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The New Year and How It May Affect Your Benefits

The beginning of 2017 signals a new plan year for some insurance plans. For individuals with these plans, this means that any changes made to health plans and new deductibles will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

It will be important to keep these changes in mind when you or your family seek out health care. You should also be on the lookout for things like changing prescription drug coverage limits and changing copay amounts.

In addition to reviewing your policy, be sure to follow these quick tips to be a wise health care consumer next year:
• Consider using generic prescription drugs instead of brand-name drugs, when possible.
• Shop around for the lowest rates before visiting a doctor, when possible.
• Visit the emergency room for emergencies only.
• Opt for outpatient care instead of inpatient care when given the choice.

Contact Warren G. Bender Co. today if we can help you with your Employee Benefit needs: 916-380-5300

Filed under: Employee Benefits — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:25 pm December 22, 2016

Despite Higher Costs, Workers’ Comp Benefits Fall to a Historic Low

A new study released by the National Association of Social Insurance (NASI) shows that the cost of workers’ compensation benefits continues to fall, despite the fact that employer costs continue to rise.

According to the study, workers’ comp benefits per $100 of payroll fell from $0.97 in 2013 to $0.91 in 2014, making it the lowest level it’s been since 1980. However, employer costs associated with workers’ comp—things like insurance premiums, reimbursement payments and administrative costs—have steadily increased over the past five years. According to the report, employer costs exceeded total benefits by $29.5 billion in 2014, and costs per $100 of payroll reached $1.35.

Experts suggest that the reason for the disparity stems from the recession of 2008. As employers have begun hiring more employees during the economic recovery of the past five years, workers’ comp costs spiked immediately. The cost savings associated with a low benefit payout may take some time to be reflected in lower employer costs.

Filed under: Workers' Compensation — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 10:20 pm

New Year, New Labor Law: Take Advantage of WGBCO’s HR Services

With each coming year, new regulations and laws are passed; making it almost impossible to stay informed on the ever-changing world of HR. In the beginning of 2016, we decided to offer an exclusive HR service menu to our clients: HR Hotline and HR360

Through the HR Hotline, powered by the California Employers Association, consultants answer questions related to a broad range of topics, including:
•Employee Relations/Employee Behavioral Issues
•Harassment and Discrimination Allegations
•Discipline and Terminations
•COBRA Compliance
•Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
•Wage and Hour Issues
•Employee Benefits
•Leaves of Absence
•Performance Management

We also offer HR360, an HR library and attorney-reviewed source for HR news, tools, forms and training.
Use HR360 for:
•Latest Health Care Reform tools and guidelines
•How to interview, hire and terminate employees
•How to do performance reviews at every level
•Interactive Tools including:
-Job Description Builder
-Salary Benchmarking Tool
-Employee Cost Calculator
•Hundreds of Downloadable Forms and Policies
•Customizable Employee Handbook
•State and federal compliance information
•State labor laws guidance
…and more!

Offering these services to you, our valued clients, is something we take pride in. Advancing beyond the realm of insurance and helping you navigate all risks associated with running a business.

To get started on utilizing these tools, contact WGBCO’s Benefits Service Manager, Erin Ocheltree: or (916) 380-5325

Filed under: HR — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 2:55 pm