| SIG names Rachel Druckenmiller Wellness Director

Rachel Druckenmiller, who has served as the Corporate Health & Wellness Specialist at SIG since 2007, has been promoted to Wellness Director.

Rachel completed her certification as a Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), the world’s largest nutrition school in December 2013. At IIN, she studied dozens of dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. She also earned a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in April 2014.

In her role as Wellness Director, Rachel assists organizations in implementing health promotion strategies to improve the health of their employees and the culture of their workplace. She has guided both SIG and their clients to receive local and national wellness awards, and SIG has been recognized as one of Baltimore’s Healthiest Employers for the past two years and a Gold-Level American Heart Association Fit Friendly Company for three years running.

Rachel is certified as a Wellness Culture Coach and by the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) as a Well Workplace Practitioner, Faculty Status. She earned a Master of Science degree with concentrations in Community Health Education and Health Administration from Towson University in 2012. Rachel has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and has co-authored several articles on health-related topics that have been published in academic journals.

In addition to her corporate wellness expertise, as a result of overcoming several personal health challenges, Rachel is passionate about spreading the message of the importance of eating real, whole food and using food to heal and energize the body.

She believes good health begins in the kitchen and writes a healthy living blog focused on sharing delicious and nourishing whole, unprocessed recipes. Her blog also includes tips and tricks, and health information to help you feel your best, most energized and healthiest. You can follow her blog, Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen, at www.rachelsnourishingkitchen.com.

“We are so excited about Rachel’s certification as a Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and what it means for SIG and our clients. This training gives SIG the ability to continue offering innovative health and wellness services based on the needs and interests of our clients and their employees. We’ve seen the demand for wellness services grow over the years. This past year, clients have requested wellness culture audits, senior leadership management training, and employee interest surveys and focus groups. The follow-up feedback we’ve received is that clients want to offer their employees interactive health education workshops and health coaching and that their employees are wanting to get that help directly. As a trained health coach, Rachel will be able to guide our clients and their employees to live healthier and more energized lives. SIG believes that good health equals good business and an increase in employee recruitment, retention, engagement and productivity.”
-Richard Silberstein

| Calling an Audible: Considering the Private Exchange

Calling an Audible: Considering the Private Exchange

A recent coverage option available to employers is the private health insurance exchange. Despite its newness of availability, the private exchange is a coverage model that has become quite popular among many employers (larger ones, in particular). If you are considering a private exchange for your business, weighing these factors will help you to make the choice that best serves your needs, but first, let’s take a look at the model a bit more closely. (more…)

| The Ultimate Productivity Booster: Employee Wellness Programs!

employee wellness program

Increasing profits and retaining and recruiting skilled, productive, and engaged employees are goals common to most organizations. Theories about how to increase productivity abound, but there is one that we practice here at SIG that has served as a key differentiator for us. We’ve found that having a robust health and wellness program for our employees that supports them in being well and staying energized and focused has been key to our success. The approach we’ve taken can make a major difference in your workplace, encouraging employees to be happier, more focused, and more creative. Healthier, happier employees who are engaged in their work will be sick less, which means fewer visits to the doctor, less days out due to sickness, and more time invested in completing work. The following steps highlight a few factors to consider when creating and implementing your employee wellness program and how to ensure that you and your employee receive the highest benefit possible. (more…)

| New FAQs Address Summary of Benefits and Coverage Template and Other Affordable Care Act Topics

Filing Paperwork

The U.S. Department of Labor has released its latest set of FAQs regarding implementation of various provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Highlights of the FAQs are presented below.

Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Group health plans are required to provide, without charge, a standard SBC form explaining plan coverage and costs to employees at specified times during the enrollment process and upon request. (For insured group health plans, the notice requirement may be satisfied if the issuer furnishes recipients with a timely and complete SBC.) (more…)

| Employers Face Significant Penalties for Reimbursing Employees' Individual Health Insurance Policy Premiums

New guidance from the IRS explains the consequences when an employer does not establish a health insurance plan for its own employees, but instead chooses to reimburse those employees for some or all of the premiums they pay for individual health insurance, either inside or outside the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange).

Employer Penalties

Such arrangements are described as “employer payment plans,” which are considered group health plans subject to the Affordable Care Act’s market reforms (including the annual dollar limit prohibition and preventive services requirements). Employer payment plans also include arrangements under which an employer uses its funds to directly pay the premium for an individual health insurance policy covering an employee. The term generally does not include arrangements under which an employee may choose either cash or an after-tax amount to be applied toward health coverage. (more…)

| Minimum Wage To Increase in Delaware, Washington, D.C. and Other States this Summer

Changes AheadThe minimum wage rates are set to rise in a number of states over the coming months, generally as follows:

California: $9.00 per hour, effective July 1, 2014

Delaware: $7.75 per hour, effective June 1, 2014

District of Columbia: $9.50 per hour, effective July 1, 2014

Michigan: $8.15 per hour, effective September 1, 2014

Minnesota: $8.00 per hour (enterprises with annual gross volume of sales of $500,000 or more) and $6.50 per hour (enterprises with annual gross volume of sales of less than $500,000), effective August 1, 2014 (more…)

| 6 Factors for Deciding Whether to Pay Interns

Most companies have interns who work with them for a season and provide valuable assistance to the business,customers, and clients. These interns are often college students working for free or minimum wage. The age old question is, “When should you pay an intern?” The experts at Silberstein Insurance Group have put together a useful guide for determining when you should pay an intern.

Read the 6 Factors for Deciding Whether to Pay Interns Here