About Us

Advanced Benefit Strategies of Virginia’s employees have over 70 years of combined experience in the employee benefits arena. We focus on providing our clients with exceptional local service coupled with next-level tools and strategies that reduce costs and ease the administrative burden on your HR Department.

Since the company was formed, we have grown steadily, and saved our clients cumulatively millions of dollars with our advanced and proprietary strategies.

We are leaders in the integration of HR and Employee benefits by providing access to our on-line HR Department, HR360, to all clients. As the huge impact of Health Care Reform (ACA) unfolds, our expertise and resources in compliance strategies continue to put us ahead of our competitors in keeping our clients in compliance and well positioned to deal with the future under the ACA.

Although we work with businesses of all sizes, our efforts have focused on bringing large company strategies and technology down to the small to medium size business market. We’ve pioneered the use of cash flow vehicles such as Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) and consumer driven solutions linked to Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

The Principals of ABS sold and implemented the first HSA plans in Virginia in early 2004. Our experience and knowledge of how these programs can be used to lower premiums and increase flexibility is just one example of how we provide innovative solutions for our clients.


We are a comprehensive benefits consulting agency which provides expertise and access to Medical, Dental, Life, Disability and other ancillary benefit products for our clients.

Our goal is to solve your benefit problems in the most cost-effective way possible… NOT to sell you insurance. We are your advocates in the marketplace independent of our revenue sources.

Our practice is built around listening to and understanding your company’s culture, business environment, and goals for employee recruitment and retention. There are a vast range of solutions available. Our process guarantees each client a strategic plan that maximizes the value they receive from their benefit plan. Basic plan service is just the beginning of what we do:

  • Consultation

    Extensive consultation is used with our clients to identify goals and strategic direction. We identify problems specific to your company and industry and jointly develop an approach to mitigating these issues and creating better outcomes.

  • Extensive Market Search

    We will conduct an extensive market search for the products that can best achieve the agreed upon goals and desired outcomes.

  • Focused Analysis

    We perform focused analysis of market results to support potential decisions. We recommend solutions with more predictable long-term results and sustainable cost trends. We are experts in utilizing innovative strategies to increase value. We have arrangements with vendors who provide administration for COBRA, HSA, HRA, Self Funding and more.

  • Employee Education

    Employee education is the basis of effective benefit implementation. To that end, we focus on continuously educating employees so the impact of health care decisions on them and your company are understood. Employee meetings and client-specific presentations to enrollees are some of the tools we utilize. We will provide custom-written emails or education pieces for our clients to ease transitions and relieve the administrative burden from your HR department.

  • Detailed Review

    We will proactively review results over the course of the plan year, not just at renewal time. If desired outcomes are not being achieved, changes will be made in response to current data. We make sure you understand the reasons behind the outcomes of implemented strategies.

Our Team

Gregg Kennerly, CHRS, MHP, HIA

Gregg Kennerly, CHRS, MHP, HIA

Karen Bolstad

Karen Bolstad

Senior Operations Director
Carol Watson

Carol Watson

Senior Account Executive
  • Gregg Kennerly, CHRS, MHP, HIA
  • Karen Bolstad
  • Carol Watson
  • Gregg Kennerly, CHRS, MHP, HIA

    Gregg is a founding member of the firm, and has more than 30 years of experience in employee benefits. He has been a Regional Manager for health insurance carriers and general agencies on both coasts. In his career, Gregg has developed specialized expertise in HSA and HRA strategies, as well as self-funded health plans.

    He is an expert in plan design, and has served as account executive for national accounts such as Coca-Cola Enterprises and Tenet HealthCare. Gregg is a graduate of Virginia Tech and holds the Certified Healthcare Reform Specialist (CHRS), and other professional designations.

    He has written many published articles, spoken at seminars, and been a guest expert on talk radio. Away from work, Gregg enjoys fishing; adding to his vinyl record collection and watching his son play soccer.

  • Karen Bolstad

    Karen joined Advanced Benefit Strategies in April 2013 as our lead associate for Client Service and is responsible for our IT interface with clients and insurance carriers. Karen has an extensive and successful background in HR, Accounting and IT management for a number of large companies.

    Her experience, knowledge and responsiveness make her an important addition to our team and key to our strategy of providing a wide array of professional HR and benefits solutions to our clients.

    Karen is married to Bo, a Naval Officer, and is a gourmet cook. Friends and family look forward to being invited to her famous wine dinners.

  • Carol Watson

    Carol is a Senior Account Executive in our client service department. Carol joins us after a long and successful career as a manager with Optima Health. Carol brings extensive experience in plan underwriting, service, billing and enrollment. Personal client service is the part of her position she enjoys the most. She is knowledgeable, personable and prides herself on having excellent rapport with her clients.

    In her time away from work, Carol enjoys playing with her grandchildren, camping, and helping local veterans navigate the VA Health System.

  • Gregg Kennerly, CHRS, MHP, HIA
  • Karen Bolstad
  • Carol Watson
We typically work on a commission basis, and accept the insurance carriers’ standard commission as payment in full.

Please contact us if you are ready to get more from your relationship with your benefits consultant. Our clients have seen tremendous value in what we have been able to achieve… we look forward to helping your company achieve its goals.

Contact Us

Advanced Benefit Strategies of Virginia, LLC


Office Location

One Columbus Center # 600
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

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