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Important update for groups using Anthem’s 2017 National Drug List

The goal of the Anthem National Drug List is to provide access to drugs and therapies with clinical evidence to improve the health of our members, while keeping health care affordable. Our drug lists include brand-name and generic prescription medications that have been reviewed through our Pharmacy and Therapeutics (P&T) process. Through the P&T process, which includes an independent group of doctors, pharmacists and other health care professionals, we review new and existing drugs and choose medications based on safety, effectiveness and value. Reviews are conducted on a quarterly basis. Additions are made quarterly while deletions may be made twice yearly, in...

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Certain Small Employer HRAs Exempt From ACA Market Reforms

A new law allows certain small employers--those with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees who do not offer a group health plan--to offer new "qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements" to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses, including individual health insurance premiums, for years after December 31, 2016. The law also includes a notice requirement for these new HRAs. Qualified Small Employer HRAs Qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) are exempt from the ACA's market reforms. To be considered a qualified small employer HRA, the arrangement generally must: •    Be funded solely by an eligible small employer without salary reduction contributions; •    Provide,...

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Handling Employee Attendance During Bad Weather (Employees May Be Entitled to Pay)

Snow and slippery conditions during the winter months may make it difficult for your employees to travel to work. Consider the following guidelines that can help your company be prepared when bad weather strikes. When an employee misses work due to bad weather conditions, whether the employee is entitled to be paid for the absence may depend on the employee's exempt or non-exempt status. Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are not required to pay non-exempt employees for hours they did not work, including when the office is closed due to bad weather. Exempt employees generally must be paid...

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4 Principles of Competitive Intelligence

We live and work in the information age. As such, the opportunity to gather knowledge about your company’s competitors and industry as a whole has never been better. This practice — commonly known as “competitive intelligence” — can help you stay more nimble in the marketplace and avoid getting left behind as innovation surges forward. Before you dive into competitive intelligence, however, it’s important to establish a formal policy governing your efforts. (If you’ve already gotten started, perhaps slow down and integrate a policy going forward.) Generally, a competitive intelligence policy should follow four primary principles: 1. Be authentic. When gathering information,...

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IRS: Opt-Out Arrangement Rules To Be Finalized ‘At A Later Time’

In July 2016, the IRS released a proposed rule addressing how opt-out arrangements -- arrangements whereby an employer offers its employees a cash payment in exchange for declining coverage under an employer-sponsored plan-- are to be taken into account for purposes of determining whether the coverage is affordable under certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. While the IRS anticipated finalizing this rule prior to the end of 2016, the IRS has announced that it expects to finalize such guidance "at a later time." Latest Opt-Out Arrangement Guidance Until final regulations are applicable, employers can rely on the opt-out arrangement guidance provided...

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Considering a spinoff? Think it through.

In popular culture, the word “spinoff” usually refers to a television show whose main characters originated from an already established show. But the word applies to the business world, too. Here it describes a division or subsidiary of a company being sold off to a buyer as a separate entity. The process is hardly simple. As a seller, you need to not only get a good price for your division or subsidiary, but also minimize any negative impact on your remaining holdings. Driving factors Many factors can drive a company to spin off a division. Common reasons include: Seizing an opportunity in the M&A...

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5 HR Compliance Resolutions for 2017

The new year is a great time to take stock of your company's compliance with important federal, state, and local labor law requirements. Keep these resolutions in mind to help start your company off right in 2017: 1. Give your poster wall a thorough check-up. Make sure all of your workplace posters are up-to-date and the correct size. Check with your state labor department for any industry-specific poster requirements that may apply to your business. Note that certain localities may also have posting requirements. 2. Stay on top of notice requirements. From summary plan descriptions (SPDs), to COBRA- and FMLA-related notices, employers...

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Build consensus before you buy business software

Business owners get to make executive decisions. It’s one of the perks of the job. But acting unilaterally when buying business software can be a risky move. Because new technology affects the entire team, the entire team (or at least key members) should have input on the choice. And while it may be impossible to please everyone, it’s possible to come close. Management feedback Certain kinds of new business software (or upgrades) may appear no-brainers. But you’d be surprised. Managers may see a lot of bells and whistles in a just-released product, but few useful features. You also have to consider the...

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