The GCD Insurance team knew that it was time to give the company’s website a refresh. The team’s goals included eye-catching banner footage on the home page and sub pages and a much needed single, long-page design for better mobile viewing. The results are in and the client is happy. Success!
Click here to visit the GCD Insurance site: www.gcdinsurance.com/
We want to show off Lamb Little & Co’s new website that we helped create! Based in Schaumburg, Illinois, they provide Commercial Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Personal Insurance for Clients Nationwide.
The site is easy to navigate, clean and concise, and has everything potential or current clients need to know.
Lately, there’s been a big focus on America’s opioid addiction in the news. Whether it’s news on the abuse of the drug or it’s information sharing on how the drug works, Americans are talking about this subject regularly. We want to help educate you on this hot topic.
Opioids are made from the opium poppy plant. Opium has been around since 3,400 BC and it was first referenced as being cultivated in Southwest Asia. The drug traveled the Silk Road from the Mediterranean to Asia to China. Since then, the drug has gained popularity for pain relief but it also has gained notoriety as an abused drug. Morphine, Codeine, and Heroin are all derived from the opium poppy and are all highly addictive drugs that are abused all around the world. As the demand for these drugs has increased, so has the production. From 2016 to 2017, the area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan increased by 63 percent. In 2016, it killed some 64,000 Americans, more than double the number in 2005.
We can see that the danger from this drug is growing rapidly. What can we do to recognize potential abuse problems and to get help? Here are some facts about opioid addiction:
How do they work? Opioids attach to pain receptors in your brain spinal cord, and other areas that recognize pain signals. As they attach to the receptors, it reduces the sending of pain messages to the brain and therefore reduces the feelings of pain in your body.
Short-acting opiates are typically prescribed for injuries and only for a few days. They take 15-30 minutes for pain relief to begin and this relief lasts for 3-4 hours. Long-acting opiates are prescribed for moderate to severe pain and are used over a long period of time. Relief typically lasts for 8-12 hours and can be used alongside a short-acting drug for breakthrough pain.
Dependence is common with long-term use of an opiate. This means that the patient needs to take more of and higher doses of the medicine to get the same pain relieving effect. This does not necessarily mean the patient is addicted. Addiction is the abuse of the drug by taking it in an unprescribed way—like crushing tablets or using intravenously.
Help is available through many channels from private recovery centers to insurance providers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline is 1-800-662-HELP. This line is confidential, free, and available 24-hours a day and 7 days a week. Family and friends may also call this number for resources for help. Additional resources can be found at drugabuse.com.
Make sure you are educated about the dangers of opioid abuse. But, don’t be discouraged and think that the abuse is incurable! There are many resources that can be used to break the addiction cycle and can make real change in the lives of its victims. Ask for help and offer help.
Friday, April 27, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the 2018 annual contribution limit to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for persons with family coverage under a qualifying High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is restored to $6,900. The single-coverage limit of $3,450 is not affected.
This is the final word on what has been an unusual back-and-forth saga. The 2018 family limit of $6,900 had been announced in May 2017. Following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, however, the IRS was required to modify the methodology used in determining annual inflation-adjusted benefit limits. On March 5, 2018, the IRS announced the 2018 family limit was reduced by $50, retroactively, from $6,900 to $6,850. Since the 2018 tax year was already in progress, this small change was going to require HSA trustees and recordkeepers to implement not-so-small fixes to their systems. The IRS has listened to appeals from the industry, and now is providing relief by reinstating the original 2018 family limit of $6,900.
Employers that offer HSAs to their workers will receive information from their HSA administrator or trustee regarding any updates needed in their payroll files, systems, and employee communications. Note that some administrators had held off making changes after the IRS announcement in March, with the hopes that the IRS would change its position and restore the original limit. So employers will need to consider their specific case with their administrator to determine what steps are needed now.
An HSA is a tax-exempt savings account employees can use to pay for qualified health expenses. To be eligible to contribute to an HSA, an employee:
Must be covered by a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP);
Must not have any disqualifying health coverage (called “impermissible non-HDHP coverage”);
Must not be enrolled in Medicare; and
May not be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return.
HSA 2018 Limits
Limits apply to HSAs based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under the qualifying HDHP.
2018 HSA contribution limit:
Catch-up contributions for those age 55 and older remains at $1,000
2018 HDHP minimum deductible (not applicable to preventive services):
2018 HDHP maximum out-of-pocket limit:
*If the HDHP is a nongrandfathered plan, a per-person limit of $7,350 also will apply due to the ACA’s cost-sharing provision for essential health benefits.
We are excited to show off our new website creation for 360 Corporate Benefit Advisors! They are a United Benefit Advisor partner firm who has been challenging the status quo and delivering solutions to employers.
At eTekhnos, we post for clients weekly to ensure traffic on their Social Media sites. Here is an example of our latest custom piece we have posted for our clients about Oral Health and how it impacts our overall health.
Have you heard the saying “the eyes are the window to your soul”? Well, did you know that your mouth is the window into what is going on with the rest of your body? Poor dental health contributes to major systemic health problems. Conversely, good dental hygiene can help improve your overall health. As a bonus, maintaining good oral health can even REDUCE your healthcare costs!
Researchers have shown us that there is a close-knit relationship between oral health and overall wellness. With over 500 types of bacteria in your mouth, it’s no surprise that when even one of those types of bacteria enter your bloodstream that a problem can arise in your body. Oral bacteria can contribute to:
Endocarditis—This infection of the inner lining of the heart can be caused by bacteria that started in your mouth.
Cardiovascular Disease—Heart disease as well as clogged arteries and even stroke can be traced back to oral bacteria.
Low birth weight—Poor oral health has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight of newborns.
The healthcare costs for the diseases and conditions, like the ones listed above, can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Untreated oral diseases can result in the need for costly emergency room visits, hospital stays, and medications, not to mention loss of work time. The pain and discomfort from infected teeth and gums can lead to poor productivity in the workplace, and even loss of income. Children with poor oral health miss school, are more prone to illness, and may require a parent to stay home from work to care for them and take them to costly dental appointments.
So, how do you prevent this nightmare of pain, disease, and increased healthcare costs? It’s simple! By following through with your routine yearly dental check ups and daily preventative care you will give your body a big boost in its general health. Check out these tips for a healthy mouth:
Maintain a regular brushing/flossing routine—Brush and floss teeth twice daily to remove food and plaque from your teeth, and in between your teeth where bacteria thrive.
Use the right toothbrush—When your bristles are mashed and bent, you aren’t using the best instrument for cleaning your teeth. Make sure to buy a new toothbrush every three months. If you have braces, get a toothbrush that can easily clean around the brackets on your teeth.
Visit your dentist—Depending on your healthcare plan, visit your dentist for a check-up at least once a year. He/she will be able to look into that window to your body and keep your mouth clear of bacteria. Your dentist will also be able to alert you to problems they see as a possible warning sign to other health issues, like diabetes, that have a major impact on your overall health and healthcare costs.
Eat a healthy diet—Staying away from sugary foods and drinks will prevent cavities and tooth decay from the acids produced when bacteria in your mouth comes in contact with sugar. Starches have a similar effect. Eating healthy will reduce your out of pocket costs of fillings, having decayed teeth pulled, and will keep you from the increased health costs of diabetes, obesity-related diseases, and other chronic conditions.
There’s truth in the saying “take care of your teeth and they will take care of you”. By instilling some of the these tips for a healthier mouth, not only will your gums and teeth be thanking you, but you may just be adding years to your life.
It was recently unveiled the latest findings from our 2017 Health Plan Survey. With data on 20,099 health plans sponsored by 11,221 employers, the UBA survey is nearly three times larger than the next two of the nation’s largest health plan benchmarking surveys combined. The eTekhnos team put together a video to let our clients know about this years changes.
UBA Partners can contact us to have the video branded to their firm to share with clients and prospects at any time.