The $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, has been signed into law by President Joe Biden. Highlights of the bill include extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and more.
Employers continue to struggle with climbing health insurance premiums, leading many to research alternative funding strategies. One such strategy is a pooled program.
With the sudden eruption of economic calamity, and more than 247 million Americans under stay-at-home orders, some 3.1 million individuals filed for unemployment in the last week of March.
To counter the blow to their income, Congress passed and President Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which in part allocates around $250 billion in unemployment benefits for the workers who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The CARES Act extends unemployment insurance benefits to workers who are not eligible for additional benefits at the state level, as long as they lost their jobs due to the outbreak.
LMC Insurance and Risk Management (LMC Insurance) announced today the launch of a new health insurance solution that is underwritten by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield for Iowa-based employers with 51-500 eligible employees. The program, referred to as the Employer Coalition, will be available beginning Jan. 1, 2019. It will provide a more predictable insurance pool with features designed to stabilize costs long term, simplify administrative burdens and help employees better understand and utilize their benefits.
“Our goal is to create an innovative, new health insurance offering derived from the results of information shared from employers across the state of Iowa in our Midwest employer benchmarking survey, Share to Compare,” said Richard DeBartolo, Senior Vice President of LMC Insurance. “Today, employers in the fully insured market are asking for more influence in the decisions impacting their health insurance programs. Employers are looking at plans and technology designed to drive better consumerism.”
Today’s employers face two certainties: rising healthcare costs and difficulty optimizing preventive care dollars. With growing pressure to deliver results, the real challenge is unifying the data to identify and measure effective health strategies.
Solving this modern day problem requires a modern day solution, which is why LMC has partnered with Springbuk to provide employers with comprehensive insight into historical and future health expenditures, wellness vendor performance, intervention program efficacy, and population health strategy.
Springbuk’s platform enables LMC to work in tandem with our clients to unify wellness, claims, demographic, and biometric data to identify immediate savings opportunities and track efficacy of wellness intervention programs. With this data LMC is able to provide actionable recommendations, including: guideline gap analysis, chronic and acute impact analysis, risk profiles, potential cost aversion analysis, physician profiling, and utilization analysis.
“LMC’s partnership with Springbuk enables us to help our clients to better manage the health of their insured population, which in turn leads to reduced healthcare costs, healthier employees, and more strategic allocation of resources,” states Rick DeBartolo, LMC senior vice president.
Springbuk works with leading consultants and wellness solution providers to improve reporting, engagement and results for employer clients. The platform has processed over $7 billion in claims and uncovered nearly $250 million in health savings opportunities within employer groups. More than 1,500 employers turn to Springbuk for trends and best practices in population health.
LMC’s risk management team presented safe patient handling and supervisor safety management to South Dakota healthcare leaders at the SDAHO Enterprises Summer Healthcare Conference. Pat Duff, LMC senior vice president, kicked off the event, which was followed by a presentation on the legal basics of workers’ compensation.
Employee benefit benchmarking results, compliance reminders presented at 2018 Share to Compare seminar
Employee recruitment/retention and controlling costs top concerns for employers
LMC hosted nearly 100 employers for this year’s Share to Compare seminar, held July 19 in Urbandale, Iowa. Attendees received the results of this year’s benefit survey, a valuable resource for understanding how their benefits compare to other organizations in the Midwest and nationally.
While the survey remains open through October, participation records have already been broken. In his opening remarks, Rick DeBartolo, LMC senior vice president, underscored the important role the survey data has in shaping employee benefits decisions.
DeBartolo also addressed association health plans stating, “We know they are coming, and we’re reviewing the regulations.”
West Bend Mutual Insurance Company recently presented its Spirit of the Silver Lining Award to Brian Hughes, Vice President of LMC Insurance & Risk Management. The award honors West Bend agents and the nonprofit organizations they support for their dedication to delivering a silver lining to those in need.
Hughes was presented the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award for his involvement with Hawthorn Hill. Hawthorn Hill's mission is to establish and operate housing programs for homeless families with children that help them obtain permanent housing, and to provide services to help families achieve economic self-sufficiency. Hughes has served on the Board for six years and currently serves as the vice president. He is very active in fundraising efforts, and this agency also sponsors events for the organization. Additionally, as part of the Spirit of the Silver Lining Award, West Bend donated a $10,000 grant to the organization.
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Juli Jenkins, LMC’s client service executive, joins the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Iowa Leadership Committee. In addition to her role on the Committee, she will put her workers’ compensation knowledge and experience to work serving as NFIB’s workers’ compensation advisor.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the NFIB as their workers’ compensation advisor and as a member of their Leadership Committee,” stated Jenkins. “The important role small businesses play in our communities and economy cannot be understated, which is why I look forward to working with other committee members to help small businesses grow and prosper.”
Jenkins attended the NFIB’s 75th Anniversary Conference June 18-20 in Washington, D.C. The event included a legislative update by key lawmakers, a media panel, a morning keynote address, and a luncheon address by President Trump. Toward the end of his address, Trump stated, “Every American who owns a small business plays a vital role in creating a safe, strong, and prosperous America.”
NFIB is the voice of small business, advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943, NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven organization, exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses. For more information, visit www.nfib.com.
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