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Archive for the ‘Trilogy Benefits NEWS’ Category

The more I read, the more Health Care Reform is not about the reduction in costs, but the opportunity for more “players” to be involved.

We have had non-profit entities serve the community for many years, as advocates for people needing medical care, whether they are eligible for Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).  These advocates are now being called Navigators or Assistors.   We, as insurance producers,  have answered those same questions for many people needing care, and are also advocates for people in need.  Brokers don’t get paid on Medicaid or CHIP enrollments.

Navigators now want to be involved in assisting people on individual/group health coverage because the broker is paid by the insurance carrier, and navigators don’t get paid in commissions by the insurance carriers but receive grant money, so are part of the savings solution with Health Care Reform?  Not so fast!

The Connect for Health Colorado (The Colorado Exchange) announced in the Denver Post  (dated Tuesday, May 7) $14 million (yes, you heard that right) in grant money would be available for “navigators” to walk new customers through receiving subsidy money.

Professional insurance brokers have done the same thing for many years.   Yes, we do get paid by the insurance carriers for what we sell to the tune of $25 per employee per month on group business, and about 5% of the premium for individuals in the first year.   Insurance brokers do not get paid in educating and advising.

Insurance is a complex system.  Insurance brokers have been servicing their clients for many years and offering many more services than just a rate with a plan attached to it.  You, the consumers, should have the best advice available.  You owe it to yourself to work with an insurance professional.

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Are you the employer at risk if an employees buys a smartphone/tablets on a personal basis and uses it for work?  Is this really a win/win for employers?  How to manage?

1)  Require the installation of adequate IT protections.

2)  What if an employee loses his/her smartphone?  Get consent form signed to issue a “kill” command.  A remote signal wipes the phone’s memory clean.  For a small fee paid in advance, most smartphone manufacturers offer such a service.

3)  If phone is lost or stolen, a security threat could be breached.  Be prepared to notify affected parties that there has been such a security breach.

4)  Include in the employee handbook if employees use personal devices and data is required for legitimate business purposes, the employee must turn over this information or face disciplinary action.  You, the employer, have no rights to access the personal device even for legitimate business purposes.

5)  Update your policy to include warning employees that the privacy policies apply with equal force to personal devices that are connected to the corporate network.

6)  Upon employee’s termination, incorporate into your exit interview a review of information stored on an employee’s personal device that has been used for work.

Questions?  Be sure to contact Trilogy Benefits for additional HR management tools.

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Even though we have had an interim insurance commissioner, John Postolowski, Governor Hickenlooper just announced today that Rep. Jim Riesberg will be Colorado’s new Commissioner of Insurance beginning July 1.  John Postolowski took over the post December 1 when Marcy Morrison left the office. 

“Jim Riesberg has a distingished career in the insurance, human resources, and private sectors” says Hickenlooper.

Welcome aboard, Jim.

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You have an employee who completed paperwork for the new plan year electing a deduction of $100 each pay period for 2011.  Now, she is standing in your office stating she made a mistake in completing the form.  What do we do now?

If it was clear a mistake was made and convincing evidence has been given to substantiate to the employer, IRS has informally commented that an employee’s election may be undone.  First, what is the proximity to the first payroll date after the new election is in force?  We recommend obtaining a signed statement from the employee describing the mistake.

One suggestion to reduce election mistakes is to provide employees with written confirmation of their elections after open enrollment and before the beginning of the new plan year.  Employees should be told to review their elections and to let the employer know before the plan year begins if there are corrections to be made.

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HAVE A JULEP & MAKE A BET
It is time for the 135th Kentucky Derby, Saturday at Churchill Downs, in Louisville:
Distance: 1 ¼ miles
Purse: $2.2 million
-99 different jockeys have won the Derby
-Top return on a $2 bet: $184.90 on Donerail, in 1913

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Aurora Chamber members and Trilogy Benefits Team and a few of our clients and friends celebrating our Open House/New Office.  What fun!

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Visit our New Website

We were so excited to expand and move to our new office that we decided to update our web-site as well.  Please visit and give us your comments. Find the right “middle of the road” is tough when designing but we found an incredible company who practically did all the work for us.

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