Bringing Forward Thinking and Transparency to Employee Benefits

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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.

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It’s PCORI Filing Time Again!

IRS ACA Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fees Due July 31st.

For 2018, the annual fee to fund the federal Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), paid by employers that sponsor self-insured health plans and by commercial group health insurance providers, will go up by about 10 cents per employee or dependent enrolled in the health plan. The fees are due by July 31. The chart below shows the fees to be paid in 2018, which rose slightly from the fees owed in 2017.

The chart below shows the fees to be paid in 2018, which rose slightly from the fees owed in 2017:

Jan. 1, 2017, through Sept. 30, 2017 $2.26 (up from $2.17) per Covered Life (including spouse & children)
Oct. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017 (including calendar year plans) $2.39 (up from $2.26) per Covered Life (including spouse & children)

For self-funded plans, the self-insured employer is responsible for submitting the fee and accompanying paperwork to the IRS. PCORI fees are reported on IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. On page two of Form 720, under Part II, the employer needs to designate the average number of covered lives under its applicable self-insured plan. Although the fee is paid annually, employers should indicate on the Payment Voucher (720-V)—located at the end of Form 720—that the tax period for the fee is the second quarter of the year. Failure to properly designate ‘2nd Quarter’ on the voucher will result in the IRS’s software generating a tardy filing notice.

The PCORI fee will not be assessed for plan years ending after Sept. 30, 2019, which means that for a calendar-year plan, the last year for assessment is the 2018 calendar year.

ATTENTION DIVERSIFIED GROUP CLIENTS:

Clients who have elected to have Diversified Group assist with PCORI fee calculation can expect an email by June 25th that will include a copy of the completed Form 720 along with the PCORI calculation worksheet with supporting documentation. Clients will need to file Form 720 with payment by July 31, 2018.

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The Phia Group Recognizes Diversified Group with 2018 Empowered Plan Award

MyHealthGuide Source: The Phia Group, 6/8/2018, http://www.PhiaGroup.com

phia-mvp-awardbadgeFoxboro, MA — The Phia Group, LLC, at its annual MVP (Most Valuable Partners) event, was pleased to recognize this year’s winner of The Phia Group “Trophy of Empowerment.” It is with appreciation that they now publically announce the name of their 2018 Empowered Plan Award winner, Diversified Group.

After analyzing all of their MVPs based on a number of parameters including, but not limited to, collaboration with The Phia Group, a willingness to innovate, as well as application of a forward thinking methodology – reflected through efforts taken to secure the future of our industry – Diversified Group of Marlborough, CT – was a clear winner.

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Phia Group’s 2018 Empowered Plan Award Winner, Diversified Group

The Phia Group’s CEO Adam V. Russo, Esq. remarked, “More than a decade and a half ago, Diversified Group took a chance on us… and since then both of our organizations have grown and thrived, in large part thanks to the friendship and partnership we have in force. We’re grateful for that relationship, as well as the work Diversified Group does on behalf of our entire industry.”

“We are so 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! Over the last 15 years, their team of experts have provided prompt and efficient resources; they are dedicated to understanding and adapting, and having them as a reliable partner is a huge asset,” Diversified Group’s President & Principal Partner, Brooks Goodison said. “When we receive recognition from a trusted partner like Phia, completely in line with the promise we make to our clients, it is like receiving a standing ovation!”

About Diversified Group
Like The Phia Group, Diversified Group is comprised of numerous organizations, all working toward a common goal. Comprised of Diversified Group Brokerage, Diversified Administration Corporation, Corporate Managed Health Services, and Corporate Fitness & Health – Diversified Group focuses on customer service and a customized approach to improving health; maximizing benefits and minimizing costs. Through their family of companies, they provide a wide variety of services, ensuring their vast portfolio of offerings addresses all the needs of the entities they aid. This emphasis on variety as well as their customer first mentality – along with a daring focus on innovation and selfless advocacy for the entire industry – are what makes Diversified Group this year’s winner. For more information about Diversified Group, please visit www.dgb-online.com.

About The Phia Group
The Phia Group, LLC, headquartered in Braintree, Massachusetts, is an experienced provider of health care cost containment techniques offering comprehensive claims recovery, plan document and consulting services designed to control health care costs and protect plan assets. By providing industry leading consultation, plan drafting, subrogation and other cost containment solutions, The Phia Group is truly Empowering Plans. Contact Garrick Hunt, Sales Executive, at 781-535-5644, Info@PhiaGroup.com and visit www.PhiaGroup.com.

Participate in the Camphill Village 5K Coming up on May 12th

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Diversified is proud to be a sponsor of the Camphill Village 5K Trail & Fun Run again in its 3rd season and we’d love to have YOU be a participant! The event takes place on Saturday, May 12th and there are three running options…

  • Run virtually from home! No matter where you participate, take to Facebook and Instagram to share photos and your reason for participating leading up to and during the run. Be sure to use the hashtag #Camphill5K, and they’ll feature your posts on their website and share them on social media. If you send your address, they will also send you a gift from their event to show their thanks.
  • Sponsor a runner or sign up to personally run the 5K Trail Run through the Camphill Village scenic woods and pathways.
  • Sponsor a participant or sign up to leisurely walk, jog or stroll around Ring Road at the Village in the Fun Run. (Kids 12 & under run the Fun Run for free!)

See – it’s easy for just about anyone to participate and support this wonderful cause. Through sponsorships, donations and registrations, this 5K and Fun Run will help to provide the programs and services that make Camphill Village the very special place it is for adults with special needs.

At Diversified Group, we’re helping to raise awareness of this event and this cause and hoping to make virtual participation even larger! The Camphill Village 5K has attracted virtual runners from all over the country and raised more than $40,000 to benefit the lives of people who call Camphill Village their home.

To run virtually, all you have to do is click below to visit the website, go to Runner Sign Up and be sure to select “Outside of the Village” when registering.

About Camphill Village

Camphill Village in upstate New York is 615 acres of wooded hills, gardens and pastures. Adults with special needs and long- and short-term service volunteers live and work together as equals in extended family homes throughout the area. We are a non-profit organization dedicated to our mission of being an integrated community where people with developmental differences are living a life of dignity, equality and purpose. Through sponsorships, donations and registrations, this 5K and Fun Run will help to provide the programs and services that make Camphill Village the very special place it is for adults with special needs.

2018 Massachusetts EMAC Payment Update

In August of 2017, Massachusetts passed H.3822 “An Act Further Regulating Employer Contributions to Health Care”. The purpose of the act is to reinforce the finances of the Commonwealth’s Medicaid and Children’ s Health Insurance (CHIP) programs (MassHealth). Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many states have seen health coverage shift from private employers to the state’s Medicaid program. Primarily due to expanded Medicaid eligibility, many more employed individuals are taking subsidized care through the exchanges and Medicaid versus their employer’s plan. Currently Massachusetts covers 1 in every 4 residents on MassHealth.

To help ease some of this fiscal burden, effective January 1, 2018, the Commonwealth has instituted a temporary, two year, two tiered assessment on employers expected to collect $400 million over 2018 and 2019.

Employer Assessments:

    • Tier One – An increase in the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC)* rate currently paid by employers, resulting in a maximum per employee annual contribution of $77 in 2018 and 2019 instead of the current $51;
    • Tier Two – A separate, targeted EMAC payment requiring employers to pay an additional 5% of wages on the first $15,000 in annual earnings ($750 maximum per employee) for each non-disabled employee who is enrolled in a state-subsidized health plan, MassHealth or ConnectorCare – regardless of whether the employer offers a group health plan or whether the employee is a full or part-time employee.

*EMAC is a MA payroll tax paid by employers. Its purpose is to help finance the cost of subsidized care for low income MA residents. The EMAC was effective 1/1/14 to replace the MA Fair Share Contribution when it was repealed in lieu of the ACA. EMAC applies to employers with 6 or more employees in a quarter. Contributions to EMAC are paid on the first $15,000 of each employee’s wages.

The program will be administered by the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The DUA will match quarterly wage reports with MassHealth and ConnectorCare records to determine which employers owe the assessment and how much. The amount owed will appear on the employer’s DUA statement in the section showing the employer’s Unemployment Insurance liability. Payment is due on or before the last day of the month succeeding the quarter in which wages were paid and reported. Employers can check to see if the state’s calculations match their own records online after the EMAC Supplement is calculated.

For more information/FAQs from the DUA, click here.

HIRD Form is Back
Employers will be required to annually submit a new version of the HIRD (health insurance responsibility disclosure) form, also beginning in 2018 to verify information that is currently self-reported by individuals who apply for public health insurance programs. The new Massachusetts healthcare coverage form is an annual report on the employer’s offer of health insurance to its employees, including information on eligibility, cost, benefit design and employee contributions. The final version of the form and regulations governing its completion will be available in early March for employers to use in their 2018 healthcare reporting. More guidance on the form and when/how to file will be forthcoming. Employers who knowingly falsify the form or fail to file it face a penalty of $1,000-$5,000, according to state law.

IRS Reverses HSA Family Contribution Limits – Again!

In March, due to the new inflation-adjustment calculations required under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill Act, the IRS announced in revenue ruling 2018-27 that the previously released (in May 2017) $6,900 family contribution limit would be reduced to $6,850. Since excess contributions are subject to a 6% excise tax, many employers and individuals who front-loaded their HSA contributions in January were now looking at a penalty for overfunding their HSA for 2018, as well as income tax due on the excess. The IRS received enough complaints from stakeholders asserting that implementing the $50 reduction to the limitation would impose numerous unanticipated administrative and financial burdens that they have actually reversed their decision and will go back to the $6,900 family contribution limit for 2018. The revised inflation-adjustment calculation established under the Tax bill has been put on hold until 2019.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is April 28th

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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday, April 28th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is a great opportunity for those who missed the previous events, or who have subsequently accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, especially medications including opioids such as codeine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine or fentanyl, to safely dispose of those medications.

Since the first Take-Back day in 2010, over 9 million pounds of unwanted or expired medications have been surrendered for safe and proper disposal at over 9,000 sites. Click here to find a collection site near you.