Wednesday, 05/31/23

Daily Insurance Report .com
Employee Benefits .Business
Robert S. Shestack  / Publisher /
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Walt Podgurski / Editor-In-Chief /
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Note: Dear Daily Insurance Report Subscriber,

As of tomorrow, I will be transitioning out of my role as Editor of the "Daily Insurance Report," following its acquisition by the Voluntary Benefits Association (VBA).

A heartfelt thank you to every subscriber, advertiser, and content provider whose contributions have been integral to the growth and success of this enterprise over the past five years.

May good health and prosperity accompany each one of you in your ongoing journeys.

Warm regards,


How Employee Benefits Will Shift in the Next Three Years
Bob Gaydos / THINK ADVISOR / May 30, 2023 / / Read Article

What You Need to Know

Workplace coverage will be easier to move.
Individually underwritten worksite policies will be more common.
Unusual benefits will be common.

Remote Work: Here to Stay
Increased Access
Reallocation of Employer Funds

Denials of Health Insurance Claims Are Rising — And Getting Weirder
Elisabeth Rosenthal / KFF Health News / MAY 26, 2023 / / Read Article

Millions of Americans in the past few years have run into this experience: filing a health care insurance claim that once might have been paid immediately but instead is just as quickly denied. If the experience and the insurer’s explanation often seem arbitrary and absurd, that might be because companies appear increasingly likely to employ computer algorithms or people with little relevant experience to issue rapid-fire denials of claims — sometimes bundles at a time — without reviewing the patient’s medical chart. A job title at one company was “denial nurse.”

It’s a handy way for insurers to keep revenue high — and just the sort of thing that provisions of the Affordable Care Act were meant to prevent. Because the law prohibited insurers from deploying previously profit-protecting measures such as refusing to cover patients with preexisting conditions, the authors worried that insurers would compensate by increasing the number of denials.

And so, the law tasked the Department of Health and Human Services with monitoring denials both by health plans on the Obamacare marketplace and those offered through employers and insurers. It hasn’t fulfilled that assignment. Thus, denials have become another predictable, miserable part of the patient experience, with countless Americans unjustly being forced to pay out-of-pocket or, faced with that prospect, forgoing needed medical help.

A recent KFF study of ACA plans found that even when patients received care from in-network physicians — doctors and hospitals approved by these same insurers — the companies in 2021 nonetheless denied, on average, 17% of claims. One insurer denied 49% of claims in 2021; another’s turndowns hit an astonishing 80% in 2020. Despite the potentially dire impact that denials have on patients’ health or finances, data shows that people appeal only once in every 500 cases.

It Is Time to Check Your Onboarding Documents – Employer’s Confidentially Agreement Renders Its Arbitration Agreement Unenforceable
May 28, 2023 / The National Law Review / / Read Article

On April 19, 2023, the California Court of Appeal held that an employer’s arbitration agreement was unenforceable because of unconscionable terms found in other documents provided to employees during the onboarding process. The decision was certified for publication on May 10, 2023. In Alberto v. Cambrian Homecare (Apr. 19, 2023, No. B314192) ___Cal.App.5th, the Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision that a standalone arbitration agreement was unconscionable based on terms contained within the employer’s confidentiality agreement.

Because the arbitration and confidentiality agreements were presented to the employee at the time of hire and related to the employee’s employment, the Court found that the employer’s confidentiality agreement was part of the “contract” to arbitrate, and the two agreements must be read together. The Court then reasoned that unconscionable terms in the confidentiality agreement permeated the arbitration agreement rendering it unenforceable. The Alberto decision is an important development for employers utilizing arbitration agreements along with other types of employment-related agreements as it creates a new risk of losing the benefits of arbitration.

Perk-cession alert: why cutting benefits is bad for business
Kate Birch / Business Chief / May 28, 2023 / / Read Article

As firms slash employee perks to cut costs, we talk to ZayZoom President Tate Hackert about why benefits matter, what workers want, and which perks to keep
When it comes to work perks, Google has long been hailed ‘top dog’.

But now Google is rolling back its five-star fringe benefits – as it looks to cut costs.

According to a memo sent last month to employees, Google is cutting back on free snacks, laundry services and company lunches, as well as reducing its fitness classes and stopping spend on personal equipment like laptops.

This stripping back of employee extras follows Google’s earlier announcement that it was laying off 12,000 workers and comes amid a wave of company benefit cutbacks.

Among recent cost-cutting moves, Salesforce has scaled back on wellness retreats and on-site baristas, Meta has reduced its free food budget, Twitter has slashed its fertility benefit by 50%, Goldman Sachs has cancelled free breakfasts, and Twilo has removed its month-long sabbatical.

And recent data backs this up with almost half (47%) of companies trimming overall employee benefits, scaling back on everything from home office stipends to commuter benefits, in 2023.

Enter the ‘perk-cession’, this year's trend of employers rolling back on workplace perks slash amid economic uncertainty.

“This year is all about efficiency, as companies meticulously scrutinise every opportunity to save costs and increase productivity, no matter how insignificant,” Tate Hackert, President of socially responsible fintech ZayZoon, tells Business Chief.

The Role of Employee Benefits Consultants in Navigating Legal Compliance
Corporate Wellness Magazine / / Read Article

In today's complex and ever-changing business landscape, ensuring legal compliance has become a paramount concern for organizations. Within the realm of employee benefits, compliance with laws and regulations is not only necessary for ethical reasons but also critical for avoiding costly penalties and lawsuits. That's where employee benefits consultants play a crucial role. These experienced professionals possess the knowledge and expertise to help businesses navigate the intricate web of legal requirements, ensuring that their employee benefits programs adhere to the law while maximizing their effectiveness. In this article, we will explore the multifaceted role of employee benefits consultants in ensuring legal compliance and how their guidance can benefit both employers and employees.

Understanding Legal Compliance:
Designing Compliant Benefit Plans:
Navigating the Affordable Care Act (ACA):
Mitigating ERISA Compliance Risks:
Addressing HIPAA and Privacy Concerns:
Staying Ahead of Changing Regulations:
‍Navigating State-Specific Requirements:
Educating Employers and Employees:
Managing Audits and Investigations:
Evaluating Vendor Compliance:
Monitoring Emerging Trends and Best Practices:

Webinar: ‘The value of group purchasing for ancillary employee benefits’
May 25, 2023 / Washington State Hospital Association / / Read Article

Please join Washington Hospital Services Industry Partner Western Healthcare Insurance Trust (WHIT) for the webinar, “The Value of Group Purchasing for Ancillary Employee Benefits,” from 12-12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 15.

After attending, a webinar participant should be able to:

Understand how a trust is organized, structured and operated for the sole benefit of its participating employers and their employees.

Acquire a strong understanding of how purchasing as part of a group through a trust provides a value add to the organization and its employees.

Gain a clear understanding of how a trust brings cost stability to all participating employers over time.

Develop an appreciation for the value of being stronger together in the marketplace by being part of a trust.

Feel free to share this invitation with your internal hospital networks.

Alviere & Array unite to offer financial wellness and education tools
Delisha Fernandes / IBS Intelligence / 05/29/2023 / / Read Article

AlviereAlviere, an embedded finance platform, announced its partnership with Array to offer its enterprise clients customisable digital credit and identity tools to increase digital engagement and help end customers own their financial future.

The embedded finance platform enables enterprises worldwide to offer financial products to their customers, partners, and employees. With the Alviere HIVE technology platform, organisations can allow an extensive range of financial products, including virtual bank accounts, branded cards, global money transfers, payments, and web3 services.


Tuesday, 05/23/23 - - Latest Eastbridge research shows post-pandemic recovery continues for voluntary industry

Wednesday, 05/24/23 - Employers Lean on Learning as an Employee Benefit

Thursday, 05/25/23 - - Independence and benefits for app workers? We just did it in Washington state

Friday, 05/26/23 - - The feds still haven't reached a debt ceiling deal. Here's how a breach could impact healthcare
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