Shield Referral Program
Your referral can make a difference for Roslyn. Shield Insurance is helping Roslyn by donating $25 for each non-client who gets a quote from us! No purchase necessary! CLICK HERE to get a quote and we’ll donate $25 to her! (Be sure to mention Roslyn in the comment section!) You can also call or text the office and one of our agents will take a few minutes of your time to offer up a quote. Don’t forget to mention Ros!
More great stories featuring Roslyn…
New *Health Insurance Subsidies* Available Now at HealthCare.gov; Department of Insurance and Financial Services Ready to Answer Questions About New Opportunities to Save on Health Insurance
Call or Text (616) 896-4600 to sign up for health insurance TODAY!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2021
(LANSING, MICH) New Health Insurance Marketplace subsidies that will help more Michiganders afford health insurance are available now on HealthCare.gov. The increased subsidies are part of the American Rescue Plan, which was signed into law in March.
“With these increased subsidies, working families’ monthly savings could be substantial, but the sooner you start the process the more you could save overall,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “A family of four making $120,000 per year could save approximately $259 per month, while a 60-year-old married couple could save as much as $943 per month for the rest of 2021. Getting started today ensures that you and your family have the health coverage you need while saving the most money possible on your coverage.”
The Health Insurance Marketplace and application process, available at HealthCare.gov, has been updated to reflect both the extended special enrollment period and the newly expanded tax credits from the American Rescue Plan. Michiganders who need Marketplace health coverage should start a Marketplace application by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Coverage will start on the first of the month after a plan is selected, so coverage will start May 1 for plans selected in April.
Consumers who already have a Marketplace plan should return to the Marketplace and update their 2021 application to see if they qualify for expanded tax credits and take immediate advantage of the higher subsidies. Individuals who choose not to revisit their application will not be able to lower their monthly health coverage premiums this year and will have to wait until they file their 2021 tax returns in 2022 to get the expanded tax credits for which they qualify. Consumers should know that selecting a new plan under this extended special enrollment period may trigger a reset of their annual deductible for 2021.
“Overall, an estimated 67,000 uninsured Michiganders now qualify for lower-cost coverage, and approximately 16,000 should be eligible for no-cost coverage through these increased subsidies,” said the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox. “If you’re unsure how to start taking advantage of these new opportunities, Shield Insurance Agency and DIFS is here to help through our live call center, by email, or with our online resources.”
DIFS can help consumers with health insurance questions and complaints and can provide information about the Health Insurance Marketplace Special Enrollment Period that is now open through August 15. For more information, including a schedule of upcoming virtual health insurance town halls from DIFS and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, consumers should visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance, contact DIFS via email, or call 877-999-6442 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
3 reasons why injured worker advocacy matters
INJURED WORKERS COMP TRENDS • 3 MIN READ
Experiencing a workplace injury is understandably stressful for any employee and trauma can be exacerbated when employers focus on medical costs and missing staff hours instead of the employee’s well-being. With today’s advocacy-based worker’s compensation model, however, employers are seeking to fix this inherent conflict, with many now intent on changing the relationship – from adversary to advocate.
“The way you treat an injured worker can have a material impact on the life of the claim,” says Wesley Hyatt, Senior Vice President, Workers Compensation Claims, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and Helmsman Management Services LLC. “Injured worker advocacy is a mindset that starts with the goal that ‘we’re here to help this injured person’ versus just moving claims along by checking boxes.”
Here are three reasons why injured worker advocacy is driving a paradigm shift in how forward-looking employers manage the claims process.
1. Open communication builds trust and confidence in the process
Creating consistent, clear, and open communication in a way that puts an injured worker’s needs first is a key part of the advocacy approach. Every outreach should reassure injured workers that their claims and clinical teams are working in their best interests. After all, along with recovering from the injury, an employee must also work through the complex worker’s compensation (WC) claims process – often for the very first time.
To achieve the goal of open communication, employers are changing the language used throughout the process to eliminate jargon and replace negative wording with positive terms. For example, “covered” is now substituted for “compensable,” and “claims examiner” is replaced by “claims representative.”
Another example of improving the employee experience is Liberty Mutual’s SmartVideo, a personalized, two-minute video that’s automatically sent via email to an injured worker whose claim meets certain WC criteria. Accessible via computer, tablet, or mobile device, the video outlines important claims information and available tools.
“The idea is to expand on the human connection between adjuster and worker, alleviating an employee’s stress and fears of the unknown,” Hyatt says. “It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it and deliver it.”
The takeaway: the tone used and ease of information provided from the very first contact with an injured worker sets the course for the entire claim.
“The way you treat an injured worker can have a material impact on the life of the claim.” – Wesley Hyatt, Senior Vice President, Workers Compensation Claims
2. Responsive follow-up leads to faster return-to-work
With data showing that as many as 18% of injured workers never reach the ability to return to work in the same capacity, connecting frequently with progress check-ins and additional resources can inform a proactive – and realistic – post-recovery evaluation.
Anticipating a worker’s needs in a holistic way demonstrates that their well-being is a priority, says Debbie Michel, Executive Vice President, National Insurance Risk Management, Liberty Mutual Insurance. “Think about the whole person, not just the specific injury,” she says.
“Anticipating a worker’s needs in a holistic way demonstrates that their well-being is a priority.” – Debbie Michel, Executive Vice President, National Insurance Risk Management
Nurse case managers can use motivational interviewing and therapeutic listening to help identify other factors that may affect an employee’s return to work – and coordinate additional services if needed.
Another way to reinforce employer support is by empowering the employee with a range of choices, Michel says. Options can include a gradual part-time to full-time transition, providing temporary limited duty or alternate work tasks, and temporarily working remotely.
The takeaway: returning to work full time after an injury doesn’t always have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Keeping an injured worker engaged and empowered through the recovery process can strengthen the employer-employee relationship and better prepare for a successful return to work plan.
3. Compassionate strategies improve overall claims outcomes
Shield Insurance Agency & Foremost Insurance Company present Insurance Terms
Every industry has its own unique language – and insurance is no exception. Here are some key insurance definitions and terms you might come across as you consider insuring yourself or your stuff.
Stress Awareness Month – April 2021
Stress can be debilitating, and it can cause and/or aggravate health problems. And since stress is a normal part of human existence — nobody is immune to it — it’s important to arm ourselves with knowledge so that we recognize when stress rears its ugly head. (Amazingly, we don’t always notice it’s happening to us.) Stress Awareness Month happens each April. It’s important to learn some strategies for coping with this particular silent scourge. You’ve come to the right place for that. Let’s get started!
STRESS AWARENESS MONTH TIMELINE
HOW TO OBSERVE STRESS AWARENESS MONTH
1. Practice meditation
One of the most effective ways to deal with stress is to learn how to silence the mind. Meditation is one of the most popular methods of achieving this quiet.
Another way to battle the debilitating effects of stress is to exercise. Whether you’re a jogger, bicyclist our just like to take long walks, be sure to get some fresh air and exercise into your daily routine.
3. Visit your doctor
They’re really in the best position to get your started on the path to a stress-free lifestyle. Make an appointment today.
4 STRESSFUL FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Stress can help — sometimes
- According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “stress can motivate people to prepare or perform and might even be life-saving in some situations.”
- It’s sickening — literally
- People under stress – especially those prone to chronic stress — are more susceptible to a variety of ailments, from headaches and insomnia to high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Stressed? Here’s why
- A survey by the American Psychological Association found that the five factors most often cited as a source of stress were money, work, family, economic outlook, and relationships.
- America’s highest and lowest stress states
- A report on WalletHub found that the most stressed-out states in America are Louisiana, New Mexico, and West Virginia. The least? Minnesota, North Dakota, and Utah.
WHY STRESS AWARENESS MONTH IS IMPORTANT
Check out other blog posts from Shield Insurance Agency
World Health Day 2021
Building a fairer, healthier world
On World Health Day, 7 April 2021, we will be inviting you to join a new campaign to build a fairer, healthier world. We’ll be posting more details here shortly, but here’s why we’re doing this:
Our world is an unequal one.
As COVID-19 has highlighted, some people can live healthier lives and have better access to health services than others – entirely due to the conditions in which they are born, grow, live, work and age.
All over the world, some groups struggle to make ends meet with little daily income, have poorer housing conditions and education, fewer employment opportunities, experience greater gender inequality, and have little or no access to safe environments, clean water, and air, food security, and health services. This leads to unnecessary suffering, avoidable illness, and premature death. And it harms our societies and economies.
This is not only unfair: it is preventable.
That’s why we are calling on leaders to ensure that everyone has living and working conditions that are conducive to good health. At the same time, we urge leaders to monitor health inequities and to ensure that all people can access quality health services when and where they need them.
COVID-19 has hit all countries hard, but its impact has been harshest on those communities which were already vulnerable, who are more exposed to the disease, less likely to have access to quality health care services, and more likely to experience adverse consequences as a result of measures implemented to contain the pandemic.
World Health Organization is committed to ensuring that everyone, everywhere, can realize the right to good health.
MARCH 29, 2021
Downtown GR Now Offering Free Spring Walking Tours
Topics include public art, history and notable landmarks
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. partnered with Grand Rapids Running Tours to offer visitors free walking tours around Downtown Grand Rapids throughout this spring season.
These walking tours explore topics ranging from public art, history and iconic Downtown landmarks.
All tours meet at Rosa Parks Circle and no registration is necessary. First come, first serve. Please bring your masks.
See the full schedule below.
Rad Women Walking Tours
March 30, 9:00 – 11:30 AM
This #WomensHistoryMonth, celebrate the #RadAmericanWomen throughout history via public art and FREE walking tours around #DowntownGR! The artwork and tours are based on the New York Times bestselling book “Rad American Women A-Z” by Kate Schatz. With a total of 27 works of public art on electrical boxes featuring portraits of #RadWomen from Angela Davis to Zora Neale Hurston, the tour will give you a background on each public figure and the Rad Local Artist behind each artwork.
Miles of Murals Walking Tours
April 7, 6:00 PM., Miles of Murals Part One Walking Tour
April 14, 10:00 AM, Miles of Murals Part One Walking Tour
April 21, 6:00 PM, Miles of Murals Part Two Walking Tour
April 28, 10:00 AM, Miles of Murals Part Two Walking Tour
Who says art museums must be inside, enclosed with 4 walls, a ceiling, and a floor? Swirling all about us in Grand Rapids are intriguing artworks on sides of buildings, underneath highway overpasses, on retaining walls, street surfaces, and utility boxes. These are murals – street and wall artworks – painted by artists that celebrate beauty, calls to action, or tributes to heroes. The murals transform otherwise unnoticeable – or worse – blighted spaces into a must-see, energizing attraction. Viewing these murals is a study in local history, community activism, and sheer expressions of creativity… art all the time! So many murals, so little time – so the walk is divided into two parts… we pick up where we left off when we meet for Part Two.
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan to help facilitate state child care pilot program
BY MARK SANCHEZ
Thursday, March 18, 2021, 02:33pm
Goodwill Industries of West Michigan is one of three organizations statewide that was selected to pilot an initiative assisting lower-income workers with affording and accessing child care.
Serving Muskegon County, Goodwill Industries of West Michigan joins United Way of Northwest Michigan in Traverse City and Saginaw Intermediate School District as “facilitator hubs” for the MI Tri-Share Child Care Pilot Program, state officials announced Thursday.
Under the program administered by the Michigan Women’s Commission, the state, employers, and their employees will split the cost of child care. The initiative originated from a coalition of interests the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce assembled in 2019 to examine ways to assist lower-wage workers with child care.
The goal is to bring more people into or back to the labor pool to ease a worker shortage that persists across several industries.
“Child care keeps Michigan working,” Grand Rapids Chamber CEO Rick Baker said in a statement issued by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Our members tell us child care is essential to having the talent West Michigan needs to thrive. That’s why we were vocal supporters of Tri-Share and additional investments in child care.”
As MiBiz reported last month, the state-backed the pilot with $1 million allocated in the current fiscal year. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proposed allocating another $2.2 million in the 2022 fiscal year for the MI Tri-Share program.
Under the pilot program, the three organizations will each receive $300,000. The hubs will serve as an intermediary between employers, families, and child care providers, and provide program management.
Hubs will recruit employers to participate in the program that will provide child care assistance to their employees who are otherwise ineligible for a state child care subsidy. Each hub must recruit three employers and help identify and recruit eligible employees who must earn more than 150 percent of the federal poverty level but no more than 250 percent.
Eligible employees at participating companies would have their child care costs split between state funding, their employer, and their own one-third share.
Helping health insurance corporate buyers keep pace with medical inflation
Over the past ten years, healthcare costs have risen steadily each year as treatment and care options have become more sophisticated and advanced. As a result, corporate health insurance buyers are looking for more effective solutions to manage their healthcare spend, which is their biggest cost behind payroll.
For employers who choose to self-fund their health insurance programs, employer stop-loss insurance protects those groups against large or catastrophic claims, as an alternative to traditional group health insurance and benefits plans. The medical stop-loss insurance sector has experienced dramatic growth in recent years as more employers migrate to self-funded health insurance programs, which offer customizable coverage for employees with disciplined cost containment oversight.
Karthik Mohan, vice president of sales & distribution for the medical stop-loss group at Liberty Mutual Insurance, outlines how medical stop-loss insurance can help organizations keep pace with medical inflation.
The value of medical stop-loss insurance for self-funded health insurance programs
Today, approximately 61% of U.S. employers self-fund their health insurance programs, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2019 Employer Health Benefits Report Annual Survey. Frequently, those same employers purchase medical stop-loss insurance, which is a financial management tool that transfers the liability risk arising from large, unexpected claims, like cancer treatments, new therapies for complex conditions, and organ transplants, to an insurance carrier – sparing the employer from unpredictable, catastrophic medical claim costs that can materially impact an organization’s cash flow and bottom line.