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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.

If you purchased or were enrolled in a Blue Cross or Blue Shield health insurance or administrative services plan between 2008 and 2020, a $2.67 billion settlement may affect your rights.

Friday, 23 April 2021 16:39

Action Needed on ARPA's COBRA Provisions

During the past month we have been fielding all sorts of questions regarding the 100% premium subsidies for COBRA coverage for Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). One of the biggest misconceptions is that employers who have a TPA that handles their COBRA administration might believe that they don’t need to do anything. This is absolutely FALSE.

Thursday, 18 March 2021 12:09

Test Your ACA Knowledge With a Quiz

March marks the 11th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Are you an “ACA Guru,” or could your ACA knowledge use a refresher? Take the 10-question Alera ACA Quiz to find out!

If you have any questions about whether your plans and employer policies are ACA-compliant, contact your Fall River Client Manager today!

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 10:17

Which Vaccination Phase Are Your Employees In?

As of February 14th, 37.5 million Americans and 630,000 Coloradans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now that vaccination is available, we’ve been getting more questions about when a plan member can get it and how they go about doing so. What’s the best way to determine when and where they’ll be able to receive the vaccine? 

Healthcare costs have increased faster than inflation almost every year for at least the last 30 years. Switching carriers, raising out-of-pocket costs, and asking employees to pay more out of their paychecks should be your last resort.

Monday, 09 April 2018 14:44

Paying Hospitals to Keep People Out?

For years, hospitals have made money by admitting (and readmitting) people. But what if it were more profitable to reduce readmissions?
 
Both the Medicare Modernization Act and the Affordable Care Act increased the incentives hospitals have to reduce readmissions. But the state of Maryland is taking it even further and reaping large savings as a result. Their success suggests a path forward for managing employee healthcare costs down in the future.
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 15:04

What Made the Cut in the Final Tax Cut Bill

The Conference Committee in Congress worked last week to meld together the House and Senate versions of their tax cuts bill. Their compromise bill was passed on Tuesday, December 19th, by the House. While the Senate passed it that Wednesday, some last minute changes required Tuesday night by reconciliation rules meant the House had to pass the final bill again on Wednesday, before President Trump signed it into law on Friday, December 22nd. The final product was a little closer to the Senate version of the bill, but included a few last-minute surprises for employers and tax payers alike.
Monday, 08 May 2017 10:58

2018 HSA Limits Announced

In early May, the IRS published inflation-adjusted Health Saving Account (HSA) contribution limits for 2018, along with minimum deductible and maximum-out-of-pocket expenses for the high deductible health plans (HDHP) associated with HSAs. 

As we blogged about last month, the filing deadline for the 1095 reporting required of large employers has been pushed back to March 2nd from January 31st.  There are some general changes to the process, and also changes to the 1095 forms themselves. 

Employers spend approximately 18-20% of their healthcare costs on prescription drugs, and the rapidly increasing cost of specialty drugs is causing this to inch ever up.  To offset these cost hikes, we’re always keeping our eyes on expensive drugs that are coming off patent and facing cost-slashing competitors soon. There are eight blockbuster drugs (those with a billion dollars or more in sales) coming off patent in 2016.  

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