Breaking News!

The Richards Group congratulates the following clients for earning 2018 Vermont Worksite Wellness Awards. These awards, sponsored by the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and the Vermont Department of Health, honor Vermont employers for innovative practices to improve the lives of Vermont citizens. The awards create a standard of excellence for worksite wellness programs across the state. Award winners have demonstrated an established wellness strategy that provides a health-promoting environment and supports the physical and emotional wellbeing of their employees.

Click here to see the awardees.


Breaking News!

At the GoRedVT event on February 1, 2018, the American Heart Association - VT will recognize our own Deb Loughlin with the Crystal Heart Award for all her contributions to the American Heart Association - Vermont & Go Red For Women! Deb is a past co-chair, current leadership committee members, and is very passionate about the organization and its mission.

Congratulations, Deb! Please join us in congratulating her!

Check out the full newsletter from the Vermont Human Resource Association for more updates and events.


Breaking News!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 27, 2017
 
GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE BOARD MEETINGS IN JANUARY
 
Unless otherwise noted, all Green Mountain Care Board meetings are held on the second floor of the City Center building at 89 Main Street, Montpelier, VT.
 
Wednesday, January 3rd: Board Meeting (1:00 pm)
•    Individual Mandate Discussion
•    CSR Working Group Update
 
Wednesday, January 3rd: Public Hearing (4:00 pm) 
•    Public Comment on Hospital Budget Guidance 2019
 
Wednesday, January 10th: Board Meeting (1:00 pm)
•    TBD
 
Wednesday, January 17th: GMCB Advisory Committee Meeting (10:00 am) 
 
Wednesday January 17th: Board Meeting (1:00 pm)
•    Department of Vermont Health Access: Qualified Health Plan Presentation
•    Administrative Burdens
•    PCAG Update
 
Wednesday, January 24th: Board Meeting (1:00 pm)
•    Department of Vermont Health Access: Qualified Health Plan Presentation
 
Wednesday, January 31st: Board Meeting (1:00 pm)
•    Practice Variation
 
 **PLEASE NOTE: ALL GMCB BOARD MEETINGS WILL NOW TAKE PLACE ON WEDNESDAY UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED**

For a link to this article and more from GMCB, click here to visit our Health Care Reform page.


Breaking News!

GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE BOARD APPROVES ONECARE VERMONT’S ACO BUDGET
 
Montpelier, VT – Today, the Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) voted unanimously to approve OneCare Vermont’s 2018 Accountable Care Organization (ACO) budget. The budget was approved with a series of conditions that the ACO must meet to better ensure that quality improvement and cost containment efforts are successful. The Board also voted unanimously to submit a Medicare rate trend factor of 3.5% for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) approval, resulting in a blended rate increase, inclusive of Medicaid and commercial insurance, of less than 3.0. 
 
These actions follow months of review by the Board, its actuaries, GMCB staff, and input from the Office of the Health Care Advocate and members of the public, and marks the first time the Board has approved an ACO budget as part of the All-Payer ACO Model Agreement. The Agreement, signed with the federal government in late 2016, aims to improve health care quality and to reduce the rate of cost growth in the health care system. By shifting from fee-for-service reimbursement to a value-based model for ACOs that is consistent across Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health care payers, the Model provides flexibility and incentives for improving care. 
 
“The Vermont All-Payer Model is a great step forward in working to control costs, while also working to increase health care quality outcomes for Vermonters,” said Kevin Mullin, Chair of the Green Mountain Care Board. “The current cost of health care is unsustainable for Vermonters, and we believe that our approval of the ACO’s budget today will help control the growth of health care across all payers.”   
 
Information on the All-Payer Model ACO Agreement and the OneCare Vermont budget can be found here and here.

For a link to this article and more from GMCB, click here to visit our Health Care Reform page.


Breaking News!

GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE BOARD PUBLIC HEARING ON 2019 HOSPITAL BUDGETS

Montpelier, VT – The Green Mountain Care Board (GMCB) will hold a public meeting on January 3, 2018 from 4:00pm – 6:00pm to solicit input from the public on the hospital budget review process. Act 48 provides the Board with regulatory authority over Vermont’s hospitals through the annual review of hospital budgets. Every year the Board reflects on the previous year’s regulatory process and makes changes to ensure that budget growth is sustainable, while working to control costs and make healthcare more affordable for Vermonters.

The meeting will take place on the 2nd floor of the City Center building at 89 Main Street, Montpelier, VT.

For a link to this article and more from GMCB, click here to visit our Health Care Reform page.


Breaking News!

UBA has published the 2018 Annual Benefit Plan Card. This is a quick reference chart that you can use to show the 2018 cost of living adjustments for health and Section 125 plans, qualified plans, Social Security/Medicare withholding, compensation amounts, and more. Click the link below to download.

2018 Annual Benefit Plan Amounts

Please visit our Health Care Reform page for a link to this notice and other updates.


Breaking News!

No ACA Repeal and Replace under 2017 Reconciliation Process – What’s Next?

On September 26, Senate Republican leadership determined the Graham-Cassidy bill, which would repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), did not have enough support to bring up for a vote by the Senate. This bill was the Senate’s final attempt to repeal and replace the ACA under the fiscal year 2017 reconciliation rules, which expire on September 30.

Click here for link to full article.




New for 2017, TRG's Proprietary Employee Benefits Health Insurance Stop Loss Captive

For Employers with 30-500 employees.

Why: The traditional health insurance marketplace is broken, and now is the time to act.

  • Deteriorating traditional risk pools 
  • ACA taxes/fees and community rating
  • Poor population health management
  • High frictional cost of risk management
  • Stop loss volatility is difficult for small employers

What to expect? 

  • Pricing transparency and custom and customized reporting – no surprises at renewal.
  • Multi-Year Strategy – proactive vs reactive
  • Flexibility:  Plan design, TPAs, wellness vendors, etc.
  • Spread of risk over like-minded employers reduces volatility and stabilizes costs.
  • Receive underwriting profits, use to lower future fixed costs.

Contact:  Tom Scull TScull@TheRichardsgrp.com


Better Benefits. Better People.
Better for Your Business.

A key component to every successful business is its ability to find and retain great employees—after all, they’re the ones that help keep your business moving every day. One of the best ways for you to do this is to offer your employees a competitive benefits package as a form of compensation.

With a staff of 20 in our Employee Benefits Division, we are spread throughout Vermont in Chittenden, Bennington, Orange, Windsor, Windham and Rutland Counties and in Keene, NH. At The Richards Group, we understand how important it is to strike the right balance between what you provide for your employees and how much it affects your company’s bottom line. That’s why we’ll work with you as a partner and extension of your team to develop a comprehensive and affordable employee benefits program that will give you a strong, competitive edge. As the region's leading resource to help you understand the effects of healthcare reform and its' implications, we're here to help.  Our strategy is uniquely focused to help make your organization a Best Place to Work.  The Richards Group and many of our clients hold this endorsement.  Using a steering wheel approach, we pilot our clients 360 degrees navigating risk management, compliance, work site wellness, human resources, payroll and leadership development.




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