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]

Get on Top of Nondiscrimination Testing

Woman hiding behind an object just showing eyes and hands

It’s that time of year… No, not Halloween, but even scarier – nondiscrimination testing time! While there are different schools of thought on when to test your cafeteria plans, the bottom line is the IRS requires that your plans have passed all testing by the last day of the plan year. Many employers wait until final… [Read More]

The Softening and Widening Stop Loss Market

Vintage processing of an open for business sign in small town America.

For the last several years, we’ve highlighted the dramatic market trend of employers adopting self-funding and the rationale supporting the move. As premium dollars have left the insured medical market, lots of those dollars have moved to the reinsurance markets with employers offloading the tail risk associated with their self-funded arrangements. Meeting the demand have… [Read More]

Student Loan Debt Repayment Benefits

Student Loan Debt Repayment Benefits

It would be nice if employers could set up a standardized benefit package that appealed to all employees across all demographics – but the reality is that one size doesn’t fit all. These days, many older employees are delaying retirement and there’s a strong influx of talented young employees entering the workforce. Employers are increasingly… [Read More]

Reviewing Contracts: An Essential Part of Health Plan Management

Reviewing Contracts An Essential Part of Health Plan Management

And you thought it was tough to decide on plan design, communication strategy and contributions for your medical benefits plan… Once the crush of implementation begins, the plan documents will start coming to your inbox and it’s critically important that you understand them completely. The obvious first steps would be to check the principal plan… [Read More]

Anthem Gets Tough with Hospitals

Anthem Gets Tough with Hospitals2

One of the greatest frustrations our self-funded (and to a lesser extent, fully-insured) clients voice is that – despite the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars they pay the insurers to assist in managing their health plan spend – too often it appears the insurers are complicit in the rising healthcare spend by not… [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]

Severance: Too Much of a Good Thing

Severance- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

UPDATE: Administrative practices of HHS appear to have recently changed and now may allow for a special enrollment on the exchanges if the employer COBRA subsidy ceases, forcing the participant to pay the full COBRA cost. However, New York State’s Marketplace informed Frenkel that they will only consider that to be the case if the… [Read More]