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Many Employees Choosing the Wrong Health Plans

| posted in Newsletter

A new study  has found that many people in employer-sponsored health plans are enrolling in plans that are costing them more than they ought to be paying. Many employees choose pricey plans with low deductibles, which force them to spend more up front on premiums to save just a few hundred dollars on their deductible. As result, many employees are spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more on their health care/health coverage than they need to. Study 1: The deductible angle A study by Benjamin Handel, a U.C. Berkeley economics professor, found that the majority of employees at one…
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Employers Tap Technology to Tackle Distracted Driving

| posted in Uncategorized

Everyone knows the dangers of distracted driving, but the stakes are much higher when the driver of a commercial vehicle is distracted. As a result of this danger, more companies with fleets and commercial drivers are turning to technology to prevent their workers from using their phones while driving. And lately, insurers have started partnering with tech companies to offer these technologies to their commercial auto clients. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, compared to personal vehicle drivers, commercial truck drivers are: 23 times more likely to cause an accident when texting at the wheel, Seven times more…
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Employers Focus on Cost Containment, Mental Health and Telemedicine

| posted in Newsletter

A new survey has found that managing health care costs and expanding mental health benefits will be a top priority for U.S. employers as they ramp up benefits to compete for talent in the tight job market spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, virtual care is expected to become an essential and long-lasting feature of employers’ health insurance and employee benefits strategies over the next few years, according to the “2022 Emerging Trends in Healthcare Survey” by Wills Towers Watson. The focus on health care and insurance costs, mental health and expanded telehealth comes as employers continue pulling out all…
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Cal/OSHA: Protect Workers Against Heat Illness

| posted in Newsletter

As we get closer to another scorching California summer, Cal/OSHA is reminding employers with outdoor workers to take precautions to protect them against the heat. California employers need to be especially mindful as Cal/OSHA has workplace safety regulations governing the prevention of heat illness and the agency actively enforces its heat illness prevention standard. Employers should also comply for the safety and well-being of their workers, as heat illness can be deadly. Cal/OSHA is urging employers to take the following steps to prevent heat-related illness among their employees who work outdoors: Plan — Develop and implement an effective written heat illness…
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Disability Insurance Can Protect Your Retirement Funds

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Disability insurance can help keep your cash flow going should you be hit by a disabling event such as an injury or a sudden illness that prevents you from working. But besides protecting your income, disability insurance can also safeguard your retirement goals by giving you much-needed cash that may keep you from tapping your 401(k) for emergency funds. Having to withdraw funds from your 401(k) can be costly due to the lost prospects of investment income, as well as tax penalties that you’ll be hit with. Think you wouldn’t do that? One in four consumers said they would make…
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Dental and Vision Benefits Are Inexpensive, and a Big Hit with Workers

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Employers nationwide are looking for ways to attract and retain talent and differentiate themselves from competing employers, and many are looking to the two most popular voluntary benefits: employee dental and vision plans. That’s important in today’s tight job market. After all, a recent survey from CareerBuilder found that 55% of workers believed an employer’s menu of benefits was more important than salary when considering a job position or offer. Here’s why dental and vision benefits are so popular and why, if you don’t already do so, you should consider offering them as well. Background For many years, dental and vision plans were…
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Reporting Workers’ Comp Claims Late Can Push up Costs Nearly 50%

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

One of the keys to keeping the costs of a workers’ compensation claim from spiraling out of control is prompt claims reporting. Claims are routinely filed late, either by the injured worker who fails to report it to the employer, or the employer dawdling or procrastinating and not reporting the claim to its insurer. Either way, those delays result in delays in treatment, which can exacerbate the injury, leading to additional medical care and higher costs. In fact, a 2015 study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) found that the average claims for workplace injuries that were reported…
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Cal/OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA has once again extended its COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards, which cover employers’ obligations to protect their workers against the coronavirus. This is the third time the ETS has been extended and this one is slated to expire at the end of 2022. It’s being introduced as Cal/OSHA finalizes work on its permanent infectious disease standard. While the extended ETS includes many of the same provisions as the previous version, there are some changes. The new ETS, which took effect May 6, was written to be more flexible in response to when the California Department of Public Health updates its…
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Don’t Forget Remote Workers in Sexual Harassment Prevention Policies

| posted in Newsletter

If you have staff working from home as a result of changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, you still need to stay on top of your obligations to protect your staff from sexual harassment. Not being physically in the office doesn’t seem to have had an effect on employee sexual harassment as employers paid out more than $65 million in sexual harassment settlements and court awards in 2020, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. While most workplace sexual harassment has historically taken place in person at the workplace, a good portion has migrated online in the form of harassment…
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Health Expenses a Major Source of Mental Health Issues for U.S. Workers

| posted in Newsletter

A new study has found that more than one in four U.S. workers say expensive medical bills are having a major impact on their mental health. Mental health issues have come to the fore during the COVID-19 pandemic, spurring employers to expect their group health plans to do more for their workers in this area. The report on the study by the health care consulting company Centivo urges employers to consider new ways to reduce the medical financial burden some of their employees may be experiencing. Mental health is already on the radar of employers: Large businesses reported that addressing…
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