There are growing signs that the economy is improving. Perhaps the most notable marker is that more people are starting to come back to the workforce. The unemployment rate is continuing a downward trend, meaning that more employers are starting to hire again.
Of course, finding good employees is important to a company’s growth, but keeping their best employees is vital to an employer’s productivity. Keeping your best employees ensures a smoother transition for newer employees and keeps the job environment stable with their most seasoned employees.
Of course, with a growing job market, sometimes a company’s best employees begin looking at this as an opportunity to “test the waters” of their own value and see if there are better options. How does a small business owner retain good employees while attracting qualified candidates? By offering benefits.
The cost of prescription drugs in the United states continues to rise which has become a source of concern for everyone from patients to policymakers. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Prescription medications now comprise an estimated 17% of overall personal health care services in the U.S.”
We don’t want to think that we overpay for any goods or services. Taking time to do some research can help you save substantially on your prescriptions. Here are some tips to help save on costs.
The 21st Century Cures Act allows small employers to offer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) to their workforce to help cover the cost of medical expenses and health insurance premiums for themselves and their families. Previously, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibited businesses from offering HRAs for individual insurance premiums.
With the passage of the new law, employers and workers alike have questions about how a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) will affect them. Legal experts are in the process of interpreting the law, below are a few of the QSEHRA FAQs and their answers that are generally agreed upon.
Americans work the majority of their lives with the hope of one day retiring and enjoying the fruits of their labor. Unfortunately, more and more people have to work well into their golden years without any end in sight. This is especially true for people that work for small businesses for the bulk of their career.
As a sales rep for a Professional Employer Organization, I have spent the last four years talking with business owners who were worried about the impact of the Affordable Care Act on their businesses and employees. In many cases, I helped them find a cost-effective solution that helped them gain control of one of their most uncontrollable costs. Sometimes, I didn’t. Sometimes, the uncertainty of the previous two election cycles caused them to freeze up, maintain their status quo and hope for the best.
Now, we are about to embark on the Donald Trump era. For many, this is a sign that the ACA is going away and they can go back to things as they were. Perhaps so, but were things all that great before?
The reality is that it’s impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen in the next 12 months, let alone the next two years. A recent article on Smart Business’ website does have some thoughts on it that I would like to share and expand on.
Employers often wonder if a wellness program can truly fit into their workforce demographic. Every employee’s needs can vary depending on their job description and working environment. Nowadays, this could mean work that is sedentary office-based, labor intensive, extended shifts, travel, working from home, and more. The good news is that there is a way to provide specific information to any diverse demographic.
Self-improvement is a constant thought in most consumer’s minds and the advertising industry knows this all too well. “The weight loss industry is a 60-billion-dollar business” oversaturated with fitness gurus and companies advocating various fad diets and weight-loss products. However, these media-marketed solutions don’t stick and people end up feeling confused and frustrated.
Aside from the quick-fix mentality from the media, people are also growing tired of the “just eat less and move more” advice they may receive from their physicians and peers. However, professional wellness coaches, who are trained in behavior modification techniques, can help individuals bridge the gap between medical recommendations and the behaviors required to implement them.
Did you know that 75 percent of all healthcare costs are attributed to preventable conditions? Imagine the burden this places on employers and their healthcare costs. Here is what the numbers are saying:
- 45 percent of Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease.
- More than two-thirds of all deaths are caused by these five chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes.
- Treatment for chronic disease constitutes roughly 96 cents per dollar for Medicare and 83 cents per dollar for Medicaid.
- More than one in four Americans have multiple chronic conditions (MCC), and this number is continuing to grow.
Chronic disease, by definition, is a disease that typically lasts three months or longer. In most cases, chronic conditions can be controlled but not cured. In fact, it affects 1.7 million lives each year, being the leading cause of death and disability in the United States. Many people assume this is only affecting the elderly, but in the past 10 years, working aged adults being diagnosed with chronic diseases increased by 25 percent. This epidemic is having a strong effect on the cost of healthcare. A study performed at Milken Institute examined the relationship between chronic disease and absenteeism among full time workers. The study focused on seven different diseases and found that the indirect costs of chronic diseases (such as missed days away from work) are higher than the direct cost to treat them.
Considering all of the recent healthcare regulations, now is a better time than ever to consider a self-funded health plan. Self-funding your health insurance is a long-term strategy to save money, gain total control over your plan, and may offer immediate savings.
It is a common misconception that self-funded health plans are only advantageous for large employers. In a traditional self-funded arrangement, small employers weren’t able to absorb the risk on becoming self-insured due to potential losses. By self-insuring your plan coupled with a stop loss policy (also known as a catastrophic policy), you mitigate your financial risk while allowing your plan to reap all of the benefits. Stop loss policies allow employers to evaluate potential savings and maximum exposure by becoming self-funded. Prior to stop loss insurance, the potential savings were estimated and max exposure was an unknown.
Group Management Services offers stop loss insurance that allows small employers to be rated on their own medical applications while experiencing savings due to our economies of scale. This means we’re able to offer lower stop loss premiums due to our volume, but your premiums aren’t affected by other plans should they not do as well as yours.