Benefit Management Administrators, Inc. http://bmatpa.com Tue, 16 Jan 2018 18:49:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 Physical Fitness Month – January http://bmatpa.com/2018/01/02/physical-fitness-month-january/ http://bmatpa.com/2018/01/02/physical-fitness-month-january/#respond Tue, 02 Jan 2018 17:16:39 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4648 Most New Year fitness resolutions start and end quickly because they’re unrealistic. The most effective way to become physically fit is by making gradual lifestyle changes and healthy habits. Here are some ways to develop better physical fitness for the short and long term!

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Most New Year fitness resolutions start and end quickly because they’re unrealistic. The most effective way to become physically fit is by making gradual lifestyle changes and healthy habits. Here are some ways to develop better physical fitness for the short and long term!

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Volunteer Month – December http://bmatpa.com/2017/12/08/volunteer-month-december/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/12/08/volunteer-month-december/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:36:37 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4622 As our focus this year shifts to giving, consider ways you can give of your time to help others. While volunteering supports others, it will personally benefit you too. Read on to learn about the health advantages of volunteering and about free and low-cost ways that you can help others.  

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As our focus this year shifts to giving, consider ways you can give of your time to help others. While volunteering supports others, it will personally benefit you too. Read on to learn about the health advantages of volunteering and about free and low-cost ways that you can help others.

 

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Tobacco Cessation Month – November http://bmatpa.com/2017/12/08/tobacco-cessation-month-november/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/12/08/tobacco-cessation-month-november/#respond Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:31:37 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4617 Stopping tobacco use reduces risk for heart disease, lung cancer, and offers financial advantages too. Whether you smoke or know someone who does, keep these helpful tips in mind as you consider quitting tobacco.  

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Stopping tobacco use reduces risk for heart disease, lung cancer, and offers financial advantages too. Whether you smoke or know someone who does, keep these helpful tips in mind as you consider quitting tobacco.

 

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Telemedicine’s Role in MEC and Minimum Value Plans http://bmatpa.com/2017/11/22/telemedicines-role-mec-minimum-value-plans/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/11/22/telemedicines-role-mec-minimum-value-plans/#respond Wed, 22 Nov 2017 16:38:25 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4602 The post Telemedicine’s Role in MEC and Minimum Value Plans appeared first on Benefit Management Administrators, Inc..

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Now that employers have had time to evaluate the benefit plan requirements under PPACA, many have come to a decision as to what level of health benefits they will offer employees. Some employers have decided to pay the higher premiums in order to offer the mandated level of coverage, some have sent employees to the insurance exchanges to choose a plan, and others are offering what are Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) and Minimum Value Plans (MVP). These plans have a limited level of coverage yet offer just enough that employers avoid the penalty for not offering health benefits at all.

MEC and MVP plans are growing in popularity, even for large employers, and this acceptance has key implications for the use and growth of telemedicine. Telemedicine or “telehealth” will be key to meeting the growing demand for physician care and alleviating the flood of newly-covered patients to the doctor’s office. However, telemedicine also offers some unique benefits that make it especially beneficial in the use of MEC and MVP plans.

Affordability
When part of a MEC or MVP, telemedicine proves to be an affordable service for both the employer and the employees. Because the employer’s cost for telemedicine is low relative to the cost of physician networks, telemedicine can be a very cost-effective resource to bundle into a benefit plan. It’s also a very affordable option for employees, and the telemedicine copay is often much lower than an average office copay. As a result, telemedicine not only keeps copay costs low for the employee, but also gives the employer a cost-effective way to offer physician access.

Convenience
Telemedicine also adds a convenience factor for employees and ultimately the employer. Many times, it’s difficult for employees to take off work to see a doctor or to find a doctor that’s close to the work site. With telemedicine, employees can have the convenience of consulting with a doctor anywhere and anytime, even from work. Plus, each telemedicine visit is 10-15 minutes, so employees could easily call during their break or lunch period. As a result, telemedicine offers a more convenient way for employees to quickly get the care they need, while cutting down on call-ins and productivity losses for the employer.

Quality Care
Just because an employee is consulting with a telemedicine doctor doesn’t mean they’re receiving sub-standard care. All telemedicine doctors are board-certified and have extensive patient care experience. Plus, telemedicine doctors are able to write prescriptions and lab referrals, just as any “face to face” doctor would. As a result, employees can get the same standard of care as they would from an onsite doctor, except that telemedicine is less expensive and more convenient.

Because of its affordability, convenience, and quality, telemedicine services will prove to be a valuable resource to include in employee benefit plans and especially in MECs and MVPs, which are tailored to a much more cost-conscious employer and employees. As employers evaluate ways to lower healthcare costs, they’ll find that telemedicine not only helps them with the cost factor, but also provides employees with quality access to care, regardless of the level of coverage.

To see firsthand how telemedicine can play a role in employee benefit plans, contact us.

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Reasons to be Thankful for Self-Funding http://bmatpa.com/2017/11/06/reasons-thankful-self-funding/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/11/06/reasons-thankful-self-funding/#respond Mon, 06 Nov 2017 17:22:40 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4562 The post Reasons to be Thankful for Self-Funding appeared first on Benefit Management Administrators, Inc..

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Despite the busyness of this enrollment season, it’s important to take time to be thankful. But who says you can’t do both at once? As we approach Thanksgiving, we wanted to share why employers are thankful for self-funding, and why you should consider it for your next benefit plan offering.

 

Cost Savings

Self-funding lets employers only pay for the healthcare expenses being incurred by employees, which saves them from spending on unused benefits. In addition, for employers using a TPA for level-funded plans, plan savings are kept by the employer, not absorbed at the end of the year by the carrier. And given the price of employee benefits, cost savings are always something to be thankful for.

 

Plan Flexibility

The plan flexibility inherent in self-funding makes employers thankful that they can pay for the benefits that make the most sense for their employees, and not have to pay for benefits they don’t need.

This tailored, benefit package gives employees the benefits that they want, increasing their value of the benefits package. It also boosts the attractiveness of the company to new applicants, enabling employers to recruit higher quality talent.

 

Personalized Customer Service

When an employer works with a TPA to administer their self-funded benefit plan, they’re not treated as just another group number. Thankfully, TPAs like BMA bend over backwards for clients, supporting the employer in promoting member benefit education and utilization. They’ll also walk members by the hand to address healthcare questions and to ensure they get the most out of their benefits.

 

Compliance Support

With the growing complexity of the ACA and employee benefits, employers couldn’t be more thankful to have a partner who will help them through the uncertainty and in staying compliant. By working with a licensed TPA that’s well versed in the ACA, HIPAA, and ERISA, the employer will receive valuable self-funded benefits that also stay compliant with federal and state law.

 

For employers looking for a more flexible, cost-effective option for employee benefits, we hope you’ll consider self-funding. And when it comes to choosing a self-funding partner, we hope you’ll choose BMA. With more than 20 years of experience in self-funding, benefits compliance, and customer service, we know what it takes to build a benefit plan that’s valuable to employees and cost effective for the employer.

So contact BMA to learn more about self-funded benefit plans. You’ll be thankful you did.

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How BMA Got 50% Utilization of its Telemedicine Benefit http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/05/bma-got-50-utilization-telemedicine-benefit/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/05/bma-got-50-utilization-telemedicine-benefit/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 20:23:40 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4548 The post How BMA Got 50% Utilization of its Telemedicine Benefit appeared first on Benefit Management Administrators, Inc..

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Whether it’s a web portal, wellness program, or telemedicine, utilization is key! Utilization is what determines ROI and measures the success of your program.

The third-party wellness and telemedicine programs offered in our web portal are the same programs BMA uses in our staff’s employee benefits package. Recently, BMA reached 50% utilization of the telemedicine service, a very high rate compared to the typical 5 – 10% utilization in the industry. Besides this, telemedicine saved us more than $12,000 in copays and lost productivity.

As our fellow employers also try to drive telemedicine adoption and use, we wanted to share some hints and tips for what has worked for us. Here are BMA’s top 4 tactics for driving strong telemedicine utilization.

 

1. Do a telemedicine orientation.
Once a year, BMA does an orientation for its employees to review the non-insurance benefits available to them. This includes wellness and of course telemedicine. We do this orientation well after the open enrollment period so employees can focus on the telemedicine program specifically. We explain how the program works, the benefits of using it, and how to access the telemedicine portal. Also, each employee walks away with a flyer about the telemedicine service. As new employees come on board, this same education is a standard part of new hire orientation. This process has helped maintain employee awareness and understanding of the value of telemedicine.

2. Use the materials from your telemedicine vendor.
Most telemedicine companies provide communication materials that can be used throughout the year to promote and remind employees about the service. Make a point of distributing them during key times of the year. When it’s allergy season and people are sniffling, we post our allergy season telemedicine flyer and leave one at everyone’s desk. When kids are heading back to school, we hang up the back-to-school flyer. This helps employees tie key events to scenarios when they could benefit from the use of telemedicine.

3. Designate a telemedicine champion.
Select a person or persons within the organization who are going to be the designated telemedicine champions. These folks are responsible for reminding staff about the availability of the service and reasons to use it. When an employee talks about his sick daughter, the champion would say “Don’t forget you can use telemedicine!” When an employee thinks she’s coming down with something, the champion says “Try out telemedicine!” Telemedicine champions will also distribute flyers or emails received from the telemedicine vendor to employees. Champions encourage employees to use telemedicine as a first line of defense, creating a mindset that telemedicine is the first stop when sickness arises.

4. Register to the telemedicine portal.
The telemedicine portal has some obvious advantages such as updating one’s health profile or scheduling an appointment. However, one less obvious (and probably more important) advantage is that it enables ongoing reminders. When employees use their email to create their telemedicine portal account, they’ll then receive email reminders to use the service. This ultimately takes weight off your shoulders in promoting the service and keeps employees more engaged with what the service has to offer.

 

These tactics have greatly helped BMA in driving high adoption and use of telemedicine, and we’re really excited about the high utilization we’ve seen. However, what’s also exciting is the number of urgent care/ER visits and absenteeism that were avoided because employees chose to use telemedicine first.

And by the way, we really are happy with the telemedicine vendor we’re using, and it’s already plugged into our portal. If you’d like to learn about adding it for your organization, contact us.

 

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What BMA Employees Say About Our Online Wellness Programs http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/05/bma-employees-say-online-wellness-programs/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/05/bma-employees-say-online-wellness-programs/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 20:09:47 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4539 The post What BMA Employees Say About Our Online Wellness Programs appeared first on Benefit Management Administrators, Inc..

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BMA sees the value of wellness programs so much that we provide these benefits to our own employees! Here are some personal testimonials from our employees about their experience with these programs:

 

“When I was traveling for work, I got sick and called the telemedicine doctor. He diagnosed me, helped me find a pharmacy nearby, and I quickly got the medication I needed to get on the road to recovery.” – Brenda

 

“When my grandfather had to go into hospice, Health Advocate helped us research the options available. They were very professional and helpful during this stressful time for my family.” – Jenny

 

“At the start of the year, BMA did the Choose to Lose weight loss competition. We had 10 people participate, and at the end of the challenge, we lost a combined 122 pounds!” – James

 

“When my daughter gets sick, the MeMD telemedicine doctor is the first call I make. It saves me time from having to take time off work and saves my daughter from having to physically go to the doctor when she’s not feeling good. It is incredibly convenient.” – Melanie

 

“I wanted a health and fitness program with stretching exercises that were simple and would help improve my golf game, so I asked my Health Advocate coach. They reviewed my diet and made improvements, and provided stretching exercises specifically designed to work on my core and the muscle groups needed for my golf swing. Then my coach called each week to follow up and ensure I was successful reaching my goals. They are great!” – Alan

 

“I wanted to lose weight, and the online wellness videos suggested some of the top dieting apps. I began using one of them and lost 13 pounds!” – Jenny

 

“When my husband was diagnosed with a new medical condition, the online health knowledgebase helped us understand more about the condition and the options for treating it. It was an extremely helpful resource.” – Janie

 

“When BMA did the 3-week hydration competition, all the water drinking helped me lose 7 pounds!” – Rosa

 

“I have used MeMD telemedicine several times. The service has helped me get the medical care I needed, when I needed it, without having to leave or miss work. The whole process takes about 30 minutes, the doctors are friendly and knowledgeable, and my prescriptions were sent straight to my pharmacy.” – Ashley

 

These programs work for our employees, and they’ll work for yours too! BMA solutions for wellness, healthcare advocacy, and telemedicine are easily accessed from our portal. So what do you have to lose?

Contact us to add these helpful programs to your benefit plan.

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Products to Enhance Your Benefits Offering http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/05/plug-play-programs-enhance-benefits-offering/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/05/plug-play-programs-enhance-benefits-offering/#respond Thu, 05 Oct 2017 19:56:29 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4535 The post Products to Enhance Your Benefits Offering appeared first on Benefit Management Administrators, Inc..

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Looking for best-in-breed benefit programs? Need a fast solution to an urgent client need? No problem!

From wellness, to telemedicine, to compliance, BMA offers access to key programs plus communication materials for promoting them. These programs are seamlessly integrated into our portal, making them easy to access.

Here’s an overview of the products available to brokers, employers, and members.

 

Telemedicine
When a member or family member gets sick, instead of taking off work and going to the doctor, they can conduct an office visit over the phone or webcam. Within minutes, the member will be diagnosed and receive a prescription if needed. This saves them from having to miss work and making expensive visits to the ER.

Healthcare Advocacy
When a member needs help untangling claims or billing errors, getting a second opinion, transferring medical records, or estimating healthcare costs, members and family members can use their health advocate. The advocate will address these issues on the member’s behalf, saving them time and stress.

Health Coaching & Wellness
Whether it’s completing health risk assessments, accessing wellness workshops, getting personalized help from a health coach, or organizing company-wide wellness competitions, both employers and employees have a full suite of online tools and resources to meet health and wellness objectives.

Health Tips, Videos, and Interactive Tools
Managing personal health is a daily activity. That’s why the web portal updates each day with new health videos, tips, and news that give members practical advice for managing their health. Members also receive monthly wellness newsletters and have 24/7 access to interactive tools for addressing their diagnosis.

HR Compliance Center
As state and federal laws evolve and change, HR needs a place to go to stay up-to-date on compliance issues. Through the online HR compliance center, employers can access attorney-written articles on different compliance topics, off-the-shelf tools for onboarding, and training for personnel management.

 

These solutions can be rolled out to your entire group of plan members or to certain subsets. In addition, by licensing these through BMA, you’ll receive marketing support to help you sell and promote utilization of these programs.

BMA uses all these programs for our own employee benefits and they greatly enhance our benefits offering.

To try them for yourself or for your plan members, contact us.

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Dental Health Month – October http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/02/dental-health-month-october/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/10/02/dental-health-month-october/#respond Mon, 02 Oct 2017 16:09:06 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4531 Dental health isn’t just good for your mouth; it also impacts the rest of your body’s health. From food to flossing, here are some ways to care for your whole body through good dental hygiene.  

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Dental health isn’t just good for your mouth; it also impacts the rest of your body’s health. From food to flossing, here are some ways to care for your whole body through good dental hygiene.

 

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Level-Funding: Going from Point F to Point S http://bmatpa.com/2017/09/08/level-funding-going-point-f-point-s/ http://bmatpa.com/2017/09/08/level-funding-going-point-f-point-s/#respond Fri, 08 Sep 2017 14:36:17 +0000 http://bmatpa.com/?p=4507 The post Level-Funding: Going from Point F to Point S appeared first on Benefit Management Administrators, Inc..

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Level-Funding offers several strategic advantages for small to mid-size employers. It combines the simplicity of a fully insured plan with the cost savings and flexibility of self-funding. But for groups currently in a fully insured arrangement, the path to self-funded can sometimes seem daunting. Besides the financial aspects of the transition, brokers must also consider how to make the transition a smooth one for their clients.

BMA’s Level-Funding program is designed specifically for groups of 20 or more that wish to move to a self-funded type arrangement. As part of the program, BMA’s Bridge Product gives brokers the solution that will help them guide clients through the transition while minimizing disruption for the client. Outlined below are the 2 key ways that BMA’s Level Funding Program will help your clients go from Point F (Fully Insured) to Point S (Self-Insured).

Flexibility

BMA’s Bridge Product includes numerous options that ease the transition to self-funded plans:

  • National Network: This gives members wide access to providers, helping them maintain their relationships with their current doctors.
  • Choice of PBM: If there’s a PBM you like, there’s no need to pick a new one. The Bridge Product enables clients to maintain consistency in PBM services once they’ve moved to self-funded.
  • Cash Reserve for Favorable Claims: If clients have saved money from healthcare claims, that savings will build funds within the clients’ claim funding accounts.
  • Flexible Plan Designs: This enables clients to keep the coverages that were heavily used while customizing a plan that best meets the needs of their employee base.

Loss Protection

As groups transition to self-funded plans, the Bridge Product provides stop-loss protection that will give your clients financial peace of mind.  This unique approach allows employers to submit fixed monthly premiums like a fully insured plan. These premiums are constant for the 12-month contract period. If claims exceed the amount of premium paid on medical expenses, the stop-loss carrier makes up the difference, protecting the employer from additional costs during the contract period.

BMA’s Level Funded Program makes the transition to self-insurance achievable and seamless for small and mid-size groups. By offering plan flexibility and strong financial protection, brokers can not only offer clients a cost-saving benefit option, but also a smooth process as they go from Point F to Point S.

If you would like to offer this program to your clients, give BMA a call at 210-697-9900. X 307.

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