Pandemic Puts Spotlight on Financial Employee Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

With so many people facing challenging circumstances during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are now looking to their employers for value-added voluntary benefits and financial employee benefits that protect their and their families’ health and finances, a new study has found. According to the study conducted by Prudential Life Insurance, 40% of U.S workers are planning to buy life insurance to cover unexpected life events and provide financial protection. The good news is that there are a variety of employee benefit plans designed to help safeguard employees’ finances and health during this unprecedented time. Beyond the traditional retirement and health care…
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COVID-19 Workers’ Comp Claims Grow, While Overall Claims Plummet

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While the number of COVID-19 workers’ comp cases filed in California continues to grow, total workplace injury and illness claims in the state have fallen nearly 20% so far in 2020 compared to 2019. Through September, the state had recorded 47,412 COVID-19 workers’ compensation claims, accounting for 11.1% of all claims reported since the start of the year. During that same period, California workers filed 425,280 workers’ compensation claims, down 19% from the first nine months of 2019. COVID-19 case numbers The first COVID-19 cases among California workers were filed in March. They peaked in July and started to decline…
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Don’t Get Caught without a Business Succession Plan

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Many business owners may be good at running their companies, but many are failing to address essential long-term planning that is critical to sustaining their businesses. The one area that the majority of business owners often neglect is planning for business continuity and a buy-sell agreement if they die or become disabled, according to the “MassMutual Business Owner Perspectives Study.” While the question of your death or disablement is not one that’s fun to ponder, it makes good sense for business owners to put plans in place in case the worst happens. This is especially important now amid the COVID-19…
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Mandatory Employer Sign-ups for CalSavers Have Begun

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

If your company does not offer its staff a 401(k) plan, you need to be aware of deadlines for registering your employees in the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program. The program is designed to help California workers who do not have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan start socking away money for their retirement. Employers with five or more workers are required to give their employees access to the CalSavers program, which was launched in 2019. CalSavers deadlines Deadlines for when employers have to adopt the program depends on their size: Businesses with more than 100 employees: Sept. 30, 2020 Businesses…
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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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