Tag Archives: Benefits

Austin Benefits Group Named Among 101 Best and Brightest Companies

Bloomfield Hills, MI (PRWEB) August 06, 2014

Austin Benefits Group, a full service employee benefits agency, has been named one of Metro Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™. As a third-year recipient of this prestigious award, Austin Benefits Group continues to set the bar higher in its commitment to excellence.

“Attracting and retaining top talent at Austin is essential to our mission to deliver world-class service to clients and their employees. Our strong commitment to each other as colleagues transcends to the client level, which is part of our success story,” says Cathy Siska, vice president of Client Services.

The Best and Brightest Companies to Work For™ distinction award honors companies like Austin that present a commitment to excellence in their human resources practices and employee enrichment. Nominated companies were assessed on communication, work-life balance, employee education, diversity, recognition and retention. Companies are nominated annually and go through a series of assessments to maintain their best and brightest status.

Austin provides an exceptional employee benefits package to staff in addition to offering flexible schedules, opportunities for continuous education and company-sponsored wellness activities. “I’m so thankful that when I come to work every day, I work alongside a group of people who are dedicated to their jobs and their clients. Plus, getting treated to lunch a few times a month as an extra perk doesn’t hurt either,” says Melissa Carey, account manager.

About Austin Benefits Group: Austin Benefits Group (formerly Austin Financial Group) is Michigan’s premier full-service employee benefits agency. Founded in 2000 by Dean Austin, the company specializes in custom employee benefit packages, health insurance, Obamacare compliance and corporate wellness programs.


Marissa Blaski

Austin Benefits Group




Crawford Advisors Milestone: 50th Benefits and Compliance Webinar – Four Years of Webinars Now Online

Hun Valley, MD (PRWEB) July 22, 2014

Crawford Advisors has invested heavily in technology and resources to help employers with more than 100 participating employees navigate evolving PPACA compliance and administration challenges. One of these resources is its popular, complimentary monthly compliance and benefits webinar series. The series features experts, including Crawford Advisors senior counsel Patrick Haynes, on a wide variety of benefits, compliance and administration topics germane to CEOs, CFOs and HR professionals. The July webinar, marking the 50th consecutive webinar of the series, is titled, “HDHPs – Complete Replacement, Additional Offering, Solution to the Cadillac Tax.” Register here for this webinar.

Crawford Advisors is renowned for its thorough understanding of PPACA and the changing implications for employers. It leverages the latest in tools, technology and services to ensure optimum coverages while controlling costs. To visit this compliance and benefits online webinar library or sign up for an upcoming webinar or monthly newsletter, click here.

Other recent webinars offered in this monthly program include:

Reference Based Pricing Plans: How and When Will These Plans Impact Employers?
Mitigating the Likelihood of DOL Audits & Preparing an Effective Response
Low Cost Compliance: Copper and Skinny Plans    
Industry Panel Discussion: FMLA/ADA/Worker’s Compensation
Impact of Private Exchanges: Federal, State and Pre-Obamacare Exchanges
PPACA: Federal Delay Does Not Remove Compliance Issues

This webinar library is open to all HR professionals – but not brokers, agents, or TPAs.

Crawford Advisors, LLC helps organizations design, implement and administer health, life, disability and voluntary benefit programs. The result is a benefits program that is cost effective and maximizes employee value while meeting the needs of the bottom line. Crawford’s expert team guides companies in the areas of strategic design, financial analysis, administration and employee health improvement to help deliver the best value for what has become one of the largest expenses for most organizations. Crawford Advisors is one of the nation’s largest and best-equipped full-service benefits consulting and brokerage firms. Crawford’s expert team provides sophisticated solutions and comprehensive services to furnish the best value for companies’ health and welfare benefits. Call 800-451-8519 for a complimentary executive consultation.

IHC Specialty Benefits Announces Record Visitor Traffic on healthedeals.com During First Half of 2014

Minneapolis, Minn. (PRWEB) June 25, 2014

IHC Specialty Benefits is excited to report the latest analytics from healthedeals.com, comparing website traffic between January 1-May 31, 2013 and the comparable period in 2014. The number of site visitors to healthedeals.com jumped 1,166% during such period. While health insurance product pages accounted for a majority of visits, articles and blog posts on healthedeals.com accounted for 25% of traffic alone.

How to Calculate your 2014 Obamacare Tax Credit was the runaway article, responsible for over 5% of all visits, and Your Guide to the Federal Poverty Level collected nearly 4% of all traffic. The Health Care Calculator came in third with almost 3% of traffic. Other top ranking articles included:

1. How the Affordable Care Act Will Impact Individual Premium Rates in 2014

2. 4 Top Apps for Organizing Your Medical Records

3. 10 Things to Know About Obamacare in 2014

“At the end of March, as open enrollment on the federal health exchange was set to close, healthedeals.com web traffic spiked,” said Brian Dow, Chief Operating Officer of IHC Specialty Benefits. “People are craving information and tools to make a decision about purchasing health insurance, which can be a complex process.”

Dow continued, “The analytics show that we are accomplishing what we originally set out to do. Our mission is to provide health insurance and supplemental products to individuals and families across the nation. Our goal is to be the leading health insurance resource for useful information, simple tools and quality products.”

About IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc.

IHC Specialty Benefits is a full-service marketing and distribution company that focuses on small employer, individual and consumer products. Products are marketed through general agents online, telebrokerage, advisor centers, private label and directly to consumers.

About The IHC Group

The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. Members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company, American Independence Corp., Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. (An A++ rating from A.M. Best is its highest rating.) Collectively, the companies in The IHC Group provide insurance coverage to more than one million individuals and groups. For more information about The IHC Group, visit http://www.ihcgroup.com.

Find More Obamacare Best Press Releases

New Crawford Advisors Benefits Webinar: Wellness Plans in the Wake of Obamacare – Prior Rules vs. Final Rules

Hunt Valley, MD (PRWEB) April 14, 2014

Join Crawford Advisors senior counsel for this on demand webinar, and learn how PPACA changed the landscape for many employers, exposing plans to unlimited claims. High claimants expose plan sponsors to extraordinary costs as 20% of plan claimants can drive 80% of plan costs. This metric is compelling plan sponsors to “bend their cost curve.” The DOL, Treasury and HHS has now published Final Rules under incentives for nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health plans. Employers must understand these final rules, how they impact their plan design and employee contributions, and the administrative burdens associated with their implementation. Join Senior Counsel, Patrick Haynes, as he discusses this important topic and addresses these questions:

Are there plans that are exempt from these rules?
What are employees’ rights under these plans?
What rules apply to your company’s 10,000-steps walking initiative?
Prior rules vs. Final rules – what has changed?
How can I maximize penalties for employees refusing to participate in wellness plans?
How do the Final rules and PPACA’s Affordability Test work together?

Title: Wellness Plans in the Wake of Obamacare – Prior Rules vs. Final Rules

Watch this on demand webinar at: http://www.crawfordwebinars.com/.

Open to all benefits professionals, but not other brokers or agents.

About Crawford Advisors, LLC

Crawford Advisors is a full-service consulting, administration and brokerage firm. Crawford has invested heavily in technology and an expert team to bring sophisticated solutions and comprehensive services to help organizations manage and deliver the best value for health and welfare benefits. Crawford Advisors provides:

Benefits Consulting and Brokerage
Benefits Administration
Flexible Spending Accounts
Employee Communications
Employee Health Improvement

Crawford Advisors, LLC, understands that employee health benefits are often large expenses with complex compliance requirements. Crawford Advisors is committed to providing the brightest consulting talent to help manage cost, improve the health and productivity of employees, and add profits to their clients’ bottom line. Crawford Advisors expert team helps organizations deliver the best value for health and welfare benefits.

More Apply Obamacare Press Releases

Amsterdam adopts new private rental policy that benefits Airbnb hosts and the shared economy

Amsterdam 520x245 Amsterdam adopts new private rental policy that benefits Airbnb hosts and the shared economy

The city of Amsterdam has approved a new set of rules that allows residents to rent out their homes on Airbnb with less red tape. Previously, Amsterdam required renters to secure permits in order to list on Airbnb, a move that wasn’t exactly a ban, but did serve as an obstacle to would-be hosts.

Under the new policy, citizens can classify their houses as “Private Rentals.” They’ll still have to pay taxes on the income, and renters that cross the line into running a business may be subject to investigation.

Airbnb’s Head of Global Public Policy David Hantman celebrated the rules as “great news” for the startup’s customers.

“The new policy is also an excellent example of how policymakers can create innovative policies that embrace the sharing economy and make cities better places to live, work and visit,” he wrote in a statement.

The so-called “sharing economy,” which includes Airbnb and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, has been experiencing growing pains with regulators in recent months. These new business models rarely fit into existing regulation, and municipalities have been slow to change their policies.

If Amsterdam’s “private rental” model works out, it could serve as a model for other cities that are debating how to adapt. At first glance, it seems to strike a healthy balance between  private citizens and preventing abuse.

Still, this doesn’t guarantee that hosts will have smooth renting from here on out, since authorities can investigate them based on noise complaints or on suspicion that a host is running a business. TNW co-founder Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten is looking into the specifics of the new rules and will have more to report soon.

See also: Is the clock ticking for the sharing economy?

Featured Image Credit – Getty Images

The Next Web

Q&A: Do you believe Medicare can continue in its current form and still pay full benefits to future generations?

Question by Mike: Do you believe Medicare can continue in its current form and still pay full benefits to future generations?
If not won’t that end Medicare as we know it? What is the Democratic plan to fix it?
@ Dave
They are going to cut $ 700 billion dollars worth of payments to medical providers, not cut waste. Their cost control will only make doctors accept fewer Medicare patients, or tack on the lost revenue to other patients bills like they do now. Some day Democrats will have to take reforms seriously instead of using it as a way to win elections by scaring people.

Best answer:

Answer by Dave87gn
Obama cut $ 700 billion out of waste from the system, and now the republicans cry about it.
as if they liked medicare all along..

the solution is to control costs ( which would be introducing competition into the insurance industry) or raising taxes..
two things republicans hate..competition, and paying for stuff they buy

What do you think? Answer below!

HR.com’s Inaugural Interactive Benefits and Wellness Excellence Essentials ePublication is Online

Aurora, Ontario, Canada (PRWEB) January 03, 2014

The largest global human resources (HR) network of shared resources, HR.com has developed the newest online publication, Benefits and Wellness Excellence Essentials, from thirty years of articles collected by top thought leaders and human resources experts.

The inaugural issue is now online and interactive. Benefits and Wellness Excellence Essentials includes the latest content in the areas of Benefits and Employee Wellness. READ NOW

This month’s issue features the following articles in the Benefits and Wellness space:


“Total Rewards” by Audrey Boone-Tillman

“Plan Your Success” by Donna Joseph and Pete Tobiason

“Obamacare” by Howard Kaplan

“Legal Service Plans” by Brittany Schmigel

“Employee Retirement Benefits” by Melissa Walters

“Dental Care 2014” by Mark Roberts

“New FMLA Regs and Poster” by Jennifer Richter

“Surviving the Affordable Care Act” by John Frehse

“Dispelling Five Myths” by Mary Jo Davis


“Mind-Body-Spirit-Emotion” by Stephen Bizal

“What Is Stress?” by Jeffery Gero

“Relaxation Exercises” by Helen Goldstein

“Wellness ROI” by Buck Hanson & Mark Goble

“Workplace Health” by Stephen Haynes

“Successful Health and Wellness Programs” by Jayne Hembruff & Doug Brown

“Nature’s Elements to Well-Being” by Noelle Meade-Izzi

“Stress Management/Meditation” by Eileen Lichtenstein

“Wellness Coaching” by Gene McGuire

“Outcomes-Based Wellness” by William McPeck

“High ROI Wellness” by Laura Messenger

“Medical Self-Care” by Brett Powell

“Wellness Program Success” by Bart Sheeler & Rob Thurston

“Holes in the Wellness Plan” by Debi Silber

“Culture of Health & Wellness” by Josh Stevens

“Sleep Tight, Sleep Right” by Stuart M. Sutley

“Financial Wellness” by Henry Albrecht

“Care Management” by Angie Yasulitis

“High Engagement Wellness Program” Case Study by Dave Monahan

All Excellence Essentials Publications provide an interactive online experience with access to options such as surveys and benchmark data, learning modules, online archives, custom content for a company, and a mobile excellence app to launch soon. Companies interested in using these stories in internal newsletters should contact HR.com. Archive access is also available for a nominal fee.

To complement Benefits and Wellness Essentials’ resources, executives can currently also subscribe for free to:

Leadership Excellence Essentials,
Personal Excellence Essentials,
Sales and Service Excellence Essentials,
Talent Management Excellence Essentials, and
Talent Acquisition Excellence Essentials.

More information available on HR.com: Excellence Essentials Publications

Also launching this month is the themed edition for HR Strategy and Planning Excellence Essentials. Other targeted series launching in coming months include Rewards and Recognition/Employee Engagement, Workforce Management (Time and Attendance), Technology Enabled Learning, Legal and Compliance, as well as Core HR (HRIS and Payroll).

About HR.com

HR.com, the largest global social networking and resource site for HR Professionals, is THE ONLY place to earn IHR (Institute for Human Resources), HRCI and WorldatWork credits all at the same time for NO COST. HR.com is committed to providing a deeper understanding of the HR function for 240,000 members by offering guaranteed pass re-certification prep courses, certification and re-certification credits, interactive Excellence Essentials monthly e-publications, 23 Expert Certification Programs, 19 Certificate Programs, 3,500+ webcasts, 230+ virtual conferences, blogs, community networks, industry news and advisory boards. http://www.hr.com

HR.com Contact:

Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO



Obamacare Benefits: Insurance Companies Are Forced To Drop Substandard Coverage

obamacare benefitsRecently, there has been much criticism in the media surrounding insurance companies dropping consumers from healthcare coverage due to the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, this criticism is misleading because no one is losing their insurance because of Obamacare. The plans that are being cancelled by health insurance companies provide substandard coverage under the requirements of the ACA. They have to replace these junk plans with newer ones which provide better coverage..

The cancellation notices have only been mailed to some of the five percent of individuals who currently have substandard policies on the individual health insurance market. More than 75 percent of Americans currently get their insurance through their employer, the Veterans Administration, Medicare, or Medicaid and are not affected by these cancellations.

Obamacare Benefits: Health Plans Should Have Minimum Standards

All people who have received cancellation notices from their health insurance companies are gaining health insurance under new plans that meet the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. New Obamcare benefits that must be included in each qualified health plan include maternity coverage, mental healthcare, prescription medication coverage, and preventive care. In addition, Affordable Care Act health plans cannot drop you if you get sick and they cannot deny you coverage if you already have a medical issue.

People who have been covered under a substandard health insurance policy can choose to continue with their current health insurance company by enrolling in a more generous plan. They can also shop for affordable coverage on their state’s health insurance marketplace, where they may be eligible to receive federal premium subsidies to lower their monthly costs. The majority of Americans who are in this position will pay less for policies that cover the Obamacare benefits than they were paying for a less comprehensive plan.

Some People May Pay More

Although the federal premiums will be available to help many Americans who are losing their current substandard plans purchase better plans through their states’ health insurance marketplace, Americans who are in the higher income brackets may see their rates increase. This is because federal subsidies are only available to people who earn under a specific income as defined by the Affordable Care Act. Health plans offered on the exchange will generally be more expensive than substandard plans before subsidies because of the additional Obamacare benefits that have to be covered.

This is part of the individual responsibility President Obama mentioned in his speech that further clarified his earlier statements that Americans would be able to keep their current plans if they wanted to. People who are able to afford health insurance should receive less government assistance than people with lower incomes.

The president also said that if Americans had substandard plans that they wanted to keep prior to the Affordable Care Act becoming law, those plans could be grandfathered in. However, if an insurance company sold a substandard plan after the ACA became law, they would have to replace those plans with a qualified plan beginning in 2014. This is why some Americans are getting notices of cancellation, but in the end, the more comprehensive benefits under Obamacare benefit everyone. In general, people will be paying less for better healthcare, which meets one of the goals of the Affordable Care Act.

The post Obamacare Benefits: Insurance Companies Are Forced To Drop Substandard Coverage appeared first on ObamaCare Insurance.

ObamaCare Insurance

Benefits Assistance – Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Medicaid, etc.

Benefits Assistance – Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), Medicaid, etc.
Event on 2013-11-26 12:00:00

Have questions and/or need assistance applying for public benefits?


Keogh Health Connection will partner Arizona Bridge to Independent Living (ABIL) to assist with the following:


  • Accept referrals
  • Provide benefits counseling services and assist with applications for public benefits
  • Information concerning the Marketplace (Obamacare). 


Keogh staff will be at the Disability Empowerment Center (DEC) to assist with the application process on a one-on-one basis. 


Please bring the following information to your appointment:

  • Social Security Number
  • Identification
  • Residential Address
  • Income
  • Medical Expenses
  • Other Medical Insurance


If you are having problems registering online, please contact John Beaubien at 602-443-0738.

Location: Disability Empowerment Center
ABIL, Suite 200
Appointment held in ABIL Room 1
5025 E. Washington Street, Phoenix


*Spanish speakers and accommodations provided upon request. 


Accommodations: No fragrances please. To accommodate those with allergies, breathing conditions or multiple chemical sensitivities please do not smoke or wear scented products when attending ABIL events.   ABIL's events are accessible in compliance with ADA guidelines.  For accommodations and/or to participate via teleconference please complete registration.  For assistance please contact David Carey at 602-443-0723.

at Disability Empowerment Center
5025 East Washington Street
Phoenix, United States