7 Low-Cost Initiatives Employers Can Incorporate in Their D&I Programs Now

Category: Employee Benefits

7 Low-Cost Initiatives Employers Can Incorporate in Their D&I Programs Now

Posted On: June 23, 2022 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, HR Consulting

Countless studies show that employers who focus on diversity and inclusion policies and practices help increase employee engagement and boost overall happiness in the workplace, thus improving retention. Research shows that companies with diverse, inclusive teams generate 19% more revenue and perform 35% better than their industry average.While integrating diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs in the workplace might seem expensive, there are actually several ways to efficiently make the workplace more inclusive.Here are 7 techniques companies can consider integrating DEI initiatives without added cost:Tweaking your paid-time-off policies offers multiple opportunities to align DEI initiatives with existing benefits. Consider:Does your parental leave policy include adoptions and new foster children?Is family leave specific only to mothers, or can it include new fathers and/or same-sex new mothers? Is parental leave longer for birth mothers than for others?Is your sick leave policy broad enough to cover a variety of contingencies, such as transition…

Are You Leveraging Population Health Management Correctly to Mitigate Claims Risk?

Posted On: April 20, 2022 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

While all health plans face the possibility of higher claims, properly managing your employee’s risk pool and population health can help mitigate claims risk and reduce costs in your plan. Population health management identifies, evaluates, and manages the risks facing an organization and its plan participants. While employers cannot prevent every claim before it occurs, they can better identify and mitigate those risks. An estimated 75% of healthcare costs arise from chronic conditions that are preventable through such measures as proper diet, exercise, medication, and therapy. Identifying those risks allows providers to guide employees towards healthier lives. Employers benefit from lower healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism, and more precise wellness program planning. https://youtu.be/avDBO75XSZg Steps in Constructing a Comprehensive Population Health Management Strategy Often employers may take steps to uncover and proactively identify current and potential health risk (step 1), but then they don’t take the necessary next steps to better manage…

Four Steps to Create a Stable Renewal Environment

Posted On: February 23, 2022 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Large renewal rate increases frustrate employers and plan sponsors each year. They might experience significant, double-digit rate hikes one year; a smaller uptick the second; and another large increase the third year. Owners, CFOs, and HR executives would prefer stable, predictable trends so they can better budget for future costs.Too often, companies send out requests for proposals, cross our fingers, and hope for the best. However, that approach seldom works. To paraphrase a quote often mistakenly attributed to Albert Einstein, one shouldn’t do the same thing over and over and expect different results. The answer is for employers to become more proactive and take strategic measures to change the pattern.Here are four steps company leaders can take to address the underlying issues driving high renewals rate and create a more stable renewal environment.Proper UnderwritingIn the current environment, traditional underwriting practices and inefficient funding mechanisms lead carriers to overact to large…

How to Reset & Reflect After Benefits Renewal Season

Posted On: January 26, 2022 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

The hectic benefits renewal season is finally winding down for many employers, with open enrollment meetings and all the logistical challenges and decisions behind us for 2021.  We’re ready to relax and move on to new challenges during the new year. But wait a second: maybe we shouldn’t put renewal season out of our minds quite yet. Listen below as our Vice President of Consulting, John Romaska, and Executive Account Manager, Shemelia McClain, discuss why employers should take the time to reflect after their benefit renewal season and considerations they should take when doing so. https://youtu.be/ZDgnWvJwQbQ Spending a little time now to recap the lessons of 2021 will save you more time and effort in 2022 and deliver better results. Read our recent blog, "How to Reset and Reflect After Benefits Renewal Season" for questions you should ask yourself and considerations as you move into 2022. Join us on February 8th as the…

Government Distribution of Free at-home COVID-19 tests

Posted On: January 20, 2022 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Starting January 19th, 2022, Americans will be able to order a test online at COVIDTests.gov. To ensure broad access, the program will limit the number of tests sent to each residential address to four tests. Tests will usually ship within 7-12 days of ordering. To help distribute the message to your employees, Innovative has created the below poster that links directly to the government site. Download Here

End of Year Employee Benefits Compliance Checklist

Posted On: December 10, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

From ACA reporting to new federal regulations, employers are faced with several obligations as they close out the year and begin to plan for 2022. To help comply with your obligations, we have complied a list of important items that apply to employer-sponsored group health plans to either review and/or take action.Prepare and Submit Affordable Care Act (ACA) Mandatory ReportingThe IRS has issued proposed regulations, which if finalized, would extend the annual furnishing deadlines for Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sections 6055 and 6056 reporting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permanently. IRC Sections 6055 and 6056 outline reporting requirements for employers and providers to confirm whether individuals have acquired minimum essential coverage during the applicable plan year. Under IRC Section 6055, Forms 1094-B and 1095-B must be completed by providers of minimum essential coverage for all covered individuals. Applicable Large Employers can satisfy the reporting requirements under both Section 6055…

How to Reset and Reflect After Benefits Renewal Season

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

The hectic benefits renewal season is finally winding down for many employers, with open enrollment meetings and all the logistical challenges and decisions behind us for 2021.  We’re ready to relax, enjoy the holiday season, and move on to new challenges during the new year. But wait a second: maybe we shouldn’t put renewal season out of our minds quite yet. Even though you may be ready to put fourth quarter in the rearview mirror, this is actually the best time to reflect on your recent efforts while those successes, unexpected challenges, and avoidable obstacles are still fresh in your mind. Six to nine months from now, it will be more difficult to recall the details of how well your experiences tracked with your expectations. Spending a little time now to recap the lessons of 2021 will save you more time and effort in 2022 and deliver better results. Here are…

Communication Tips for Promoting Your Employee Benefits in 2022

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

Our Vice President of Marketing and Engagement, Jamie Bratton, shares eight techniques to help promote your employee benefits in the new year.Effectively communicating your employee benefits to current employees and potential new hires goes a long way towards meeting your retention and recruitment goals. Marketing techniques are designed to motivate and enable people to follow recommendations.  For employee benefits, your goal is to motivate employees to comprehend and access the benefits your organization provides. You want your benefits top of mind and front and center so they see the value you offer, and to encourage them to use what they have available.Promoting your benefits internally and externally brings numerous rewards. If your employees do not understand your benefits package, they will not value those benefits as highly. Robust benefits are also necessary to attract potential new hires. According to recent studies, 60% of candidates surveyed said benefits and perks are…

How We Resolved One Client’s Self-Funding Worries Through Proprietary Confidence Projection

Posted On: November 25, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Client Industry: Technology Number of Employees: 240 Service Provided: Statistical risk analysis and probability projections. Challenges Our client had considered transitioning from fully insured to self-funding for several years. Although we projected the change would bring considerable savings, they remained concerned by the risk that the model might not perform as expected. The company favored the predictable costs of a fully insured plan over the potential highs and lows of variable costs accompanying a self-insured plan. Our client regularly buys companies, holds them for several years, and then sells them. They were particularly concerned about protecting themselves from trailing claims liabilities after each sale closed. Their fully insured plan carried hidden revenue streams, added costs, and waste that can be removed through self-funding. Solutions We used Innovative’s proprietary tools to create a feasibility study showing the projected costs and benefits of moving from a fully-insured to a self-funded model. Even…

IRS Issues 2022 FSA and Commuter Limits

Posted On: November 12, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

The IRS has announced the 2022 max contribution limits for FSA and Commuter accounts [Revenue Procedure 2021-45].All FSA and Commuter plans (for the 2022 plan year) will be updated with the 2022 contribution limits.If you have any questions, please contact your account team or email us at icomply@ibpllc.com. This Compliance communication is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. 2022 Employer Compliance Calendar Are you finding it difficult to keep up with the constant changes in the compliance landscape? We understand that HR professionals have other important items on their plate so we have put together a 17 page calendar that will insure employers are meeting deadlines to remain compliant in the workplace. Click below to download our calendar! Download Now

Innovative Saves Company From a $440,000 Renewal Increase with 45 Days Till Renewal

Posted On: October 29, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Challenges A construction company with 100 employees was facing a 29 percent renewal increase for its employee benefits package. The additional cost, which was over $440,000, was much more than the company could absorb. Passing the costs on to the employees through less coverage and higher deductibles seemed like the only alternative. However, in a tight labor market, the chances are higher that employees will leave for other opportunities instead of shouldering the increased costs. To make it worse, the company’s broker waited nearly 45 days before renewals to notify them of the increase. The company should have received projections many months earlier, which would have avoided a scramble to find alternatives. However, the company was with a name-brand national carrier and worked with a large international broker, so the team trusted that they got the best pricing. Solutions A member of management, who had a previous trusted relationship with…

Employers COVID-19 Vaccine Resources & Kit

Posted On: October 11, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

Sometimes its hard to keep up with all the latest recommendations and regulations. In an effort to ease the burden, we have compiled eight important resources that you can access when planning your COVID-19 vaccine practices. Access Here

5 Ways to Leverage Benefits to Combat Recruiting Challenges and Boost Retention

Posted On: September 21, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, HR Consulting, Workplace Wellness

Employers face the toughest job market in recent years as they struggle to recruit and retain employees. Many are having trouble keeping top performers on board, as well as finding qualified candidates for open positions. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in July that the number of open jobs reached a high of 10.9 million, while the number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs had been climbing sharply since February, totaling four million in April and again in July. Meanwhile, the importance of retaining key employees grows: the Society of Human Sources (SHRM) found the average cost of replacing an employee runs 50% to 60% of their annual salary.The tight labor market underscores the importance of having a solid benefits package to help employers recruit and retain employees. The combination of competitive pay and attractive benefits provides a key advantage when organizations compete for workers.  The current…

Innovative Launches New Groundbreaking Benefit Performance Assessment

Posted On: September 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News, Employee Benefits

Innovative Launches New Groundbreaking Benefit Performance Assessment Innovative has launched our new groundbreaking, proprietary Benefit Performance Assessment. This complimentary assessment shows employers how they can cut waste, take control of healthcare costs, and provide better service solutions. All within an hour of your time and without impacting the coverage offered to employees! It’s unfortunate, but the same cookie-cutter method has been applied to middle market benefits for decades now. Employers continue to experience a lack of creativity, a broken under-writing system, and lack of a data-driven approach. Rightfully so, they are frustrated of the rising cost and lack of clarity. Here at Innovative, we knew it was time to show employers a new way at looking at things, and something you haven’t seen before. Our assessment reviews five key performance areas that are essential for a successful benefit program: Identify & Eliminate Waste Identify many ways that waste and inefficiencies…

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

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 PlanTake 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 Benefit Guardian ServiceEmployees may forget that their Benefit Guardian is an additional benefit that is here to help…

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…

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