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MMChr Small Business Blog

The Importance of Benefits Education


Health insurance is an important benefit that adds great value to any compensation package. Although employees are more likely to focus on more “exciting” benefits, like vacation time or amusement park discounts, health insurance is an actual necessity. Unfortunately, it is generally only thought about when someone is sick, has an accident, or becomes pregnant. Many employees don’t realize that there are rules to when you can start or end insurance, add dependents, or even utilize the services. Frequently, there is confusion about what is covered and how to calculate costs (both premiums and out-of-pocket).

New California Health Insurance Carriers Unveiled

On May 23rd, Covered California announced the release the name of the 3 health insurance plans that will offer individual coverage in 2014 through the Exchange. The plans reflect a mix of large non-profit and commercial plans.

The actual change in an individual’s premium will depend on the person’s current insurance coverage. All plans offer guaranteed issue (you cannot be denied for pre-existing condition), maximum out-of-pocket cost limits of $6,350 and benefits include doctor visits, prescriptions, hospital stays, plus other essential benefits.

MMChr FSA information

Healthcare and FSA Accounts

Overlooked Savings: Healthcare and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Flexible Spending Accounts are a money saving benefit that can be easily misunderstood by employees as “just another deduction” from their paycheck. However, the tax savings from using a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) reduces their costs on medical, dental, vision, and child or elder care expenses by allowing them to pay for these products and services using pre-tax dollars. According to Ceridian Benefits Services, participants typically save an average of 30% on their healthcare and dependent care costs.

MMChr Healthcare expense

Why Is Healthcare So Expensive?

Medical Cost Trend: Why Is Healthcare So Expensive?

The most common question asked by MMC Clients at renewal time is “why does the cost of healthcare constantly increase?” There is no simple answer to this question. The statistics gathered through PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute state certain factors such as general inflation, over-consumption of prescription drugs, failure to live a healthy lifestyle (thereby causing higher utilization of emergency services and increased likelihood of preventable diseases) and improved (and more expensive) technologies (among many other factors) all contribute to the increase in costs. In this article we hope to address this concern and show how premium dollars are spent.

4 Tips for Easier Healthcare Shopping

There’s been a lot of speculation recently about the impending healthcare reform bill. Early discussions in the legislature mention a potential government-run health insurance plan, more rights for consumers when dealing with insurers, and a “pay or play” provision requiring employers to provide coverage for their workers or subsidize a system that will. Despite all the noise, it’s crucial to remember that nothing has been solidified as of yet – even the exact number of uninsured is open to debate.

California Law Regarding Domestic Partners

You may or may not know that California law requires carriers to provide insurance coverage for employees with domestic partners, if they choose to enroll their dependents. The coverage offered is under the same terms and conditions as a spouse. Although each carrier may have slightly different verbiage defining what constitutes a domestic partnership, the state recognizes this definition:

  • Same sex partners registered as domestic partners with the state.
  • Opposite sex partners, at least one partner must be over the age of 62 and eligible for Social Security.

MMChr Healthcare contribution

Maximize Healthcare Contribution

With healthcare reform at the forefront of the daily news, benefits are a hot topic. MMChr realizes that healthcare benefits can be a hefty expense for your company’s budget. However, employee benefits can go a long way towards boosting employee morale and retaining top talent. With the economy still recovering, in recent months MMChr has seen employers try to cut their bottom line by reducing their contribution. Below, we offer helpful tips on how you can save money and still provide substantial benefits to your employees:


Cost Savings Methods Within Employee Benefits

If you’ve been pondering whether you should cut healthcare benefits, consider a word to the wise: healthcare shouldn’t be categorized as an “excess” expense. Healthcare benefits provide employees with a sense of security, boosts morale, and encourages loyalty. Perhaps most importantly, a generous healthcare package promotes a healthy, happy, and productive workforce.

Healthcare insurance can be expensive and certain cost saving measures can improve the bottom line. Therefore this article will provide you with guidance on how to evaluate your current plan needs against competing interests to save expense.