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Will Insurance companies continue to cut physicians wages to balance ACA losses?

Insurance company Highmark recently lowered doctor’s rates in the health plans offered through the Affordable Care Act in an effort to even the scales after massive losses. The move has left many angry and raised concerns among those in the industry wondering if other insurance companies might take a similar course of action. Highmark is an affiliate of Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the middle-Atlantic region. The insurance company claimed losses of $221 million on its exchange marketplace plans in 2014. The company also anticipated losses of $500 million in 2015 because plan members needed more care than the health plan had anticipated. As a result, the company is paying more claims than it is collecting in premium revenue. In an effort to combat the loss, the insurer announced nearly a 5 percent pay cut among providers in Pennsylvania. Experts say that angry physicians might react by accepting fewer patients in Exchange plans. Worse yet, some might opt to no longer participate in Exchange plan net ...

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Sean McConnell, CEO of MBA, elected president of FAPEO association

The Florida Association of Professional Employer Organizations (FAPEO) is proud to announce that Sean McConnell has been elected president of the association. 

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The changing benefit landscape – what your company needs to know

While most HR teams are very good at analyzing short term data and responding to trends, not everyone goes through the exercise of examining long-term data to understand the changing landscape. Experts have taken a close look at the long-term data and have pointed out the following four ways in which employee benefits have changed in the past four years: Wait times are shorter: New hires are usually excited about their new job, but might not be so excited about having to wait for their various benefits to start These benefits can include paid time off, employer retirement contributions, medical, dental and vision benefits. The wait time has gotten significantly shorter over the past four years. In 2011, the average wait time was about 92 days. Now, the average wait time is roughly 85 days. High Deductible Health Plans are more and more common now than they were four years ago. The number of employers offering these plans has risen nearly 14 percent since 2012. It’s also the health plan that ...

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Employees more reliant on fitness apps and wearable fitness tools

In the past two years, twice as many Americans have started using wearable fitness tools and fitness smartphone apps to help in managing their health and wellbeing. Many employers aren’t eager to share their data collected with their employers, however. Nearly 33 percent of Americans are using mobile health applications. This number is up from just around 16 percent in 2014. Recent research indicates the applications are used primarily for fitness at nearly 60 percent, followed by diet and nutrition at approximately 50 percent and management of symptoms at around 35 percent. For employers searching for ways to gain insight into their employees health and fitness habits, wearable devices are a low cost means to gather data. But new research shows that employees aren’t eager to share all their information with their employer. Ninety percent of those who participated in a recent survey said that they would be willing to share the data collected from their smartphone app or wearable device with ...

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Are restaurants prepared for the implications of stricter immigration screenings

A Philadelphia restaurant chain, Vetri, recently lost 30 employees who did not pass e-verify screenings after the restaurant chain was acquired by Urban Outfitters. Industry professionals believe the restaurant industry might be shaken by stricter immigration regulations and laws. Although there’s a large political debate surrounding the issue, many don’t necessarily understand how heavily these illegal immigrant workers are present in many industries nationwide and the contributions that they make to our infrastructure. Both employees and restaurants might be at risk with stricter immigration laws. According to Anthony Bourdain, “every restaurant in America would shut down” if Donald Trump’s immigration plan to deport all illegal immigrants were to happen. Nearly 1.5 million of the restaurant industry’s 12.7 million employees are immigrants. It’s hard to determine how many of those are undocumented immigrants. Because of the lack of records, it’s very challe ...

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