Benefits Buzz

Open Enrollment: What’s Changing in 2020?

To prepare for open enrollment, group health plan sponsors should be aware of the legal changes affecting the design and administration of their plans for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Employers should review their plan documents to confirm that they include these required changes.

In addition, any changes to a health plan’s benefits for the 2020 plan year should be communicated to plan participants through an updated summary plan description (SPD) or a summary of material modifications (SMM).

Health plan sponsors should also confirm that their open enrollment materials contain certain required participant notices, when applicable—for example, the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC). There are also some participant notices that must be provided annually or upon initial enrollment.

Important Notices

  • Annual CHIP notice
  • Medicare Part D creditable coverage notice
  • Notice of grandfathered status (if applicable)
  • Annual notice regarding coverage requirements for mastectomy-related benefits (WHCRA notice)

Don’t wait any longer to review your plans. Contact The Unland Companies for a full list of 2020 plan changes and requirements.

Hospitals to Publish Retail Prices Under a New Proposed Rule

In July, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) proposed rules that would require all Medicare-participating hospitals to post their negotiated prices for standard health care services.

The proposed rule is intended to increase pricing transparency and help consumers understand the charges they may incur before receiving care.

These are just proposed rules at the moment, which means no changes will be made effective until the rules are finalized. The agency is currently asking for comments on the proposed rule. The deadline for submitting comments is Sept. 27, 2019.

We will continue to monitor and keep you updated on these developments.

Can Health Insurance Rebates Affect Workers’ Comp Premiums?

Since 2012, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has required insurers with a certain medical loss ratio (MLR) to issue a rebate to employers. Depending on the way the rebates are distributed, you may end up paying more for your workers’ compensation insurance.

Medical Loss Ratio

The MLR provision of the ACA states that insurers must spend a proportion of premium revenues on clinical services and improvements to the quality of care, or pay rebates to their customers. It is a basic financial measurement that the ACA uses to encourage health insurers to provide value to their customers.

The rebates can be issued in a few ways, some of which include:

  • Passing along MLR rebates directly to employees
  • Applying the rebates to future premiums
  • Applying the rebates to benefit enhancements

Impact on Your Payroll

When employers pass any portion of the rebates along to employees, the rebates must be counted as payroll for the purposes of workers’ compensation. This rule only applies if the rebate is coming through the employer and not directly from the insurance provider. The rule also applies regardless of whether the rebate distribution is taxable or nontaxable.

For many employers, the amount of money paid out in rebates will not significantly impact payroll due to rebates. Your workers’ compensation insurance premium is calculated based on your payroll, so if that increases, your premium likely will, too.

Here are a few more points to remember when issuing the rebates:

  • High-dollar rebates may be rare, but you should still be aware of their increased impact on your premium if you receive them.
  • Ensure that any information that is pertinent to your insurance coverages is up-to-date and thorough. Per the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), “an employer is required to keep records of information needed to compute [its] premium. In addition, the employer must provide records to the carrier, when requested, for the purpose of auditing the employer’s workers’ compensation policy.”

The relationship between the ACA and workers’ compensation is more complex than ever and still evolving. The Unland Companies can help you determine how to handle your health insurance rebates and keep you in the know with new information.

Best Practices for Conducting Workplace Investigations

Workplace investigations are crucial when it comes to establishing a safe and welcoming work environment. However, these investigations are often complex and can involve navigating sensitive topics and disputes. More than ever before, companies face irreversible reputational damage and negative publicity if they mishandle workplace investigations.

There are many reasons HR professionals may have to conduct a workplace investigation, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Employee behavior
  • Suspected substance use
  • Concerns of discrimination, harassment or threats
  • Violations of workplace rules
  • Workplace theft

Employers are expected to take investigations and employee concerns seriously in order to foster a supportive workplace culture. In fact, organizations that fail to conduct proper investigations may face legal action if they mishandle a workplace investigation. In recent cases, companies that did not respond properly to investigation requests faced legal action and six-figure settlements.

Accordingly, it’s important for mangers, HR professionals and business leaders to understand best practices for conducting workplace investigations.

Establish Investigation Goals Early On and Assess Complaints with Discretion

One of the best ways to ensure effective investigations is to establish a consistent framework. This framework should be repeatable for various incidents and account for the following:

  • Investigation objectives—In general, the goal of an investigation is to resolve workplace issues in fair and efficient manner. Both the organization itself and its HR representatives must be aware of investigation objectives from the beginning. Clear objectives can guide investigators and promote the timely resolution of workplace incidents.
  • Investigation scope—Determining the scope of an investigation early on can help focus investigative procedures. Specifically, formalizing the scope of an investigation can help investigators gather the appropriate information and carryout corrective action for various types of incidents.
  • Investigation timing— When it comes to workplace investigations, timeliness is key. Regardless of the perceived merit of the complaint, it’s in a company’s best interest to trigger investigations upon request. Failing to act quickly could be considered prejudicial to the employee and result in potential claims.

When assessing employee concerns, it’s important to consider the nature of the issue, who’s involved and what, if any, company policies apply. Employers should determine whether employees involved in the incident should be separated or given paid leave until the situation is resolved.

As a general rule, when assessing incidents, all concerns and complaints fielded from your employees must be taken seriously. While some investigations may not be carried out per the employer’s discretion, companies should educate themselves on relevant laws regarding incident investigations and when they are necessary.

Carry Out Investigations in a Fair and Objective Manner

Employers must demonstrate procedural fairness when conducting workplace investigations. These investigations should be thorough and well documented before an employer takes any action. Additionally, effective workplace investigations embrace the following three principles:

  • Neutrality—HR and other personnel involved in an investigation must be detached from an incident. Those involved should remain objective and have no personal stake in the outcome of an investigation. Employers have a duty to conduct workplace investigations in a fair and impartial manner. To remain neutral, it’s important to give all employees involved in an investigation the opportunity to provide their version of the incident.
  • Thoroughness—To ensure that the proper decision is made following an investigation, you must be thorough in uncovering all the necessary information. Ask detailed questions throughout the process.
  • Timeliness—Once an investigation is triggered, investigators must act promptly to avoid further acts of wrongdoing. Any disciplinary action should be administered in a timely manner to avoid potential legal issues.

It’s important for organizations to decide whether they will utilize internal or external investigators. While internal investigations tend to be quicker and comply with organizational policies, external firms ensure neutrality throughout all investigations.

Respect the Privacy of Those Involved in an Incident

In some instances, employees may be reluctant to participate in an investigation due to privacy concerns. Because of this, employers walk a fine line and must balance the privacy interests of their employees with their own legitimate business and safety interests.

All parties involved in an investigation have a right to privacy and confidentiality. These rights are especially important if an incident involves sensitive subject matter. Employers must be tactful and avoid oversharing details regarding the incident. Only those who need to know should be given the facts of the case.

It’s better to be overly cautious when handling workplace investigations, limiting information as follows:

  • Respondents (i.e., the alleged harasser, subject of an incident or a bully) are entitled to know that a claim has been brought against them. They should also be informed on the details of the claim and what to expect during a formal interview.
  • Witnesses can provide your investigators with valuable information regarding workplace incidents. However, employers should still keep the details of the incident to a minimum when speaking with witnesses.

Conducting Interviews

Detailed interviews are the most important aspects of workplace investigations. Interviews can provide a clear understanding of an incident and help employers determine what, if any, disciplinary action should be taken.

Employers will want to decide:

  • Who to interview—Interviews should be conducted with respondents, complainants and witnesses at a minimum. It’s a good idea to only interview those who have information relevant to the case. It may also be helpful to have more than one investigator present during the interview
  • What order to interview—Employers should be cognizant of the interview order. Generally, businesses should interview the complainant first, any witnesses second and the respondent third. Schedule follow-up interviews as needed. Each subject should be informed that the interview process is confidential.
  • What to ask during interviews—Questions should be written and prepared ahead of time. These questions should be a mix of open- and close-ended questions. Above all, interview questions should help investigators gather details related to times, dates, locations, individuals involved and other witnesses. Sample questions include:
    • What happened?
    • When/where did it happen?
    • Who was present?
    • Who did or said what?
    • Why did it happen?
    • Is there evidence?
    • Who else may have relevant information?

Interview responses and other relevant details should be recorded throughout the investigative process. Investigators should take detailed notes, which will help during the review process.

Taking Action

If, after an investigation occurs, you find that the employee’s complaint is substantiated, the employer should take action to:

  • Prevent the harassment, fraud or misconduct from recurring. To accomplish this, issue training and educational resources as needed.
  • Make accommodations to ensure employees feel safe at work.
  • Discipline the subject of the complaint in a manner proportional to the severity of the misconduct, up to and including dismissal. Do not take action against an employee if you have no clear evidence of misconduct.

If the complaint is not substantiated, the employer should notify the parties accordingly and explain how this conclusion was reached.

After an investigation concludes, you should compile your findings in a final report. It’s also a good idea to assess the effectiveness of your investigation process and make any improvements.

If you have questions, please contact Laura Maas, HR Solutions Manager: or call  (800) 747-3241.

Credential Stuffing

If and when you get hacked, it’s easy to think cyber criminals used some high-tech program or code to gain access to your accounts. The truth is, however, that data breaches aren’t always this sophisticated, and all malicious parties need is a little trial and error to steal your personally identifiable information. This tactic is known as credential stuffing, and it’s becoming a common tool for cyber criminals of all kinds.

Simply put, credential stuffing attacks are when a malicious party takes a stolen username and password and tries it on a variety of different websites. For example, a hacker may have purchased your Google username and password from the dark web. Assuming that you use the same password for multiple accounts, the hacker would test these credentials on other platforms (e.g., banking or social media websites) using botnets (groups of computers tasked with various commands). Essentially, by using information from one account, criminals can potentially access data from a variety of platforms, draining bank accounts or gathering information they can sell to other malicious parties.

Credential stuffing can affect everyone, from individual users to the biggest companies. In fact, a Yahoo breach that impacted approximately 500 million users was largely carried out using credential stuffing. Thankfully, because credential stuffing relies on victims having the same password for multiple accounts, there are some simple ways to protect yourself:


  • Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts—Credential stuffing works because many users use the same password for multiple accounts. To avoid becoming a victim, it’s important to change your passwords often and never use the same password.


  • Use two-factor authentication—While complex passwords can deter cyber criminals, they can still be cracked. To prevent cyber criminals from gaining access to your accounts, two-factor authentication is key. Through this method, users must confirm their identity by providing extra information (e.g., a phone number or unique security code) when attempting to access corporate or personal applications, networks and servers. This additional login hurdle means that would-be cyber criminals won’t easily unlock an account, even if they have the password in hand.


  • Create strong password policies—For employers, ongoing password management can help prevent attackers from compromising your organization’s password-protected information. You’ll want to create a password policy that requires employees to change their password on a regular basis, avoid using the same password for multiple accounts and use special characters. Long passphrases are becoming increasingly popular as well, and may be a good option for your organization.


  • Provide security training—Even the most robust and expensive data protection solutions can be compromised should an employee click a malicious link or download fraudulent software. As such, it’s critical for organizations to thoroughly train personnel on common cyber threats and how to respond. Your employees should also know your cyber security policies and know how to report suspicious activity.

Workplace Wellness Programs to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Costs

By implementing workplace health initiatives, many companies are taking proactive measures to help with decreasing health issues affecting their employees. This is particularly important because of the following:

  • The working population is aging, with the national average around 42 years old.
  • There is a decreasing number of skilled workers, increasing the number of on-the-job injuries.
  • Obesity rates are astronomical and continue to rise.
  • There is a steady increase of inactivity among Americans.
  • Medical care costs continue to rise.
  • There is an increase in stress-related illnesses.
  • Approximately 10 percent of Americans are living with major limitations from chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma or thyroid disorders.

Most importantly for risk managers, non-work-related health issues directly increase the risk of work-related injuries.

Getting Employees Healthy

To assist your employees in getting healthy, staying healthy and consequently reduce their risk of a workplace injury or illness:

    • Create an employee safety education committee devoted strictly to health problems that correlate with injuries.
    • Teach employees how to properly investigate accidents and determine ways in which they could be prevented. This may include the following:
      • Ergonomics evaluations
      • Lift equipment evaluations
  • Offer personal health profile screenings for employees to identify their risk factors. This should include screenings for cholesterol, bone density, glucose, body mass index and other essential tests.
  • Provide personalized health coaching and self-help materials.
  • Offer quarterly corporate challenges to promote weight loss and activity.
  • Offer quarterly educational safety and health seminars.
  • Consider implementing a cross-promotional safety and health program with your health care provider.
  • Provide incentives to employees who fulfill health-related goals, or remain free from injuries for an established amount of time.
  • Refer all employees who suffer a work-related injury to the wellness program coordinator for a consultation.
  • Incorporate a safety presentation in your wellness seminars.
  • Workers’ compensation managers and risk managers should provide health and wellness referrals to injured employees.
  • Distribute monthly safety, health and nutrition tips to employees.

For more information and resources on how you can create an effective safety and health program, contact The Unland Companies today at (309) 347-2177.

Distracted Driving Prevention for Commercial Fleets

For many commercial fleets, driver and public safety is a top priority, and organizations take great care to prevent costly and potentially deadly accidents. While a number of factors can lead to a crash (e.g., impaired driving, poor road conditions and adverse weather), distracted driving is a common, preventable cause of accidents. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicates that every year, up to 391,000 people are injured and 3,450 people are killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving.

Distracted driving is an ongoing safety concern for commercial fleets. However, the widespread increase in cellphone use over the past decade has brought the issue to the forefront.

Studies have shown that many collisions and near-collisions involve some form of driver inattention, often just three seconds prior to the event. These statistics are particularly noteworthy for fleets, as many commercial vehicles have poorer driver visibility than personal cars and are much more difficult to control or stop in the event of an emergency. For commercial fleets, distracted driving can lead to increased insurance premiums, costly repairs, decreased productivity, reputational damage, and driver injury or death.


Any time a driver reaches for an object or gets distracted by outside stimuli, the chances of an accident drastically increase. In fact, studies show that simply by dialing a cellphone, the likelihood of a crash is six times greater.
To remain safe on the roads, drivers need to be aware of common distractions that can put them and the public in danger:

  • Using electronic devices such as a GPS, MP3 player, radio, cellphone or laptop
  • Reading maps, books, texts or printed directions
  • Combing hair, putting on makeup, shaving, brushing teeth or performing similar grooming activities
  • Eating, drinking or smoking
  • Talking with passengers or tending to children or pets
  • Focusing attention on visual distractions outside the vehicle, such as collisions, police activity, street signs, pedestrians, construction or billboards
  • Multitasking
  • Daydreaming



In order to maintain safe driving practices, organizations must take a top-down approach to combating distracted driving. Only through effective policies and training can commercial fleets identify and respond to potentially harmful driving behaviors. Organizations and fleet managers can also help reduce the risk of distracted driving by doing the following:

  • Create a driver safety program and a distracted driving policy. Regularly communicate your policies using things like emails, blogs and posters.
  • Use applications to detect when your drivers are on the road. Many of these applications prevent individuals from contacting a driver while their vehicle is in motion.
  • Instruct drivers to pull off the road and park if they need to use their phone or an electronic device.
  • Equip vehicles with lockboxes that drivers can use to store potential distractions, like smartphones and tablets.
  • Educate your drivers on the risks of driving while distracted. Use real-life examples and stories to explain how dangerous distracted driving can be.
  • Update your organization’s handbook, noting any disciplinary actions you will take if you identify unsafe driving behavior.
  • Ask your employees to sign a pledge form indicating their willingness to drive in a safe and courteous manner.
  • Work with drivers to plan trips. This ensures that drivers have a clear understanding of their routes, which can reduce the need for GPS and other potentially distracting navigation devices.
  • Manage driver schedules to ensure employees are well-rested between trips.
  • Use telematics, driver monitoring programs and in-cabin camera systems to evaluate individual drivers. Whenever possible, reward positive driver behavior to encourage a culture of safety.
  • Perform a safety audit, which will give you a high-level overview of distracted driving risks and other concerns.


While the specifics of policies may differ from fleet to fleet, a good distracted driving policy should include the following:

  • A policy statement that clarifies your organization’s stance on distracted driving. This statement should specify the purpose and goals of the policy.
  • A definition of distracted driving. This definition should highlight the dangers of distracted driving and the ways it affects your organization.
  • A summary of whom the policy applies to. In general, your policy should account for all company employees, even if driving a vehicle isn’t a regular part of their daily duties.
  • A list of what constitutes as distracted driving and actions that are strictly prohibited to ensure driver safety.
  • A list of suggested practices to reduce the risk of distracted driving.
  • A list of potential consequences if the terms of the policy are breached.
  • A space for the employee’s and fleet manager’s signatures.


Managing distracted driving will only become more difficult as technology advances and individuals become more reliant on personal devices like cellphones and tablets. Regardless, commercial fleets have a duty to ensure a safe workplace and combat all forms of distracted driving.

Commercial fleet accidents caused by distracted drivers can damage reputations and claim lives. To protect your drivers and your organization, it’s important for fleets to work alongside a qualified insurance broker. Not only can they provide advice on your company’s risk management needs, but they can also recommend specific insurance policies to keep you protected on and off the road. To learn more, contact The Unland Companies today.

Workplace Wellness: County Benchmark Data For Wellness Initiatives

County Benchmark Data for Wellness Initiatives

Benchmarking data can be a beneficial tool for gaining a better understanding of your employees’ risk factors and their health needs. This data is useful for designing a workplace wellness program that will better meet the needs of your employees and increase your return on investment.

County Benchmark Data

County benchmark data can be a valuable tool for learning about your employees’ health risks. If you assume that your employee population has the same general health risks, behaviors and habits as your county’s population, you can use benchmark data to shape your wellness initiatives.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers reliable health benchmark data broken down by county. The following are some of the health metrics provided for each county:

  • Adult smoking
  • Adult obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Excessive drinking
  • Alcohol-impaired driving deaths
  • Diabetes
  • Mammography screening
  • HIV prevalence
  • Uninsured rates
  • Access to exercise opportunities

Put it into Practice

Below is an example for applying these benchmarks to your own wellness initiatives. According to the CDC, 30 percent of adults in Madison County, Mississippi, are obese, which is higher than the national average.

So if your business is based in Madison County, Mississippi, and assuming the individuals analyzed by the CDC are representative of your employee group, you might presume that your employees (and their spouses and dependents) have a higher than average rate of obesity. Since obesity is a risk factor for many significant health problems like heart disease and strokes, you may want to implement wellness initiatives that encourage employees to eat healthier and exercise more.

To access the CDC county benchmarks, visit Then, simply select your state and county to get started.

Want more information or need help applying county benchmark data to your company’s workplace wellness initiatives? Contact The Unland Companies today.

25 Most Commonly Stolen Passwords

person lifting up rug to reveal set of keys

How clever is your password? If it’s on the list below, your password is just as easily stolen as it is remembered. Protect yourself by making sure you’re not using one of the top 25 most commonly stolen passwords of 2018, as determined by IT security firm SplashData.

To create a more secure password, make sure you are not relying only on numbers, and try to avoid simple keyboard patterns. You may also want to avoid easy-to-find information such as birthdays, favorite sports teams and addresses. Attempt to create a password that is eight or more characters long, and avoid using the same password for multiple access points.

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 123456789
  4. 12345678
  5. 12345
  6. 111111
  7. 1234567
  8. sunshine
  9. qwerty
  10. iloveyou
  11. princess
  12. admin
  13. welcome
  14. 666666
  15. abc123
  16. football
  17. 123123
  18. monkey
  19. 654321
  20. !@#$%^&*
  21. charlie
  22. aa123456
  23. donald
  24. password1
  25. qwerty123

Cyber Risks & Liabilities – Top Cyber Predictions for 2019

cyber security internet and networking concept.Businessman hand working with VR screen padlock icon on computer background

The average global cost of a data breach has risen to $3.86 million, magnifying the need for companies to be aware of all potential threats. Here are just a few of the threats that cyber security experts have forecast for 2019.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a Weapon

With AI being so young, it is still vulnerable to attacks that can affect its operations. However, AI could also be used defensively to identify new threats and better protect systems from attacks.

A Lack of Security in the Cloud

As organizations are adding more data to the cloud, they’re not practicing good enough housekeeping to secure that data, making them a top target for cyber criminals.  

5G Network Vulnerability

As 5G takes the place of 4G, the market for 5G infrastructure is expected to grow by 118 percent annually through 2022. Although that rate of growth may be profitable for cellular networks and providers, it creates new vulnerabilities as well. Instead of connecting to a Wi-Fi router, 5G devices are expected to connect directly to a 5G network, making those networks more appealing targets to hackers while also making it more difficult for home and office users to monitor their devices.

Biometric Hacking

Despite being the most secure method of authentication, biometric data can be stolen and altered. And sensors on smart devices can deteriorate with excessive usage, making them less reliable and easier to hack.

Skimming Magnified

Criminals are targeting bank networks with malware, similar to the way they use credit and debit card skimmers to steal banking information and passcodes from unsuspecting customers. The result can be millions of dollars in losses and a lack of trust in major financial institutions. 

Online Gaming 

The online gaming industry has seen massive growth and is expected to hit $2.2 trillion by 2021. This is an attractive target for cyber criminals who can easily pose as gamers and gain access to their credit card information. 

More Targeted Spear Phishing 

Devious cyber criminals are using tactics that involve breaking into an email system and learning as much as they can about their targeted victims. They use that information to take advantage of the trust built with another person and scam them out of money. 

New Sanction Retaliations from Iran Worry U.S. Banks

After the Trump administration reimposed the sanctions lifted as part of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, U.S. banks are expecting retaliation in the form of cyber attacks.

The Treasury Department added 700 entities to the list of reinstated sanctions, including Iranian banks, aircraft, vessels, individuals and the country’s energy sector.

According to recent reports, a major U.S. bank, which chose not to be identified, listed Iranian hackers as the top trending cyber threat, even ahead of North Korea. 

The entire banking industry is on alert after the Iranian government issued public statements intending to defy the sanctions. When asked about the threat, the CEO of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center—the privately run group that coordinates defenses against cyber attacks—stated that he was more confident in the organization’s ability to ward off Iranian cyber attacks than when Iran targeted U.S. banks in 2011.

From 2011-2013, Iran launched a series of cyber attacks, jamming the internet services of major U.S. banks with garbage computer traffic. Instigated by seven Iranians on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the cyber attacks were unprecedented in size.

Experts at cyber security firm CrowdStrike worry that the Iranian hackers’ skills have grown since the 2011-2013 attacks. Although banks are at the top of the radar, every type of business is vulnerable to cyber attacks, magnifying the need for adequate cyber security. 

How to Secure Office IoT Devices

An internet of things (IoT) device is any smart device that is connected to the internet. Many of these devices are everyday objects—like watches or thermostats—that connect via Wi-Fi, allowing users to control them remotely or even collect data.

Employers pride themselves on using IoT technology to make their workplaces more modern and help them stand out from their competitors. Things like smart desks, video conferencing systems, security systems, smart TVs and intelligent HVAC systems are becoming more commonplace. Unfortunately, these same gadgets, as well as other IoT devices, can create a growing security threat for businesses who aren’t prepared. 

There is a lack of consistency between manufacturing companies who make the IoT devices. They have different operating systems and different security measures, and some aren’t even capable of software updates. This makes it difficult for IT departments to prevent hackers from accessing IoT devices and gaining access to company networks. 

That’s not to say that your organization shouldn’t use IoT devices altogether. You just need to take extra precautions. Here are a few ways to protect your valuable data while reaping the benefits of IoT devices:

  • Consider multi-factor authentication or use certificates.Both are able to stall hackers who’ve managed to crack your password. 
  • Create a separate Wi-Fi network specifically for all IoT devices.If hackers access the IoT network, your separate business network should still be safe.  
  • Limit access to sensitive data.For example, IoT security cameras can expose sensitive information to hackers. Therefore, it is important to consider what the device has access to before setting it up. Be sure to also clear its storage on a regular basis. In addition, it’s important to never store critical business or personal data on these devices.
  • In the event of a hack, be prepared to disable your devices and reset the factory settings at any time.If you regularly back up your devices, it should be easy enough to restore them and reconnect.
  • Avoid installing third-party software. It’s easy to add functionality to IoT devices simply by installing additional applications. However, you should never install software from an untrusted source. Doing so can open the door to hackers.
  • Turn off IoT devices when they aren’t in use.This may seem like a simple solution, but active devices are vulnerable to attacks. Just by switching off unused devices, you can improve network security overall.

Although IoT technology is likely here to stay, it is important to remember that it is still in its infancy. By taking proper precautions, you can enjoy its conveniences instead of letting it threaten your business operations.  

This Compliance Bulletin is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice. © 2018 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Advantages of Benchmarking Your Benefits Program

man looking at graphs on computer

An attractive benefits program is vital for your recruiting and retention efforts, but it is also a significant expense. To ensure you are providing a package that is both competitive and economical, you need to know how your offerings compare to others in your industry. Benchmark data can provide valuable insight for evaluating your benefits package, something that is more important than ever in light of health care reform.

Employer interest in benchmark data has grown over the past decade, as the cost of providing health care benefits continues to skyrocket and companies look for new ways to manage costs. Analyzing how other companies are structuring their plans and the strategies they are using to cut costs may make your own benefit plan decisions a bit easier.

What Data Can You Benchmark?

There is information available for almost any aspect of a benefits program, including total costs, cost-sharing measures, plan design, voluntary offerings, workers’ compensation and paid leave.

Whether you are curious to know how your voluntary disability benefits stack up or are wondering if your paid leave program is comparable to competitors, there is likely benchmark data available. We at The Unland Companies would be happy to provide you with a variety of benchmark data—simply let us know what you are interested in learning.

Health Care Reform Implications

Interest in benefits benchmark data has grown since the introduction and ongoing implementation of health care reform. The regulations and provisions of health care reform require significant changes to benefit plans, and, in many cases, tough decisions for employers.

Knowing how other employers are approaching these issues could be beneficial in helping you reshape your benefit program for this new health care insurance landscape.

Employers are responsible for implementing many new rules and absorbing their costs, which will likely mean cutting or shifting costs elsewhere. These decisions can make the difference between maintaining a competitive benefits package and seeing a decline in recruiting and retention of quality employees.

Knowing how other employers plan to address these benefits decisions can be incredibly advantageous for your company. Contact The Unland Companies for more information on benefit plan benchmark data.