Protect Your Business from Being Hacked by Employees

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While hacking by outsiders is posing a larger and more significant threat to companies of all sizes, the threat of insider jobs – particularly being hacked by employees or disgruntled former employees – is often a bigger one. These attacks, carried out with malicious intent to hamstring a company’s operations, can cause serious problems. Recent Examples A former employee of Spellman High Voltage Electronics Corp. is facing charges after employees began reporting that they were unable to process routine transactions and were receiving error messages after he resigned, due to allegedly being passed over for a promotion.The mayhem cost his…
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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. Executive Orders to Reduce Drug Costs 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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Pay Attention to Policy Milestones, X-Mod to Reduce Workers’ Comp Costs

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

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). How Is My X-Mod Calculated? It’s important to…
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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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COVID-19 Changes to Health Plans Must Be Documented, Circulated

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

A number of plan sponsors have made changes to their group health plans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as covering testing and sometimes treatment without any cost-sharing by the plan enrollee. Any changes that are made must be followed up by amending the plan and communicating the changes to the enrollees. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), all health plans are required to deliver a Summary Plan Description (SPD) to enrollees to inform them of the full spectrum of coverage and their rights under the plan. Whenever a plan sponsor makes a material modification to the…
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Budgeting and Prepping for Open Enrollment

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If you are running a business, you need to get an early start on preparations for your small group health plan open enrollment, particularly now as so much confusion abounds about the state of health insurance in the country. With recent new regulations, options have changed for employers and you need to stay focused on maximizing your outcomes within your budget. You also want to drive participation, as that too can reduce overall rates for you. Prepping for open enrollment The basics Familiarize yourself with the various options that you have: Health maintenance organizations – HMOs are typically the least expensive…
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Help Your Employees Save Money on Pharmaceuticals

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Most employers are doing all they can to keep their employees’ health insurance and health care outlays to a minimum. And while most of those efforts are focused on the upfront cost of insurance, copays and deductibles, some employers are taking it a step further to help their employees control the very costs they actually have the most control over – and one of those areas is medicine. Helping your workers become wise consumers of health services can also cut your overall insurance costs, as well as help your employees conserve more of their own funds if they have high…
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Reducing Workplace Stress Is Vital for Safety, Retention, Production

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

During our economic recovery one element that has been persistent is that employers are trying to get more out of their workers than ever before. And while most managers and owners try to ensure that their workers are provided a safe workplace and put a premium on reducing the chances of accidents, one often overlooked area is workplace stress. Heaping too much stress or too many responsibilities on a single employee can greatly increase their chances of not only burnout, but also making costly mistakes. A worse-case scenario is that if they are engaged in more labor-intensive occupations, too much…
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Rating Agency Recommends Another Workers’ Comp Rate Decrease

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

There could be yet another workers’ comp rate reduction coming down the pike, after California’s rating agency filed a recommendation that benchmark rates for policies that take effect on or after Jan. 1, 2019 be reduced by 14.5% from Jan. 1, 2018 levels. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau’s recommendation that the average benchmark rate be cut comes on the heels of an order by Insurance Commissioner David Jones to reduce these “pure premium rates” by 10.3% as of July 1, compared with Jan. 1 rates. The advisory pure premium rates proposed to be effective Jan. 1, 2019 average $1.70…
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