3 Reasons Every Employer Should Benchmark Their Health Plan

Category: Employee Benefits

3 Reasons Every Employer Should Benchmark Their Health Plan

Posted On: July 8, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

3 Reasons Every Employer Should Benchmark Their Health Plan As employers are competing for the race for talent and trying to bend the rising health care cost curve, benchmarking employee benefits is more important than ever. Here are three advantages to benchmarking health benefits: Bragging Rights: Employee benefits are a part of the compensation equation that most employees consider before accepting a job or choosing to stay with a company, so it’s important to know how your benefits rank. And once you’ve figured out that your benefits are at par or above everyone else’s, you will have strong talking points when recruiting talent. In addition, current employees will also feel more satisfied with their work if they know that their organization is giving them the best. Cost Savings: Checking if your costs are in line with everyone else helps you manage your costs better. Benchmarking is one of the most…


4 Ways to Leverage National Insurance Awareness Day to Increase Employee Awareness and Participation

Posted On: June 28, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

4 Ways to Leverage National Insurance Awareness Day to Increase Employee Awareness and Participation June 28th is National Insurance Awareness Day! It was created as a day to review your insurance coverage and is also a great time to help your employees understand the benefits that are available to them. Focus today on empowering your employees to better understand, appreciate and participate in their benefits. Here are 4 ways to help increase employee awareness and participation: Remind Employees of Key Benefits Within Your Organization’s Benefit Plan Take the time to remind your employees of components of your health plan that they could be taking advantage of such as your EAP, workplace wellness program, telemedicine, or prescription home delivery service just to name a few. Some of these things are overlooked unless they’re being consistently communicated, so make it a point to remind your employees of these added benefits! Highlight Your…


Supreme Court Effectively Upholds ACA in Texas v. United States Ruling

Posted On: June 18, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Supreme Court Effectively Upholds ACA in Texas v. United States Ruling On June 17, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by a 7-to-2 vote. The Court heard oral arguments in the case, California v. Texas, on November 10, 2020, which was a consolidation of 20 cases filed by state attorneys general and governors. The three main issues in California v. Texas were: Whether Texas, the accompanying states, the federal government, and two individual plaintiffs have “standing” to sue, which means having a sufficient connection to and harm by the ACA as a precondition to challenging the law. Whether the elimination of the ACA’s penalty for individuals who do not maintain minimum essential coverage (MEC), also known as the individual mandate, renders the individual mandate unconstitutional. If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, whether the remainder of the ACA’s provisions are…


4 Ways Digital Open Enrollment Guides Improve Employee Engagement

Posted On: June 18, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

4 Ways Digital Open Enrollment Guides Improve Employee Engagement Every year open enrollment season allows employees to start, stop, or change their existing health insurance plans. Often, however, open enrollment can be a source of confusion, leaving employees with a lack of understanding and underutilizing their plan. Digital open enrollment guides can be the most effective solution for educating and connecting with employees about their healthcare benefits. So how can digital open enrollment guides improve employee engagement? Apart from giving employees convenient access to benefit information, digital open enrollment guides also help your staff better understand their benefits, promote healthier habits, provide direct contact with advocates, and allows leadership to utilize direct analytics for increased employee interaction. Here are four ways digital open enrollment guides can improve employee engagement: 1.     Digital open enrollment guides can help employees better understand their benefits. A digital open enrollment platform allows for embedded videos,…


BCBSA Antitrust Settlement Classes Eligible for Proceeds

Posted On: June 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

BCBSA Antitrust Settlement Classes Eligible for Proceeds November 5, 2021 is the deadline for filing a claim in connection with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) $2.67 billion settlement reached in October 2020. The class action lawsuit was filed more than eight years ago by subscribers seeking injunctive and compensatory relief arising out of BCBSA’s alleged violation of federal antitrust laws. Although final court approval for the settlement has not been granted, the official administrator of the BCBSA has established a website to provide information and instructions for filing claims online and by mail. Payment of the settlement proceeds will be distributed to the settlement classes from the settlement fund after final court approval of the settlement. Settlement Classes Eligibility for settlement proceeds extends to individuals, insured groups (and their employees) and self-funded arrangements (and their employees) that purchased or were enrolled in a Blue Cross or Blue Shield…


Why Employers Should Benchmark Their Health Plan Before Renewal

Posted On: June 2, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Why Employers Should Benchmark Their Health Plan Before Renewal Benchmarking your health plan during renewal ensures that the benefits being offered continue to be a right fit for the company and employees based on data-driven decisions. On the other hand, a poorly planned renewal done in the dark can cause unnecessary expenses for the company. These worst-case scenarios are preventable by benchmarking your health plan so you can evaluate your employee benefits and see how they measure up to your peers. So why should employers benchmark their health plan offerings prior to renewal? There are two reasons why benchmarking is advantageous: cost savings and data-driven decisions. With benchmarking, your business can see if your costs are in line within your industry, size, region, and State (and implement cost-containment strategies if needed) and optimize your health plans for the long-term so they remain competitive. Benchmarking allows you to answer questions such…


Innovative Welcomes Dan Jordon as Managing Partner, Employee Benefits

Posted On: May 24, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News, Employee Benefits

Innovative Welcomes Dan Jordon as Managing Partner, Employee Benefits It is with great excitement we announce that prominent employee benefits consultant, Dan Jordon, has joined the Innovative team as Managing Partner of Employee Benefits. As part of the Executive Leadership team, Dan will play an essential role in driving the company’s business revenue, while empowering and supporting our clients in their effort to build strategic, stable, benefit offerings. This role includes managing our employee benefits consulting practice, continuing to build our sales team, and participate on our ongoing desire to enhance the client service and engagement experience. “As a respected leader, Dan is an outstanding addition to our team and clients. He brings extensive experience in helping employers reduce cost and delivering multi-year strategies that generate cost savings”, stated CEO, Terriann Procida. “We’re excited to merge his background with Innovative’s strengths to continue to provide a best-in-class service while growing…



5 Reasons Employers Should Carve Out Prescription Drug Benefits

Posted On: May 4, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

5 Reasons Employers Should Carve Out Prescription Drug Benefits Prescription Drugs typically makes up 20% of an employer’s overall spend, and with the rise in specialty drugs, industry experts expect that number to encroach 50%. Employers have the ability to “carve-out” this coverage from their medical plan, resulting in significant savings. A Prescription Drug “Carve-Out” is when an employer separates, or “carves-out” their pharmacy plan, typically in a self-insured model and contracts directly with a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) vendor to administer and manage their prescription drug benefits. This opens the door for five areas of savings for employers: Transparency A bundled prescription drug plan with an employer’s medical plan has little to no transparency. When carved-out, employers get access to useful claims data and more control over costs. Flexibility and Control with Plan Design Employers can customize their plan design using utilization data and cost control management strategies to…


Innovative Launches New Online Health Plan Benchmarking Tool

Posted On: April 14, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Innovative Launches New Online Health Plan Benchmarking Tool Benchmarking is more important than ever. Knowing how your health plan compare to your peers allows you to be competitive in recruiting and retaining the best employees, assist with making data-driven decisions during renewal planning, and see how your health plan costs compare to other companies in your industry. Imagine going into your renewal armed with these facts! With that being said, Innovative is excited to launch our new, online, exclusive health plan benchmarking tool for mid-size employers. Often employers feel as if they are shooting in the dark when it comes to evaluating your health plan design, manage rising costs, and prepare for the future of healthcare. Innovative, in conjunction with United Benefit Advisors, conducts annually the nation’s largest and most comprehensive benchmarking survey of plan design and cost. To help employers see the target, we have taking this data and…


Innovative Launches New Digital Employee Benefit Guide Technology

Posted On: April 12, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News, Employee Benefits

Innovative Launches New Digital Employee Benefit Guide Technology As technology continues to transform the workplace, HR professionals are seeking new and improved ways to deliver their health plan benefits, while gaining rich backend intelligence to improve the utilization of the plan. We have the solution! Innovative Benefit Planning is excited to launch a new, digital technology platform for our client’s employee benefit guides. This new, cutting-edge technology allows employees to view their health plan guides through a dynamic, video rich, interactive experience. Our new, easy to navigate digital guide, provides employers with: Increased Employee Retention- The platform allows for video education and an interactive experience, which has been shown to increase messaging retention by 73% when compared to static content. Engaging Experience- Engage your employees with a fresh, highly visual content experience for maximum impact. Mobile Friendly- Regardless of the device or location of your employees, their guide will automatically…


Innovative’s 2020 Consulting Highlights

Posted On: April 6, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, HR Consulting

Innovative's 2020 Consulting Highlights 2020 was a challenging year for many, but here at Innovative, we were dedicated to delivering the best value and results for our clients. Not only were we successful in reducing costs for our clients, but we were able to provide them with a number of resources to help them navigate through the year. Contact us at info@ibpllc.com.


Is Level Funding a Good Fit for Your Employee Benefits Plan?

Posted On: March 10, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Is Level Funding a Good Fit for Your Employee Benefits Plan? Level funding is a great strategy for employers that are interested in self-funding, but like a plan that looks and feels like it is fully insured. Level funding acts just like a fully insured plan, except it provides the opportunity for a surplus in a good claims year, enhanced claims reporting and limited administrative burden. Advantages of Level Funding There are many advantages to considering level funding. Without going straight to stop-loss carriers and third-party administrators, groups can work with the carriers that they're probably already working with on a fully insured basis. It provides the opportunity to receive reporting they may not be receiving today. The opportunity for a surplus that in good years when you're fully insured, you would not receive. Not to mention, you don't have the administrative burdens and potential risk of going fully self-insured…


Final Rule on the Extension of Certain Timeframes For Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Due to COVID-19

Posted On: March 5, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Final Rule on the Extension of Certain Timeframes For Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Due to COVID-19 The DOL issued EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 providing that the outbreak period relief noted below ends on the earlier of one year from the date an individual or plan was first eligible for relief (extension period) or the original outbreak period of 60 days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency. As of the date of this writing, the COVID-19 National Emergency has not ended. If a deadline noted below fell on March 1, 2020, it would be extended until February 28, 2021 (one year from March 1, 2020). However, if a deadline fell after March 1, 2020,the deadline would be extended to a date after February 28, 2021 because the extensions up to one year following the deadline or 60 days after the announced end of the COVID-19…


Incorporating Wellness into Your Employee Benefits Strategy

Posted On: March 4, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, Workplace Wellness

Incorporating Wellness into Your Employee Benefits Strategy Wellness is a strategy that continues to gain in popularity as employers are looking for ways to help their employees become healthier, more engaged, and happier at work. Wellness is typically broken into three categories. The first category is educational wellness. With an educational program, employers are providing educational guidance on how to be healthier through newsletters, seminars, and webinars, and maybe even a health fair onsite at the employer's office. The second type of wellness program is a participatory wellness program. Under this arrangement, the employer would provide a reward for participation by employees in an event such as a walking challenge, attending a health fair, or maybe a weight loss challenge. The third type of wellness is a results-based or outcomes-based plan design. Under this plan, the employer would provide a reward to employees that satisfy a standard set in the…


Reference Based Pricing

Posted On: February 26, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Reference Based Pricing With healthcare costs skyrocketing at unsustainable levels, employers are considering nontraditional methods of funding their medical plans. One nontraditional method that employers are starting to consider is called reference based pricing, or RBR. This method has proven to reduce overall benefit spend 20 to 30%, when compared to the traditional discount healthcare delivery model. What is Reference Based Pricing? The reference in RBR refers to Medicare. In a typical, traditional PPO carrier discount model, the claim after discount ends up being 250 to 450% of what Medicare reimburses for that claim. That's two and a half to four and a half times what providers accept for Medicare patients. Employers that want to bridge that gap can partner with an RBR vendor to skirt the traditional carrier discount system. Instead of the claim passing through and have the typical carrier discount applied to the gross claim, the RBR,…


What is Bundled Pricing?

Posted On: February 15, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

What is Bundled Pricing? Many employers are frustrated with a lack of financial and quality transparency in the healthcare marketplace. As such, many employers have considered offering a bundled pricing solution to their employees. Bundled pricing is a unique solution that provides employees the opportunity to shop for a procedure with an all-in price upfront. How Does Bundled Pricing Work? A bundled pricing vendor will negotiate directly with providers for non-emergent healthcare services. In other words, an employee can go on and choose when and where they'd like to have the procedure at an all-in cost. These prices are often a fraction of the typical cost of those services and there's no surprise when an invoice comes in the mail. Bundled pricing provides employers and employees alike the opportunity to have a transparent healthcare environment. Some pitfalls to consider are the fact that bundled pricing is relatively new to the…


Understanding Captives and Consortiums

Posted On: February 3, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Understanding Captives and Consortiums As health insurance costs continue to rise, many small and mid-size employers have looked for ways to alternatively fund their plans and potentially save costs. Self-funding can be daunting and unmanageable for many small to mid-size employers, but there are many self-funding options to consider. Captives and consortiums provide the ability to self-fund your plan while offsetting risk and having some cash flow efficiencies. They allow employers to band together with other employers, to get enhanced pricing, bundled services, and to offset risk in bad years. Captives A captive provides more direct risk sharing as the group is in a pool of other employers where they'll have their own stop-loss, but also a captive layer that will kick in for high cost claimants. Consortiums A consortium provides the ability to band together with other groups for purchasing power, to purchase things such as stop-loss and administrative…


Mandatory Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines under Group Health Plans

Posted On: December 23, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Mandatory Coverage of COVID-19 Vaccines Under Group Health Plans On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer vaccine). The following day, December 12, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation for use of the Pfizer vaccine in persons age 16 years or older for the prevention of COVID-19. Alternative COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be approved by the FDA under emergency authority in the coming weeks. Group health plans are encouraged to prepare to cover the cost of the Pfizer and other approved COVID-19 vaccines. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), non-grandfathered individual and employer-sponsored group health plans are required to cover the entire cost of preventative services by not imposing cost-sharing in the form of deductibles, copays, coinsurance or other amounts on…


Partially Self-Funded Plans with an HRA

Posted On: December 3, 2020 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Partially Self-Funded Plans with an HRA As health insurance costs continue to rise, more and more small and mid-size employers are looking for ways to take control of their healthcare costs. A health reimbursement account, or an HRA, is a way in which employers can step into self-funding and start to take some control. A health reimbursement account is an opportunity for the employer to self-fund a portion of the health insurance plan. Typically, employers will choose a plan with a higher deductible, higher co-pays, and potentially higher co-insurance, and will decide to self-fund that portion of the plan to take on some risk. Companies that have considered self-funding, but are wary of some of the risks, might want to take a step towards self-funding with a health reimbursement account. By utilizing increased deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance and putting an HRA into place, an employer is taking the risk that…


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