Spring to Present at VCIA Annual Conference

Captive InsuranceThe Vermont Captive Insurance Association (VCIA), established in 1985, is the world’s largest trade association for captive insurance. In addition to various networking and educational opportunities throughout the year, the VCIA also brings together over 1000 global captive experts and professionals once a year at their annual conference in Burlington, Vermont. Spring, an active member of the organization for over a decade, is proud to be sponsoring and presenting at this year’s conference, which will take place from August 8th to 10th.

Among the event’s impressive and educational lineup of speakers will be our very own Partner, Teri Weber. Teri’s presentation, “Cyber Security and Captives (Part 2): How to Stay One Step Ahead“, will take place on Wednesday, August 9th from 3-4 PM and will focus on some of Spring’s recent survey results regarding the integration Cyber Insuranceof cyber and captive insurance. Teri will discuss current benchmarks and trends related to the funding of cyber insurance through captives and give advice for those who may be considering this approach. If you’re a captive expert with cyber security concerns (doesn’t everyone have those nowadays?), you’ll want to join us for this session.

The conference will also address issues like:

  • Captive governance best practices
  • Tax updates
  • Health care benefits captives
  • Maximizing your captive
  • & more

But we’re not just speaking at the VCIA Annual Conference, we’re sponsoring too! So please be sure to stop by booth #2 and pick our team’s brains on all things captive insurance. Until then, you might be interested in our recent white paper: Funding Medical Stop-Loss Insurance in Captives: What You Need to Know.

Spring to Present at DMEC Annual Conference

ADisability Managements the DMEC (Disability Management Employer Coalition) celebrates its 25 anniversary, Spring is celebrating its 9th year in a row attending the DMEC Annual Conference. This year’s event will be held from July 31st to August 3rd in Anaheim, California and will bring together over 700 professionals in the employee absence and disability management fields. As a regular DMEC sponsor, Spring is thrilled to continue its involvement in and support of the organization – one of our Partners, Karen English, is on the DMEC Executive Advisory Board and another Partner, Teri Weber, will be presenting at this year’s annual conference.

Teri will be joining the Vice President of Benefits and the FMLA/Disability Manager – both of Memorial Sloan Kettering – in a presentation entitled “Accommodation…It’s Not Just Return to Work.” The ADA Compliance discussion, which will take place from 8:30-9:30 AM on Thursday, August 3rd, will focus on innovative employer trends when it comes to the ADA. Teri will explain how to go above and beyond mere compliance (and why you should) and institute a more comprehensive, proactive disability model involving additional stakeholders. If your company is looking to be a thought leader in this realm, be sure to join!

Other topics addressed at the conference include:

  • Mental health at work
  • Paid parental leave (especially during Trump’s presidency)
  • Employee productivity & retention
  • Workplace violence
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Informal care-giving
  • Handling complicated FMLA requests
  • Drug abuse in the workplace
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Mobile approaches to compliance
  • Early disability intervention
  • & more!

If you’re lucky enough to be able to attend the 2017 DMEC Annual Conference, you’ll hear from speakers from companies like GlaxoSmithKline, American Electric Power, T-Mobile, Starwood Hotels and Nike, among many others. Additionally, Spring is a proud event sponsor, so be sure to stop by booth 314 and say hello to our team in between networking receptions and MLB baseball games!

In the meantime, you might be interested in reading our white paper: Managing an Absent Workforce: A Guide to the Family Medical Leave Act.

Spring at the DMEC Compliance Conference

In an industry with regulations that are constantly changing, it’s important for professionals in the Benefits and Absence Management fields to come together and make sure everyone is up to speed. As such, we were happy to be able to attend the DMEC (Disability Management Employer Coalition) FMLA/ADA Employer Compliance conference in Minneapolis earlier this month. Spring has a long-standing relationship with the 25-year old DMEC, having presented at and sponsored many of their annual events since 2008. One of our partners, Karen English, sits on the DMEC Executive Advisory Board and as such was excited to be able to make it to Minneapolis for the event.

Topics addressed at this year’s compliance conference included increasing FMLA access to paid family and sick leave, the importance of documentation, how to make sure employees are also aware and adhering to the FMLA, how to go above and beyond the ADA instead of doing only what’s required, how to deal with intermittent leaves, how to impact or reduce leave and various other issues.

The Spring team will also be attending and sponsoring DMEC’s Annual Conference in Anaheim, CA from July 31st to August 3rd. If you’ll be there too, be sure to stop by booth #314 and say hello!

Spring to Sponsor NEEBC’s Annual Employee Benefits Summit

Spring is excited to be sponsoring the New England Employee Benefits Council (NEEBC) annual summit and trade show again this year. NEEBC, with over 1,350 members to date, has been bringing together HR and Benefits professionals from the New England area since 1979 – providing ample educational sessions and networking events so that everyone can learn and grow from one another. Spring has been a proud partner of NEEBC for about ten years, staying actively involved with events and programs. As one of our partners, Teri Weber, sits on the NEEBC board as Vice President of Programs, we have enjoyed a close relationship with the organization for many years and are happy to be sponsoring their upcoming conference.Employee Benefits New England

This year’s Annual Employee Benefits Summit and Trade Show, themed “Riding the Winds of Change: Strategies for Success” will take place on Wednesday, May 24th at the Newton Marriott. Several Spring team members will be in attendance to support the organization, take advantage of its informational sessions, and meet with both familiar and new faces within the industry. Speakers will include the Managing Director of Tuckson Health Connections, the VP of Total Rewards at BJ’S Wholesale Club, a Health Economist from Harvard Medical School and several others. Sessions will cover a range of topics like behavioral health financial wellness.

If you’ll be joining us and other industry professionals at this year’s NEEBC Summit, please be sure to to stop and chat with a Spring team member – we’d love to meet you!

 

 

 

 

Spring to Sponsor the NHDS Annual Meeting

Spring’s brokerage arm, Spring Insurance Group, will be exhibiting at the New Hampshire Dental Society’s annual meeting in Meredith, NH from May 18th to the 20th. This is a two and a half day conference that brings together dental professionals and industry experts to network and learn from each other. As the official employee benefits partner of the NHDS, Spring has enjoyed attending for the past few years and is excited to participate again.  insurance for medical practices

Attendees will  hear from leaders, educators and authors of the oral health industry as well as experts in IT, business development and more. Topics at this year’s conference will include:

  • Treatment planning & delivering complex, multidisciplinary cases
  • Advanced hygiene therapy
  • Invisalign – misconceptions, identifying candidates, etc.
  • How to finance your practice while reducing costs
  • Improving oral health in rural areas
  • HIPAA & security for dental practices
  • Integrating oral health into primary care training
  • Risk management for dental businesses

Spring Insurance Group has a longstanding relationship with various dental practices and associations, as we offer multiple products and solutions that allow small to medium-sized medical practices provide cost-effective insurance and benefits for their employees. We look forward to meeting new faces and hearing the latest updates within the field at NHDS later this month. If you’ll be attending, be sure to stop by booth 33 and chat with our team!

5 Key Risk Management Themes from the RIMS Annual Conference

5 Key Risk Management Themes from the RIMS Annual Conference

Our team was excited to head back to The Risk Management Society’s (RIMS) annual conference for the 10th year in a row last week, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. The three-day conference, which took place in Philadelphia this year, is one of our top events for keeping our pulse on the industry and meeting both new and familiar faces within the risk management field.  Risk Management

We sent a team of our consultants to the RIMS conference and asked them to report back on hot topics and trends. As it turns out, there were a few undeniable themes that sprung up at the event. They were so prominent that they shone through even despite the many networking receptions, inspirational keynote speakers like Michael J. Fox, charitable causes such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand for childhood cancer research, and a Wellness Zenter – all of which could be found at RIMS.

 

If you work in risk management and were unable to attend the conference or could simply use a refresher, you’ll want to know about these themes we uncovered:

  1. Technology

In this day and age, it’d be odd if technology wasn’t a focus at the conference, but we noticed it highlighted in three different but related regards:

  1. The Internet of Things:

Presenters from Intel, NCR Corporation and other companies explained how the Internet of Things (IoT) is changing things in both good and bad ways. Security, privacy and chain of liability were cited as growing risks thanks to IoT, while automation, “smart manufacturing” and telehealthcare were pointed out to be opportunities for efficiency.

     b. Social Media:Risk Insurance

Sessions led by professionals from Oracle, Zurich and Social Detection, Inc. spoke about risk as it pertains to social media. Speakers cautioned against computer viruses, lack of anonymity, poor public relations, employee behavior online and reputational risk when it comes to social media. They encouraged attendees not to ignore these digital platforms, but instead provided tips on how to build a solid management framework for social media risk.

    c. Wearables:

Wearable devices, such as FitBit or Apple Watch, were among the tech discussions. Specifically, risk professionals at Under Armour and UPS explained how to leverage wearables to increase safety, gather data and improve health while accounting for HIPAA and other legal implications.

 

  1. All Things Cyber

While this could be classified under technology, the subject got so much attention at RIMS that we thought it deserved its own category. Cyber obviously presents huge risks with respect to security, whether an attack comes from a stand-alone hacker or a terrorist group. As a group from Liberty Mutual pointed out, the worst cyber-attacks can result in a total system shutdown, and they advised on how environmental insurance ties into the issue.

Cyber Insurance

Risk Management Director of Morgan Stanley, Andrew Weisman, led a presentation on cyber insurance – vetting carriers, knowing limitations and understanding various complicated claims. A separate session focused on a specific ransomware attack and its different ramifications. Lisa Walton of JC Penney was among those who explained considerations for commercial property cyber insurance specifically, while another presentation cautioned against cyber-attacks at a mass-scale and explained why cyber security is not merely an IT problem.

We could go on and on, as the topic of cyber headlined over ten RIMS sessions, but we’ll leave you with just the above glimpse.

 

  1. International/Global Risk Issues

Global Risk ManagementRisk management is difficult enough when merely trying to comply with one nation or region’s regulations. For multinational companies, it gets even trickier. Speakers from Zurich and Corning talked about the need to modernize international program regulation and university professionals discussed how to align your company’s strategy with its ERM and different cultural, political and economic considerations when going global. Additionally, risk management factors and advice within specific geographies such as Canada and Latin America were covered.

 

  1. Data and Analytics

Among presenters who focused on the importance of data in risk management were professionals from The Institutes and Aramark. One session focused on big data and how to utilize it from the descriptive to the prescriptive stages of risk management. Analytics was highlighted in various sessions throughout the other four themes as well – playing a central role in technology and cyber, in particular.

Captive Insurance

  1. Workplace Violence

Last but certainly not least, Ariel Jenkins of Safety National and Mario Pecoraro of Alliance Worldwide Investigative Group covered violence in the workplace – how to prevent it, how to anticipate it and how to manage post-incident. They and other speakers noted that there can be many sparks to workplace violence such as mental health issues and racism, and highlighted warning signs as well as lessons learned from real-life attacks.

 

Needless to say there was a lot there was a lot to take in at the annual RIMS conference! We were also impressed with the number of industry-specific sessions at the event, including those aimed at the financial services, utilities, construction, entertainment, restaurant and casino markets.

If you attended RIMS or work in risk management, you might also be interested in our white paper: Risk Managers Guide to Funding Employee Benefits in a Captive.

 

Spring’s Managing Partner to Speak at IGP Employee Benefits Seminar

Karin Landry, Managing Partner at Spring, will be participating in a panel at the International Group Program (IGP) International Employee Benefits Seminar, which takes place from May 9th to the 11th at the Westin Copley Place Hotel in Boston.

Risk ManagementIGP will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at this year’s event – a three day conference focused on educating HR and like professionals about global employee benefits. Topics of discussion will include:

  • Typical benefits plan design
  • Funding requirements
  • Legislative updates
  • Recent trends and new products

All of these will be looked at from an international perspective, where attendees have the option of attending up to 11 different country panel discussions, as policies and norms are certainly not the same in every country. IGP is also offering training sessions as part of the event, with plenty of networking opportunities as well.

Our very own Karin Landry will be presenting on Thursday, May 11th at 9AM, alongside fellow benefit captive experts. They will be discussing how to best incorporate employee benefits coverage in a captive insurance arrangement. Specifically, they will offer their expertise on the ideal roles of HR and risk management, regulatory changes and industry trends.

If you’re interested in captive insurance and will be at the IPG seminar in May, be sure to check out Karin’s session. If you can’t make it (or are extra-interested), you might also enjoy our white paper – Funding Employee Benefits Through a Captive.

6 Trending Topics from the IBI Annual Forum

By Karen English, PCU, ARM
Partner, Spring Consulting Group

I recently had the pleasure to attend and speak at the Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) Annual Forum in San Francisco. I always enjoy networking with colleagues, meeting new faces, and contributing to the latest industry news and trends, and this event was no disappointment.

Integrated Benefits Institute annual forum
Throughout three days of workshops, seminars, cocktail receptions, and waking up at 5AM to dial into East Coast morning meetings, I was happy to see a number of important topics covered. In case you were not able to attend, I have summarized a few key areas below (many of which are closely related).
1. Prevention/Early Intervention

The ever-increasing importance of being proactive instead of reactive when it comes to health issues including chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer, depression (see below), and others was highlighted in several IBI sessions.

Denise Zoe Algire of Albertson’s Companies and Michael Coupland of IMCS Group stressed the importance of getting in front of these issues as many of them are predictive based on psychological factors, and early intervention will reduce claims costs (among other positive outcomes). A panel of professors and folks from Liberty Mutual focused on disability prevention in the realm of the opioid crisis and proposed strategies to reduce sick leave. Further, Andrew Yohe and Michael Parkinson of UPMC, along with Wendy Lynch of Lynch Consulting, talked about how to use big data to get ahead of mental health problems, which leads us to the next important topic…

2. Behavioral/Mental Health

It’s nice to finally see mental health being addressed at a more wide-spread level, especially since it affects 1 in 5 workers. This is something we highlighted in the panel on which I participated – alongside professionals from Cigna and DMEC, I spoke about how mental health is a growing concern when it comes to absenteeism and productivity, and advised on how employers can best address it head-on.

Employee WellbeingWe weren’t the only ones talking about it though! A group from The Standard and Regions Hospital discussed how to accommodate for behavioral health issues while still complying with short-term disability and FMLA guidelines, and Judy Gordon and Jenna Carl emphasized the impact of sleep (or lack thereof) on mental health and productivity. One workshop discussed the national standard for workplace health passed in Canada and how it’s helped to relieve and address issues before they result in excessive absence. Lastly, a panel of professionals from Intermountain Healthcare, Willis Towers Watson, and The Hartford talked about how to approach behavioral health claims – covering different models and explaining how to best leverage multiple facets like health plan design and education.

3. Technology to Increase Access & Utilization

It’s 2017, so no surprise that technology is playing a role in almost every discussion. Specifically, one IBI session highlighted how

Aging Workforce

Photo credit Matthias Zomer

technology can help keep a knowledgeable, aging workforce healthy and engaged. Tele-behavioral health was also a hot topic, with a group of folks from CarMax, AbleTo, and Aetna arguing that technology can increase access to care, mitigate some of the existing stigmas, and ultimately prevent conditions that lead to work impairment and high medical costs.

Yet another session highlighted how Chesapeake Energy uses telehealth systems to improve health and productivity, particularly for those employees in more rural areas with limited access to care.

4. Back-To-Work Strategies

Making sure employees can get back to work safely are reasonably continues to be a challenging priority for many employers. Speakers from Northrup Grumman Corporation and Anthem talked specifically about improving returning to work for those affected by cancer, while another session focused on broader tactics and introduced on-site resources to reduce disability durations, contain costs and boost employee engagement.

5. The Positive Correlation Between Business Outcomes & Workplace Wellbeing

It’s not always easy to measure the success or ROI of different health and wellness programs. However there was a lot of talk at IBI about Value on Investment, or VOI, and how a healthier, more engaged workforce can improve the likelihood of businesses meeting their goals.

Presenters from companies like Nestle, Bank of America and Comcast took the first deep-dive into this relationship. Then Sandra Morris and Bruce Sherman identified three areas where companies should be investing more: prevention and well-being, Centers of Excellence, and the reduction of out-of-pocket costs for prescription medicines. Later on, speakers from Central Michigan University and Virgin Pulse shared helpful tips for measuring wellness outcomes and demonstrating VOI to senior leadership.

6. Managing Global Leaves & Benefits

This a growing topic that came up in two different seminars. It’s hard enough to manage leave and policies for employees within a single country, given that each state and region can have different regulations. Then if you add in a global element, things get all the more complicated.Global Employee Benefits

Rich McDonald from Johnson & Johnson and Tyler Amell of Morneau Shepell gave advice on how to find a harmonious approach to leave policies across different nations and regions and their corresponding legislative factors. Another workshop outlined how the World Bank Group used evidence-based data analytics modeling tools, along with U.S. Preventive Medicine (USPM), to establish preventive health strategies that are culturally-specific. The goal was to provide a more seamless delivery of health services to international locations, and to shift from merely treating illness to actually managing and improving health.

 

It was certainly an enlightening conference and I’m glad I had the chance to participate. I hope you find it helpful to learn what the hot topics of discussion were…doesn’t it almost feel like you were there?

If the above themes are of interest to you, you might also enjoy our white paper, Managing an Absent Workforce: A Guide to the Family Medical Leave Act.