Trump Issues Executive Orders to Reduce Drug Costs

| posted in Uncategorized

President Trump has issued executive orders aimed at reducing the cost of medications by tying Medicare payment for outpatient drugs to international prices, passing drug-maker rebates to patients and not middlemen, and allowing individuals to import prescription medications. Another executive order aims to force community health centers that receive 340B drug discounts to pass discounts for insulin and injectable epinephrine on to patients. Here’s a run-down of the orders: Drug importation The Executive Order on Increasing Drug Importation to Lower Prices for American Patients calls for new regulations that would: Allow individual state health plans to import certain drugs. Authorize the reimportation…
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What Insurers, Employers Expect in COVID-19 Aftermath

| posted in Blog

A study has come out predicting that COVID-19, as devastating as it has been, will have little effect on 2021 group health plan rates, as well as offerings. The study, by eHealth Inc., also found that many insurers have increased utilization of telemedicine and that many of them are extending benefits related to coronavirus testing and treatment. Here are the main points of the study: Waiving COVID-19 testing costs ― 97% of insurer respondents say they are waiving out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus testing. Waiving treatment costs ― 58% of the insurers say they’re waiving out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 treatment. Among insurers who…
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Pay Attention to Policy Milestones to Reduce Workers’ Comp Costs

| posted in Blog

Once they have paid their annual premium, many employers pay scant attention to their workers’ comp policy until the renewal date starts closing in. Unfortunately, that’s not the best time to attempt to control costs. Because workers’ comp is one of the most loss-sensitive insurance policies, and as claims can sometimes be paid out for decades, it’s important that you proactively manage claims. One way to do that is through a quarterly claims review process, the timing of which is in line with the calculation of your company’s Experience Modification Factor (X-Mod). It’s important to review loss runs and assess…
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Serious Injury Reporting to Cal/OSHA

| posted in Blog

Failure to report or reporting of a serious workplace injury or illness or death can land an employer a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 under California Labor Code. If you have employees, you need to understand the procedures for reporting these incidents and what you need to report. Cal/OSHA defines an employee’s serious injury or illness as: One that requires inpatient hospitalization for a period in excess of 24 hours for other than medical observation. A loss of a body part. A serious, permanent disfigurement. Employers are required to report serious injuries “immediately” to the Cal/OSHA district office…
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10 Potential Causes of Employee COVID-19 Lawsuits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The novel coronavirus has caused immeasurable suffering, both physical and economic. For employers struggling to stay in business, there are a number of ticking timebombs they must try to avoid to keep employees and customers safe, and keep their business afloat. With so much still unknown, this is a fraught time where mistakes in managing their workforces could lead to employee COVID-19 lawsuits. 10 Potential Causes of Employee COVID-19 Lawsuits Workplace safety Businesses that still have employees working on-site run the risk that a single infected worker may send the virus ripping through the entire workforce. While workers’ compensation laws…
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Workers’ Comp Claims For COVID-19 May Not Be as High as Expected

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

There is some good news coming out in terms of workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 in California. Overall workers’ comp claims tied to the coronavirus may not be as numerous and as costly as originally thought. Gov. Gavin Newsom in early March announced that any worker who is reporting to a worksite in California and contracts COVID-19 will automatically be eligible for workers’ comp benefits on the presumption that it was contracted at work. This announcement came after the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau filed a recommendation for special rules that would exempt COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims from an employer’s…
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Concerns Rise Over Individual Coverage HRAs

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Employers, health insurers, regulators and hospitals are all raising concerns about the Trump administration’s rules issued last year that allow employer-funded health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that employees can use to purchase health plans on the open market, called Individual Coverage HRAs (ICHRA). The rules continue to receive pushback from small business groups, insurers, regulators and others, who say that employers who want to go this route are facing a bureaucratic nightmare. One of the biggest concerns is that employers will use the opportunity to move older and sicker workers from their group health plans to exchanges, in order to reduce…
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How to Handle Group Health Coverage for Laid-off, Furloughed Staff

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, many employers have had to lay off or furlough staff due to a tremendous drop-off in business. Besides the loss of income they face, these workers will often also lose their employer-sponsored health insurance. With this in mind, many employers have been wondering if they can permit coverage to continue during the time the staff is temporarily laid off or furloughed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. There are some important points to consider when deciding how to handle group health coverage for laid-off or furloughed staff. If you are looking at options for keeping…
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IRS Allows Mid-Year Changes to Health Plans, FSAs

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The IRS has loosened restrictions on employees who want to make election changes to their group health plans and flexible spending accounts (FSAs) in the middle of the policy year. IRS rules are typically stringent and rigid, barring changes from being made to health plans except during open enrollment. Under the new rules, the employer would still have to approve letting staff make changes to their plans if they have more than one option to choose from. The IRS issued the new guidance after employer groups lobbied the agency and Congress to loosen the rules because the COVID-19 pandemic has…
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Leasing a Car? Put It in Your Company Name

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As a business owner or company director wanting to lease a car for yourself, you have the choice of either business contract or personal car leasing, and each option has its own implications, benefits and disadvantages, particularly in terms of insurance. Which policy will cover my car? If you are using your new car mostly for work (think sales calls and visiting job sites), and you bought the car in your name, that mistake can cost you as your business won’t be able to insure it properly. Your personal auto policy will provide coverage for some business use of your…
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