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Kristen Russell

Kristen Russell

Kristen founded Fall River Employee Benefits as the culmination of her insurance industry career as an actuary, underwriting executive & consultant. As an Assistant Vice President at Great-West Healthcare (now part of CIGNA), she managed a $1 Billion block of health insurance. She also worked as a Senior Consultant at Reden & Anders, consulting to insurance companies and large employers throughout the country. Ms. Russell received a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration in Actuarial Science, is a member of the American Academy of Actuaries and achieved Fellowship in the Society of Actuaries through a rigorous nine-year series of exams.

Kristen grew up in Iowa but has lived in Colorado since 1993, currently living near our office in the Lower Highlands neighborhood near downtown Denver.  She enjoys bicycling, hiking, traveling and has a special passion for non-profit volunteering. She is married to an incredibly talented photojournalist, has two adult stepdaughters and an adorable Border Collie/Lab mix named Chaco.

Have your employees ever sought medical care and later found that their medical bill was higher than expected? They may have felt angry and upset at this sudden and unexpected financial burden and come to you for help and explanation.

The two reasons this typically happens are:
  • Services were provided at an in-network facility by an out-of-network provider
  • Emergency services were performed out-of-network
The good news is that effective January 1, 2022, a No Surprises Act went into effect to protect you and your employees from these surprises. This act bans surprise bills for most emergency services, non-emergency services from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities, and service from out-of-network air ambulance service providers.

Remind your employees that they can take the following steps if they receive a surprise bill
  • Review invoices for any billing errors
  • Contact the billing department to correct and issue a new bill
  • Contact your Client Manager
If you have any questions, please reach out to your Client Manager.

You may share the educational documents linked below with your employees.
Tuesday, 20 September 2022 23:28

HR Toolkit: Workplace Well-being

Many employers are now focused on total wellness or well-being, to include all facets of employee health, not just physical health. This can produce a well-rounded workforce and help improve productivity, employee morale and customer service.

This toolkit includes information on the main facets of well-being

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Financial
  • Social

CLICK HERE to download the toolkit. 
Watch the on-demand webinar to discover how you can keep employees aware and engaged and ensure your policies align with your business goals.

CLICK HERE to watch the recording.
Wednesday, 18 May 2022 23:55

Wellness Toolkit: Cancer

Cancer is the second-highest cause of death in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). In addition, nearly 2 million people are diagnosed with some form of cancer annually.

 

Employers are in a unique position to help lessen the financial and emotional burdens of cancer on their employees.

As our client, you have access to a powerful tool, AleraHR (ThinkHR-Mineral), provided through our parent company, Alera Group. With information about anything from compliance to creating handbooks and employee onboarding procedures, AleraHR is your one-stop resource for all things HR.

 

-       The Learn platform allows employers to assign courses on just about any topic to employees.

-       The white paper and webinar library allows you to find the HR information you need quickly.

-       You can get your HR questions answered by certified HR experts, including advice on how to handle the toughest situations.

 

If you haven’t logged in to AleraHR (ThinkHR-Mineral) to see how this resource can benefit your organization, we encourage you to do so today! If you need any assistance with gaining access to AleraHR, please contact your Client Manager.

 

CLICK HERE to download now.

High employee engagement can lead to success, while low engagement can harm productivity. Engaged employees are more than just satisfied with their jobs, they are committed to the organization and its goals.

This HR Toolkit includes valuable engagement resources, like proven engagement practices, engagement ROI factors and sample materials.

With more employees working remotely, the question has come up about how to adequately comply with required employer posters. Our experts at AleraHR have provided this guidance:

 

For remote employees, although it is required that information be posted at each physical facility, it is not required that information be posted remotely, at an employee's home as an example.  It is, however, required that the information be communicated to employees.

Employers in some states should be aware of a potential issue with state law conflicting with HSA eligibility for individuals on fully-insured high-deductible plans. This relates to drug discounts or coupons used by a plan participant being applied to out-of-pocket expenses.

 

There are a few possible ways this may sort itself out in these states. At this time, it is unclear whether state legislative action or the state Department of Insurance will exempt HDHPs or if the IRS will provide an exemption or transitional relief.

Have you heard of J codes?  They are the coding used by doctor’s offices, hospitals and other providers to bill for specialty medications that are usually not taken by mouth, like injectables. They are called “J codes” because of the way they are billed.

 

The medications dispensed can be expensive as they are often specialty medications, chemotherapy and immunosuppressants. They are billed through the medical plan and not the pharmacy plan, so they can be difficult to identify and address.

The IRS has reminded taxpayers that the cost of home testing for COVID-19 is an eligible medical expense that can be paid or reimbursed under health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs), and some health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). The cost to diagnose COVID-19 is an eligible medical expense for tax purposes.

In addition, the costs of personal protective equipment, such as masks, hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes, for the primary purpose of preventing the spread of COVID-19 are eligible medical expenses.

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