E to E...by Employers for Employers E to E provides information from a business perspective that will educate regional employers about significant healthcare issues to help them make decisions benefiting their organizations and employees.

 Sponsored by Northern Illinois Health Plan

April 2016 Issue


Reminder: PCORI Fees Due By July 31st

Millennials Within Your Workforce? They May Need Benefits 101!

Wellness Programs Should Be More Than A One-Time Assessment

Do Benefits Make Your Company A Keeper (Or “Whoever said there wasn’t a free lunch?”)

Quick Poll – Review

April Quick Poll – Vote

Contact Information



It is almost time to pay your PCORI fees!

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), all medical plans are responsible for paying the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research fee to the IRS, based on the number of plan participants. If the plan is insured, the insurance carrier pays the fee on behalf of the policyholder. If the plan is self-insured, the employer/plan sponsor must file the Form 720 and pay the fee to the IRS directly. The Form 720 and instructions are available on the IRS website. If your medical plan year ended in 2015, your Form 720 is due by July 31, 2016.

The PCORI fee is $2.08 per covered life if the plan year ends on or after October 1, 2014 and before October 1, 2015. It is $2.17 per covered life if the plan year ends on or after October 1, 2015 and before October 1, 2016.

Remember, the fee helps to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which will provide research to patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy-makers, to help them make informed health decisions by advancing the quality and relevance of evidence-based medicine. The institute will compile and distribute comparative clinical effectiveness research findings.


Paying the PCORI Fee in 2016, Keller Benefit Services

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund Fee (IRC 4375, 4376 and 4377): Questions and Answers, US Internal Revenue Service


Millennial employees are changing the makeup of many organizations. Why are they unique?

  • They have grown up with the Internet
  • They like to use apps to help them learn about healthcare
  • They are open to wellness programs
  • They embrace the idea of “telemedicine”
  • They want a wealth of information at their fingertips

According to a recent study by MetLife, they also want to pick from a “menu” of benefits choices. Yet many young professionals (millennials, age 21-32) entering the workforce don’t truly understand the choices they have — they lack the basic knowledge to make informed decisions about their benefit programs. One reason? They disregard communications tools they consider “old-school” and turn off if they don’t think they are being given much flexibility.

Could this be true in your business? If many of your employees have been around for decades, don’t assume the tools you use to communicate with them will still work with newer, younger members of your workforce. You may need to evaluate your demographics and reassess your communications strategies. If you need help, contact NIHP. We can help give you ideas to connect better with millennials or any other sub-group within your organization.


Meeting the health needs of millennials, Compass, March 9, 2016

Millennials have increased need for education about benefits, Employee Benefit Adviser, April 6, 2016

Well-being programs key ingredient for retaining millennials, EBN, March 10, 2016

What do millennials want from a benefits package?, HR Specialist, April 2016


Common wisdom suggests that anything you can do to improve your employees’ wellness is a benefit to both your workforce and your business. Healthy employees improve productivity, increase innovation, and promote teamwork. However, one-time events or assessment programs, though helpful, cannot pack the punch of a comprehensive workplace health promotion strategy and do not produce the same results.

The best wellness programs take time. Three to five years is not unusual. So before you announce a new, one-time initiative, really think it through. Can you make it part of a bigger, ongoing program and give it the long-term support and communications it needs to be successful? Can it not only help those with chronic conditions but prevent them in the first place? With seven out of every 10 deaths caused by chronic diseases such as diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, and 86% of the nation’s healthcare costs used to treat individuals with such diseases, it is an investment you should consider.

Read more about how one employer’s healthcare strategy for chronic disease management helped an employee with diabetes make big improvements in her life. Then call NIHP if you’d like to consider a wellness program as part of your healthcare plan. We can give you tips, tools, and timing recommendations.


121 employee wellness program ideas for your office, SnackNation, March 24, 2015

How to design a corporate wellness plan that actually works, HBR, March 31, 2016

Chronic disease management biggest missed opportunity in wellness, EBN, March 28, 2016

How to help employees manage their chronic health conditions, Smart Business, April 1, 2016

Wellness incentive programs evolve, Incentive, March 29, 2016

DO BENEFITS MAKE YOUR COMPANY A KEEPER (Or “Whoever said there wasn’t a free lunch?”)

We all know that benefits, including healthcare plans, are integral in helping your company appeal to new hires and retain current employees. In fact, a recent survey found that 95 percent of Americans consider employee benefits before deciding whether or not to accept a job or stay in their present one. Beyond healthcare benefits, some of the more common perks include continuing education, maternity/paternity leave, and free gym memberships.

That being said, a number of companies large and small, well-known and obscure, have taken benefits “broadening” to a whole new level. Just for fun, take a look at some of the more quirky choices companies have added to their benefits menu:

  • Bicycle repairs
  • Pet insurance
  • Free lunch
  • All the snacks you can carry
  • Vacation rentals
  • Free beer on Fridays
  • Free mechanical bull rides at the bar across the street
  • Two hours of free housecleaning services a month
  • Bring your dog to work
  • “We promise not to poke you with a sharp stick”
  • Free bacon
  • Unlimited vacation

Do you need to explore such options for your business? Perhaps not. But it doesn’t hurt to be creative and evaluate what options – traditional or leading-edge, healthcare-focused or totally unrelated – might appeal to your workforce and not break your budget.


4 unique employee benefits to boost morale, Employee Benefit Plans, April 4, 2016

20 crazy employee benefits offered by companies, FlexJobs, March 15, 2016

Quirky job benefits: Free bacon, bicycle repairs, CNBC, March 18, 2016

A Quick Review of Last Issue's "Quick Poll"

In the February 2016 issue of E to E we asked readers, "Are you using, or have you considered switching to, a consumer-driven health plan?" Specific survey results are noted in the chart, below.

April Quick-Poll Summary

April Quick Poll – Vote

Do you offer a wellness program to your employees?
(Click a response to vote. Answers are strictly anonymous.)

Then, visit the NIHP website to view this issue's quick poll results.

For more information contact us at:
(800) 723-0202 or NIHPCustomerService@nihp.com

Northern Illinois Health Plan

773 W. Lincoln Blvd., Suite 402, Freeport, IL 61032

Add your address to this mailing list
Remove your address from this mailing list
Make a suggestion for future content or provide feedback on this issue