Cost Containment Biggest Workers’ Comp Concern

| posted in Blog

Cost containment will be the chief workers’ comp insurance concern for U.S. employers over the next 12 months, according to a survey. Zywave, an insurance software company, found that among the 3,500 companies polled, 59% were “very or somewhat concerned” about cost containment this year. Despite the results, there are a number of ways that employers can control those costs, including establishing a solid safety program and helping injured employees return to work. The survey results included the following: Respondents said the most effective workers’ comp cost control method was a safety-minded culture (65%). Although 59% said that a light-duty…
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What Workers Need to Know About Group Life Insurance

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Voluntary group life insurance is offered to employees as an optional benefit, and often employers will pay the small premium as an employee retention tool and provide workers some peace of mind for their families. There are various avenues for funding these group plans and different underwriting criteria that can either reduce or increase the premium amounts. The employer may cover the premium directly, or employees may share in the premium burden through payroll deductions after tax. In most cases, life insurance face amounts will vary from policy to policy and will usually be based in part on each employee’s…
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Commercial Auto Rates Face New Headwinds

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More accidents attributed to smartphone use while driving, coupled with much higher costs of repairs, have led to double-digit increases in commercial auto insurance rates over the past few years. Distracted driving is just one of many factors that have converged on commercial auto insurance claims, resulting in sustained premium increases. Now there are new factors that are coming into play that will ensure that rates continue climbing, at least in the near term. Commercial auto rates are increasing for companies with large fleets as well as for businesses with just a few vehicles and drivers. Here’s what’s at play…
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HDHPs Can Hamper Employee Health Without an Attached HSA

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In recent years, employers and self-employed Americans have been migrating to high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) but, if they are not attached to a health savings account (HSA), they can end up costing the plan participant more than they can afford and create health problems for them down the road. HDHPs typically have reduced premiums in exchange for the employee taking on a higher deductible for health care expenditures. The average person enrolled in an HDHP saves 42% in annual premiums, compared to those enrolled in preferred provider organization plans, according to research from BenefitFocus. But in order to afford paying…
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OSHA Not Letting Up on Inspections, Penalties

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Despite expectations, Fed-OSHA under the Trump administration has not backed off on enforcing workplace safety regulations. In fact, the agency is as aggressive as ever and citations are higher than ever as well, after fines were increased substantially three years ago. Based on the agency’s own statistics, a company that’s inspected has only a 25% chance of not receiving a single citation. In other words, employers should not let up on their safety regimens to not only avoid being cited but also to avoid workplace injuries, which nobody wants. OSHA Updates: Enforcement emphasis still going strong – There are more than…
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DOJ Tells Court to Nullify ACA; What’s Next?

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After a period of relative stability, the future of the Affordable Care Act has once again been thrown into uncertainty. In a surprise move, the Department of Justice announced that it would not further pursue appeal of a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor, and instead asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the decision he made in December 2018. O’Connor had ruled that Congress eliminating the penalty for not complying with the law’s individual mandate had in fact made the entire law invalid. But, even though the DOJ won’t be pursuing defense of the…
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Workers’ Comp Audit Mistakes: What to Look For

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No company owner wants to undergo a workers’ compensation audit, but they are a fact of life if you run a business and have employees. Unfortunately, many audits don’t go smoothly and sometimes your insurer may make mistakes. Missouri-based Workers’ Compensation Consultants, which helps employers through the workers’ comp audit process, recently listed the 10 most common audit mistakes that insurance companies make. The list highlights a common problem and how you can detect the mistakes to avoid being stuck with a massive audit bill. Insurance companies allow you to review the audit with your broker. If you notice that…
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5 Reasons Healthcare Costs Are on the Rise

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It’s not your imagination. Healthcare is expensive and costs continue to rise. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, costs increased by almost one trillion dollars between 1996 and 2015. The rise in healthcare costs cannot be attributed exclusively to any one cause. Rather, there are a number of causes that, put together, are responsible for the rise. All of the following, plus more, have a role.

Fender-benders – Your Guide to Minor Accidents

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

It can easily happen, you misjudge the space when making a turn in close traffic or in a parking lot and you tap another car’s rear bumper. The other driver gets out his car and appears unhurt. He inspects the bumper and says “Let’s just forget about it.” You agree and go on your merry way. A few weeks later, however, your insurance company informs you that the man is suing you for lost wages, neck injuries and pain and suffering. Where did you go wrong? The so-called accident was only a tiny tap that barely scratched paint. There couldn’t…
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