First Financial Group of America  

Houston,  TX 
United States
  • Marketplace Space:V12

At First Financial Group of America, we work hard to simplify the benefits process for you and your employees. We are a full-service agency with a dedicated home office team, salaried account representatives and established relationships with vendors. This allows us to provide support from the beginning to the end. Our goal is to help you design a benefits portfolio that makes sense, is affordable, and most importantly, protects your employees and their families.

Read below for an overview of First Financial's services.

  • Benefits Consulting: We help you with all aspects of benefit plan design, communication needs and employee education through our comprehensive, integrated approach. Our leveraged buying power, expansive menu consisting of medical benefits and supplemental insurance products allow you to customize your portfolio so that it serves your unique needs. 
  • Administrative Solutions: Our full range of services such as online billing, record keeping and program evaluation will keep your organization’s benefits running smoothly and efficiently. Request a demo of our benefit management software to see how well it streamlines your process.
  • Enrollment Services: We are with you every step of the way to educate and assist, whether it’s in person, online or via phone. Education is an important component of selecting the right benefits, which is why we offer a variety of options available to help educate your employees so they can choose the plans that meet their needs. 
  • Medical Consulting: We provide expert guidance and consulting packages to help you understand where your current health plan is headed and how it may be affected by the ACA and rising health care costs. Let us be the resource you need to keep your plan manageable and affordable.
  • Investment Options: With people living longer, healthier lives, employees can plan for a comfortable retirement with one of our quality retirement plans.

Contact us to learn more!


UBC - Your Alternative Medical Solution
Payroll Integration
ComparePlus Tool
FFenroll - Benefits Administration Platform

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 Press Releases

  • During the summer, First Financial typically holds Open Enrollment – a period of time that a majority of customers enroll in their benefits. During enrollment, our representatives typically conduct one-on-one meetings with customers to discuss benefit options and answer questions. However, because COVID-19 continued to run rampant in our communities, First Financial was faced with a major challenge this year.

    How do we maintain the personal interaction our customers appreciate while keeping everyone safe?

    The answer was easy.

    First Financial needed to put measures in place to protect our customers and employees during this time. One such step included creating a new Enrollment Assistance Center that would allow Open Enrollment to continue as planned – including the live support customers need – but without in-person contact.

    Enrollment Assistance Center

    When COVID-19 first reached the United States, we quickly created an Enrollment Assistance Center (EAC) to provide enrollment support in a safe, effective manner. We knew that many of our customers would be either working from home or choosing to social distance. Yet, we wanted to make sure they were able to enroll in their benefits during their employer’s scheduled enrollment period. Additionally, we needed to provide a way for them to speak with a representative so that any questions or concerns could be addressed beforehand.

    The EAC is a telephone-operated system that allows customers to connect with a First Financial representative when they are ready to enroll in their benefits. Because the interaction takes place over the phone, both our customers and employees are at ease knowing they are protected from the coronavirus. Plus, customers are able to speak with a live representative at a convenient time for them.

    A Success Story

    The EAC is a brand-new service for us, but we have seen early success. In fact, Calcasieu Parish School Board (CPSB) in Louisiana was one of the first clients to use the EAC and reported this year being the best completion rate they’ve ever seen.

    Not only were they one of the first EAC clients, but it was also the first year First Financial hosted their products on our portal. Additionally, CPSB’s schools closed one week after their Open Enrollment started. There were challenges early on, but together with CPSB, we handled them with ease.

    “COVID-19 has presented huge challenges for school districts across this nation.  Solutions have been hard to come by during these fluid times.  Thankfully, the call center was a solution for our employees.  It far exceeded our expectations,” said Skylar Fontenot, Risk Manager at CPSB.

    Fontenot also praised the account managers and client service specialist assigned to CPSB who work closely with the school group to ensure successful enrollment.

    “We ended up with a 99.70% completion – that is by far the best we have ever done. Rebecca Hanagriff went above and beyond…her number one goal was to make our jobs/live easier. The account managers worked tirelessly on the phones to get our employees enrolled – all while adapting to a ‘new’ way of enrollment,” Fontenot continued.

    Covering All Bases

    In addition to the EAC, First Financial is fully equipped to help you have a successful enrollment. From excellent customer service and administrative support to product education and enrollment, we are ready to handle whatever curveballs come your way.

    Read about our enrollment services and also more feedback about our Enrollment Assistance Center.

  • A hot topic of conversation lately has been Texas school Districts of Innovation (DOI) researching alternative options to TRS ActiveCare. Many of these districts are looking for guidance from a knowledgeable insurance provider to understand requirements and the implementation process. It can be a confusing subject, so we are here to simplify it and answer a few of the most common questions we hear. In this article, we will discuss alternative medical plan options and how it affects you and your employees.

    Q: What is a District of Innovation?

    A: The 2015 Texas Legislature amended Chapter 12 of the Texas Education Code allowing school districts with at minimum an acceptable academic rating to innovate in several areas of the code that have hindered district goals. A DOI plan term is allowed to last up to five years and schools were allowed, after following a specific process, to include all or part of the areas of innovation prescribed by the amendment.

    Q: Why would a district pursue options outside of TRS ActiveCare?

    A: Many districts may not want to look at other options or alternative plans. For many districts, TRS ActiveCare will prove to be the most effective option to provide health care coverage to their employees.

    The interest by districts into what these latest developments are all about stems from an interest in making certain that everything has been done to help employees access affordable and effective healthcare coverage. Schools have to compete for talented employees just like any other employer. They are competing with other area employers, as well as other school districts, and health insurance can be a serious consideration for that potential employee.

    Q: How can First Financial Group of America help me?

    A: First Financial has been involved in helping school districts with their self-funded medical plans for more than 30 years and we are here to help you through this process. We have been there for Texas schools and this latest initiative from day one and we have a solution for you today. Both El Paso ISD and Raymondville ISD are First Financial clients for Section 125 Cafeteria Plan and enrollment services. Therefore, we have been involved in facilitating and supporting districts with these latest DOI developments since their inception.

    First Financial has engaged key partners in our market to provide access to the best and most immediate solutions available to Texas schools.

    We are proud to be partners with Dr. Maze and ESC Region 12 who have launched the Universal Benefits Consortium (UBC), a program that has leveraged buying power to provide a full suite of self-funded and fully-insured medical options. First Financial is the only TPA with access to the UBC, which means we are in the ideal position to assist you today.

    • We help districts request data from TRS and track the progress of that data being released.
    • We will provide a free evaluation of a district’s medical plan options.

    Our Benefits Consulting division was specifically created to provide First Financial school districts with access to the best medical consulting partners and the most cost-effective solutions available. We will help with your claims data, your District of Innovation plan and provide a free consultation.

    Q: When should I get started?

    A: You can start any time. A District of Innovation plan is necessary to provide the basis for offering an alternative. This can take some time and should be in line with district goals and initiatives.

    While a plan can be developed without claims data, it could help provide a district with the most accurate and informed options. As such, we take the approach of requesting information from TRS. Recently, TRS has begun providing districts with a process, by which they will be allowed to access their proprietary data.

    Once you have looked at claims combined with good demographic data, it may prove TRS ActiveCare is the best option for the district. Many people we talk to are interested in moving forward with an alternative only if the district can offer something tangibly better than what is already available through TRS – not just an alternative for the sake of offering an alternative. That’s why it is helpful to discuss district goals and the process.

    As a company involved from the start, First Financial will update you on the current state of affairs and provide you with the tools and information you need to be successful going forward.

    To schedule an appointment, contact Scott Elgin, Texas State Manager, at

  • Businesses often forget the importance of efficient administrative solutions while focusing on their core operations. Experienced administrators are the invisible cogs in your organizational machine that keep everything working smoothly. Good administrators enhance business productivity while inefficient ones can slow down the operations and negatively affect business performance.

    First Financial Group of America Overview

    At First Financial Group of America, we’ve built an excellent menu of administrative services that keep your organization running smoothly and efficiently. We understand that it can be challenging to pour resources into managing employee benefits. It’s also challenging trying to decipher what steps you need to take.

    This is why we offer a full range of administrative services such as online billing, record keeping, and program evaluation. Overall, we’ve designed these services to help you achieve great results.

    Administrative Solutions That Make Your Job Easier

    Our reliable and skilled employees have years of experience administering employer benefit plans. Our cost-effective solutions will make your business function much easier in a number of ways.

    • Cut the time it takes to reconcile your bill with our easy-to-use online billing system. Our advanced technological tools allow us to assist you with comparing vendor invoices to payroll data for example. Furthermore, we help with reconciling your bill online and managing benefits for employees who are out on leave.
    • Enhance your benefits enrollment experience with our industry-leading platform. Our online enrollment system, FFenroll, was designed for employers like you who are looking to streamline their enrollment, administrative and compliance processes into one, convenient solution.
    • Maximize tax savings for both you and employees through a Section 125 Plan. We will determine which products qualify under Section 125 as well as make sure you’re in compliance with government regulations, maintain plan records, provide all necessary forms – basically make sure you’re getting the most value from your plan.
    • Let us assist you in navigating the administrative risks of COBRA administration all while saving valuable time. We keep you compliant by providing comprehensive services required by federal law.
    • Lastly, employee benefits purchase and management is a complex and time-consuming process. Our experienced team will help you develop the best benefits program for your group, allowing you to focus on your core business.

    The Proof Is In the Pudding

    When it comes to the type of service you can expect to receive from First Financial Group of America, you don’t have to take our word for it. Our clients highly recommend our service. In fact, learn more about what they had to say below…

    “First Financial does a great job in working with our employees. Their agents are knowledgeable, friendly and make a sincere effort to inform and educate the employees of our district on all available benefits that are best for their needs.”

    Debbie Hernandez, Bloomfield School.

    “I have worked with FFGA for many years and find them to be the best at what they do. In addition to their administrative services, we have been able to work with them to offer well-rounded products and services to our employees. They do a thorough compare of our benefits every year which allows employees to make an informed decision on supplemental products that are best for their family’s needs.”

    Myah Crisp, Clayton Municipal School.

    Need to find out more? Please contact us today.

  • Employee benefits have come a long way in the U.S. since the 1940s. In fact, after World War II, President Roosevelt began the “Stabilization Act” which helped employers provide essential benefits to their employees. However, those benefits were modest, starting with health insurance, then moving into dental and vision benefits by the 1950s. Before Roosevelt’s act, the government made pensions tax-exempt and adopted its own pension plan for federal workers. Social Security was also adopted in 1935.

    Fortunately, employee benefits options have become much more innovative since then. Modern benefits far exceed those of our grandparents and great-grandparents. The array of opportunities that employers offer in the current workplace range from maternity/paternity leave to tuition assistance.  A far cry from the yester-years.

    Why Offer Benefits to Employees?

    There are many reasons employers today choose to offer a competitive benefits package.

    One reason to offer benefits to employees is that it saves you money in taxes. The cost of employee benefits is tax deductible just like wages, salaries, bonuses and commissions. Additionally, if you choose to offer a Section 125 Plan, you’ll be able to reduce FICA expenses on eligible benefits selected by employees under the plan.

    Another reason to offer employees benefits is to show them you care for them and their family members. A good mix of medical and supplemental benefits will help them protect their income in the event of an accident or illness. Show employees that you are more than just an employer who wants to profit from their talent. By providing them with quality benefits you prove that you care for them as individuals.

    Lastly, of course, providing excellent benefits is that you want to attract and retain great employees! It’s just that simple. Today, employers want to encourage better job performance while also reducing employee turnover rates. Happy employees create a positive work environment, which has been shown to increase productivity and job satisfaction. It’s a win for all.

    When to Offer Benefits & What Types

    As a general rule, you will want to provide benefits that are relevant to your industry, work environment, and the type of staff you need. A few options to consider include the following:

    • Section 125 Plan: This is an IRS-approved program to help employees increase their spendable income. It also saves you money in FICA expenses.
    • Reimbursement Accounts: These types of accounts provide employees with a way to reserve a portion of their income, on a pre-tax basis, to pay for out-of-pocket medical and dependent care expenses.
    • Medical, Dental and Vision Plans: A good health plan provides benefits to help employees afford to pay for medical, dental and vision care for themselves and their family members.
    • Supplemental Insurance Plans: From disability income insurance, accident only insurance and cancer insurance to life insurance, retirement plans, and identity protection, you can customize your benefits portfolio to include options that employees may be looking for.

    What Do Your Current Employee Benefits Look Like?

    Benefits help employers and employees maintain sustainability when they are planned just right. If you need assistance with ensuring that you’re offering the right kinds of employee benefits, connect with First Financial Group of America (FFGA). We will review your current offerings to make sure you are maximizing the full potential of your benefits plan. 

    Contact us today to claim for a free benefits review!

Questions about TASBO Marketplace & exhibiting? Contact Kathy Swanson, Director of Partner Relationships, or 512-617-0073.

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