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CDC Alerts of Locally Acquired Malaria Cases in Texas and Florida

On Monday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert to doctors, public health officials and the public after five domestic malaria cases were reported within two months. These cases are the first in 20 years to be acquired locally and not linked to travel abroad. Four cases were reported

Don’t Drink and Drive This July 4th

Download the PDF here: Don’t Drink and drive on the 4th of July Provided by George Belcher Evans & Wilmer

HSA HDHP Limits Will Increase for 2024

HSA/HDHP Limits Will Increase for 2024 On May 16, 2023, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2023-23 to provide the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2024. The IRS is required to publish these limits by June 1 of each year. These limits include: The maximum HSA contribution

5 Reasons Why Your HDHP Will Fail

High deductible health plans (HDHPs) are becoming a popular health plan offering among employers nationwide. HDHPs can encourage employees to spend their health dollars wisely and can motivate them to take charge of their own health and wellness. To maximize the odds that your HDHP will be a success, avoid making these five common mistakes.

Study Shows Mortality Rate for Children in U.S. Rose

Study Shows Mortality Rate for Children in U.S. Rose in 2020 and 2021 The mortality rate for children and teens in the United States rose in 2020 and 2021. According to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), this increase is due to firearms, drug use and vehicle accidents.  It’s

IRS Releases FAQs

IRS Releases FAQs on Medical Expenses Related to General Health Nutrition and Wellness Highlights The IRS released FAQs that focus on when costs related to general health, nutrition and wellness can be paid or reimbursed by an HSA, health FSA or HRA.  Some expenses are always eligible, such as those for dental and eye exams. 

What You Should Know About Norovirus

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), norovirus is a very contagious virus that causes vomiting and diarrhea. It’s commonly called “the stomach bug.” Norovirus causes 19-21 million infections throughout the United States annually. Norovirus outbreaks commonly happen between November and April each year, with February typically being the peak month for cases. Anyone

Adding Walking To Your Daily Routine

Adding Walking to Your Daily Routine Working a remote or in-person office job that requires you to sit for most of the day can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Luckily, walking is a feasible way to add in exercise for most and can provide several benefits. According to a study published

President Biden: State of the Union Address

President Biden Discusses Employee Benefits and the Workplace in State of the Union Address On Tuesday, Feb. 7, President Joe Biden delivered the 2023 State of the Union (SOTU) address. The SOTU address is an annual speech the president delivers near the beginning of each year, outlining how the country is doing and identifying future

Family and Medical Leave Act

Since its enactment in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been the bedrock of the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) efforts to protect workers who need to take a prolonged absence due to a qualified family or medical reason. This law was enacted so employees could deal with serious and potentially unexpected

2023 Live Well Planner

“These days, you may feel overwhelmed with all the health-related information available. However, there are only a few basic tips to keep in mind for optimal health. Living a healthy lifestyle can be more difficult than it seems, though. That’s where the Live Well Planner can help; it provides the tools you need to feel

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Issues New Opioid Prescription Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidelines to clinicians for when to prescribe opioids for pain. The CDC officials have stated that doctors, insurers, pharmacies and regulators have misapplied previous guidance. The new guidelines include 12 recommendations for clinicians who are prescribing opioids for adults with acute pain lasting less

2023 Limits to Know

Panel Releases Recommendation for Anxiety Screening in Adults

Panel Releases Recommendation for Anxiety Screening in Adults On Sept. 20, 2022, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF) released a draft recommendation for anxiety screening in adults younger than age 65. This follows the PSTF’s draft recommendation from April 12, 2022, which endorsed anxiety screening in children ages 8 to 18. These recommendations highlight

New Mental Health Crisis Dialing Code Launched July 16

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline (Lifeline) launched nationwide on July 16. Similar to dialing 911 for medical emergencies, people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis can call or text 988 and be connected immediately to trained counselors who will listen, provide support and connect them to resources if necessary. The three-digit dialing code is

5 Things to Consider When Selecting a Health Plan

Changing health plans is a major decision for any employer, regardless of size. Not only is health insurance a costly commitment, it also impacts recruitment capabilities, retention levels and overall employee satisfaction. The right plan can improve employee health, boost morale and increase attraction and retention rates without unduly straining an organization’s budget. When deciding

No Surprises Act – Transparency Reporting Pharmacy and Drug Costs

The No Surprises Act (NSA), enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), includes transparency provisions requiring group health plans to report information on prescription drugs and health care spending to the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments). This requirement applies to group health plans and

Prevention and Response Considerations for Active Shooter Incidents

Brought to you by the insurance professionals at George Belcher Evans & Wilmer An active shooter incident entails an individual or group of individuals entering a populated area to kill or attempt to kill their victims, generally through the use of firearms. These incidents—sometimes called active shootings—have become increasingly common in the United States. According

HSA HDHP Limits Increase for 2023

On April 29, 2022, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2022-24 to provide the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2023. The IRS is required to publish these limits by June 1 of each year. These limits include: The maximum HSA contribution limit; The minimum deductible amount for

Metal Health Scorecard

Low risk. Contact George Belcher Evans & Wilmer to confirm: 0-6 Moderate risk. Contact George Belcher Evans & Wilmer today: 7-13 High risk. Contact George Belcher Evans & Wilmer today: 14-20

Mental Health At Work

DOJ Issues Guidance on Opioid Addiction and the ADA

On April 5, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) issued guidance on how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) can protect individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD) and other drug addictions from discrimination.   ADA Background  The ADA is a federal law that prohibits employers with 15 or more employers from discriminating against individuals based

CDC Loosens Mask-wearing Guidance for Most of U.S. Population

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updates to its mask-wearing recommendations, loosening guidance for a majority of the U.S. population. The CDC provides COVID-19 Community Levels as a tool to help communities decide what prevention steps to take based on the latest data. These levels can be low, medium or high,

Managing Uncertainty During the Pandemic

  Uncertainty has become a familiar faux during the pandemic. As different variants of the Corona Virus circulate and guidelines frequently change, you may be finding it difficult to cope with new developments.  The timing and feasibility of post-pandemic life remain a mystery but consider the following ways to healthily handle ambiguity in pandemic fueled

Remote Work Newsletter

Making the Most of Your Home Workstation It’s essential to periodically review your home workstation and ensure you’re set up for success moving into the new year. Since you spend several hours at your workspace, it should support your work responsibilities and be arranged in a way that helps you avoid injuries. This article discusses

CMS Guidance on Health Care Worker Vaccine Mandate

On Jan. 13, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court dissolved the temporary injunctions blocking enforcement of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) emergency rule requiring COVID-19 vaccination of certain health care workers. As a result, the emergency rule was reinstated and can now be enforced as written. CMS issued the following three pieces of

How to Get Your Free At Home COVID-19 Test

  Did you know you can get free, over-the-counter COVID-19 test for home use? Depending on your plan, your COVID-19 tests will be paid for directly by insurance, or you will be reimbursed later for the cost. Alternatively, you can order free tests through the government at However, this isn’t a good option if

OSHA Withdraws COVID-19 ETS, But Not the Proposed Permanent Rule

On Jan. 25, 2022, OSHA provided notice that it is withdrawing its COVID-19 vaccination and weekly testing emergency temporary standard (ETS). The withdrawal will be effective once the notice is published in the Federal Register. The expected publication date is Jan. 26, 2022.  The ETS was adopted to protect unvaccinated employees working for employers with

Creating a Psychological Safe Work Enviroment

LIVE WELL, WORK WELL Health and wellness tips for your work, home and life—brought to you by the insurance professionals at George Belcher Evans & Wilmer Several work dynamics can make the team successful. One of the most crucial ones is psychological safety. Being psychologically safe means you feel secure in taking risks and being

Medicare Part D Notices Are Due Before Oct. 15, 2021

Each year, Medicare Part D requires group health plan sponsors to disclose to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable.  Plan sponsors must provide the annual disclosure notice to Medicare-eligible individuals before Oct. 15, 2021—the

Protecting Yourself From the Delta Variant With a COVID-19 Vaccine

What Is the Delta Variant? As the country reopens, a surge in COVID-19 cases has occurred. According to the Centers for Disease Control data, this surge is primarily due to the Delta variant of COVID-19; it currently accounts for over 80% of new COVID-19 cases across the country, according to U.S. News. The Delta variant

CDC Says Masks Are No Longer Required in Most Settings for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

News Brief CDC Says Masks Are No Longer Required in Most Settings for Fully Vaccinated Individuals The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This long-awaited guidance loosens the CDC’s recommendations for fully vaccinated individuals, allowing them to stop wearing a mask in most settings.

Tips For Dealing With Self-Isolation

Transcript: COVID-19 is forcing many people to stay alone in their homes. Here are 6 ways to overcome the stress and anxiety that can come with self-isolation. Refrain from using drugs or alcohol as coping mechanisms. Keep a routine, especially for meals, sleep and exercise. Stay active with in-home exercises or short walks around your

New Dietary Guidelines For Americans Released

Live Well, Work Well Health and wellness tips for your work, home and life—brought to you by the insurance professionals at George Belcher Evans & Wilmer NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS RELEASED The foods and beverages you consume have a significant impact on your health. Diet-related chronic diseases—such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2diabetes, obesity and

FAQs Clarify COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Coverage

Transcript: Legal Update FAQs Clarify COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Coverage On Feb. 26, 2021 federal agencies issued FAQs to clarify health coverage requirements for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccinations. Health plans and issuers generally must cover COVID-19 diagnostic items and services without cost sharing. The FAQs explain that plans and issuers may not use medical

5 Ways to Beat Work-From-Home Burnout

If you’re working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and feeling burnt out, you’re not alone. According to a survey by Monster, an online employment platform, 69% of remote employees are experiencing burnout. What is burnout? According to the World Health Organization, you may have burnout if you experience: Increase exhaustion or energy depletion Decreased engagement

Communicating With Employees About COVID – 19 Vaccines

Brought to you by the insurance professionals atGeorge Belcher Evans & Wilmer Communicating With Employees About COVID-19 Vaccines Employee communications related to the pandemic have played a major role in keeping employees safe and healthy while navigating operational changes and challenges. Now, the long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines have become available after the Food and Drug Administration


Video: Transcript: If you’re feeling achy or in pain while at work, your workstation and posture may be to blame. Making sure your workspace is ergonomically appropriate, meaning it’s arranged to fit your specific needs, can help prevent unnecessary discomfort. What can you do? If you sit at a desk keep these two tips

Heart Disease

Video: Transcript: Do you know the leading cause of death for U.S. men and women? It’s heart disease. A term that refers to several different heart conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease causes one-in-four deaths annually, nearly 650,000 people. What Can You Do? In some cases, heart disease

Stimulus Bill Includes Ban on Surprise Medical Bills

On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 into law. The Act includes a $900 billion coronavirus relief package that provides funding for unemployment benefits, direct economic payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental assistance. It also includes the No Surprises Act, a ban on surprise medical bills, which takes effect

AIDS and HIV in the Workplace

AIDS and HIV in the Workplace With an increase in the number of employees contracting acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), AIDS-related complex, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), employers, assisted by federal law, must implement AIDS policies to ensure reasonable care is exercised toward employees in the workplace. The following material addresses AIDS-related issues, such as

OSHA – Employer Responsibilities

Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. This is a short summary of key employer responsibilities: Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act. Examine workplace conditions to make sure they