The Lead - June 2017

The Lead January 2016 - Lifetime Benefit Solutions

IN THIS ISSUE:

June 2017

 


$2.8M in Savings, Plus Better Tracking and Compliance:

LBS helped a large insurance carrier tame COBRA costsSee How Lifetime Benefit Solutions Helped a Large Insurance Carrier Tame its COBRA Costs.

A national, diversified health care organization based on the east coast was confronting three issues with its internal COBRA department:

1. Its costs were unusually high, due to an antiquated system that required manual processing;

2. Compliance issues were resulting in fines because the COBRA program was not being administered properly;

3. They were merging with an affiliate in another state and needed expert help to navigate the challenges of COBRA compliance while reducing administrative and compliance costs.

The solution?

Partnering with Lifetime Benefit Solutions for COBRA administration saved an estimated $2.8M per year and significantly improved tracking capabilities. Read how here.

SIIA Legislation Passes US House of Representatives

SIIA Legislation Passes US House or RepresentativesAfter several years of broad SIIA advocacy efforts, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1304, the Self-Insurance Protection Act (SIPA), in April by a vote of 400 to 16.

Sponsored by Dr. Phil Roe (R-TN) and promoted by SIIA and its members across the country, SIPA ensures that small- and mid-sized private sector employers, as well as smaller Taft-Hartley Plans and public sector entities, are able to continue to provide quality health benefits to their workers and members through self-insured group health plans. SIPA accomplishes this by clarifying existing law to ensure that federal regulators cannot re-define stop-loss insurance as traditional “health insurance” under the law. Such a designation would effectively force these self-insured entities to discontinue their plans. This regulatory threat surfaced during the prior administration and, while not a likely development given the current administration, SIIA believes it is important to codify this protection now to head off any similar regulatory threats in the future.

See full story here.


Alignment of Wealth and Health:

The 401(k) and HSA

401k and HSAAs an independent third-party administrator (TPA), we are often asked by advisers to comment on emerging trends in the industry. One recent trend that is getting a significant amount of attention is the alignment of wealth and health - specifically 401(k) Plans and HSAs. How does this impact the role and opportunity for financial advisers?

As an adviser in the retirement plan market, you have probably already noticed many of the leading 401(k) investment recordkeepers are redesigning the participant web portals with tools and calculators that incorporate both retirement assets and health care assumptions into projections. The primary reason for this is that studies continue to demonstrate that rising healthcare costs may significantly impact or possibly derail a comfortable retirement. By shedding more light on this and bringing the issue to the forefront, the hope is that participants will begin to factor healthcare cost into their overall retirement plan.

Is this enough? Probably not. This is where we see the function of the financial adviser expanding beyond the traditional role focusing on accumulation of retirement assets and more into a holistic role to include healthcare planning. One such tool for advisers to become familiar with is a Health Savings Account (HSA).

Unfortunately, many financial advisers shy away from HSA conversations because they assume the client works with a health care broker, or the insurance company addresses it during the open enrollment period, or they simply do not know enough about HSAs. What they may not know is that an HSA operates similarly to a 401(k) plan in that employees fund it with pre-tax dollars, employers can contribute tax deductible contributions, and participants can invest their accounts to grow tax free.

Similarly to 401(k) plans, HSAs must adhere to a complex set of IRS regulations. Advisers are not encouraged to pass themselves off as an HSA expert without specific experience and credentials. Unlike many other third-party administrators that specialize in either retirement administration or health care administration, Lifetime Benefit Solutions is positioned to provide services and support to you in both areas.

We believe the alignment of 401(k)s and HSAs will continue to grow, and the role of the financial adviser will become critical. For financial advisers focusing primarily on individual and/or retirement plans, an HSA represents a great opportunity to solidify the adviser relationship and provide clients with additional education and support, as well as provide a new source of assets to manage coincident with the retirement assets.

We invite you to contact our office to discuss and leverage our expertise as you navigate the alignment of wealth and health into your practice. Contact Todd Kittell, manager of Defined Contribution Plan Services, at todd.kittell@lifetimebenefitsolutions.com or 315-448-9270.

Lifetime Benefit Solutions Wins WEX Health Award

WEX Health Award - LBSRecently, Lifetime Benefit Solutions received a Partner award at the 2017 WEX Health Partner Conference, the third WEX Health Partner Award we’ve won since 2012.

This year’s award recognized us for “evangelism.” Last year, Lifetime Benefit Solutions and WEX Health teamed up to spread the word about WEX’s systems and how we have utilized them to produce exceptional results. Throughout 2016, we assisted WEX with case studies, testimonials and references. The complex HRA plans we administer and our large book of COBRA business are a constant point of reference for the systems’ capabilities.Lifetime Benefit Solutions wins WEX Award

Lifetime Benefit Solutions’ Lori Hawkins and Scott Ehrlinger flanked by WEX representatives.


Deskercise - Desk Exercises“Deskercise”

If a mid-day slump starts to hit, try these easy and discreet workplace exercises for a quick pick-me-up!

Desk Pushups – Place both hands on desk, walk feet back to 45 degrees, lower your body toward desk, and push yourself back up.

Book Press - Take a heavy book and hold it overhead with both hands. Keep elbows forward, slowly lower the book behind head to 90 degrees, and raise it back up.

Shoulder Blade Squeezes – Pretend to squeeze a pencil between your shoulder blades and hold for 10 seconds before releasing.

Chair Squats – Stand six inches in front of a chair, lower yourself down until your “cheeks” touch the chair – making sure that your knees do not extend past your toes. Slowly stand back up.

Calf Raises – Stand with one hand on the back of a chair for balance, raise up on your toes, hold for 10 seconds, and then lower your heels back to the floor.

Back Arch & Twist - Raise arms overhead, stretch upward and gently bend backwards. Straighten and stretch from side to side. Lower your arms to your sides, slowly twist to one side and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Shoulder Shrugs and Rotations – Raise your shoulders towards ears, release, and then rotate your shoulders forward and backward.

Neck Rotations - Gently rotate your neck in small circles, and then side to side, by slowly lowering your ear toward each shoulder.

Suzanne Toon, MS, CPT, Health Coach

Resources: American Council on Exercise

Best Friends for Fitness Health Program

Take your walk for a dog
BFF Program Highlight:
Want to put a little wag into your company’s wellness activities?

Best Friends for Fitness (BFF) is a unique turnkey program for employers designed to drive new levels of employee participation, improve overall physical and mental wellbeing, boost morale and strengthen connections between the company, employees and the community.Four legged approach to corporate wellness with your dog

BFF is based on a four-legged approach to corporate wellness activity success:

Green Dog Paw Easy to implement and customizable

Purple Dog Paw Fun, motivating and engaging

Green Dog Paw Individual goal setting, tracking and measurement

Purple Dog Paw Connection to a purpose or cause

Lifetime Benefit Solutions will provide all the program materials (including a customized smartphone app for your employees) and the hands-on program support you need to launch a fun, engaging and successful BFF program at your workplace.

Interested? Learn more on our website.


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The Lead is published periodically to keep you abreast of the ever-changing world of  employee benefit plans. You are receiving this newsletter  as a partner, customer, associate or friend of Lifetime  Benefit Solutions.


 

Copyright © 2017 Lifetime Benefit Solutions, All rights reserved.

 

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Lifetime Benefit Solutions is a national leader in developing and delivering health-related benefits plans – partnering with our customers to deliver value and promote employee health and wellness.

Flexible employee benefit programs, intelligently and creatively customized to your company’s unique situation.