Fall 2022 Insight Employer Newsletter

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You can once again count on low rates, less hassle, a local team, and the RedShirt® Treatment in 2023

As a leading employer in Western New York, Independent Health understands the recent trends that are shaping the workplace. Changing employee expectations and needs, work from home, hybrid working models and the economy all are impacting employers’ ability to recruit and retain high-value workers vital to a healthy business. Some of these trends also impact the health care system, challenging our ability to effectively help manage the health of our members.

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Top 5 reasons employers should consider offering a Health Savings Account (HSA) to their employees

More than ever before, employers are putting their employees in greater control of their own health care decisions by offering high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, enrollment in HDHPs has increased over the past decade, from 17% of covered workers in 2011 to 28% in 2021.

The monthly premiums for HDHPs are typically less expensive than standard plans because employees take on more of the upfront cost of their medical care. Pairing an HDHP with a Health Savings Account (HSA) provides even more potential for savings.

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All of Independent Health’s Medicare Advantage Plans earn a 5 Star Rating from CMS for second straight year

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has again recognized Independent Health as a 5-Star Rated Medicare Advantage Plan for 2023*. This marks the second year in a row the Williamsville-based company has earned the highest score a plan can receive from CMS. In fact, Independent Health is the only health plan in the nation to be awarded 5 Stars for all of its 2023 Medicare HMO, Medicare PPO and Medicare Prescription Drug plans**. 

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We’re working with employers to create a work culture that supports the overall well-being of their employees

As a worksite wellness leader in Western New York, Independent Health is always keeping a close eye on industry trends to find ways to broaden our efforts and make it easier for employers to keep their employees engaged and healthy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers have had to re-evaluate and enhance their workplace wellness strategies over the past two and a half years. When it comes to employee health and wellbeing, one-size-fits-all is no longer a viable approach.

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Thousands of WNYers have embraced our Brook+ program

Independent Health is pleased to offer the Brook+ Diabetes Prevention Program. It’s available to eligible members at no additional cost. More than 10,000 members have enrolled in Brook+ since it was launched last year. To learn how this program has helped a Silver Creek resident lose 80 pounds and improve her overall health, visit our A Healthy Vision” Blog.

Worksite wellness program tax reminder

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), rewards or incentives provided to participants of a worksite wellness program may be considered taxable. This includes any cash or cash equivalents (e.g., wellness cards, gift cards and nutrition benefits) that participants received. Independent health is prepared to provide an accounting of cash and cash equivalent awards received by your employees during the 2022 calendar year so that you may consider them in satisfying any related obligations under the applicable tax rules. If you would like us to provide a report specific to your company and employees who earned an incentive from one of our wellness programs, please contact your account manager. As always, when it comes to federal rules and regulations, we encourage you to speak with your legal consultant, accountant and/or tax advisor for professional advice.