Featuring authors from across our organization on various topics related to risk management and employee benefits, our blog is a great resource to help you stay informed.

Our Scott thought leaders provide content on a regular basis to elevate your thinking surrounding critical components of your company’s culture and overall performance.

Affordable Housing’s Pull Cord Problem and the Unintended Insurance Ramifications

The affordable housing community, specifically HUD Section 202 for elderly housing, is experiencing an avoidable crisis. This crisis originates from the expanded scope of service and responsibility placed upon affordable housing organizations by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD Section 202 for elderly subsidized housing specifically states that the program provides options to allow seniors to age in their community by providing independent elderly living in an environment that offers support for community-based services, such as cleaning, cooking, and transportation (Perl, 2010). Yet HUD’s most recent Minimum Property Standards for Multifamily Housing handbook states that all elderly multifamily communities must install call-for-aid systems (HUD, 1994). Therefore, the requirement for continuous call-for-aid systems, such as pull cords, forces affordable housing owners and operators to engage in the practice of nonstop-24/7-resident monitoring. In our highly litigious society, the requirement for continual resident monitoring represents a significant liability for potential future legal action. Insurance companies have taken notice of this potential liability and have responded with action.  Continue reading

2024 Health Plan Renewal Perspective

As we have reached the year’s midpoint, employers are increasingly focusing on their upcoming 2024 health plan renewals. Numerous factors contribute to the renewal rates and overall costs of health plans, and this year, employers may experience higher premiums than in the recent past due to ongoing COVID-19-related impacts and general inflation, among other factors. Employers may also consider changing their health plan’s carrier or administrator, weighing the potential cost savings against the impact it might have on their employees. Continue reading

Investment in Employee Well-Being

Employers have a vested interest in the overall well-being of their employees. A happy and healthy workforce increases productivity, reduces absenteeism, improves retention and lowers total benefit costs. There are several ways employers can invest in employee well-being. Employers can focus on one or more of the four pillars of well-being: physical, mental, financial and social, or they can take a more comprehensive approach.  Continue reading

How the End of the COVID-19 Emergency Periods Will Impact Health Plans

UPDATE – COVID-19 National Emergency Ends Sooner Than Previously Announced

On March 29, 2023, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution that would end the COVID-19 national emergency declaration that has been in place since 2020. The U.S. House of Representatives voted in February to terminate the order, and President Joe Biden had indicated that he would sign the bill despite strongly opposing it. Biden had previously announced plans to end the national emergency declaration implemented by former President Donald Trump in May 2023. This resolution will not change the end date of the public health emergency which remains May 11, 2023.

On April 10, 2023, President Biden signed a resolution ending the COVID-19 national emergency. Since the national emergency now has been determined to end on April 10, 2023, the 60-day period would end on June 9, 2023 (rather than July 10, 2023, as previously predicted). But we understand the DOL has indicated that it will continue to use the May 11 date, meaning the outbreak period would end on July 10, 2023 (60 days after May 11) as originally announced. We are hopeful the agencies will issue formal, written guidance to confirm the end of the outbreak period.

Our original post about the plans to end the national emergency and public health emergency is included below.  We also hosted a Q&A webinar on this topic on March 2.  Click here to watch the webinar recording.

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Affordable Housing

Liability Considerations for Affordable Housing Developments

Affordable housing developments are a critical component of building a strong economy, and the need for affordable housing today is urgent.  According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s 2022 Report, the U.S. is facing a shortage of 7 million affordable rental homes/units.

While this need creates challenges for our communities, it simultaneously creates significant opportunity for affordable housing developers.  Given the increasing number of projects, our team has determined the following liability considerations and risk management strategies.  Continue reading