Five Ways Employers Can Save on Health Care Costs

| posted in Blog

In recent years, many companies have been dealing with rising health care costs largely by transferring more of the expense and risk on to their employees. But some employers have found smarter, more creative ways to limit health costs without further burdening valued employees. Here are some of the best solutions: 1.) Pharmacy benefit managers. Pharmacy benefit managers are independent third party administrators who work with pharmacists, employers and workers to reduce costs and inefficiencies. For example, they may help workers migrate from expensive brand name drugs to equally effective generics for a fraction of the cost. Or they may…
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Prepare Your Business for Increased I-9 Enforcement

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Homeland Security Investigations, the investigative office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), is stepping up targeted inspections of employers nationwide as part of President Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigrants. The increased action is likely to continue over the course of the Trump administration and employers need to be prepared for possible inspections and know how to deal with them. These raids have two purposes: To audit I-9 forms, which are used to verify employment eligibility in the U.S. Arrest unlawful workers and employers who hired them knowing they were working illegally. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, employers are…
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Unreported Changes Can Mean Big Costs, Be Sure to Tell Your Insurer of Any Material Changes

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One important risk that many policyholders are not aware of is failing to notify their insurer or broker about material changes that could affect their coverage. Various events should trigger you to inform your carriers – for example, if you purchase new equipment, hire new staff, buy a new building, or expand your operations. And depending on the type of change, it could cut across different lines of insurance, like workers’ compensation and employee benefits. Here are a few examples of how these potential changes can affect your policies, both commercial and personal. Workers’ compensation Hiring new employees – While you…
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When Injuries at Work Don’t Equal Workers’ Comp

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While injuries and deaths that occur while someone is carrying out their work on behalf of their employer are compensated by workers’ comp coverage, not all workplace injuries or deaths are compensable, as a recent court case shows. In the case, a heating and air conditioning technician died of a heart attack while working in an attic. But his wife was denied workers’ comp death benefits by the insurance company and a workers’ comp judge on the basis that the heart attack was not related to work. The decision by the judge was appealed and a state court recently ruled…
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Important Employer Advisory for Applicable Large Employers

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The IRS is on the move and Applicable Large Employers should take notice.  Remember, the ACA defines an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) as one with 50 or more full time equivalent employees. Those with 100+ full time equivalents have been subject to its Employer Shared Responsibility provisions, also known as “the employer mandate”, since 2015.  Early last month, the IRS announced their intent to begin sending notices (called Letter 226J) to these employers during the last six weeks of 2017, advising them that they owe a payment (“ESRP”) to the IRS based on the information reported to them on Forms…
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Commercial Rates Climb in Wake of Higher Claims Costs, Catastrophes

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There is a confluence of factors affecting insurance rates going into 2018 that are pushing premiums higher in a number of commercial lines policies, including auto, liability and property. Increasing claims costs in commercial auto are at the top of the list, largely due to a spike in distracted driving accidents, injuries, deaths and higher costs to repair modern vehicles. Now, after the most expensive natural disaster season on record – hurricanes, floods and wildfires – premiums for commercial property are also on the rise. Workers’ compensation seems to be the outlier, as rates in most states have remained steady…
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How to Reduce Your Employees’ Stress During Holidays

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The holiday season can bring a combination of fun and excitement as well as stress and anxiety for your staff. While the majority of workers enjoy December as it brings more cheer to the office, as well as goodies from vendors and maybe even a company party, not everyone feels the same. A recent study by staffing firm Accountemps found that while half of workers report being more cheerful at work this time of year, 35% say they feel more work-related pressure. Top factors affecting employee stress: • Balancing work and holiday obligations (32%) • Taking time off and returning…
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Group Life Insurance a Smart Move for Your Staff

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Group life insurance is among the most popular offerings in the employee benefit market today. Furthermore, millions of American families rely on it to provide desperately needed protection against the devastating risk of the unexpected death of a family breadwinner. The overwhelming majority of workers typically sign on to the program, when offered. Group life represents about 41% of all life insurance policies in force, according to the American Council of Life Insurers, and provides an estimated $8.2 trillion of protection. Employees need the coverage The average American family is woefully underinsured. Most families say they want or need enough…
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After IRS Tweak Be Careful that You’re Complying with Affordability Test

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Now that the final attempt (this year) at dismantling the Affordable Care Act came to a quiet end in the last week of September, employers need make sure that they stay on track with compliance. First and foremost is that the ACA’s employer mandate and shared responsibility provisions still stand. That includes the affordability test, to which employers need to pay special attention, as increases in premium can put some of your employees over the edge into “unaffordable” coverage territory. And this year there’s a twist that you need to be aware of. As it’s almost time for open enrollment,…
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Three Troubling Trends Affecting Workers’ Comp

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

While U.S. employers are seeing fewer industrial accidents thanks to more employers putting a premium on workplace safety, some emerging trends threaten to seriously affect this trend and usher in higher workers’ comp premiums. Today, it’s not enough to just keep a safe workplace. You should have policies in place to avoid these emerging threats – and also instill them in management. Three particularly troubling trends are as follows: More workers injured in traffic accidents This is a biggie and one that’s harder for employers to manage. There has been a significant uptick in motor vehicle accidents in the last…
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