Showing posts from March, 2010

Eligibility for Your Medical Benefits Plan

As we near the end of Open Enrollment I want to highlight some changes to the eligibility rules for our medical and dental plans. These mostly impact new employees coming in after the first of next month. Supervisors and all of us who recruit should know this information so we can use our benefits to recruit prospective talent. I believe we have a good story to tell. Immediate Eligibility Although this isn't completely new, I find that some people don't realize it. You are eligible for coverage under our medical and dental plan beginning on your hire date. You must allow a few days for sign-up, card printing and mailing, etc... but there is no waiting period after you're hired. Part-time Employee Eligibility This year for the first time we are extending eligibility to part-time employees. This doesn't cover temps, interns, contractors or any other casual labor. This eligibility extends only to those individuals who work regularly 20 hours per week or more and who

What Healthcare Reform Means for Our Benefits

Unless you've been camping in a distant cave you know that this week the House of Representatives approved comprehensive healthcare reform legislation. Over the next nine years this new law has the potential to substantially change the healthcare system and industry in this country. While most everyone knows something happened, what it means seems open to interpretation. Walking through the corporate office this week as part of our Open Enrollment process I heard many opinions and had several requests to blog on this topic. I've also sought out news items off the web, TV and radio. In addition, about a half dozen unsolicited email articles have come to my inbox by companies wanting to sell us consulting services for our health plans. The following is a summary of what I've learned to date. One more thing before we start. I am neither Republican nor Democrat, conservative nor liberal. Please don't try to paint me with a particular political brush if you don't

FY '11 Medical Plan Decisions Simplified

It's open enrollment month in our company and many people are trying to make a decisions regarding their medical plans for the fiscal year beginning April 1st. This year our Tennessee employees have a four-option choice; PPO vs. High Deductible Plan (HDP), and Blue Cross "P" network vs. "S" network. With the various differences in premiums, co-pays, deductibles, HSA vs. FSA, etc... there is a lot to consider. The HDP has gained momentum due to favorable payroll deductions and some good feedback from people currently in the plan. The S network rates are cheaper, but that network does not include any HCA hospitals including some where several of our people live. With a lot at stake, and a lot to sift through, here are some simple decision points you should consider if you work at Nelson. This is just my opinion and does not change any of the Open Enrollment information we've sent to our people. We have informational meetings going on and you should attend o

Molested in a Runaway Prius: The Top Ten List

I've been home-bound for a few days due to knee surgery. As a Catholic who owns two Toyotas , and proud on both accounts, it's been tough to avoid the news. The hysteria over 30 year old allegations of priestly impropriety has moved from the U.S. to Ireland and now to Germany. The smart money inside the Church is that Spain is next. Meanwhile, "Me too!" runaway Toyota incidents with lawyers and reporters on standby plague the world's largest automaker. Being a student of institutional behavior, and a great admirer of these two great institutions, it's pained me to watch them get behind the story in their respective news cycles. Meanwhile, Late Night host David Letterman sets the standard for getting past his own reprehensible behavior of having sex with young female staffers over whom he had authority as host of the show and owner of the show's production and distribution company, Worldwide Pants. The differences in how these three companies handled t

Watch Your Medical Coding and Billing

The American health care system is either the finest in the world or a hopeless morass of waste depending on who you talk to and their party affiliation. One thing that is absolute truth about our system is that it's complicated, and one of the root causes of that complexity is the interface between medical coders, medical provider billing, and your insurance plan. I'm near the end of a medical coding/billing/insurance problem that I've been working since July. The facts of this case (which I have permission to share) should help you understand why it's important to know your benefits, watch your bills, question everything, and use your HR department if necessary. In July we had a dependent on the plan who was referred by her primary care physician for a colonoscopy . The patient here had no symptoms or problems but had reached the age when that procedure is recommended. The colonoscopy was performed later that month and the results were clear except for a mild case