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09/22/17

  10:31:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 274 words,  
Categories: Security, Third party administration, Compliance, MedBen Employees

Fraker, Crain Moderate SPBA Conference Sessions

SPBA Fraker

MedBen Vice President of Compliance & Chief Privacy Officer Caroline Fraker was among the session moderators at the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators (SPBA) Fall Conference on September 13-15, 2017. Fraker has served as a SPBA board member since 2014.

Also lending his technical expertise to the conference was Wendell Crain, MedBen Director of Security, Infrastructure and Web Development, whose involvement and insights were specifically requested by the event organizers.

Fraker acted as moderator for the "Plan and TPA Targeted Litigation" session. Its objective was to help third party administrators in attendance better understand where legal vulnerabilities may exist for self-funded plan sponsors.

“With ever-increasing regulatory oversight and more complicated plan designs, it is important for plan sponsors to be aware of current litigation targeting their plans,” Fraker said. “MedBen takes compliance seriously and is always seeking information relevant to our clients.”

SPBA Crain

Crain also served as a moderator, leading a session about the implementation of HITRUST (Health Information Trust Alliance) certification, a form of security compliance that enables the proper storage, access and exchange of regulated data. Set guidelines relating to levels of security must be met to earn certification.

"Ensuring that these measures are in place is a difficult and time-consuming process, but worth it for your security and for the security of your customers... and for defeating those who would try to get at your data," Crain said.

Additionally, Crain co-paneled a breakout session with fellow information technology specialists to share their experiences regarding the implementation of security protocols.

Formed in 1975, SPBA strives to advance the goals of benefits administrators as well as to provide advice that helps members better serve their clients and plans.

09/18/17

  07:49:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 356 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Immunizations

Protect Yourself and Others: Get the Flu Vaccine!

flu shot sign-in

Whether you love fall or not – the changing leaves, shorter days, longer nights, and pumpkin spice everything – it is here. So, too, is flu season.

Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages causing fever, severe aching, and congestion, and often occurring in epidemics. People with flu can spread it to others as far as 6 feet away, mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk.

Millions of Americans (143.2 million in 2013-2014) take the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in that the best protection from the virus is to be vaccinated annually. With good reason, too as an infected person can spread the virus one day before showing symptoms (or even knowing they are sick) and up to seven days after they get sick.

There are many misconceptions about the vaccine, what it does, and its side-effects. For example, some may think that you can get influenza from the vaccine (you can’t). In fact, if you get flu immediately following your vaccination, it’s likely that you were exposed to the virus just before or during the two-week waiting period after receiving the vaccine (it can take up to two weeks to take effect).

WellLiving highly encourages all people to speak to their family physicians about their concerns of receiving the vaccine, prior to making their final decision.

Full story »

09/06/17

  09:52:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 196 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Cost savings, Third party administration

MedBen Claim Surveillance Case Study: $100k In Savings on One Person

dollar magnified

MedBen cost containment technology, coupled with professional analysis, is saving a MedBen client almost $100,000 annually.

Recently, MedBen's claim surveillance system flagged a claim from a hospital billing for an injectable specialty drug to treat a chronic disease. The drug was being administered to the patient at the hospital every three months at a cost of $42,919 per dose, for a total charge of $171,676 annually.

A medical specialist reviewed the claim and, finding that the charge for the drug was excessive, suggested that the patient receive future doses from a specialty pharmacy and receive instruction to perform self-injection at home. The specialty pharmacy and MedBen's pharmacy consultant worked with the patient to make a safe transition to self-injecting.

The cost for the drug under the new arrangement: $18,772 per dose, or $75,088 per year. That translates to a savings of $96,588 annually... 56% less than the original drug cost. And this reduction doesn't even factor in the elimination of an additional hospital fee for the drug injection.

Advanced claims surveillance and a panel of over 125 medical specialists -- technology and talent working together to save MedBen clients money. Find out how by contacting Vice President of Sales & marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  09:51:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Cost savings

Worksite Wellness Efforts Lead to More Productive Employees

businesspeople

Worksite wellness programs like MedBen WellLiving benefit an employer's bottom line... and not only by reducing claims for costly chronic conditions. A healthier workplace also results in more productive employees.

According to The Wall Street Journal, a focused company wellness study found that the employees who participated in a wellness program increased their productivity by an average of 4% during the subsequent year. Productivity change was particularly apparent in sick workers whose health improved from one annual wellness exam to the next -- their output increased by an average of 10.8%.

“Showing up feeling better means people work harder on a day-to-day basis,” said study co-author Ian Larkin, a management professor at the University of California. The authors estimated for every $100 the company spent on the wellness program, it earned $176 in output from its employees.

Through the WellLiving program, MedBen is dedicated to bettering the physical and financial health of its clients. Simply by encouraging better health and eliminating gaps in plan members' care, employers are realizing lower health care costs, reduced absenteeism, and a more productive workplace.

Learn more about the multiple ways MedBen WellLiving can benefit your bottom line by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  09:50:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 200 words,  
Categories: Security, Privacy

For MedBen, Your Data Security Is an Ongoing Commitment

Rose McEntire

No business is more acutely aware of the importance of data security nowadays than those in the health care industry. With ransomware becoming more prevalent, the need for heightened measures has never been greater... and for years, MedBen has been addressing this need.

Long before "cybersecurity" became common language, MedBen had gone to great lengths to ensure the safety of client information. Our commitment to allowing only authorized people to view and disseminate personal data goes back over two decades, and in the ensuing years we’ve continued to be proactive about respecting and protecting your privacy.

MedBen approaches security from three perspectives: external, internal, and physical. In all three instances, we have recently added new safeguards to our existing protections.

But having these safeguards in place is only half the story. Our cybersecurity strategy requires that we test these protective measures through periodic, unscheduled penetration attempts by IBM and other outside firms. Not only do these tests confirm the reliability of our safeguards, they provide valuable feedback that helps us further strengthen our defenses.

MedBen clients with questions regarding our cybersecurity measures are welcome to contact our Vice President of Information Systems and Chief Privacy Office Rose McEntire at rmcentire@medben.com.

  09:50:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 129 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Online Services

MedBen Closing Early on September 15

MedBen building

On Friday, September 15, MedBen will be closing at 12:00 p.m. EST for a companywide employee recognition event. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. EST on Monday, September 18.

At the event, MedBen will pay tribute to employees who are celebrating benchmark anniversaries with MedBen... including several who have now been with us for 30 years! (More about that soon.)

Remember that even when live service representatives aren't available, many of your questions (including those pertaining to prescription plans, FSAs and HRAs) can be answered anytime, anywhere through our MedBen Access website.

Also keep in mind that MedBen.com offers resources frequently requested by customers, such as a list of FSA-eligible expenses and instructions for reading EOBs. Just select the "Plan Sponsors" or "Plan Members" button on the home page, depending on your specific needs.

08/27/17

  10:38:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 180 words,  
Categories: American Health Care Act

Effective Wellness Addresses the Costliest Chronic Conditions

wellness exam

MedBen WellLiving focuses on preventing chronic conditions in order to reduce gaps in employee care… as well as lowering the corresponding costs that make up a big chunk of employer health care spending.

A recent International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey found that diabetes is the number one condition impacting benefit plan health costs for 41% of the respondents. Other chronic conditions impacting costs include heart disease (27%), hypertension (26%), and high cholesterol (11%).

With an emphasis on preventive care through annual wellness examinations, WellLiving reduces the impact of Type 2 diabetes and other pricey chronic conditions. Additionally, regular cancer screenings help to diagnose this costly disease in its earliest stages.

High-risk plan members get an extra level of intervention through individualized counseling and prevention information via a registered nurse. This one-on-one approach helps to keep chronic conditions, and their corresponding expenses, in check.

Maintaining a healthy workplace and lower care costs are essential to the long-term success of a business, and WellLiving offers employers a proven wellness solution. Find out more by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

  10:35:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 207 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Wellness, Online Services, Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

We're Closed Labor Day, But MedBen Access Offers Helpful Online Services

American flag

Believe it or not, Labor Day weekend is nearly upon us... and the staff of MedBen want to take the opportunity to wish you and your family a safe and relaxing holiday!

Our home office will be closed on Monday, September 4 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. We will reopen at 8:00 a.m. EST Tuesday, September 5.

Even when we’re out of the office, MedBen Access stays open around the clock. And with the year already two-thirds gone, it's an opportune time to remind your employees of our online service's helpful features, which can be accessed by going to MedBen.com and selecting "MedBen Access."

For instance, if your health care plan offers a MedBen flexible spending account (FSA) option, members can check their FSA spending activity and the funds remaining to be spent – just click "FSA/HRA Online Inquiry" on the side menu. And if they need to file an FSA Reimbursement form for medical payments, explanations of benefits (EOBs) are available for downloading and printing (click on "My Claims").

Likewise, clients that offer our WellLiving program can direct plan members toward the Wellness Compliance page ("MedBen WellLiving") to confirm that they're up to date on their annual exam and recommended screenings.

Once again, have a great Labor Day!

MedBen Client Report Highlights Population Health Management Services

client report

The health care landscape may continue to shift, but MedBen remains focused on providing clients with cost-effective, employer-directed administrative services. In our 2017 MedBen Client Report, we look at the various way we're working with employers to use the freedom and flexibility of self-funding to their best advantage.

This year's report offers an overview of MedBen's population health management services, from a wellness program that helps plan members take the right steps toward "gap-free care," to pharmacy benefits that promote the proper use of prescribed medications while keeping costs as low as possible.

The report also shows how MedBen tailors its services to client needs – what we refer to as "personalized benefits management." This approach takes many forms, such as through our dedicated group services representatives and a compliance team that works one-on-one with clients to address regulatory issues specific to their plan.

We recently sent the Client Report to our self-funded group contacts and brokers. If you have not yet received one or would like to request additional copies, please contact Sales Analyst Sally Wood at swood@medben.com. Or, if you're an employer interested in knowing more about the ways that MedBen's population health management services can benefit your business, you're welcome to contact our Sales and Marketing Department at 888-627-8683.

08/17/17

  05:11:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 338 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Weighing the Pros (and Cons) of Protein

protein drink

There’s a lot of hype these days about protein – diets call for high protein intake, body builders seek protein shakes, and there’s even protein ice cream. But is protein really that important?

To put it bluntly – yes. Protein is a very important component of every cell in the body as it is the building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. Your body uses protein to build and repair tissues, and to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.

Since protein is a macronutrient, the body requires a lot of it. But too much of a good thing does exist. When significant amounts of protein are consumed with few carbohydrates, ketosis – in which the body stops burning carbs for fuel because there is an insufficient amount and starts burning its own fat – occurs. Ketones (more commonly associated with diabetes) can build up in the blood, making it more acidic, potentially leading to other serious conditions. Also note that by concentrating on protein sources, dieters may be getting too much salt, and not enough calcium, potassium, or other nutrients typically found in fruits and vegetables.

All diets are a balancing act, but your balance may be different than other individuals. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, always consult your doctor so that your medical history (such as diabetes, anemia, etc.) may be considered.

Full story »

08/11/17

  07:30:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 316 words,  
Categories: Security, Research, ISO

MedBen Uses Technology, Training to Protect Your Personal Data

Rose McEntire

While ransomware attacks have increased during the first half of 2017, accidental data breaches caused by employee error are also a serious problem, according to new research by Beazely, a breach insurance company. As reported by Benefits Pro, employee error comprises 30% of overall breaches, compared to 32% resulting from hacking and malware attacks.

Because personal data is essential to our daily business, MedBen has had resources in place for many years to ensure the safety of personal data – and we continue to add to our security measures. In addition to implementing a variety of client data safeguards, we employ multiple strategies to minimize the risk of human error in the use and disclosing of protected health information (PHI).

  • Every MedBen employee who works with PHI undergoes extensive training in its proper usage. Should there be a request or a need for such information to be disseminated, these employees are instructed as to who can properly view it as well as the approved means of transmittal for disclosing it when appropriate.
  • Since 2005, MedBen has been ISO 9001 Certified. This means that processes are in place for all manner of work procedures involving PHI, from their use in conjunction with claims review and payment, to customer service inquiries. These processes ensure that quality standards related to PHI use are met.
  • All electronic data transmissions are secured by an FTP server with an encrypted connection, or sent via a secure email portal that is encrypted over a secure network. All passwords on our system are coded via a one-way encryption process to prevent decryption, before being stored in our databases.

    Moreover, when we send a document containing PHI to a provider or other designated recipient, it is posted electronically on our MedBen Secure website, again over a safeguarded line.

MedBen clients who have questions about MedBen’s electronic PHI safeguards are welcome to contact Vice President of Information Systems Rose McEntire at rmcentire@medben.com.

08/10/17

  04:12:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 251 words,  
Categories: American Health Care Act

Doctor-Patient Relationship Helps Mind and Body Alike

doctor and patient

The advantages of preventive care usually focus on the physical aspects of regular wellness exams, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. But there's also a mental component that shouldn't be overlooked – and which MedBen WellLiving's "physician first" wellness approach can play a critical role.

According to The Washington Post, a recent report by mental health experts cited risk factors that, if addressed through lifestyle modification, could prevent up to 35% of the world's dementia cases. Among these factors are the chronic conditions hypertension and diabetes, in addition to smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity.

Interestingly, the stage of life in which you develop a chronic condition may also affect your mental health. The report notes that individuals with hypertension and obesity in middle age, or diabetes and smoking in later years, carry an even greater dementia risk.

MedBen WellLiving stresses the importance of a doctor-patient relationship for a variety of reasons, such as building a long-term rapport. But for the doctor, it's also vital to have a "big picture" view of the patient -- that is, to detect symptoms early on that, by themselves, may not mean much, but could very well lead to bigger problems down the road.

A wellness program that encourages smart lifestyle choices in consultation with a family doctor can benefit mind and body alike. To learn more about how MedBen WellLiving can help you to promote better overall health and lower care costs, please contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

08/09/17

  03:09:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 211 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, Cost savings, Third party administration

MedBen Surveillance System -- Ten Years of Money Saved

MedBen building

In September of 2007, MedBen introduced to its self-funded clients an advanced surveillance system that took claims management to a higher level. And nearly 10 years later, our clients continue to realize significant savings from this system, which thoroughly analyzes claims to ensure that they meet medical necessity or billing standards.

In 2016, for instance, clients saw an $9.75 average monthly savings per employee from claims surveillance. That represents a 25.1% average savings on clinically reviewed claims, after discounts and coinsurance.

Going back a few years, from 2010 through 2016 MedBen claims surveillance has saved clients, on average, $10.36 per employee per month... an annual average savings of 37.2%. Moreover, these savings are produced after network discounts are applied, but before claims are paid.

It's important to note that while the electronic claims surveillance is leading edge, it's the human factor that makes the real difference. Because once the system flags a claim, physicians drawn from a panel of over 125 board-certified specialists review it and work directly with providers to ensure cost-effective, patient-sensitive outcomes.
MedBen's surveillance system combines technology with a physician-driven approach to deliver clients lower costs... and it's just one part of a claims management strategy designed to maximize your health care savings. Find out more by contacting Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

07/30/17

  09:26:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 231 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Cost savings, Research

Working Together, MedBen and Employers Consistently Beat Rx Trends

pharmacy

Keeping prescription drug plan costs in check is one of the greatest challenges for self-funded employers nowadays... but year after year, MedBen is helping clients beat pharmacy cost trends.

From 2014 to 2016, MedBen clients experienced average pharmacy cost trends of just 3.5% per year. In contrast, national trends for employer pharmacy plans averaged 8.7%.

A new drug pricing forecast (which predicts a 7.6% national drug cost increase in 2018) attributes these trends to spikes in specialty drug use and rising pharmaceutical costs. So even with these harsh realities, how are MedBen clients seeing better results?

Part of the answer lies in the fact that we believe your money belongs to you. That's why, rather than holding back a portion of pharmacy rebates and discounts, MedBen returns 100% of them to the rightful owner -- the client.

The trend difference also lies in helping our clients promote preventive care. Many medications that help to prevent or control chronic conditions, such as simvastatin for high cholesterol and lisinopril for hypertension, are available as inexpensive generics. Conversely, medications to control diseases that weren't detected in their earlier stages can cost an Rx plan hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month.

By controlling prescription drug spending, employers can have a meaningful impact on overall health coverage costs. To learn more about how MedBen works with clients to beat pharmacy trend, contact Vice President of Sales & Marketing Brian Fargus at bfargus@medben.com.

07/28/17

  08:04:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 367 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Obamacare Lives. So Now What?

Capitol building

In the early morning hours of July 28, the Senate narrowly voted down a so-called "skinny repeal" of Obamacare... and in doing so, sealed the probability that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will remain the law of the land for the foreseeable future.

While calling the skinny bill a "repeal" was something of a misnomer, the limited legislation, if passed by both houses of Congress (unlikely, but not inconceivable), would have effectively ended the ACA's employer mandate, which requires that businesses with 50 full-time employees offer affordable health insurance. Additionally, it would have brought welcome relief from the mandate's time-consuming employer paperwork requirements, including the annual filings of IRS forms 1094/1095. The failure to pass the bill means that the yearly head counts (and headaches) will continue... and increases the likelihood that the long-delayed, and universally reviled, Cadillac tax may actually be implemented in 2020.

The "repeal and replace Obamacare" movement has risen from the ashes so many times, it's anybody's guess as to whether this failed vote truly represents the Republicans' last attempt to pass a new bill. But GOP members have made no secret of their desire to move on to tax reform and other matters, so it would appear that no further efforts to push through new health care reform legislation will happen anytime soon.

And what of Obamacare’s future? President Trump has repeatedly said the ACA should be allowed to "implode," with the expectation that Democrats in Congress would have no choice but to join Republicans in drafting a new bipartisan bill. More likely in the short term, however, is that both parties will agree to work together to address Obamacare’s most pressing problems, such as the lack of available individual coverage in many rural areas. What happens after that... again, it’s anybody's guess.

What we do know for certain is that as long as the ACA stays on the books, businesses must continue to follow the rules for providing minimum essential coverage to employees. And toward this goal, MedBen will continue to assist clients in ensuring that their plans comply with all federal and state regulations. Clients with questions regarding the ACA are always welcome to contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

07/27/17

  03:20:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 261 words,  
Categories: Wellness, Compliance

When Using Wellness Technology, Follow the Rules

wearable fitness tracker

FitBits and other wearable fitness trackers are popular incentives for worksite wellness programs, but employers need to exercise caution about how data from these devices is used, according to new rules from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

A recent International Foundation survey found that the promotion of wellness-related technology in the workplace is expected to increase in the next two years. But when an employer integrates such technology into a wellness program, it must be sure that any information collected through such devices is being used for legal purposes.

At issue for wearable fitness trackers is not the number of steps recorded but rather personal data collected, such as heart rate, activity levels, and sleep patterns. Additionally, care must be taken to ensure that applicable rules under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Affordable Care Act, and other laws are being followed.

MedBen's internal wellness efforts include a walking program in which employees can use wearable fitness trackers or use their smartphones to monitor their progress. However, rather than download data from these devices, participants simply provide our Human Resources department with a printout or screen capture of their daily steps. In this manner, we can be certain that we respect the participants' privacy, while still rewarding them for achieving the minimum number of steps.

MedBen takes wellness seriously, and our expertise extends to helping clients comply with wellness laws. MedBen WellLiving clients who have questions about wellness-related technology or any other aspect of their employee wellness program are welcome to contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

07/25/17

  04:34:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 245 words,  
Categories: Client Services

Before Helping Clients, MedBen GSRs Get Educated

Megan MIller and Heidi Smith

Your MedBen group service representatives (GSRs) know your plan, your employee population, and your health care goals. But GSRs don’t become experts in serving clients and consultants overnight – it requires the right people getting the proper training.

MedBen always first looks to hire from within, and the GSR team is certainly no exception. Most of our current GSRs started in our Customer Service department, while others have worked in Administration, Specialty Services, and various other areas of the company.

For those GSRs who are new to MedBen when they're hired, prior experience in health benefits is encouraged... and even then, they first undergo several months of customer service training, learning how to use our systems while honing their service skills.

Whether a GSR is a MedBen veteran or a newcomer, before they can "fly solo," they first receive additional instruction from our Client Services Supervisor. This includes reviewing and responding to client voice mails, then finally taking live calls while the Supervisor monitors the conversation.

Following this extensive education, there's still one more piece of initiation: A GSR doesn't become a full-fledged team member until they've successfully helped a new group through enrollment, or a current group with their renewal.

Finally, regardless of how many years of experience our GSRs have, the training never really ends. New processes, services, and client matters are discussed at weekly team meetings, to ensure that the people who work directly with our clients can provide accurate and up-to-date information.

07/24/17

  08:07:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 350 words,  
Categories: Wellness

The Sunny Side of Vitamin D

beachcomber

Ahh – sweet summertime. The warmth, outdoor activities, sunshine and… vitamins? That’s right! The sun is a great source of vitamin D.

Just thirty minutes of sun exposure to the face, legs, or back, without sunscreen, at least twice a week should give you plenty of vitamin D. Wait a minute… no sunscreen? No, thank you!

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends against getting vitamin D from unprotected exposure to sunlight. With good reason, too... that much direct sun exposure might expose you to dangerous levels of cancer-causing UV radiation, which also causes wrinkles and age spots. Even so, the once well-known thought of “getting a base tan so I don’t burn” has been debunked and deemed as providing minimal protection.

If you can’t get your fill of vitamin D safely from the sun, where can you get it? Unfortunately, the body is designed to absorb vitamin D through the skin and not by mouth. So although foods like tuna and cheese contain some vitamin D, it’s hard to find foods that provide adequate amounts. Therefore, a good alternate source of the vitamin can be found in supplements.

Be mindful however, of how much you are taking. Too much vitamin D can cause high blood calcium level, which could result in nausea, constipation, confusion, abnormal heart rhythm, and even kidney stones. Always consult your physician before adding any supplement to your diet.

Full story »

07/21/17

  05:36:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 327 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform, Taxes, IRS

Reminder: PCORI Filing and Fee Deadline Approaching

IRS Building

As in years past, it's time for all self-funded employer health plan sponsors to file and pay the required Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee. While hope continues that payment of this fee may be suspended as part of the current Administration’s efforts to reduce the burden of Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulation on plan sponsors, to date that has not happened. This means that PCORI fees must be reported and paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) no later than July 31, 2017.

All self-funded plan sponsors are required to pay a fee based on the average number of covered lives under their eligible plans – including employees, retirees, spouses and dependents. Plans subject to the requirements include self-funded medical benefit plans, such as ERISA and non-ERISA self-funded plans as well as retiree-only plans. Other self-funded plans subject to the fee include self-funded HRAs and FSAs which are not integrated with a plan sponsor’s self-funded major medical plan. Dental-only, vision-only, EAP, disease management, and wellness plans are exempt from the fee requirement.

All plan sponsors must use the IRS Form 720 dated April, 2017 to record and remit the amount due. This year, the form has again been modified to include the payment amounts due under the schedule shown below. Make sure to complete the correct section of Part II for “Applicable self-insured health plans” (line 133) and select the correct payment amount based on your plan’s year end date (line 133 (a) or (b)).

This year’s payment schedule is below. If your plan year ended on October 31, 2016, November 30, 2016 or December 31, 2016 you will owe $2.26 per covered life. All other plan years owe $2.17 per covered life. Remember, a “covered life” means each and every individual you have covered under an applicable plan (i.e., employee, retiree, spouse, and dependents).

MedBen clients who need more information about how to count covered lives under their plan or how to prepare and remit your payment, don’t hesitate to contact Vice President of Compliance Caroline Fraker at 800-851-0907 or cfraker@medben.com.

07/16/17

  10:01:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 331 words,  
Categories: Announcements, News, ISO

Following Successful Audit, MedBen Recommended for ISO Recertification

ISO 9001 Certified

MedBen has successfully completed its latest re-assessment audit of its ISO 9001 procedures and has been recommended for recertification, according to the company’s Chairman and CEO Doug Freeman.

In its written recommendation, auditors from SAI Global stated that MedBen's performance demonstrates "an overall well run, constantly evolving system" with regular input from top management. The audit report also says the company has "an effective process for the continual improvement of the management system" ‒ something Freeman says is crucial to client satisfaction and long-term success.

"Having improvement processes in place enables MedBen to move forward with a clear direction for our future, while making sure that customer needs are always being met," Freeman said. "These re-assessment audits serve as a way to confirm that we're maintaining quality, and help us to integrate new approaches that further benefit our clients."

MedBen first achieved ISO Certification in 2005, and has been recertified every three years since then. To earn recertification, the company must undergo an extensive, multi-day re-assessment audit that reviews every detail of its documented ISO standards.
Following the successful re-assessment, MedBen was awarded ISO9001:2015 Certification. The 2015 standard places a greater emphasis on risk management and organizational knowledge than earlier certification standards.

Freeman noted that having proven processes in place benefits MedBen as well as its clients. "ISO Certification demonstrates that we put our customer first, but it also give our employees the security that processes have been tested and documented, which enable them to perform their job successfully," he said.

ISO 9001 is a general quality management system standard that consists of principles that help ensure standardized levels of quality are applied throughout an organization. With the implementation of a quality management system using ISO 9001, a company can implement a process for continual improvement, as well as reduce inefficiencies and waste, thereby experiencing a significant cost savings, while maintaining a focus on client satisfaction.

SAI Global provides organizations around the world with information services and solutions for managing risk, achieving compliance and driving business improvement.

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