July 30, 2008
By Matt Haverdink
The ever daunting task of helping employers find ways to control healthcare costs and keep benefits strong and affordable is not an easy one. Fortunately, the small employer can do something other than the “do nothing” strategy.
We, as a community or employer group, pay for our claims one way or another. I’m here to tell you the doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and insurance companies are NOT losing money. We’ve all seen the tremendous expansion in Grand Rapids and the surrounding areas. Who is paying for that? The cost is being passed on to employers and employees.
I have yet to find someone to disagree with the theory of – healthy employees cost less than those who are sickly. Sure some illnesses can’t be avoided, but the Center for Disease Control states 70% of our healthcare costs are controllable. By that I mean, nutrition, exercise, weight control, smoking etc. The obesity rate in Michigan (27.7% in ’07) is increasing at a very rapid rate. Long ago are the days when kids spent the entire day playing ball and being outside. It is a different society with the computer and video game options available.
My experience with several of my clients as well as our own experience is worth mentioning. For our agency we have been able to keep our health care cost increases to a minimum. In fact our rates for a no deductible plan are slightly lower than what they were 4 years ago and we haven’t had to increase our employee portion of the premium or reduce benefits. Unfortunately, most employers have had to simply cost shift by raising deductibles and premiums to the employees or absorb the costs themselves-sound familiar.
When you design your plan you can afford to take more risk if you have a healthy group. Why pay for low deductibles if you are healthy? Insurance was designed to cover that which you can not afford to pay yourself. A well designed plan would take into consideration the makeup of your group, i.e. claims, utilization, age and family status.
ResLife of Grandville has experienced a huge cost savings over the past 2+ years by encouraging healthy lifestyles and designing their health plan so that their better than average claims experience rewards them and not the insurance company.
Talk to your agent to make sure that you have analyzed the different options available
(HRA, HSA, FSA). How is your premium determined (community or experience rated)? These are questions you should ask to make sure you are aggressively doing everything you can do to control healthcare costs.
Matt Haverdink has been providing employee benefits for 17 years and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Matt is also the co-owner of Ottawa Kent Insurance and co-founder of HealthTrack. HealthTrack is a corporate wellness provider in West Michigan of which local companies are offering their employees as a prevention tool to combat rising healthcare costs. Questions can be directed to email@example.com or (616) 392-6006.
July 11, 2008
The United States Supreme Court has observed that all who unite themselves to a church do so with the implied consent to its government and are bound to submit to that church’s government. The articles of incorporation are the church’s birth certificate. This document, when approved and certified by the appropriate government officials, is commonly referred to as a Corporate Charter or the Articles of Incorporation. Church charters typically set forth the name, address, period of duration (which is typically perpetual), purposes of the corporation, doctrinal tenets of faith, and names and addresses of the incorporators and directors. However, charters rarely contain rules for internal government of the corporation therefore; it’s desirable and customary for churches to adopt rules for their internal operation. These are typically referred to as Bylaws. At times people refer to these as Constitution and Bylaws, but for our purposes we are merely going to refer to them as Bylaws.
At a minimum, church bylaws should cover the following matters:
- Qualifications, selection and expulsion of members
- Time and place of annual business meetings
- The calling and rules for special business meetings
- Notice for annual and special meetings
- Definition of quorums, voting rights, selection, tenure and removal of officers and directors
- Filling of vacancies
- Responsibilities of directors and officers
- Method of amending the bylaws
- Purchase and conveyance of property