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R&R Insurance Blog

Three Ways to Increase Profit Using WellCompForLife

Posted by the knowledge brokers

WellCompForLifeTake control of the health and productivity of your employees - and increase profit. WellCompForLife is R&R Insurance Services’ total solutions approach to that will provide your company with the tools to increase the life span and productivity of your employees - and ultimately your bottom line!

The top three driving trends impacting an employer’s bottom line are Obesity, Workplace Injuries and the Aging Workforce.

Addressing These 3 Corporate Burdens to Increase Your Profit

1. Obesity - Yes, That Means Lose The Weight
Findings show that obese workers were more likely to report occupational injuries, with a great frequency of strains and sprains, along with falls and overexertion injuries. Consider these statistics: A comparison of obese employees to normal weight employees: 50% more workers’ compensation claims, 13x more lost work days, 7x higher medical costs, 11x indemnity claim costs. And this is just the workers compensation part. The negative effects of obese employees on your health insurance costs are overwhelming. Diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain - can all be attributed in part to being overweight. That means you have to do something about it - employee wellness programs, fitness, healthy eating, lifestyle changes for your employees and their families.

2. Reduce Workplace Injuries: Reduce the injuries to reduce the work comp claims!

  • Slip-and-fall injury prevention: ensure a safe working environment by maintaining parking lots and sidewalks; encourage employees to wear appropriate footwear for wet or slippery conditions. Make sure you have handrails at all stairwells and inclines/declines - special attention to this for your aging workforce.
  • Ensure employees can meet the physical requirements of the job: consider a post-offer, pre-employment physical for new employees – be sure the physician covers medical history as it may reveal something not seen during the physical (the cost of the test would pay for itself when preventing a back or shoulder claim!) Pay special attention to your aging workforce for their physical requirements.
  • Ergonomics enhancement: ask employees for suggestions on how their job can be tweaked to avoid fatigue or soreness; consider job rotation for repetitive tasks (also promotes cross-training!)
  • Wellness programs to aid injury prevention: help prevent strains, sprains, and falls by improving flexibility, strength, and balance. Great examples is starting a flex and stretch program, cover part of a gym membership, or hold exercise classes like yoga, Pilates, or Tai Chi.Also, having a structured return-to-work program has several benefits, the most important of which is the reduction of lost-time (lost-time has 3 times greater impact on your workers compensation premium dollars than a no-lost-time claim).

There are literally dozens of ways to increase safety and reduce injuries at your place of work. If they aren't apparent to you, bring a knowledgebroker in - we'll take a look around and give you some pointers.

3. Address the Aging Workforce
Experts predict that by the year 2020, 25% of the US workforce will be 55 years or older. Couple this statistic with the fact that most people are working past the traditional retirement age of 65 and organizations need to pay special attention to this sector of the workforce.

On average, older workers are injured less frequently than younger workers. However when older workers are injured, it will be more severe and have a longer recovery time. See Preventing Injuries in an Aging Workplace.

R&R Insurance has found that if businesses address the health of their employees, reduce their number of injuries and keep a close eye on ways to accommodate the aging workforce, you will see a significant positive effect on your bottom line! WellCompForLife processes will increase the health and longevity of your employees and their families giving you a lot more control over your health and work comp insurance costs, all while improving the productivity of their employees. This is control business owners don't realize they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife!

Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

For more information about WellCompForLife, contact a knowledgebroker today!

Topics: Return to Work, Safety, Workers Compensation, Employee Benefits, Wellness, obese employees, lost work days, indemnity claim costs, Business Insurance, Self Funded Health Insurance, WellCompForLife, wellness programs, Improve Employee Wellness, increase the health and longevity of your employee, Increasing Your Profit, lower Employee Health Risk

Self-Insurance Guide for Self Insuring Your Health Insurance

Posted by Resource Center

CTA-Self-Insurance-Guide-1With the onset of The Affordable Care Act (PPACA), many small employers will see their costs rise, despite successful efforts to encourage healthy habits and smart consumer choices - just another reason why smaller employers are taking matters into their own hands and self-funding. (Actually the healthier your employees, the better off your plan will be if you self-insure...here's why.)

At R&R Insurance, we get weekly inquiries about self-funding or self-insuring health insurance for their employees. This is a very hot topic right now, and we are here to help. This Self-Insurance Guide covers the basics of self insuring your company's health insurance. Download your Self-Insurance Guide here.

Recent articles about self-funding:

3 Guidelines driving small employers to self-funding
Health Benefits Continue to Be Key for Employers Despite Obamacare
How to Get, or Keep, Health Insurance if You Are Self Employed
Self-Insurance is a Loophole for Small Businesses

R&R is well versed in the self funded options available to small groups and has first hand experience transitioning small employers to partially self funded and self funded options. For more information about self funding your health insurance, contact a knowledgebroker today!

Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Reform, Business Insurance, Self Funded Health Insurance, WellCompForLife

Health Benefits Continue to Be Key for Employers Despite Obamacare

Posted by Jane Shevey

Emp Benefits Policy82% of mid-to-large size employers surveyed in a recent Towers Watson survey will continue to view health care benefits as a key element of their employee’s compensation in 2014. Despite the impending Obamacare mandates and ACA excise tax - known as the Cadillac Tax - employers continue to value health insurance benefits.

As employers move forward they will be looking to keep their plans affordable and viable - maintaining a sustainable plan amidst cost increases (5.2% increase projected for 2014). Full article on Towers Watson survey results.

Wisconsin based employers are considering a self-funding approach or adding additional voluntary benefits such as dental, vision, life insurance and disability insurance to offset any changes they may be implementing.

We've always known that offering quality health insurance coverage is a critical part of remaining competitive in today's talent marketplace. This news is just a reiteration of what I am seeing on the street when I talk to my customers and prospects. Smart, educated decisions moving forward will help curtail any pain PPACA might inflict.

For Wisconsin employers interested in self funding options or voluntary benefits for their plans, please contact me.

Topics: ObamaCare, Employee Benefits, Health Reform, Voluntary Benefits, Towers Watson, Jane Shevey, ACA excise tax, Self Funded Health Insurance, PPACA, ACA, cadillac tax

Form 720: New HRA Research Fee

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Form 720The IRS has issued a revised Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax) that now includes a section for reporting the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) research fees, also called the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) fees. The PCORI fee is listed in Part II of the form, IRS No. 133.

The first due date of these research fees (for some employers) was July 31, 2013.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a "research fee" that plan sponsors, including HRA plan sponsors, must pay on an annual basis. The research fee is referred to as the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), or Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) fee.

The ACA imposes this fee on insured plans and self-insured health plans, including HRAs. The research fee is temporary; it applies to plan years ending on or after October 1, 2012 and before October 1, 2019.

Applicable employers are required to report and pay the PCORI research fees annually via Form 720, due by July 31 of each year.

For more information about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Les Kitzman.

Topics: Health Reform, PCORI, Self Funded Health Insurance, Form 720, ACA, CER

How to Get, or Keep, Health Insurance if You Are Self Employed

Posted by Resource Center

LadyComputerIf you're starting your own business - Good for you! It's a big leap of faith and can often times be a big hit on your pocket book. If you're leaving a full-time employer to make this move, chances are you are also walking away from your health insurance coverage - or some form of it anyway. For those that have health insurance currently, but are making the move, here are some suggestions that will help you either find health insurance or try to extend what you've got for the first year or so.

How to Get or Keep Health Insurance if You Are Self Employed

  1. Enroll on spouse's plan
    If you have an insured spouse that has health insurance, this is probably your most affordable option. On average, workers pay $4,129 toward their annual health insurance premiums. This averages to $344 a month. You'll be hard pressed to find individual health insurance for that price. (Younger workers are taking a huge increase with reform, and older workers, well, they are more risky - so your age may not get you a better price in the new age of reform).
  2. COBRA Extension
    Under the COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act), employers are required by federal law to offer COBRA extensions for health and dental coverage up to 18 months for you an your dependents when you leave your job. Drawback: It's really expensive. If you have planning time before you leave, consider dropping to the lowest cost plan your company offers - when the enrollment period allows. This will at least get you a lower monthly COBRA payment.
  3. Purchase your own policy
    Be leery of websites that offer you dozens of quotes for affordable health care insurance. Sure you'll get some numbers - sometimes too many numbers. But once they have your information, you'll be hounded by a plethora of independent insurance agents all clambering for the same piece of business - yours! Health insurance rates are set by the federal government - so no one company is going to be different than the other - the real difference is service from an independent agent. An independent agent can provide free quotes and handle all of the shopping for some of the best choices and value in health care coverage. An independent agent knows the marketplace, knows the product, knows the carriers and most of all will get to know you and your needs, and protect you - that's their job. See 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying Individual Health Insurance and 7 tips on How To Pick The Best Individual Health Insurance Coverage.
  4. Join a professional organization that offers a health insurance benefit
    Some professional and trade associations offer health insurance with group coverage rates. If you are over 55, consider AARP.org. The National Association for the Self Employed offers insurance plans as well. Chambers of commerce or business alliances can often have a consortium offering for health care insurance too - check with your local chamber of commerce for their options.
  5. Opt to hire one person - making your own small group
    Because individual insurance is fairly expensive, some self employed people have opted to hire an additional employee to qualify them as a small business. Most independent agents like R&R Insurance can offer group premiums with 2 or more employees - this could make a significant difference in your monthly cost.
  6. Stay employed
    Probably the least desirable for someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, but the suggestion to stay employed is worth mentioning. Stay employed either with your current company or with a company that offers health insurance coverage for the minimum number of hours a week - most often times its 30 hours a week. This keeps your pocket book in line, continues coverage for your family and gives you more time to chase your dream - although a little more slowly.

For more information on insurance for self employed individuals please visit our website. R&R Insurance Services is an independent insurance agency serving all of Wisconsin. We offer businesses and families access to affordable insurance coverage with excellent 24/7 service. For more information on individual health care plans contact knowledgebroker Donna Wahl.

Related articles:

Topics: Employee Benefits, Health Reform, National Association for the Self Employed, aarp.org, Business Insurance, self employed health care insurance, health care insurance for self employed, Self Funded Health Insurance, Individual Health Insurance, COBRA, Get or Keep Health Insurance, donna wahl

Self-Insurance is a Loophole for Small Businesses

Posted by Riley Enright

NorthBay Adventure, a small Maryland adventure camp for 6th graders with 30 employees, is making then news because they became self-insured last year. As a result, they are saving 45% on their health care insurance costs, and they have basically removed themselves from the ACA requirements. As noted in the article from Kaiserhealthnews.org, self-insuring is a loophole for the small employer to get out of the ACA requirements.

NorthBay Adventure Saves Money Credit: KAISER HEALTH NEWS / Kyle Grantham for USA TODAY

More and more small businesses like NorthBay are avoiding the health act's requirements through self-insuring coverage.Self-funding in the past has been more typical for larger employers. Self-insured employers pay for most worker health costs directly, though they contract with an insurer or other company to administer claims. The employers also buy coverage known as stop-loss for claims exceeding a certain amount.Free Download: Loopholes for Self-Funded Plans document


For more information about WellCompForLife, about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Riley Enright.

Join our group on LinkedIn: Obamacare: Strategies for Business to Survive. We welcome you to join in the conversation with our LinkedIn group dedicated to discussions for business owners on Obamacare: Strategies for Business To Survive. Read articles, download documents, join the conversation, and add your expertise!

Learn how Voluntary Benefits are impacting small businesses and their ability to attract and retain employees during this time of benefit change.

Topics: Employee Benefits, Wellness, Health Reform, Self Funded Health Insurance, WellCompForLife