Workers’ Comp Audit Mistakes: What to Look For

| posted in Blog

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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As Drug Prices Skyrocket, This Top 10 List Will Shock You

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

It’s no secret that the cost of pharmaceuticals is going through the roof. You’ve heard the stories of price-gouging by some companies that have jacked up prices thousands of percent. Drug costs are starting to weigh heavily on the cost of care, in turn driving up health insurance premiums, which individuals, employees and employers are all feeling. The cost of some medications is so extreme that a single dose may far surpass the total premium paid for coverage. Also, most people never really know the true price of a drug unless they are 100% on the hook for medications under…
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New Law Bars Pharmacy Benefit Manager Gag Clauses

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

President Trump has signed two bills into law that would add transparency to drug pricing by banning gag clauses imposed by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) that bar pharmacists from discussing drug prices with the person buying prescription medication. The bills, passed with bipartisan support, take aim at the PBM practice of clawbacks, which occur when the copayment set by the PBM is more than the actual cash price of the drug. So instead of the policyholder being able to pay less for the drug, the PBM will usually pocket the difference. And because of gag clauses, most policyholders never get…
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Cal/OSHA Issues Emergency Rules for Posting Injury Forms Electronically

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Cal/OSHA is implementing emergency regulations that require California employers with 250 or more employees to submit their 2017 Form 300A summaries electronically by the end of this year. That’s the form that you signed and posted in your workplace from Feb. 1 to April 30. Form 300A contains only the summary of injuries and is not the actual log, which contains the names of the employees who were injured. For the electronic filing, you will simply take the same information on the form you posted earlier this year and enter it into an electronic database. The short ramp-up period will…
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Do Return-to-Work Programs Work?

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Employers who have an injured worker are caught in a bind – especially if the injury occurred on the job. As the worker recovers, employers are faced with a decision. Here are the options: Settle the workers’ comp claim and let the employee go, Continue to have the worker stay home, pending a full recovery, or Bring the worker on in a lighter-duty assignment unlikely to aggravate the injury. Each, of course, has long-term consequences. If you settle too many claims, your workers’ compensation premiums are likely to go up. This is because premiums are typically based on your claims…
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Getting a Head Start on Open Enrollment

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As open enrollment is right around the corner, now is the time to gear up to maximize employee enrollment, help them make the best selections for their own personal circumstances, and stay compliant with relevant laws and regulations. It’s a lot to take in as uncertainty has been a constant during the last many years with the onset of the Affordable Care Act, and now that its future is hazy at best. Still, since health coverage and other employee benefits are an important part of your compensation package – and your competitive edge for talent – it’s important that you…
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Many Employees Choosing the Wrong Health Plans

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

A new study has found that many people in employer-sponsored health plans are enrolling in plans that are costing them more than they ought to be paying. Many employees choose pricey plans with low deductibles, which force them to spend more up front on premiums to save just a few hundred dollars on their deductible. As result, many employees are spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars more on their health care/health coverage than they need to. A study by Benjamin Handel, a U.C. Berkeley economics professor, found that the majority of employees at one company he studied were in…
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More Firms Ban Smartphones at Work for Safety Reasons

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

More and more employers are banning cell phones in the workplace because they are distracting enough to be a serious safety issue for workers. Most notably, General Motors has banned all employees, including its CEO, from walking around with their mobile phones while talking, texting or using other smartphone functions. You already know the dangers of using your phone while behind the wheel, as vehicular deaths have spiked since the ubiquity of smartphones. But in many workplaces – think warehouses, construction sites, factories and other worksites with equipment and inventory – the distraction of a smartphone can have deadly consequences….
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Creating a Strong Safety Program for Your Fleet Drivers

| posted in Blog

While most operations with an automotive or trucking fleet focus on safety, few businesses are actually monitoring their drivers to make sure they are adhering to the company’s rules, a new study has found. Many companies only pull reports on their drivers’ records on an annual basis, which means they miss important developments like a DUI or a few moving violations that will increase the cost of insuring them. In fact, 70% of companies with fleets do not even monitor their drivers and 60% don’t have a safety program in place, according to the study by SambaSafety, a firm that…
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Silica Safety Enforcement Delayed for Construction Industry

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Cal/OSHA has delayed enforcement of its crystalline silica safety standard for the construction industry for another three months to ensure the California rules are in synch with federal rules on the dangerous airborne matter. The move came after Fed OSHA announced April 6 a delay in adoption of the crystalline silica standard for the sector “to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers.” The silica rules have already been in effect for general industry since 2016 and the delay in enforcement is only for the construction industry. Enforcement for the construction sector was slated to start…
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