Have you ever called a friend and confessed that you felt silly for not understanding what seemed like a basic concept? Isn’t it the best feeling when that friend tells you that you aren’t silly and that they have wondered about the same thing? Then, you talk through all of the nuances of the issue together.

Now, have you ever wished you had a friend who was willing to talk through complex health insurance issues with you? If so, now you have two new friends, and Friends…With Health Benefits is the online community you never knew you needed!

We are two friends who frequently process through tricky employee benefits concerns together. After traveling in overlapping professional circles for years, we finally started talking at a boring meeting and realized how much we had in common. One of the first things we noticed about each other is that we share the same superpower. We both can break complex health policy requirements down so that anyone can understand them (and maybe even find them a little bit interesting).

Jen is an employee benefits attorney who has a long history of helping businesses and brokers create innovative and compliant employee benefit plan solutions. Jessica is a recovering health policy lobbyist who has shaped state and federal laws related to health insurance, employee benefits, and benefit brokers for over two decades. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, we both found ourselves taking on new roles as “ACA compliance educators.” This title means we spend lots of time analyzing health care reform developments. It also means we are frequently called on to provide commentary and serve as professional speakers on a wide variety of health care reform and employee benefits issues.

We both formed companies a few years ago to help employers and insurance brokers stay on top of different aspects of the changing health care landscape. Our two businesses recently started partnering together to provide enhanced benefit compliance services to our clients. Creating this online community seemed like another great way to share our combined nerdiness and expertise with friends.

Finally, just in case you wondered, we are pretty sure we would still be friends if one of us visualized snakes, rather than notices, upon hearing the word COBRA. But since there aren’t too many other people out there who get excited when they have a new piece of health insurance guidance to read, we (and all of our non-insurance friends and family) are delighted we’ve found each other. Most importantly, we are glad that you, friend, have found us!