Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Monthly Newsletter September 2019

Posted by on September 13, 2019 in Newsletters

Dear Valued Clients and Associates,

All things fall are on their way – the kids are back in school, pumpkin spice lovers have their coffee and beer back in season, temps are dropping and the leaves are starting to change to the beautiful orange, yellow and red that make autumn picturesque.

Many folks are starting to shift gears in preparation for third quarter and year end activities. Vendor evaluations for new year transitions and upgrades are under way, or at least, they should be soon.

This is a great time to take a look at the benefits you are offering your workforce – are you and your employees getting the best bang for the buck on your health insurance policies? And when was the last time you benchmarked your 401k? We can help – no strings attached.

We’d love to come meet you, learn about what is important to you and your organization and help you reach your benefit goals. Give me a call today 732-258-1032.

Here is your September 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!

All the best to your success,
Brandi Bowers



Romantic Relationships in the Workplace

By: Maggie Johnson, PF Compass in-house HR Consultant

When two people spend a lot of time together, a romantic relationship may develop between them. In a recent survey by Namely, 40 percent of the survey’s participants indicated that they’d had a romantic relationship with a co-worker, with five percent of them having had a romantic relationship with their boss or a direct report. A 2017 CareerBuilder study showed 41 percent of professionals have dated a co-worker with 30 percent of office romances resulting in marriage. While a blooming romance may be a happy thing, in the workplace, it can spell big trouble! For a couple working alongside each other, and who are engaged in a romantic relationship, here are just three issues that could spring from that situation…

To read more, visit our BLOG here



2020 Open Enrollment is Almost Here

To prepare for open enrollment, group health plan sponsors should be aware of the legal changes affecting the design and administration of their plans for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Employers should review their plan documents to confirm that they include these required changes.

In addition, any changes to a health plan’s benefits for the 2020 plan year should be communicated to plan participants through an updated summary plan description (SPD) or a summary of material modifications (SMM).

Health plan sponsors should also confirm that their open enrollment materials contain certain required participant notices, when applicable—for example, the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). There are also some participant notices that must be provided annually or upon initial enrollment.

Important Notices

  • Annual CHIP notice
  • Medicare Part D creditable coverage notice
  • Notice of grandfathered status (if applicable)
  • Annual notice regarding coverage requirements for mastectomy-related benefits (WHCRA notice)



Did you know that September is National Suicide Prevention Month?


Suicide statistics are startling:

  • Around 44,000 Americans die by suicide each year.
  • There are an estimated 1.4 million attempts every year.
  • The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men.
  • On average, there are about 129 suicides every day.

The NAHU Education Foundation believes these troubling statistics are part of a larger, problematic portrait of mental health in America. This is why we created the new Mental Health Corner on our website.
Many individuals in our communities suffer silently from a variety of mental health issues. We know that brokers are at the heart of communities across the country. We encourage you to re-post the Mental Health Corner Video on your social media platforms to help spread the word in your communities among your friends, neighbors and clients.



Financial Industry Experienced 3,500 Cyber Attacks in 2019 So Far

In mid-July, Capital One announced that the personal information of more than 100 million of its U.S. customers was compromised in one of the largest data breaches involving a bank.

In an official release from the company, Capital One noted that the information exposed includes names, addresses, emails, credit scores and transaction data. In some cases, Social Security numbers and linked bank accounts of secured credit card customers were also compromised.

Although this data breach was one of the largest data breaches involving a bank, it’s just one of 3,500 data breaches experienced by the financial sector so far this year. This staggering number of attacks communicates the relentlessness of cyber criminals.

As the number of cyber attacks continues to climb, it’s time that your organization evaluates its cyber security policies and practices. Companies must ensure that they’re complying with and promoting cyber security guidelines at their organization to help protect their data.



FDA warns Juul about deceptive marketing tactics


On Monday morning, the FDA sent Juul Labs CEO Kevin Burns a stern warning letter claiming that Juul needs to stop using deceptive marketing tactics. The details of the letter are quite shocking — apparently, Juul representatives made presentations in schools to teenagers about the fact that the vapes were “totally safe,” and encouraged teens who smoked cigarettes to switch over to Juul. If their tactics don’t change, the FDA says, Juul could face civil fines and other penalties.

Read more in this article from Forbes assistant healthcare editor Leah Rosenbaum.



Hospitals to Publish Retail Prices Under a New Proposed Rule

In July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) proposed rules that would require all Medicare-participating hospitals to post their negotiated prices for standard health care services.

The proposed rule is intended to increase pricing transparency and help consumers understand the charges they may incur before receiving care.

These are just proposed rules at the moment, which means no changes will be made effective until the rules are finalized. The agency is currently asking for comments on the proposed rule. The deadline for submitting comments is Sept. 27, 2019.

We will continue to monitor and keep you updated on these developments.



Many people head to ER for quick care, poll finds


Non-urgent visits to emergency departments are costly, and reducing their frequency has been a focus of hospitals and payers for years.

Even though the majority of respondents (84%) said they have a primary care doctor, 33% have gone the emergency room for non-urgent medical care. And younger generations (44% of Generation Z, 33% of Generation X, and 41% of millennials) are more likely than baby boomers (23%) to have used the emergency room for routine medical care.

This is a huge waste of time and money – Education is critical for consumers to understand the impact of unnecessary visits to the emergency department.

To learn more click here



New Final Rule Lets Employees Use HRAs to Buy Individual Health Insurance


On June 13, the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued a final rule allowing employers of all sizes that do not offer a group coverage plan to fund a new kind of health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), known as an individual coverage HRA (ICHRA). The departments also posted FAQs on the new rule.

To read more click here



How to Make Your Job Posting Stand Out

Filling a job vacancy is a big task. Unfortunately, you get only one chance to make a first impression, and the job posting is often your very first contact with a potential employee. But how do you make your job posting stand out above the rest? Watch the video below to learn five fast tips to make your job posting stand out.

Watch here



Need Dental Insurance?

Delta Dental now offers individual policies – Search Plans, see prices and sign up online here.


Brandi Bowers | Benefits Consultant
PF Compass Employer Guidance & Benefit Solutions

461 Somerset St. North Plainfield NJ 07060
Tel (732) 258-1032


Source Credits: Copyright © HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved., Forbes.com, Maggie Johnson – HR Consultant, NAHU.com, healthcaredive.com, shrm.org

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