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.
The health and fitness industry is growing in the corporate world; yet preventable diseases are still the leading cause of skyrocketing healthcare costs for employers and their workforce.
Here at Group Management Services, we do our best to design a program that is suited for everyone and every population. Our main priority is to help your employees achieve their personal health goals without interfering with your business. There are many benefits for the employer as well, such as a decrease in medical costs, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and business incentives through the ACA for offering a Wellness Program. Here is what GMS promises you:
- A customized program that is designed to suit your work environment and employee needs.
- A team of wellness experts comprised from various health backgrounds to offer personal, hands-on guidance that will create individual motivation and accountability
- Privacy for your employees under HIPPA and other federal regulations while working on personal health goals.
The truth of the matter is, there are strict government regulations to abide by when it comes to a workplace wellness program. As a result, many companies are turning to professional employer organizations to aid in the proper execution of an effective wellness program at their office.
Don’t look now, but Fall is upon us and we are closer to the start of 2017 than we are the start of 2016.
We have a Presidential election coming up in a few weeks, meaning that there will be a change in the leadership of this country, one way or another. Either way, expectations are running rampant about changes to healthcare plans in 2017 and the compliancy tied to those programs.
In addition to an upcoming national election, we are now quickly approaching open enrollment season for the Affordable Care Act. This is the time of year when people can apply for healthcare coverage through the exchanges and look for income-based subsidies to help them offset some of their insurance costs.
It’s also the time when employees who don’t feel they have an adequate or affordable employer-sponsored health plan may seek out coverage and subsidies through the exchanges. While an employer may be tempted to find relief in one less person to cover (and pay for), there may be some repercussions.
Are you a business owner looking for additional ways to compensate and retain your key employees? There are several options that are mutually beneficial for employees and businesses.
I’m going to preface this blog with the fact that I was born and raised in Ohio and am therefore an Ohio State fan. I was on ESPN’s website the other day and came across a story about the “school up north” and their Head Coach Jim Harbaugh getting additional compensation in the form of a life insurance loan.
The story caught my attention because you don’t see articles like this too often, especially when you are looking to read about sports. The fact is, it is commonplace in the corporate world for businesses to offer additional benefits to key executives and/or employees. The agreement that the University of Michigan and Jim Harbaugh have entered into is called a split-dollar life insurance arrangement. These types of arrangements can be a win-win for the employer and employee.
Photo by Eric Upchurch via Wikimedia Commons.
Recently, I watched a documentary on Tony Robbins. Tony was telling his audience to write down all the things that were getting in the way from becoming the person they wanted to be and then talked about “looking in the mirror.” This talk made me think of my business and how we conduct exit interviews.
Whether it’s a voluntary resignation or termination, we always ask the employee to complete an exit interview. It’s a very simple interview asking the former employee about his or her experience working for Group Management Services. In many of the exit interviews the employee talks about enjoying their time here, but their circumstances changed: they received a better offer, had a baby, a spouse is getting transferred, etc. Many have offered useful suggestions that we have acted upon such as “the sales manual needs to be updated, not enough holidays are recognized, need to have a more flexible schedule,” to name but a few.
These recommendations have all helped GMS become a better company, but they are definitely not the fun ones. The comments I really look forward to are from failing Sales Reps. You see, we have a very thorough sales process. We know how many calls you have to make every day. We know how many people you have to see every week. We know how many people you have to propose to every month. We know who is cheating by looking at the numbers. Thus, their suggestions are the ones I love.