This checklist is designed to help companies review the key reporting and notice requirements that may apply to their employer-sponsored group health plans under ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act). Please note that this list is for general reference purposes only and is not all-inclusive.
Diversified Group is happy to be collecting donations for Operation E.L.F. (Embracing Lonely Families) again this Christmas season. Operation E.L.F. is an organization that assists military families whose loved ones are overseas for the holidays.
We will be taking donations through Monday, December 10th. Donations can include new, unwrapped toys and clothing. Please drop off items under the tree in our lobby. Gift cards are also welcome and can be placed in the basket inside our lobby. Volunteers are asking if you give clothing to please leave the tags still on and please remember to keep the gift card receipt with any gift cards given.
Military families in Connecticut receive these holiday gifts at a time when they may be unable to provide for their children as much as they would like to. Diversified Group is so grateful for everyone’s generosity and we are proud to help make Christmas a little brighter for these families.
To learn more about Operation E.L.F., please click here: https://www.facebook.com/ConnecticutOperationELF/.
This announcement from the Hartford Business Journal was published on December 3, 2018.
Meet CT’s healthiest workplaces
Hartford Business Journal’s first-ever Healthiest Employers Awards recognize organizations dedicated to employee health and safety in addition to their efforts to implement wellness programs.
The awards program was done in partnership with the Healthiest Employers Group, which determined the finalists and winners using a scoring methodology managed by Springbuk, a privately held technology and data research firm.
Companies that participated in the awards program had to complete an hour-long online assessment. Companies were then ranked based on their performance on the following six measures: culture and leadership commitment; foundational components; strategic planning; communication and marketing; programming and interventions; and reporting and analytics.
CATEGORY: 0-150 CT EMPLOYEES
1st Place | Antea Group
2nd Place | FM Global
3rd Place | Gallagher
5th Place | Safelite AutoGlass
4th Place | Category: 0-150 CT employees
Industry: Employee benefits
CT Headquarters: Marlborough
CT Employees: 64
When Diversified Group (DG) started its fitness program back in 1985, it basically consisted of a boot camp-style fitness contest.
But over the years, commitment to health and wellness among employees has intensified to where DG now has a wellness department staffed by six certified health coaches, personal trainers and registered dietitians. The wellness team is responsible for spearheading the company’s wellness program.
DG has also maintained a modest fitness facility on its grounds, and within the last five years, certified instructors have been stopping by on a weekly basis for cycling, strength and yoga classes.
DG also hosts regular meditation workshops giving workers access to guided meditation sessions to decompress and recharge.
Diversified Group is celebrating the season of giving and will be holding a food drive for our local food bank, the Food Bank of Marlborough, Connecticut. Please consider donating this holiday season as this is the time of year when food banks are in the most need. Donations will be collected until December 13th.
The food bank provides hams for Christmas dinners, so anything that you can think of that would accompany a ham dinner, whether side dishes or supplies, would be helpful. Below is a list of some suggested items:
Pie Crusts (Boxed)
Any Canned Goods
Spray Shortening (Pam)
Salt & Pepper
Rice Packages (Flavor or Regular)
*Please No Paper Goods
Please drop off all donations to our offices at 369 North Main Street in Marlborough, Connecticut. And if you would like more information on the Food Bank, please visit http://www.foodbankofmarlborough.org/.
Diversified Group has been awarded a 2018 Top Workplaces honor by The Hartford Courant! The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner Energage, LLC (formerly WorkplaceDynamics), a leading provider of technology-based employee engagement tools. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution and connection, just to name a few.
“Top Workplaces is more than just a recognition,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Energage. “Our research shows organizations that earn the award attract better talent, experience lower turnover and are better equipped to deliver bottom-line results. Their leaders prioritize and carefully craft a healthy workplace culture that supports employee engagement.”
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be receiving this honor for the second year in a row,” stated Brooks Goodison, President of Diversified Group. “Every day our employees work closely with our clients and their plan members doing everything they can to help people make better healthcare decisions. To be able to foster an environment that these hard-working people are proud to be a part of is so rewarding.”
“Becoming a Top Workplace isn’t something organizations can buy,” Claffey said. “It’s an achievement organizations have worked for and a distinction that gives them a competitive advantage. It’s a big deal.”
The Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 implemented prescription drug coverage under Medicare (Medicare D), requiring all employers that offer prescription drug benefits to provide an annual notice of Medicare open enrollment. The notice must go to all Medicare eligible plan participants and qualified beneficiaries before October 15th each year. The notice requirement applies to all employers offering prescription drug benefits regardless of size, whether fully-insured or self-funded, or regardless of ACA grandfathered status. Notification must go to all Medicare eligible plan participants, including active employees and their dependents, retirees and COBRA participants. For most employers, it is easier to issue the notice to all participants as a blanket notice than to identify Medicare eligible employees.
The notice requires that the plan sponsor first determine if their plan offers creditable coverage (meaning it is on average at least as comprehensive as Medicare D coverage), or non-creditable. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) provides a simple process to determine whether prescription drug coverage is creditable or not. Once that determination is made, CMS provides model notices to send to participants in both English and Spanish. Notices may be sent separately, included as part of open enrollment or other benefit related materials, or electronically as long as the DOL’s rules on electronic delivery are followed.
Additionally, all plan sponsors are required to notify CMS within 60 days of the start of each plan year as to whether or not their prescription drug plan is creditable or not creditable. This notification is done online at CMS here.
For Diversified Group clients who have elected to have Diversified Group handle your Medicare D notices, DG will determine if the plan is considered creditable or not and will then send the notice either to the client or directly to the plan participant depending upon which service was elected.
Diversified Group continues its efforts to bring a revolutionary perspective and innovation to employee healthcare. With the recent launch of our monthly email newsletter, Healthcare Uncensored, we are attempting to break down the walls of healthcare complexity and shed light on the confusing state of employee health benefits. Each issue addresses and openly discusses a particular trend or pressing issue that is having great impact on employers and plan members.
“Real change in the world of health benefits won’t happen unless everyone – employers, brokers, providers and consumers – gets involved,” said Brooks Goodison, President of Diversified Group.
By encouraging all to join the conversation and asking questions most are afraid to address, we are paving the way for true healthcare transparency and trying to provide real solutions to the employee benefit concerns of many.
We are proud to say that our efforts are not going unnoticed. Earlier this month, Diversified Group was recognized by The Phia Group with the 2018 Empowered Plans Award at its annual MVP (Most Valuable Partners) event. “We analyzed all of our MVPs based on a number of parameters including, but not limited to, collaboration with The Phia Group, beta testing, using of services and products, a willingness to innovate and take risks, a forward-thinking methodology and efforts taken to secure the future of our industry. When we finished our calculations, Diversified Group was a clear winner.” stated Adam Russo, CEO of The Phia Group.
“We are very honored to have earned this recognition from The Phia Group. Empowering plans is the core value we bring to our customers seeking effective alternatives to the traditional carrier based ASO and fully insured plans – the market is hungry for empowerment,” stated Brooks Goodison in response to the announcement.
Furthermore, The Phia Group recently interviewed Brooks Goodison as part of their “Empowering Plans: Best of the Best – Sitting Down with an MVP amongst MVPs” Podcast. This was part of The Phia Group’s “Partners in Empowerment” series. In the episode, which is now available on YouTube, Brooks discusses the industry at large, the appeal as well as the challenges and what makes Diversified Group different than the typical Third Party Administrator.
Diversified Group is honored to see our cutting-edge focus and commitment to full transparency gaining recognition within the self-funded community.