Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a warning about the potentially dangerous, rapidly spreading coronavirus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. According to the WHO the public must be “alert but not anxious”. Information is changing by the hour as doctors and officials evaluate how dangerous this outbreak is, and race against the clock to stop it. For those of you who would like the latest information from the WHO, you can visit their website and view the daily Situation Reports.
The healthcare sector is without a doubt one of the most targeted industries for cyber hackers. Different industries have different types and degrees of cyber risk exposure. But hackers and malicious campaigns take aim at the healthcare sector in particular due to the private nature and black market value of the data.
The U.S. Department of Justice stated that “More than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred daily since January 1, 2016. This is a 300 percent increase over the approximately 1,000 attacks per day seen in 2015.”
Essentially, no particular user, company or business sector is safe. Although the Healthcare and Retail industries are targeted for their volume and value of data, home computers may also fall victim to ransomware.
In employers’ 2014 plan year, all companies must ensure their non-grandfathered plans adhere to a single out of pocket (OOP) maximum for their employee’s health care plan expenses. This requirement applies to both fully insured and self-insured plans. Going forward, the OOP limit must include all spending on medical, prescription drugs and both mental health and substance abuse treatment benefits. Actuarial estimates indicate this change could increase employer health care costs between 1.5% and 2% next year.
Many of today’s employers offer robust wellness programs, which, typically, offer employees incentives for certain types of behaviors in an effort to improve health and, ultimately, reduce employer medical costs. These rewards can include premium discounts, membership in gyms and cash.
One of the most commonly found clauses in any construction contract is the requirement of one party to name another party as an additional insured. It is found in The American Institute of Architects (AIA) documents, the Consensus DOCS, and was inserted in almost all manuscript agreements.
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Employers should be concerned about the possibility of higher health care costs in 2014. Depending on the industry, some employers may be hit with premium increases and could possibly see penalties. For instance, employers in the hospitality sector such as retail and restaurant industries could see average increases of 60 percent in their health care costs. According to a report last month from the Society of Actuaries, the reasons for these increases are being attributed to the greater use of health care services by individuals who had previously had no coverage, and they further predict that the claims costs could increase by another 32% as early as 2017.
Many Baby-Boomers have helped one or more of their parents with the difficult emotional and financial decisions related to long-term continuing care. While Medicare covers skilled nursing care, it does not pay for continuing care in nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. Nor does Medicare pay for home attendants, who provide personal care, such as bathing and dressing, which can easily cost $500 or more a day. In response to their financial advisor’s recommendations and their involvement with their parent’s experience(s), many “Boomers” have purchased long-term care insurance to cover a significant percentage of these costs.