Participation: Is It a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

prepare filling item form, business background

One of the central tenets of underwriting medical plans is to avoid adverse selection at all cost. Adverse selection results when a plan is designed or priced in such a way that it only adequately incentivizes sicker employees to enroll; failing to attract good risk to offset the bad. For this reason, most insurers historically… [Read More]

Small Group Savior? Another Look at QSEHRAs

Magnifying glass looking at health care newspaper headline, on cash

Small employers are often looking for ways to break out of the community rated market and lower their health insurance costs, as I’ve witnessed firsthand and written about over the years. In more recent posts we’ve discussed reference-based pricing, PEOs and self-funding as methods small employers can use to potentially gain access to more favorable plan designs and rates. There’s… [Read More]

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]

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]

The “Sitting Disease” is Killing Your Employees

The Sitting Disease is Killing Your Employees

As I deposit a check through an app on my phone (for my bank that’s less than 6 blocks from my apartment) I realize just how easy humans have it nowadays. In an age of convenience we’re more sedentary than ever. The average office worker sits for around 10 hours each day – moving from… [Read More]

Health Savings Accounts – the Tax Advantage Triple Threat

Health Savings Accounts – the Tax Advantage Triple Threat

As Tax Day comes and goes every year, it makes me think of the money I owe Uncle Sam and if I did everything I could to reduce my taxable income, like take advantage of any pre-tax benefit options available to me through my employer-sponsored programs. Did you know that Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) can… [Read More]

More Pre-Tax Dollars – Are You Offering Commuter Benefits Yet?

commuter benefits

It is time to implement a commuter benefits program. Governed by Section 132 of the IRS code, a commuter benefit program allows employers to set aside money from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis, similar to a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan. These pre-tax dollars are used to help pay for the subscriber’s mass… [Read More]