FSAs, HSAs Can Now Be Used for Non-Prescription Medications

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The recently enacted $2 trillion stimulus law aimed at providing financial assistance during the coronavirus outbreak also includes a key change on how health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts can be used. The Coronavirus Aid, Recover and Economic Stabilization Act, or CARES Act for short, reverses an Affordable Care Act rule that barred policyholders from using funds in HSAs and FSAs to pay for over-the-counter medications. Health Savings Accounts, known as HSAs, and Flexible Spending Accounts, known as FSAs, allow people to set aside pre-tax funds for medical costs, medical out-of-pocket and copays, as well as for the cost…
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Protecting Employees During the Pandemic

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If you are one of the companies that has been deemed an essential employer and are remaining open during stay-at-home orders, you should be doing all you can to protect employees against contracting COVID-19. While some workers are really on the front lines of fighting the disease, like health care workers and emergency services personnel, there are many other people working in factories, grocery stores, warehouse and transportation, among other industries, that are also at risk to varying degrees. The response to this has been varied. Some employers have taken steps to protect their workers. For example, some grocery stores…
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Some Insurers Step Up Group Health Plan Assistance

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Some health insurers are helping workers who would otherwise lose health insurance maintain employee benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey has found. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders have put the hurt on hundreds of thousands of businesses across the country, which has forced them to reduce employees’ hours, furlough them or lay them off. Besides all those employees seeing their pay drastically curtailed or disappear altogether, it also affects their employee benefits, with health coverage topping the list. With so many people concerned they may lose coverage and business owners equally worried about their employees, some insurers are…
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How to Protect Your Business Teleconference Meetings

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Since face-to-face meetings are out of the question when most non-essential workers are under stay-at-home orders, many companies have opted for the teleconferencing app Zoom. With the recent revelation that Zoom’s teleconferencing system is not always the most secure, it is still one of the least expensive and user-friendly options for holding meetings during the coronavirus outbreak. Zoom has seen its user numbers explode during the pandemic, but that has left it exposed to a number of different types of attacks and other problems like videos being exposed on the web. There are many alternatives to Zoom, but if you…
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How to Support Your Mental Health In Isolation

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As more and more of us are being told to either self-isolate with our families or self-quarantine under doctor’s orders, we are spending almost all of our time at home, inside. While this may keep you from getting a virus, it can also be tolling on your mental health. We’ve put together a few tips to support your mental health during isolation. Some of us will get cabin fever, especially those who live alone. Thanks to technology though, you can do different things to keep up socially with your friends and family. And there are also many low-tech ways to…
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5 Tips for Successful Telecommuting

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the coronavirus spread ramps up and more people are being asked to self-isolate, many employers are scrambling to put systems in place to allow their employees to telecommute. Telecommuting can keep your business on track, but you may need to make some changes to your business operations to ensure successful telecommuting. Many companies are not set up for telecommuting arrangements, and they have legitimate concerns about productivity, communications ― and even the possibility of workers’ comp claims stemming from home hazards that may not be typical in the workplace. But there are steps you can take to make sure…
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CARES Act Helps Coronavirus-hit Employers, Workers

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus law to help American workers and businesses weather the outbreak has a number of provisions that employers and their workers need to know about and can take advantage of during this crisis. The CARES Act includes provision for: Extended unemployment benefits. Requiring health plans to cover COVID-19-related costs. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans. Loans for large corporations. Parts of the CARES Act will likely benefit your organization and employees in some way. Here’s what you need to know: Extended unemployment The CARES Act extends unemployment insurance benefits…
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COVID-19 Emergency Workers’ Compensation Rating Changes on Tap

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Emergency rules are being developed to guide workers’ compensation classification and claims for coronavirus-affected employers and their workers in California. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau is pursuing the temporary rules to ensure fairness for employers so that their workers’ comp rates and experience modifiers (X-Mods) are not adversely affected by COVID-19-related issues. The Rating Bureau’s Classification and Rating Committee, whose members include the top actuaries for a number of workers’ comp insurers in the state, will meet April 14 to discuss three important changes to the state rating plan, according to David Bellusci, senior vice president, chief operating officer,…
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Searching Social Media During Hiring Process

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If you are hiring, you should not overlook the importance of vetting prospective employees through social media and networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn during the hiring process. A recent survey by CareerBuilder found that 70% of hiring managers said they had used Facebook or other social networking sites to research job candidates in 2018, up from 60% the year prior. Also, 11% of hiring managers said they planned to start using social networking sites for screening. With so many people posting their lives online, employers can learn a lot about candidates. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to…
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AB 5 Suffers Early Legal Setbacks

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

California’s controversial independent contractor law suffered its first two legal setbacks in January after trucking firms and independent truckers were able beat back at the new law in court arguing that the ABC Test should not apply to them. Recent AB 5 Rulings On Jan. 8, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that AB 5 does not apply to independent truckers because they are covered by federal law. And on Jan. 13, a federal judge extended a restraining order for the law to cover truckers as of Jan. 1 this year in a case brought by the California…
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