Do Your Commuter Benefits Cut the Mustard?

One person completely stationary among the swarm of people buzzing about the train station during rush hour.

I was a little nervous to see what changes would come in the wake of the recent tax law overhaul (a.k.a. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act) signed in late December of 2017. It ends up there are some notable changes to the tax treatment of transportation benefits being offered by employers for the year 2018…. [Read More]

Introduce Voluntary Benefits Outside of Open Enrollment

Sign up - 3d render illustration of text on black chalkboard in a room.

Here we are again… Open enrollment madness for core benefit programs is in the rearview mirror and human resources teams can focus on planning for next year. It pleases me to see voluntary benefits gaining more traction with employers of all sizes, but I’ve noticed that most employers’ initial thought is to introduce new voluntary offerings… [Read More]

Wellness Incentive Rules – and the Saga Continues…

Close-up hand businessman give the small gift box

Yep, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is back to the drawing board, reworking and finalizing new wellness regulations for 2019. We know that all wellness programs must be deemed “voluntary” for employees to participate in; but employees can be penalized thousands of dollars for not doing a screening or answering personal health questions through… [Read More]

Is Disaster Brewing in New York’s Small Group Market?

Businessman with umbrella standing in the rain

The United Hospital Fund (UHF) just issued a comprehensive study of patterns in the New York State small group market and they don’t look good. From 2007 to 2016 enrollment shrank by 600,000 members, to 1.1 million. Rates were 35% higher than the national average. This, despite New York being one of the very few states to increase… [Read More]

Paid Family Leave – Helping or Hurting Employers?

Upset little boy holding a drawing of a house, with his parents sitting angry on a couch in the blurry background

HR teams across the country are dreading the compliance challenges associated with paid leave benefits as they become effective in certain areas across the nation. As we’ve mentioned before, there is limited national job protection for workers needing family leave. In fact, the U.S., with no mandate for paid leave, is in last place among… [Read More]

Don’t Whack the Tobacco Differential Messenger!

Boss and Business game

It’s open enrollment season at Frenkel Benefits and, like clockwork, at least one of our client account managers calls me in to work closely with their client on implementing or updating a tobacco differential in their medical plan. It’s a somewhat tricky thing to do, so I’m happy to help. However, inevitably – when we… [Read More]

Are Annuities a Viable Retirement Solution?

A basket of golden eggs

As more Baby Boomers close in on their ultimate retirement date, the dilemma of how to offer them choices for cashing out their retirement accounts becomes a pressing issue. I’ve seen many employers design their plans to pay out a lump sum only – leaving the retiree to figure out how to structure their income… [Read More]

Why Employers Should Practice Medicine

Assorted Medical Insignias Logotypes Template Set. Line Art Vector Elements.

Every businessperson will tell you that the key to reducing costs in any industry vertical is by reducing the amount of friction in the transaction. Friction is created every time an additional party is brought to the transaction because that party will likely have its own profit incentive, thereby increasing the cost of the product… [Read More]

Reference-Based Pricing – Not Just for Large Groups Anymore

Reference-Based Pricing – Not Just for Large Groups Anymore

“It’s not health insurance that’s expensive; it’s the cost of healthcare,” a keen observation from a recent blog post by Frenkel Benefits’ president, Craig Hasday. It’s safe to reason that anything which lowers the cost of healthcare should lower premium rates – but is it that easy to get done? Employers try to mitigate healthcare costs in… [Read More]