News & Resources
The majority of employers have been reticent to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory. However, they’ve taken a variety of steps to both address barriers to access and vaccine hesitancy among the working population―including providing educational materials about the vaccine, promoting public opportunities to access the vaccine, and directly partnering with carriers and health systems, vendors, or pharmacy chains to host on-site clinics.
While approaches may in part be based on industry, workforce demographics, and organizational culture, employers can play a critical role in breaking down vaccine hesitancy through two key efforts: access and education. These efforts are essential to preparing the workforce to return the workplace.
Learn more about how to safely return to work by clicking the picture above.
COVID-19 led to a surge in the use of telehealth―and will likely have lasting impacts on the delivery of health care into the foreseeable future. Yet while emerging telehealth modalities accelerated as a result of the pandemic, the future popularity and utilization will largely be driven by continued regulatory changes, provider reimbursement, and accessibility challenges.
While people often talk about telehealth as one category or channel of care, it’s actually a collection of opportunities that exist outside of brick-and-mortar offices and facilities.
The four main telehealth modalities are live video, mobile health, remote patient monitoring, and store and forward, consisting of pre-recorded videos, images and/or documents containing medical information sent from patient to provider via secure email. Remote patient monitoring–often referred to as wearable technology―continues to see a steady increase. Click above to learn more.
Since 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has significantly impacted employee welfare benefit plans and the requirement for plan documents. ERISA is complex and often confusing, but a necessity for Employee Benefits professionals to understand. For example, why do we provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage when we already provided a Summary Plan Description?
In this seminar we will cover:
- The basics of ERISA
- Plan document requirements
- Key employee communications
We will also help answer the following questions:
- What employers are subject to ERISA?
- What plans are subject to ERISA?
- What documents are required?
- What are the distribution requirements?
The pandemic has made drastic shifts in many people’s financial lives. As we progress into 2021, the pandemic’s far-reaching implications continue to unfold. Every individual is unique, but trends have begun to emerge for large populations and by generation.Roughly 20 million Americans stopped contributing to their retirement savings during the pandemic. Many have lost jobs, are stressed about making debt payments, and worry about the ability to pay monthly bills. In a survey, 14% of Americans stated they wiped out their emergency fund while another 11% had to borrow money to cover everyday expenses. The long-reaching financial impact also includes delays in starting a career, leaving the workforce, not advancing as expected, and retiring later.
If you happened to miss last weeks webinar, click the picture above to discover issues discussed such as:
- Does a reduction in hours have to be an involuntary reduction in hours?
- How do these rules interact with the outbreak period rules?
- Do we have guidance on who shoulders the burden for insured plans?
- What are the mechanics for the subsidy credits?
- And more…
Combine the Outbreak Period rules with the new COBRA subsidy relief in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and you get an entanglement of issues and considerations for plan sponsors across the country. Join us as we dive into the new legislation and provide a general overview of the legislation’s impact on health and welfare plans and more.
A few topics that will be covered include: Does a reduction in hours have to be an involuntary reduction in hours?, How do these rules interact with the outbreak period rules?, Do we have guidance on who shoulders the burden for insured plans?, What are the mechanics for the subsidy credits? And more.
Click the link to reserve a spot for the webinar happening on Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 3:00 EST.
On March 25, 2021, Brown & Brown will be hosting their educational compliance seminar explaining status change events that allow for mid-year health and FSA election changes and how to best handle employee requests while remaining compliant. You will come away with an understanding of the status change events and what to do when an employee requests such a change.
This webinar will cover HIPAA special enrollments, cafeteria plan general information, benefit election rules, cafeteria plan status changes, break-in employment (termination and rehire), consistency rule and much more.
Last April’s EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 provided extensions for certain deadlines for COBRA, HIPAA, and claims filing timeframes that were effective March 1, 2020. Under the extension, the affected timelines were “paused” until the earlier of the end of the “Outbreak Period” (60 days after the COVID-19 national emergency was declared over) or one year (February 28, 2021).
What does this mean?
Example 1: Participant experienced a qualifying event and received a COBRA election notice on December 1, 2020. The participant now has until January 30, 2022, to elect retroactive COBRA coverage unless the outbreak period ends earlier.
Example 2: New baby was born on February 28th, 2021. The participant now has until March 28, 2022, to enroll self and child (and spouse if desired), retroactive to February 28, 2021, unless the outbreak period ends earlier.
The regulations adopted during the latter days of the outgoing Trump administration (in response to a 2019 Presidential executive order) would require non-grandfathered health and prescription drug plans to electronically publish pricing information. Providers and health care plans will be required to comply starting in 2022, if not overturned by the new administration.
If you missed the live webinar about this change, click on the image above to watch the recorded version for an in-depth overview.
Under the new health coverage transparency rules, non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurers will be required to comply with new disclosure rules aimed at providing health plan participants (and health care consumers in general) with cost and quality information on a variety of health care services, to help them make more informed health care choices.
Click on the image above to reserve a spot; Webinar will be on February 24, 2021.
We are proud to announce that Opus Advisory Group, LLC has been certified as a Great Place to Work®. We are especially proud of this accomplishment because we earned it together.
This honor serves as a point of pride for our team, lets candidates know that Opus Advisory Group, LLC is a great place to work, and gives our customers confidence that they have made a great choice in trusting our team to help them protect what they value most.
The EEOC has released the soon-to-be-published revised wellness rules for ADA and GINA compliance. These are proposed rules and are not final. There will be a 60-day comment period starting when the proposed rule is officially published in the Federal Register. The analysis of the proposed rules will focus on the rules under the ADA as most wellness plans are now designed to avoid implicating GINA and its requirements.
Click on the image above to watch as Brown & Brown discuss the Forms 1094-C and 1095-C reporting requirements for 2020. Although 2019 marked the end of the individual health coverage mandate penalties, employer reporting is still required. We discuss the new codes for Individual Health Care Reimbursement Arrangements and much more!
On December 27, 2020, former President Trump signed Congress’ $900 billion relief package designed to address the economic fallout from the COVID-19 crisis. The bill contains several important benefits-related relief provisions, including important changes to the rules governing dependent care assistance plans (DCAP) and health flexible spending accounts (FSA), with possible changes affecting plan years 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is the most precedent thing for businesses in 2020. Customers and employees are ready for returning to a sense of normal. With these tips provided by Brown & Brown, it is a step in the right direction.
As businesses begin to reopen, that means that more people are going to be on the road again. Distracted driving caused by cellphones causes upwards of 390,000 injuries a year in the United States. Watch this video by Tom Goeltz on the dangers of distracted driving and how to prevent it.
It’s never too soon to be prepared. Follow this article by Brown & Brown on how to prepare, and stay safe during a hurricane. This aren’t isn’t only helpful for businesses, this is a fantastic resource for homeowners, and boaters as well.
Brown & Brown, Inc. announced today it will be opening the resources of the Brown & Brown Relief Center for anyone in need, whether the company is a current customer or not. Through the Relief Center website, companies and their current or former employees can access products and services at a discount.
We are continuously monitoring the ever-evolving COVID-19 situation at hand as well as its impact it has on our local and global communities. We at Opus and Brown & Brown continue to put our teammates and customers at the top of our priority.
Brown & Brown COVID-19 Resources are available to anyone concerned about opening up their business again due to this pandemic. You have access to a checklist that will guide you in creating a safe workplace for your employees, customers, and yourself as an owner. Plus, you can view past live streams on this matter for more insightful resources.
Opus Advisory Group, LLC isn’t only concerned about your Benefits Packages, we also care about your child’s safety. Have you ever given the thought that something can go wrong when having fun? Take the time to read this article so that you can say, “My family practices playground safety.”
Rich Babcock, Brown & Brown’s National Population Health Consultant breaks down the Keys to a Successful Journey From Wellness to Population Health & Well-Being. Learn about strategy, holistic approach, leverage in digital health technology, and much more.
Do you want a stigma-free workplace? A place where your employees are happy to come to work every day? Joel L. Axler, M.D. a Strategic Benefits Advisors’ National Behavior Health Leader has come up with six ways you can help promote exactly that. We’re not saying that just doing these steps will solve all problems, but it isn’t a bad place to start when it comes to the well-being of your company.
Are you thinking of selling your business? The better question is, have you given a thought about what selling your business could do to your current employees? It’s sometimes so easy to overlook something so obvious when it comes to closing a deal. Lots of negotiating, numbers being thrown left and right. Take a few minutes from all the chaos of it all, and read about what the future of your company could be like if you decide to make such a change.