News & Events

CDB is making headlines! Check out the following articles below to learn how we are tackling today’s health care and benefits challenges. You can also bookmark this page to stay up-to-date on important industry events, company activities, updates and more.

June 2022

Ohio Business Magazine named Custom Design Benefits as a Best Workplace in Ohio

We are honored to receive this recognition! We take great pride in being a company our employees love to work for and our clients love to work with.

May 2022

Columbus Business First Executive Insights: A Q&A with Julie Mueller, President and CEO of Custom Design Benefits

Join us for Executive Insights, where Columbus Business First President and Publisher Nick Fortine interviews Custom Design Benefits President and CEO Julie Mueller. Learn more about Custom Design Benefits services, including self-funded health plans, FSAs, HRAs and how companies can attract new employees during the great resignation. What behaviors are most important to company culture? What should companies do to alleviate stress? Get answers to these questions and more.

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April 2022

CDB Earns Two High-Profile Business Awards

We’re honored to report that we have once again been recognized as a business leader by two prominent publications:

Ohio Success Award, Ohio Business Magazine
This award recognizes companies that have demonstrated growth both in revenue and employees, as well as having shown involvement in their community and service in their industry.

Best in Cincy Business, Cincy Magazine
In an online competition, readers of Cincy Magazine voted for their favorite Cincinnati businesses in 74 categories, and Custom Design Benefits was named as a top Professional Services firm.

March 2022

CDB Makes a Splash with a Party at the Aquarium

After cruising through the choppy waters of 2021, the CDB crew set sail for its annual year-end celebration at the Newport Aquarium on March 4, 2022.

Every year, CDB takes time out to reflect on the previous year’s successes with an activity that brings employees closer together. This year’s event was no exception.

The event included lunch in the Riverside Room, skits performed by our newer CDB employees, and a scavenger hunt that had us work together in teams to locate and snap a group photo at several of the aquariums’ key attractions.

Together, we visited every exhibit and (sea creature) you can think of – from the Shore Gallery and Stingray Hideaway, to Gator Alley and Penguin Palooza.

A big “Thank You!” to the Newport Aquarium staff for their hospitality and to everyone on our team for their hard work and dedication. Together, we made 2021 a real whale of a year!

January 2022

Terri’s Retirement

It is with bittersweet feelings that we announce the retirement of our dear friend and colleague, Terri Martin, effective January 28. Since joining Custom Design Benefits in October 2017, Terri has been a tremendous asset to our team. Her contributions and intense focus on continuous process improvement have helped CDB set new standards for client service and customized health insurance solutions.

From Director of Medical Management, Vice President of Medical and Risk Management, to her most recent role as Chief Operating Officer, we have benefited greatly from her wealth of knowledge and leadership. We will miss your energy and enthusiasm, but most of all your dedication to improving health outcomes for our clients and their members.

Please join us in congratulating Terri on a remarkable career. Best wishes on this next chapter, Terri!

January 2022

Bengals Tailgate Potluck

On January 14th, we wore our favorite orange and black and enjoyed a tailgate potluck together to show our support of the Cincinnati Bengals ahead of the playoff game this Saturday. Who Dey! #RuleThePlayoffs #ShowYourStripes

December 2021

Ugly Christmas Sweater 2021

Today was our annual holiday lunch and ugly Christmas sweater day. From all of us here at CDB, we hope you all have a very happy holiday season and look forward to the new year!

October 2021

Custom Design Benefits Celebrates 30 Years As Area’s Largest Independent Third-Party Administrator of Self-Funded Health Benefit Plans

Custom Design Benefits (CDB), a leading third party administrator providing innovative cost containment solutions to employers with self-funded health plans, today marks a 30-year milestone serving the greater Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky markets.

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October 2021

Halloween 2021

This Halloween, the CDB team celebrated all things fun and festive with an office costume contest and chili cook-off! Although it was spooky season, the day was full of more treats than tricks.

We loved seeing our friends show off their show-stopping outfits and scary good cooking skills. From friendly bees to a brave knight in shining armor, the team really displayed some fearsome creativity. Congratulations to the group costume contest winners, the Trolls: Shalana Caldwell, Tianna Shelby, Sue Frank, and Marcia Homer. Dressed to the nines as a dinosaur, Kim Cassell was crowned the individual winner of the costume competition!

And to the victors of the chili cook-off, we also tip our hats. Thank you for creating such wonderful dishes, Katie Vollmer, Noah Carlisle, and Matt DiBella! We always love to see our friends’ talents in action, both in and out of the office.

October 2021

30th Anniversary Vegas Trip

On October 15, we celebrated three decades of providing employers and their brokers throughout the tri-state area with innovative self-funded benefit plans the best way we know how – Vegas style!

Hard work, determination, and passion have helped make Custom Design Benefits the strong, successful company it is today, so we made sure to go all out with an anniversary party to remember complete with card games, good food, and camaraderie. Lady Luck made her presence known, granting cash prizes to the top 3 gambling participants and five raffle winners.

September 2021

What Employers Need to Know About Behavioral Health and Telehealth Services

Addressing employee mental health issues has been a focus of concern for some time, but the lingering psychological effects of COVID-19 pandemic fatigue are raising the stakes for employers to do more.

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September 2021

14 Annual Customer Conference

Custom Design Benefits hosted our 14th Annual Customer Conference on September 23rd at the Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati, OH. With a bull as the conference mascot, the 2021 conference focused on the latest strategies for wrangling in cost savings.

In addition to sharing updated data on how COVID-19 has impacted our clients’ healthcare plans, the 2021 agenda also included a conversation about near-site clinics and the positive impact they have made on patient outcomes, a presentation by Dr. David Galardi from Paydhealth about alternate funding and specialty pharmacy costs, and a discussion on addiction and mental health in the workplace with Dr. Marc Whitsett.

Mary Piecuch from Payer Compass gave an overview of a new cost transparency tool called TrueCost Connect and Ron Peck, Chief Legal Officer of The Phia Group, updated everyone on the legislative landscape in regard to the federal government’s “Transparency in Coverage” rule, the “No Surprises” Act and the Biden Administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers.

We’d like to thank the team who helped make this year’s conference a success and everyone who attended. See you all next year!

September 2021

Alzheimer’s Association Reverse Raffle

This September, our office supported the Alzheimer’s Association with a reverse raffle. We had fun “selling” lottery tickets, in the end raising over $130 for this impactful cause.

The Alzheimer’s Association is an incredible organization seeking to end Alzheimer’s and all other forms of dementia, furthering research efforts and offering resources to help patients and their loved ones find excellent care.

We are proud to support this community, and thankful to our employees for their fundraising efforts.

September 2021

Hat Day 2021

The Friday before Labor Day weekend, CDB celebrated our team in a new way – with Hat Day! Ranging from silly to casual, these hats brought a little extra personality and energy into the office. And we love any chance to celebrate what sets our team apart!

May 2021

The 5 Levers of Health Plan Cost Control for 2021

Benefits advisors can help employers offer great, and even improved, health plan benefits to their employees, often at reduced costs, by breaking out of the box defined by traditional health plans. The trick is finding solutions that provide flexibility.

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May 2021

GO Pantry Food Drive

We recently hosted a food drive for GO Pantry. The food drive collection will help GO Pantry tackle childhood hunger in Northern Kentucky. GO Pantry uses donations like these to provide food to local children outside of school hours. GO Pantry provides GO Boxes (food boxes for school break) and GO Bags (weekend food packs offered during the school year).

GO Pantry started as an operation of a few families helping seven kids and has since evolved into a much larger organization. Today, it helps more than 750 children through the efforts of more than 2,000 volunteers. We are thankful to be a part of such an amazing cause.

April 2021

Women Presidents’ Organization Announces Julie D. Mueller as Newest Member of Prestigious Women’s Business Organization

The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a peer advisory group for million dollar plus women-led companies, has announced Julie D. Mueller, President & CEO at Custom Design Benefits as the newest member of the Greater Cincinnati II Chapter of the WPO.

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April 2021

American Heart Association Fundraiser

Custom Design Benefits raised $10,000 for the American Heart Association through several fundraisers. The fundraising effort officially began during Custom Design Benefits’ 13th Annual Customer Conference on Sept. 15, 2020 at the Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati, Ohio.

During the conference, Custom Design Benefits held a silent auction to kick off the fundraising campaign for the American Heart Association. Afterward, 56 Custom Design Benefits employees and family members registered for the Heart Walk, the American Heart Association’s primary fundraising event.

During February and March, Custom Design Benefits hosted several additional fundraising events to aid the cause, including multiple raffles (basket, lottery board, mystery box), Split the Pot, Balloon Pop, after hours wine tasting, and Ultimate Chair Race.

While all of these efforts encouraged the giving spirit, the Ultimate Chair Race provided the most entertainment. Representatives from each team faced off in a chair race around the office, except they had to race backwards. To make this even more interesting, participants could purchase “accessories” for the other teams, such as a Teletubby costume or a weighted backpack, to make the race more challenging. Additionally, the race featured a variety of obstacles, including maneuvering around cans, breaking balloons, doing burpees and taking pit stops.

These fundraising efforts, spanning from September to March, helped Custom Design Benefits raise money for a great organization and a great cause, while also providing plenty of laughs and great memories along the way.

We’d like to wholeheartedly thank our employees, customers, and vendor partners for their fundraising efforts. Without them, none of this would have been possible.

February 2021

2021 Outlook for Health Benefits

Julie Mueller and Custom Design Benefits were featured on the ManageHR website, with Julie’s timely predictions for Health Benefits in 2021. One thing that remains constant from year to year, is employers’ need to balance great employee benefits with cost control and Julie shares some of the tools available to employers to do just that.

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December 2020

Cincy Magazine – An Adaptable Company

The Custom Design Benefits team prides itself on being nimble and strategically partnering with clients to bring them the best employee health benefits for their budget. Read more about how we adapt to be a David versus the Goliath of the big, publicly traded insurance companies as they focus on bringing exceptional service to our clients.

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December 2020

CDB Awarded Top Benefits Administration

Custom Design Benefits is honored to be included in Manage HR’s annual listing of 10 innovative benefits administration consulting/services companies that are impacting the industry, and to be deemed a Top Benefits Administration Consulting/Service Company for 2020.

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September 2020

13th Annual Customer Conference

Custom Design Benefits hosted our 13th Annual Customer Conference on September 15th at the Hard Rock Casino in Cincinnati, OH. With a bee as the conference mascot, the buzz at the 2020 conference was all about the latest cost savings strategies.

In addition to sharing data about how the COVID 19 virus has impacted our clients’ healthcare plans, the 2020 agenda also included a conversation about self-funding in a COVID world, a presentation by L.G. Hanzel from RxResults about soaring drug costs, and a discussion with Rob Previte from Call A Doctor Plus about the increased need for mental health services during the pandemic. Terri Martin, CDB’s COO, provided an update on our Custom Care population heath management program. Dr. David Galardi from Paydhealth gave a special presentation about how alternative funding solutions can take some of the pain out of specialty drug costs.

We’d like to thank the incredible team at Hard Rock Casino for helping us implement precautions to make the event safe for everyone who attended.

June 2020

CDB Named Top Workplace for Fifth Time

We are proud to earn a fifth Top Workplace in Cincinnati award from The Cincinnati Enquirer. Culture is central to our success and is key to maintaining our Top Workplace company culture. Custom Design Benefits follows what we call “The Custom Way,” 23 fundamental principles that describe who we are, how we do our work, and how we treat our clients, members, partners, and each other.

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March 2020

Vistage Perspectives Magazine – An Intentional Change in Culture

Julie Mueller and Custom Design Benefits were featured in the Spring 2020 issue of Vistage magazine, as a case study on changing your culture to deliver extraordinary client service.

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