Are Sleepy Workers Damaging Your Business’s Health?

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In June 2014, a truck driver from Georgia drove 800 miles from his home to his Delaware workplace. Without stopping to rest, he then got behind the wheel of a Wal-Mart tractor trailer and headed north. He rear-ended a limousine bus on the New Jersey turnpike, starting a chain-reaction crash involving six vehicles and 21 people. Comedy writer James McNair died and television comedian Tracy Morgan suffered serious injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that the driver, who had been awake for 28 hours, caused the crash because he was fatigued. Employers are increasingly becoming aware of the problems…
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How to Reduce Your Employees’ Stress During Holidays

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The holiday season can bring a combination of fun and excitement as well as stress and anxiety for your staff. While the majority of workers enjoy December as it brings more cheer to the office, as well as goodies from vendors and maybe even a company party, not everyone feels the same. A recent study by staffing firm Accountemps found that while half of workers report being more cheerful at work this time of year, 35% say they feel more work-related pressure. Top factors affecting employee stress: • Balancing work and holiday obligations (32%) • Taking time off and returning…
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With Health Insurance Laws in Flux, Flexible Spending Accounts Can Save Your Workers Money

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The Internal Revenue Service is reminding eligible employees that now is the time to begin planning to take full advantage of their employer’s health flexible spending arrangement for next year. If you don’t offer a flexible spending account (FSA) for your employees, you should consider starting one as they allow them to use tax-free dollars to pay medical expenses not covered by their health plan, including deductibles, copays and any pharmaceuticals. Now that the year is winding down, even if your employees were using an FSA this year, they must decide again how much they want to set aside pre-tax…
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Group Life Insurance a Smart Move for Your Staff

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Group life insurance is among the most popular offerings in the employee benefit market today. Furthermore, millions of American families rely on it to provide desperately needed protection against the devastating risk of the unexpected death of a family breadwinner. The overwhelming majority of workers typically sign on to the program, when offered. Group life represents about 41% of all life insurance policies in force, according to the American Council of Life Insurers, and provides an estimated $8.2 trillion of protection. Employees need the coverage The average American family is woefully underinsured. Most families say they want or need enough…
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After the Grenfell Tower Fire: What Building Owners Can Do to Improve Fire Safety

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A massive London apartment fire that killed at least 80 people last June is causing landlords to reassess fire risk and potential liability. Officials trace the likely genesis of the Grenfell Tower fire to a faulty refrigerator. But the use of Reynobond PE, an exterior building cladding made by Pittsburgh-based Arconic, Inc., may have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire from floor to floor around the building’s exterior. The cladding consists of thin sheets of aluminum on either side of a core of polyethylene, a flammable plastic. Despite being illegal for use on high-rise projects in the United…
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Multi-Line Discounts May Save You Hundreds of Dollars a Year

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Looking to save money on your insurance premiums every month? You should consider taking advantage of multi-line discounts. Many insurance carriers offer significant discounts for customers who place multiple types of insurance with the same company. In some instances, annual savings may amount to more than $300, according to a new survey by Quadrant Information Services. The insurance information firm recently took a state-by-state look at the savings consumers could realize by bringing multiple personal insurance lines together under the same roof – a practice known as “bundling.” Savings varied by state, as well as the type of insurance policies…
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How to Avoid Public Wi-Fi Security Risks

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Every Wi-Fi connection is vulnerable to an unprecedented security flaw that allows hackers to snoop on Internet traffic and potentially access your personally identifiable information and passwords, researchers revealed recently. The vulnerability is the first to be found in the modern encryption techniques that have been used to secure Wi-Fi networks for the last 14 years. In theory, this kind of an attack – dubbed the Krack attack – allows a hacker within range of a Wi-Fi network to inject computer viruses into Internet networks, and read communications like passwords, credit card numbers and photos sent over the Internet. But,…
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Employers Say Pharmacy Benefit Manager Contracts too Complex, Opaque

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Three in five employers think their contracts with pharmacy benefit managers are overly complex and not transparent, according to a new study. The study, which found that employers would prefer that PBMs are more transparent with their pricing and would like them to focus less on rebates and value-based designs, comes as PBMs are under increased scrutiny for their opaque pricing practices. The survey of 88 very large employers, “Toward Better Value: Employer Perspectives on What’s Wrong with the Management of Prescription Drug Benefits and How to Fix It,” was conducted by Benfield and commission by the National Pharmaceutical Council….
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Protect Yourself from Unexpectedly High Retirement Health Care Costs

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More than 40% of retirees encounter health care costs that are greater than they had anticipated or planned for. That’s according to a new study from the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute. Here are LIMRA’s key findings: • Retirees spend 13% of their income on health and long-term care expenses, on average. • 43% of those with retirement plans still underestimate health care expenses in their golden years. Furthermore, seniors should plan for continued increases in health care costs, over and above the effects of inflation. According to HealthView Services’ 2017 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report, health care costs are…
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IRS Sends out ACA Compliance Letters, Employers Have 30 Days to Respond

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The IRS has started sending out letters to employers who have failed to comply with the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions under the Affordable Care Act for the year 2015. The IRS seems to be moving forward with notifying employers after attempts to repeal and replace the ACA failed in Congress and since there has been no further rule-making, guidance or legislation that rolls back enforcement of the employer mandate. The IRS will send Letter 226J to applicable large employers (ALEs) if it determines that at least one full-time employee received a subsidy in 2015 in a marketplace to purchase qualified…
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