Health & Benefits

New Benefit Services Available

The Merriam Agency now offers Third Party Administrator (TPA) services including Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, and Health Savings Accounts. These are IRS regulated plans that allow an employee, or employer, to set aside a certain amount of pre-tax money to pay for insurance premiums, out of pocket medical...

Brokers are Best ACA Exchange Resource

in their quest for answers, these people also supplemented their research with other outlets, including brokers and advisers who scored high in customer satisfaction. New data from The Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center, released Monday, found that half of adults who obtained information on marketplaces only used a website. While information on those sites was considered helpful by two-thirds of users, the sites were found to not be as helpful as other information sources.

Exchanges Mean Less Choice & Higher Prices

It is becoming clear that Health Care reform is not what the American people were promised. A new study released on March 3, 2014, written by Senior Fellow David Hogberg, Ph.D. of the National Center for Public Policy Research, states that exchanges have reduced the choices and increased the price of insurance policies when compared to what existed in the 2013 market. Healthcare reform supporters, including

Attract and Retain Staff without Breaking the Bank

A strong employee benefits package is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining the best workers. In a 2011 Harvard Business review survey of human resource leaders, 60 percent said an attractive benefits package is “very important” in recruiting and retaining quality employees, as opposed to 38 percent who said a high base salary is very important. Benefits play an integral role in employee satisfaction. A recent survey by Met Life found that roughly 49 percent

Health-Care Law’s ‘Wellness’ visit might not be free

As a cost conscious health-care consumer, some caution is called for, on your part, where those seemingly “free” annual checkups or well-child visits are concerned. A young mother recently learned this lesson the hard way and shared her story with us. This mother took her 10-year-old twins to their pediatrician’s office in January for their annual wellness checkups. A few weeks later, when she

Employer Mandate Delayed Again

The Obama administration delayed the implementation of the so-called employer mandate by a year, initially pushing the requirements off until 2015, past the midterm elections. However, in what is seemingly a concession to business, Treasury Department officials announced on Monday, February 10th that the administration would not enforce the rules across the board next year.

The Need for Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance, often called “DI” or “disability income” insurance, is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary's earned income against the risk that a disability may impede a person’s ability to complete the core functions of his or her work. For example, the inability to focus or maintain composure due to psychological disorders or an injury, illness or condition that causes physical impairment or incapacity to work. Benefits

Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are being implemented in large and small companies across the country, and the results are positively impacting the bottom line. “Research is showing that it’s more cost-effective to invest in preventive health practices, such as screenings, immunizations, health risk appraisals, behavioral coaching, and health awareness/education, rather than spending resources exclusively on the small minority of employees/dependents

SHOP Delay

The delay applies to the federal-run SHOP exchanges in almost three dozen states. With a few exceptions, SHOPs in states running their own exchanges have had a smoother rollout.

Drop Dead Deadline

It is common for the Human Resources person at a workplace to pass out new forms every year during open enrollment, requiring every employee to indicate their personal information and that of their spouse and children, as well as the health plan they are choosing, the primary care physician, etc. It seems that there is always a question that cannot be answered immediately so these forms are set aside to complete later. Sometimes, later is after the deadline