Why HR Should Care About User Experience

Portrait of a young adult male sat using his laptop in a modern office. Bangkok, Thailand. April 2017

You know that feeling – when you’re pulling your hair out over what should be a simple task on your computer or mobile device? It’s rare to go through the day without some kind of technological interaction, and when the tech doesn’t work or it’s not easy to navigate, we eventually wash our hands of… [Read More]

Reference-Based Pricing – Coming to a Health Plan Near You?

Man paying bill. Hand black line, holding receipt. Payment of utility, bank, restaurant. Concept business finance. Vector illustration flat minimal design. Report finance, invoice, expenses.

I think you are going to hear more about reference-based pricing. Some history: What stops a provider from charging whatever they want for care? Let’s say a doctor charges $200 to remove a splinter. If the patient were paying, she/he might try to negotiate the charge or get care elsewhere. But they are most often not. The… [Read More]

Bridging the Wellness Generation Gap

Big multi generational group of people stitting outdoors, smiling and looking at the camera.

I remember when we held our first “employee engagement” meeting here at Frenkel. I was pleasantly surprised by the turnout, differing in age and professional level in the company. Once we opened the floor to ideas about desired wellness offerings, the generational gaps in interests revealed themselves. Younger employees requested things like company-sponsored happy hours,… [Read More]

ACA Penalties for Failure to Provide or Have Coverage Are Still Around

finance business calculation with calculator and pen on chart

There is a lot of confusion out there concerning ACA penalties. The 2018 tax act did not eliminate any employer penalties for not offering health insurance coverage. The only change was reducing the individual coverage penalty to zero – however, this change does not go into effect until 1/1/2019. Applicable large employers (ALEs) with more… [Read More]

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 Cuts 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]