Over the years Ed and his crew have gone over and above the call of duty to assist me with my health insurance needs. They have perfect amount of patience needed to help healthcare novices like me. I highly recommend Total Benefits. Don’t delay! Call today!

Amy Huber, client

2017-12-31T09:14:39+00:00

Amy Huber, client

over and above the call of duty

Amy H

lquoteIf you two were in front of me I’d hug you right now.  Now I have more money in my checking account than I thought!  AWESOME!

Amy H- Individual Client on the healthcare.gov marketplaceRquote

 

 
2015-01-24T20:32:14+00:00
"If you guys were here I'd hug you!"

Terry Farber

lquoteI have relied on the expertise of Ed MacConnell and his staff for assistance in choosing the best health care plans for me and my husband for the past several years. I highly recommend Total Benefit Solutions, Inc., for your health care planning needs.

-Terry Farber, Elder Law AttorneyRquote
2016-07-14T18:19:34+00:00
I have relied on the expertise of Ed MacConnell and his staff for assistance in choosing the best health care plans for me and my husband for the past several years. I highly recommend Total Benefit Solutions, Inc., for your health care planning needs. -Terry Farber, Elder Law Attorney

Paige Wolf Media & Public Relations



 

Ed and his team put up with all my health insurance panic and drama! In this crazy world of health insurance mania, it's helpful to have someone to put things into perspective - and find you coverage you can live with.  

Paige Wolf, President Paige Wolf Media and Public Relations

 

2017-12-31T09:25:42+00:00

Paige Wolf, President Paige Wolf Media and Public Relations

 

in this crazy world of health insurance mania, it's helpful to have someone to put things into perspective
1.0
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it programs.

We know good employees are your organization’s most valuable asset and work with you to preserve this relationship. We also focus on continuing our professional education and offer the up to date knowledge our clients deserve. Since your needs vary yearly, we aggressively develop a benefits plan for existing clients the same way we would for prospective clients. Then we work with you ALL YEAR to keep your plan running smoothly. As your outsourced HR professional, we will deal directly with your employees, addressing their concerns and resolving complex issues promptly and professionally. We do all of this without charging our clients any fees directly.

Talk to us today about a custom designed solution for your organization. You might not even have to switch insurers! It’s easy! Just pick up your phone and call us today at 215/355-2121 and speak to a member of our dedicated service team.