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DOL Announces New Cybersecurity Guidance For Plan Sponsors, Plan Fiduciaries, Record Keepers, Plan Participants

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News, Wealth Management

News Release by US Department of Labor The U.S. Department of Labor announced new guidance for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, record keepers and plan participants on best practices for maintaining cybersecurity, including tips on how to protect the retirement benefits of America’s workers. This is the first time the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has issued cybersecurity guidance. This guidance is directed at plan sponsors and fiduciaries regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and plan participants and beneficiaries. As of 2018, EBSA estimates that there are 34 million defined benefit plan participants in private pension plans and 106 million defined contribution plan participants covering estimated assets of $9.3 trillion. Without sufficient protections, these participants and assets may be …

Alternate Funding Arrangements: Different Avenues to Access Care

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

By Kelly Hagan, Regional VP of Operations, Employee Benefits for AssuredPartners.com Employers continue to feel the crush of increasing health care expenses. To mitigate those costs, more and more employers are looking at alternate funding arrangements and different ways to access care.  Below are a few alternate funding options to explore. Self-Funding Level Funding Reference Based Pricing Direct Primary Care High Performing Networks Accountable Care Organizations Bundled Payments Read more here>>>

Economic Stress Tests Workers’ Comp Plans

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, Insurance, Risk Management, Third Party Claim Administration

By John Lacy for LeadersEdge.com With prevailing economic pressures widely expected to persist, more and more businesses will consider different ways to adapt, including the possibility of smaller, less skilled, and/or over-burdened workforces. These additional stresses could increase the risks of on-the-job injuries and, in some cases, jeopardize the ongoing well-being of the business. The good news for business owners is that those companies willing to proactively refine and manage their workers compensation program can take steps to mitigate losses, thus keeping their workers safe and protecting their business interests. Read how a robust workers’ compensation program is a basic tenet of successful risk management>>>

Identifying the (Benefits) Gaps – 3 steps employers can take to move toward an inclusive culture

Denise Gillin Diversity & Inclusion, Health Benefits, News

By Katie Oberkircher for LeadersEdge.com Using an employee-driven social networking platform, data is generated around how workers approach their jobs, share their beliefs, and interact with coworkers. In part one of a three-part series, Andrew Phillips, founder of All of Us, dives into what’s most important for employers to consider when deciding how to drive cultural change. Where to start>>>

New Benefit Plan Compensation Disclosure Requirements

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

By Scott Sinder and Kate Jensen for Leadersedge.com On Dec. 27, 2020, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021” was signed into law. The 5,593-page missive includes the “No Surprises Act,” which encompasses a host of new healthcare payment-related initiatives of particular interest to us. Section 202 of the act dictates that, effective Dec. 27, 2021 (more on that in a moment), a “covered plan” shall not agree to any “contract or arrangement for services” or to any “extension or renewal of such contract or arrangement” with a “covered service provider” unless the new disclosure obligations it imposes have been satisfied. Read who must make the new requisite disclosures, to whom, and when>>>

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Pandemic Mental Toll On Gen Z

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

By Michael Diller, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist and Director, Employee Assistance Program, WellSpan Normal times can be stressful, but the additional distress added by a pandemic can make things overwhelming. What are the signs to look for that may indicate mental anxiety has become something more? Stressors and symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, lower frustration tolerance, difficulty concentrating, problems and changes with sleep and appetite become more frequent, more intense, and last longer. All may be indicators that there is a need to reach out for and get connected to professional support. While everyone is impacted by the pandemic, the American Psychological Association reports the long-term consequences of the persistent stress and trauma are particularly serious for Generation Z – teens …

Optimize Ventilation to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission Risk

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, Human Resources, News, Risk Management

By Toby Graham, KPA The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) released new COVID-19 guidance on ventilation in the workplace. Employers should discuss options for optimizing building ventilation with an HVAC professional. Steps that can be taken include: Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick. Ensure all HVAC systems are fully functional, especially those shut down or operating at reduced capacity during the pandemic. Remove or redirect personal fans to prevent blowing air from one worker to another. Use HVAC system filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 or higher, where feasible. Increase the HVAC system’s outdoor air intake. Open windows or other sources of fresh air where possible. Be sure exhaust air is …

Home for the Holidays: finding joy and meaning during the pandemic

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

By Michael Diller, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist and Director, Employee Assistance Program, WellSpan As we enter the November and December holiday season, we remain amidst the ongoing, slow moving and ever-changing storm of COVID-19. Celebrating holidays that are rooted in tradition and history, mixed with personal meaning, can be disconcerting given our current situation. This can create heightened distress more so than any previous time. So, what can we do to help navigate the ongoing uncertainty and still find ways to embrace all this season has to offer? Tips for navigating and embracing this holiday season Acknowledge this year will be different: Express and own any normal frustrations. Admit the losses that are unique to you. Think of ways to safely …

Coping Strategies for Trying Times

Denise Gillin Health Benefits Administration, News

By Michael Diller, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist and Director, Employee Assistance Program, WellSpan Thanksgiving is less than a two-week isolation period away, and the pandemic is worsening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new small household gathering considerations due to their contribution to the rise in COVID-19 cases. The holiday is going to be different this year, but don’t let pandemic fatigue get the best of you. Finding calm Holiday stress coupled with pandemic stress and the resulting uncertainty all contribute to rising anxiety. While natural and to be expected, we want calm in the midst of this uncertainty. Now more than ever it’s important to stay grounded in up-to-date factual information. Get news and facts from reliable …

Four Steps To Managing Mental Health at Your Organization

Denise Gillin Health Benefits

Shared from ZyWave by Matt Pfeiffenberger, Vice President, Health Benefits Solutions We are about to add holiday stress to a pandemic. Here are four steps you can take to establish a workplace environment that is supportive of mental health: Create a supportive foundation An organization that is dedicated to preserving employee mental health and fostering a stigma-free environment is one that will succeed in its efforts to support employee mental health. Make sure that any mental health initiatives are aligned with core values, goals and ethics. Focus on reducing stigma An organization that focuses its mental health initiatives and efforts on normalizing mental health discussions will see improvements in employee mental health. Consistently communicate to employees that getting help is …