<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

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

Why New Year's Resolutions Fail

Posted by Taylor Hahn

2022 Goals

It is officially the New Year! Maybe you are an individual who has chosen to make specific New Year’s resolution(s). That is fantastic that you want to attempt to make a change; however, you do not need to wait until the New Year because resolutions made at that time have a higher chance of failure.

Approximately 156 million people will give up on their resolution in the New Year.

Why do New Year's Resolutions Fail?

  • Lack of determination
  • Setting a goal for an unrealistic outcome
  • Not planning aheadmaking the resolution on a whim
  • Being too critical
  • Having an all or nothing mentality
  • Having the goal last too long
  • Not tracking progress
  • Missing the benefits of the process

Overall, most New Year’s resolution goals are not thought out, properly, which means there is a higher chance of failing. If you really want to make a change, do not feel forced to set that intention at the New Year, but rather enjoy the process when you want to.

Remember, to set an appropriate goal it should follow the Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time Sensitive (SMART) objective. That way there is a goal with a realistic timeframe and path to progression, which will lead to a higher success rate of achievement.

Happy New Year!

Topics: Wellness

Federal Court Reinstates OSHA Vaccination Mandate for Private Employers With 100 or More Employees

Posted by Pete Frittitta

legalupdate

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) vaccine-or-testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is back on again. 

On Friday, December 17th, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted the stay of OSHA's emergency temporary standard (ETS) requiring private sector employers with at least 100 employees to ensure workers are either vaccinated or tested weekly and wear masks. With the stay lifted, employers must comply with the requirements outlined in the ETS.

Click here to download R&R Insurance's summary of reinstatement with important dates for employers.

In response, OSHA stated that it “will not issue citations for noncompliance with any requirements of the ETS before January 10 and will not issue citations for noncompliance with the standard’s testing requirements before February 9, so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard. OSHA will work closely with the regulated community to provide compliance assistance.” 

KEY TAKEAWAY ON THIS CHANGE: Affected employers now have until January 10th, 2022 to comply with the requirements that were initially slated to begin on December 6th, 2021. Also, weekly testing requirements for unvaccinated employees with an original deadline of January 4th, 2022 is now delayed until February 9th, 2022.

ETS opponents have already filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the Sixth Circuit’s decision. R&R will continue to monitor developments and provide you with updates and resources that pertain to these compliance requirements as they occur. For more information and resources, click here to navigate to our dedicated OSHA Vaccine Mandate Compliance webpage.

Click here to view the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals opinion to dissolve the stay order as well the dissenting opinion.

Topics: OSHA Compliance, OSHA, regulations

The Power of Positive Thinking

Posted by Taylor Hahn

New Mindset

Thanksgiving has officially come and gone. The holiday is typically a time where we reflect on things in our life we are grateful for. However, why should we limit gratitude to just one day? Let’s keep it going past the holiday season because gratitude has specific health benefits and effectsthat those around us and ourselves included need.

The power of positive thinking can be make such a difference. A research study indicated that a group was instructed to write five things they were grateful for once a week. After ten consecutive weeks, the experiment showed that the individuals also increased their daily exercise time and were more likely to attend regular health check-ups than those who did not participate in the journal reflection.

What are ways you can bring gratitude to your life past the holiday season? We’ve listed some options below:

  • Utilize a gratitude journal
  • Practice meditation
  • Write or verbalize three things you’re grateful for each night
  • Smile more often
  • Notice nature’s beauty
  • Post positive quotes or images
  • Focus on your strengths
  • Volunteer

It is important to remember that reflecting on gratitude can be big or little things. Whatever it is, allow yourself a moment to enjoy the positive experience despite any negative feelings. You can’t escape stress, but you can shift your perspective.

Happy Holidays!

Topics: Wellness

Top 10 Questions We Received on the OSHA ETS & Vaccine Mandate

Posted by Mike Paddock

michaelbestthumb2

“We’re Hiring: Less than 100, NO Vaccine Required,” is the latest lawn sign spotted in a Wisconsin industrial park.

The ramification for companies employing over 100 individuals by the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard & Vaccine Mandate are beginning to unfold. Regardless of the fact that the ETS is momentarily tied up in the courts, HR and leadership teams are watching a ticking clock on new regulation deadlines and are beginning to fix their attention on the situation.

On November 11th, R&R Insurance hosted a webinar featuring Michael Best attorney, and OSHA specialist, Chuck Palmer. The webinar attracted over 300 c-suite individuals who asked a total of 90 questions. Below are 10 of the best questions asked during the webinar.

For a more comprehensive compliance guide to the OSHA ETS, see the HR Vaccine Compliance Guide from Best Workplace Solutions, which will be continuously updated as the regulations change.

 

Q: Does the standard only apply to full time employees or do you need to include seasonal and part time employees in your count?

A: When calculating the total number of employees, you need to include seasonal and part time employees. If you were at 100 employees on November 5th, 2021 but drop below that number, the standard still applies to your organization. If your organization was under 100 employees on November 5th but afterward grows, the standard applies once your organization reaches 100.

 

Q: Does the standard apply to multiple entities with common ownership?

A: Yes, if the organizations share common safety management.

 

Q: Can an unvaccinated employee test using an at-home test kit? Are COVID-19 antigen tests acceptable by the standard?

A: An at-home test kit is considered acceptable, but it has to be proctored by a third party or the employer. The employee cannot self-test and self-verify. COVID-19 antigen tests are considered acceptable.

 

Q: Does the employer need to keep a record of unvaccinated employee testing?

A: Yes. Should OSHA request it, the employer would be required to produce proof. This needs to be kept as a confidential medical record, possibly as long as 30 years.

 

Q: Is there a maximum penalty for non-compliance?

A: There is a maximum penalty for each individual, but no maximum for the number of violations.

 

Q: Are employees working remotely at home excluded from the vaccine, testing and masking requirements? Are employees working exclusively outdoors excluded from the vaccine, testing and masking requirements?

A: Employees exclusively working from home are excluded from vaccine, testing and masking requirements. Employees working exclusively outside are also excluded from the requirements provided they are inside for only a “de minimis” amount of time. “De minimis” is not defined in the standard, but likely refers to 15 minutes.

 

Q: Are employers required to keep a copy of the vaccine card?

A: Yes. Should OSHA come on site and request it, you would need to produce a spreadsheet of vaccinated and unvaccinated employees within 4 hours.

 

Q: Are local government municipalities subject to the mandate? Public schools?

A: No

 

Q: If you work in an office environment and you are not vaccinated, does the standard require you to wear a mask at your desk?

A: If you have walls and a door (office) you can remove the mask. If you are in a cubical, you would need to keep a mask on.

 

Q: How is a religious exemption documented? Are religions treated differently by the standard?

A: We would suggest you use the government’s own religious accommodation forms (EEOC). To claim a religious exemption requires a deeply held religious belief and is not dependent on the religion.

 

Click here to view the full November 11th webinar featuring attorney Chuck Palmer hosted by R&R Insurance Services, Inc. Many more questions are addressed in the webinar.