<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1602061480087256&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

R&R Insurance Blog

The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

Posted by Taylor Hahn

summer kayaking

Can you believe these last few months of summer are already here in Wisconsin?

In order to make the most of these beautiful summer days that remain, this month's topic will be centered around the mental benefits in conjunction with exercise. It is known that exercise is fantastic for your body. However, research also indicates that exercise helps to reduce anxiety, depression and negative moods.

The U.S. Department of Health indicates that adults should be targeting 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise a week. If that seems like a lot, try to break it down. Start with 10 minute increments three times a day. For example, 10 minutes of walking before work, 10 minutes on lunch, 10 minutes after work. If you repeat that each work day, Monday through Friday, any additional activity you complete on the weekend will be a bonus!

So make the most of the last summer month and take your aerobic activity outside! Find a new park, meet up with friends or take your beloved pet for a walk. We know we will miss this weather come January, plus your body and mind will be benefiting tremendously. 

For additional information on the specific mental health benefits of exercise along with more information about getting started, please view this article.

If you are interested in discussing wellness programming further please reach out to our Strategic Wellbeing Consultant, Taylor Hahn.

 

Topics: Wellness

Chronic Diseases | Containing the Costs

Posted by Taylor Hahn

Employee Wellbeing

As an employer, if you are not promoting and investing in wellbeing programming for your employees, you may fall behind the curve in a few aspects.

As the younger generation is venturing into the workplace, they are expecting concrete wellbeing programming to be implemented and creative components towards overall wellness and ease of access to be intertwined. Having a functioning wellbeing program can help with your retention rates as this great resignation is upon us. If that aspect doesn’t motivate you to consider investing and starting a wellbeing program, what about the costs involved with chronic diseases?

What’s important to note is chronic diseases can be avoided, reduced or even stopped through lifestyle changes.

Chronic Disease - the costs involved

Of course there are specific direct costs and percentages associated with chronic diseases, but often times we forget the indirect costs if an employee cannot be present at work and the cost of that lost productivity.

For more information on containing the costs of chronic health conditions please view this resource.

If you are interested in discussing wellness programming further please reach out to our Health & Wellness Consultant, Taylor Hahn.

 

Topics: Wellness

Resources for OSHA's New Heat Emphasis Program

Posted by Mike Paddock

Heat Stress2

On April 8, 2022 OSHA launched a national targeted program to protect workers from heat-related illness. A National Emphasis Program like this typically determines the prioritization of inspections.

On June 14th, OSHA Region 5 issued a reminder to the Great Lakes region's employers that workers need protection from dangers of heat illness: indoors and outdoors.

They ask employers to have workers drink water every 15 minutes, take frequent rest breaks in shade, have an emergency plan ready to respond when a worker shows sign of heat-related illness, train workers on the hazards of heat exposure and to allow workers to build tolerance for working in heat.

On the last point, OSHA has found that:

  • Almost half of heat-related deaths occur on a worker's very first day on the job

  • Over 70% of heat-related deaths occur during a worker's first week

On October 27, 2021 OSHA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. This was a significant step toward creating a federal heat standard.

The courts currently hold employers liable for heat-related hazards through OSHA's general duty clause. The clause requires employers to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees."

Heat stress killed 815 US workers and seriously injured more than 70,000 workers from 1992 through 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Heat Stress Resources

HR Software You're Using Might Be Violating the ADA

Posted by Pete Frittitta

HR Software LaptopRecently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) each issued new technical assistance documents about how employers’ use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other software tools to make employment decisions may result in unlawful disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Employers increasingly use software tools to help select new employees, monitor performance, determine pay or promotions, and administer or score tests. Without safeguards, this use may result in ADA violations.

The ADA requires employers with 15 or more employees to provide reasonable accommodations and have other processes in place to ensure that their software tools do not unfairly rate or screen out qualified individuals with disabilities.

EEOC Guidance

The EEOC’s new guidance focuses on the following three ways an employer’s use of software tools for employment decisions may violate the ADA:

  • The employer does not provide a reasonable accommodation necessary for an individual to be rated fairly and accurately by the software;
  • The software “screens out” an individual with a disability, even though the individual is able to do the job with a reasonable accommodation; and
  • The software makes disability-related inquiries or includes medical examinations.

The EEOC also provides best practices to help employers avoid these violations.

DOJ Guidance

The DOJ’s new guidance provides a broad overview of rights and responsibilities under the ADA. It also provides examples of the types of software tools employers use, clarifies that employers must consider various disabilities when designing or choosing their software, and explains when an employer must provide a reasonable accommodation when using software tools.

Employer Takeaway

Several factors have led these agencies to address this topic. One is the ongoing unemployment challenge for workers with disabilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ April data revealed a labor force participation rate of 23.1% for people with a disability, compared with 67.5% for those without. Employers should review this guidance and assess their employment technology and processes to ensure they are not at risk for ADA violations.

You can read the EEOC’s new guidance here and the DOJ’s new guidance here.

Source: Zywave, Inc.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Compliance

End the Stigma | May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Posted by Taylor Hahn

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Health continues to be a popular topic and top concern for workplaces in 2022. Over 30% of employers have added new mental health benefits within the past year, according to McKinsey and Company. Surprisingly, despite the increased efforts, nearly 25% of employees still do not feel supported when it comes to their mental health.

"40% of U.S. adults said they have struggled with mental health or substance abuse during the pandemic."

With all of this in mind, employers need to evaluate their mental health strategies and consider how they can best help maximize their employees' overall well-being. To get a jump-start on this, employers can consider these five trends for 2022 that may influence employees' mental health.

  1. More Mental Health Programs
  2. Increased Scheduling Flexibility
  3. Expanded Virtual Doctor Visits
  4. Greater Mental Health Education
  5. Improved Focus on Individuals

Mental health is a serious concern for employees and their employers. Not addressing mental health issues can result to a host of other problems down the road, including burnout and depression. For more in-depth information on implementing the five trends listed above, click here. We have also included a few additional resources below.

5 Ways to Support Your Employee's Mental Health [blog]

Wellness Mental Health Resources –  Train Your Brain Into Positive Self-Talk [blog]

Effects of Stress on the Body [interactive flyer]

 

Topics: Wellness

HSA/HDHP Limits Increase for 2023

Posted by R&R Insurance

HSA Piggy BankOn April 29, 2022, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2022-24 to provide the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2023. The IRS is required to publish these limits by June 1 of each year.

These limits include:

  • The maximum HSA contribution limit;
  • The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs; and
  • The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs.
These limits vary based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under an HDHP.

Eligible individuals with self-only HDHP coverage will be able to contribute $3,850 to their HSAs for 2023, up from $3,650 for 2022. Eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute $7,750 to their HSAs for 2023, up from $7,300 for 2022. Individuals who are age 55 or older are permitted to make an additional $1,000 “catch-up” contribution to their HSAs.

The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs increases to $1,500 for self-only coverage and $3,000 for family coverage for 2023 (up from $1,400 for self-only coverage and $2,800 for family coverage for 2022). The HDHP maximum out-of-pocket expense limit increases to $7,500 for self-only coverage and $15,000 for family coverage for 2023 (up from $7,050 for self-only coverage and $14,100 for family coverage for 2022).

You can download our convenient chart here: HSA HDHP Limits Increase for 2023

Employers that sponsor HDHPs should review their plan's cost-sharing limits (minimum deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket expense limit) when preparing for the plan year beginning in 2023. Also, employers that allow employees to make pre-tax HSA contributions should update their plan communications for the increased contribution limits.

Topics: Employee Benefits

National Financial Literacy Month

Posted by Taylor Hahn

Financial Literacy Month

National Financial Literacy Month is celebrated in April. This is a great opportunity to promote financial wellness to employees, since it is often a neglected well-being component.

Did you know 1 in 4 employees say that stressing about finances is a major distraction at work?

In addition, 7 out of 10 employees say financial stress is their most common stress. Developing and establishing workplace financial wellness will have key benefits for everyone.

You will attracted and keep talented employees, you have a better chance to lower health cost and employees will have increased productivity and will be better prepared for a rainy day. Retirement will not be a daunting thing but rather something employees have to look forward to as well.

How are you currently addressing financial wellness in your workplace?

Are you giving employees the nudge they need with auto-enrollment, keeping the number of investment choices simple, mobile access, recognizing language barriers, along with additional plan add-ons? Unfortunately, this is a topic that cannot be addressed only once a year for employees to really benefit. Consider how else you can add this topic to your well-being program.

Food and fun are often components that encourage employees to participate. Consider this Financial Wellness Challenge created by our Health & Wellness Consultant.

For more information on financial wellness, contact a Knowledge Broker today.

 

Topics: Wellness

National Nutrition Month | 4 Ways to Keep to Your Budget

Posted by Taylor Hahn

grocery store

March is National Nutrition Month. There are so many components that go into nutrition, but for the purpose of this blog, we will be focusing on family budget tips to feed your family and yourself.

When visiting the grocery store, you may feel extremely overwhelmed. There are numerous tactics that go into how grocery stores are laid out because they want to entice their customers with impulse purchases. If you are sticking to a budget, you want to make sure to follow the below tips and tricks to stay on track.

Lookout for Expensive Items

  • Meat can often be a big ticket itemsubstitute with plant-based alternatives from time-to-time to decrease spending
  • Avoid convenience foods such as pre cut vegetables, fruit, or even single-serve packetsthey rack up the prices due to convenience but you can simply create them on your own
  • Avoid produce that is not in season

Experience the Savings

  • Keep an eye on specials and incorporate them into your weekly menu
  • Canned and frozen options have reasonable prices and make a great staple
  • Cook weekly and meal prep instead of visiting fast food places or restaurants

Have a method

  • To save money at the store, be intentional with your grocery list and meals for the week, etc.
  • You need to be organized and stick to the list without being vulnerable to the impulse buys
  • Don't forget not to waste food either by purchasing too much

Meal Prep Saves the Day

  • Always check your food options in your house before making your grocery list
  • Practice the "first-in-first-out" food rule to avoid waste
  • Create menus for lunches and dinners that incorporate overlapping ingredients

Overall, it is not as complicated as one may think to meal prep and save money at the grocery store. While you have to be organized and determined, it is worth the savings!

For more detailed information, visit eatright.org

 

Topics: Wellness

Benchmarking Report Reveals Changes in Manufacturing Insurance

Posted by Mike Paddock

BenchmarkingReport2

As risks change, manufacturers change their insurance purchasing habits.

Supply chain disruption, labor shortages, a global pandemic, state sponsored hacking. These shifting concerns over the last two years have contributed to an aggregate trend of manufacturers choosing to insure more risks than prior to COVID-19. Monitoring these purchasing changes along with rate differences was the focus of a newly released 2022 Benchmarking study by Assurex Global.

The 2022 Manufacturing Benchmark Report surveyed over 1,200 manufacturers of varying sizes and industries representing over $79 billion of revenue and 92,000 employees. Assurex Global is the world’s largest privately held insurance brokerage group of which R&R Insurance is a proud member. 

A summary of the report’s key findings can be found here while some notable trends from the full 79-page report are posted below. Request the full report here.

Manufacturers are buying more excess liability insurance policies, especially Cyber

Assurex analyzed data on over 800 manufacturers in 2020 and over 1,200 in 2022. Some of the most striking differences between the reports is how many of these firms carried standalone excess liability policies on certain lines. The results show an increase in excess liability purchases across the board, but especially in cyber.

CyberAndOtherLines2.1

Cyber risk is becoming obvious to the Manufacturing Industry. There is a sizable 20-point pickup in standalone Cyber insurance policies compared to Assurex’s 2020 Manufacturing Benchmark Report.

Other excess liability insurance policies are being picked up at a greater rate by manufacturing business, though not to the same degree as cyber. Most surprising to Assurex was that despite increasing supply chain disruption, International insurance only picked up a few points compared to 2020.

Small Manufacturers are Paying Much Higher Liability and Property Rates than Large Manufacturers

GeneralLiabilityRate2.2

PropertyTIV2.1

With tangible goods it's generally cheaper to buy in bulk, but when buying an intangible insurance policy does the same principle apply? Even though the level of risk doesn’t change it’s surprising to see such a large gap in liability and property rates between small and large firms. Small manufacturers are paying dramatically higher rates than larger firms.

The reason for the difference likely has to do with larger firms taking on higher deductibles to achieve lower rates. This is especially noticeable in property (see image below). Never the less, a doubling of rates at just about every level of account size measured is still a greater difference than what many experts might suspect, including Assurex.

PropertyDeductibles

Larger Organizations Tend to Purchase Significantly Higher Excess Liability Limits than Smaller Ones

ExcessLiabilitybyRevenueIt isn't that surprising to see a direct relationship between revenue and the propensity to purchase greater excess liability limits (umbrella policies). The greater the revenue of a manufacturer, the larger their excess liability limits they tend to purchase. 

While the trend does seem predictable there is an area of concern. Though a minority, there are a disturbing number of manufactures with more than $40 million in revenue only purchasing $5 million or less in excess liability limits. In an increasingly litigious society, this seems incredibly risky - yet 19% of $100M+ manufacturers and 29% of $40M-$99.9M manufacturers are in this category.

Further Breakdowns Available In The Full Report

Click here to find the full 79-page Assurex Global 2022 Manufacturing Benchmark.

The report details further additional excess lines such as D&O Insurance, Auto liability and Employee Benefit trends. Industry break down also is detailed for Furniture/Wood Product Manufacturing, Metal Manufacturing, and Machining/Equipment Manufacturing.

Insurance purchasing is a complex decision for any business. With the pace of new business risks emerging it is becoming more important than ever to have the right data on hand when making insurance spend decisions. Click here to see a list of R&R Insurance Consultants specialized in the manufacturing space and ready to answer the growing number of questions in today's dynamic landscape.

 

Topics: manufacturers

Heart Health Awareness Month

Posted by Taylor Hahn

Feb. Heart Health

Each February, awareness around heart disease occurs. The goal is to urge our population to reduce risk factors associated with developing cardiovascular disease because it remains the number one killer of both men and women.

In fact, according to the American Heart Association, every 80 seconds, one woman is killed by heart disease or strokewhich is more than all forms of cancers combined.

Individuals need to make their heart health a priority. Scheduling a visit with a healthcare provider for a preventive check-up, measuring blood pressure, checking cholesterol and looking for all signs of illness are all vital components.

There are dozens of ways to spread awareness around heart disease to your employees but, please consider these two:

Let's begin to have the conversations about just how important heart health is.

Topics: Wellness