Amid the continued concerns of COVID-19/Coronavirus, please rest assured that The Prewitt Group is committed to keeping our clients and partners protected, prepared and informed. Therefore, we are sharing the following information that has been provided by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Please use the following information to help prepare your team:

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed interim guidance for businesses and employers to plan for and respond to COVID-19. The interim guidance is intended to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

OSHA recordkeeping requirements mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA300 log. While exposure to common cold and flu are specifically exempt, incidents of employees contracting coronavirus at work are a “recordable” incident.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if certain criteria are met

Regarding employers with employees that could potentially be exposed to novel coronavirus, you can view Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) site for information that may apply to employee’s exposure to novel coronavirus.

  • OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) standards (in general industry, 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I), which require using gloves, eye and face protection, and respiratory protection.
  • When respirators are necessary to protect workers, employers must implement a comprehensive respiratory protection program in accordance with the Respiratory Protection standard (29 CFR 1910.134).
  • The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970, 29 USC 654(a)(1), which requires employers to furnish to each worker “employment and a place of employment, which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.”

As always, The Prewitt Group is available to navigate the uncertainties and questions related to your business and industry. Our team of risk management advisors are ready and available to talk through specific concerns you may have. Please contact us at (205) 933-9207 or email your consultant directly.

Insurance for Every Milestone

“When should I buy life insurance?” “Do I need renters insurance?” “What is disability insurance?” “I’m starting a business. What insurance do I need?”

These are just a few questions that are frequently asked by individuals who are planning for their future and/or entering a new season of life. As your life changes, so should your insurance coverage. While insurance isn’t the most exciting purchase, it is essential for protecting yourself, your loved ones and your wealth.

From buying a car to starting a business, certain life milestones call for reevaluation of your insurance coverage. Some policies are required, while others are strongly recommended. As you reach these common milestones, here are the policies you should consider purchasing:

When you buy a car: Before hitting the road in your new ride, you need personal auto insurance. Many factors impact how much you pay for your premium, including what you drive, your driving history, how often and how far you drive and your credit history, as well as your age, sex and marital status. That being said, your premium may increase or decrease as these factors change throughout your life.

When you start “adulting:” As you enter the workforce and move out from your parents’ home, consider purchasing these policies to protect your livelihood:

  • Health insurance: Children can stay on their parents’ policy until age 26, but once your 26th birthday comes around, you’re required to obtain your own policy.
  • Disability insurance: If you’re relying on your income to live, purchasing disability insurance could be a lifesaver if you become disabled and unable to work for a period.
  • Renters insurance: While it’s not a requirement, renters insurance is something any renter will be glad to have in the case of a fire, leak, or storm.

When you buy a home: If you own a home, homeowner’s insurance is a necessity. Most policies cover the house itself, your belongings and the liability of someone being injured on your property. Depending on the location of your home, you may need to purchase additional coverage, such as flood insurance.

When you get married and start a family: While you can purchase life insurance at any time, the importance of life insurance increases when you get married and/or start a family. In the event of your death, life insurance offers protection for your family and home by replacing your income. Acquiring life insurance at a younger age is smart because you’re not only healthy, but you also pay the same rate over a period of time.

When you start your own business: As soon as you start your business, no matter the size, you should consider getting commercial insurance. The type of coverage you need will vary based on the type of business you open.

At The Prewitt Group, we are committed to understanding your needs for every stage of life and delivering customized services to fit those needs. We would be happy to meet with you to discuss the coverage you need with each life change.

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Have you met Tyler Hudson? In 2018, Tyler joined The Prewitt Group team as an Employee Benefits Broker. He strives to create a better benefits plan that positively impacts a client’s or prospective client’s bottom line. When he is not working with organizations to tailor specific group insurance, healthcare and disability income products to their needs, you may find him travelling with his wife, enjoying lunch at Saw’s Juke Joint or cheering on The Tide. To learn more about Tyler, check out this Q&A:

Q: How did you get into the insurance industry?

A: Before The Prewitt Group, I worked at ADP helping companies streamline their back-office HR functions/software. I worked heavily with Benefits Administration systems, which eventually led me to a position as an Employee Benefits Broker.

Q: Are you seeing any new trends in the industry?

A: Yes, the only constant regarding the employee benefits industry is that it is always changing. One area in particular is employer-provided health insurance plans. On average, an employer now pays about $20,000 annually for a family health insurance plan. It is an upward trend from years past and the burden is being shouldered by both employees and the employer. Services for emergency room visits, surgical hospital admissions and administered/pharmaceutical drugs are rising, which increases the healthcare costs. My job is to help these organizations navigate through these rising expenses to find a better solution.

Q: What’s your favorite part of working for The Prewitt Group?

A: The people. I have a great working relationship with my colleagues and work with some very talented and caring people. I’m grateful to have great mentors who have helped me grow professionally. They have gone above and beyond to help me and take an interest in my personal well-being. I’m very thankful for that, and it makes it a great environment to work in.

Q: Who’s your biggest role model?

A: My dad. Unfortunately, I lost him when I was 18, but he was a great role model and a great man.

Q: Favorite travel spot/vacation?

A: I guess it would depend on the time of year, but my wife and I really enjoy travelling. In the spring and summer, we travel to Smith Lake and 30A often. In the fall, you can probably find us in Tuscaloosa and Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Q: Favorite spot to hang out in Birmingham? (Restaurant, park, brewery, bar, etc.!)

A: I’m a dive bar and BBQ fan, so I’ll go with Saw’s Juke Joint here. We live nearby and generally eat there a couple of times a week. I’m a huge fan of the Smoked Wings and Sweet Tea Chicken Sandwich but will give you an “off-the-menu” pro tip here – try the Loaded Baked Potato on a bed of French Fries served Roll Tide (With Red and White BBQ sauce) and bring your appetite.

Q: Hobbies?

A: I like spending time with family, playing golf, and attending sporting events.

Q: Anything you want to add about family, pets or personal life?

A: My wife, Kensey, and I got married in June of 2017. We are expecting our first child (baby girl) in a short two months! We also have a goldendoodle named Finn.

2019 coverage

The new year gives us the opportunity for a fresh start. It’s the season for goal-setting and resolutions. It’s also a good time to ask yourself, “What could go wrong this year?” and “How would my insurance company respond if the worst scenario occurred?”

Reflect on the happenings of the past year and evaluate your insurance policies to guarantee you’re covered in the coming year. Consider your family, business, property, home, health, vehicle, etc. A lot can change over the course of a year, and sometimes those changes may impact your insurance coverage. Here are a few items to asses to ensure you’re covered in 2019:

  1. Health insurance: Did you recently enroll or change your health insurance? Make sure you have your new insurance cards and before you visit a doctor and verify that they are in your provider network.
  2. Life insurance coverage: Major life changes, such as a birth, divorce, remarriage or even a new mortgage or new job, are indicators that you might need to make changes to your life insurance policy.
  3. Homeowner’s insurance: Take account of your assets with a detailed home inventory. This is the best way to determine the appropriate level of coverage needed. It’s also a good idea to know your deductible amounts and check to see if you’re eligible for any discounts.
  4. Auto insurance: Driving underinsured is not a good way to enter the new year. Examine your deductibles for comprehensive and collision coverage. Talk with your agent to determine how raising or lowering this amount would affect your premium.
  5. Commercial coverage: Take inventory of your business. Be sure you have coverage for all locations and aspects of your business. If you’ve purchased new real estate or equipment, added new operations, expanded your online presence or made any other drastic business changes in the past year, be sure your insurance agent is aware.

The Prewitt Group is committed to mitigating risk by understanding your needs and delivering customized services to fit those needs. We would be happy to meet with you and discuss strategies that will empower you and/or your company in fulfilling insurance needs for the new year. Contact us today!


healthcare apps

By: David Murdock, The Prewitt Group Life, Health and Group Benefits Consultant

We are all aware of increasing healthcare costs and how they impact our lives. However, good health doesn’t just happen on its own. Consumers play a key role in healthcare, and by being smarter healthcare consumers, we can combat the rising healthcare costs. Practicing effective healthcare consumerism and taking an active role in your health is the best way to prevent sickness and disease, receive great care and reduce costs.

First, maintain a healthy lifestyle and take care of yourself. Being a better healthcare consumer starts with YOU, and establishing healthy habits starts with you. Eating healthy, exercising regularly and reducing stress are important aspects of your overall health and wellness in the short and long term. Stay up-to-date with yearly checkups and age-appropriate health screenings and immunizations. Plus, be prepared for minor illnesses and injuries with a stocked first-aid or emergency kit at home.

Secondly, understand what your insurance policy really covers. This way, you can make the most of your spending each year. Know your deductible amount, out-of-pocket maximum, copays for regular office, urgent care and ER visits and copay costs for generic, brand and specialty prescriptions.

Next, carefully select your healthcare providers. Having a primary care provider is vital to being a smarter healthcare consumer. Visiting the emergency room after work hours or relying on urgent care visits is NOT a good practice.  Instead, seek recommendations from family and friends, check your health plan to see which physicians are in-network, and know what you want and need from a primary care provider.

You can also seek ways to save money. There are many ways to save money when it comes to healthcare, such as using in-network doctors and facilities, asking for generic equivalents at the pharmacy and checking your medical bills and explanation of benefits for accuracy. When you need special testing and treatments, shop around for a cost-effective option.

healthcare apps

Lastly, with the technology available to us today, we can use resources with reliable information. Gather facts and advice based on sound medical research using reliable websites and mobile applications. For instance, if you have BlueCross BlueShield of Alabama, you can use its app, Alabama Blue, to access your plan details, such as common copay amounts, HSA balances and claims, file a drug claim, locate in-network doctors and more on the go! Below is a list of other helpful healthcare apps that I rely on regularly:

  • GoodRX—Gathers current prices and discounts to help you find the lowest cost pharmacy for your prescriptions.
  • myRXplanner—Combines medication reminders and a scheduler application that is intended to assist users in being compliant with their prescribed or directed dosages for themselves, those they care for, and family members or loved ones.
  • EyeMed—Allows you to check your benefit details for eye exams, eyeglass frames, contacts and lenses on the go.
  • Alabama Blue Health Handbook—A comprehensive source for accredited reference information on diseases and medical conditions, medical procedures, and prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  • My Cancer Coach—Provides information about personalized cancer treatments to help manage your cancer’s progression.
  • WebMD—Research conditions, check your symptoms, access drug and treatment information, get first aid essentials, check local health listings and find the latest health news on the go.
  • Best Doctors—As a Best Doctors member, you can have your medical diagnosis, treatment plan and any medical questions reviewed and answered by a carefully selected expert physician who specializes in your condition. You can also start and track the progress of your case!
  • TeleDoc—Connects you with a board-certified doctor 24/7/365 through the convenience of phone or video consults.

These are just a few of the countless resources available that can equip you to be a smarter healthcare consumer! Put these tips into practice today!


Secondary Health Insurance

By: David Murdock, J.R. Prewitt & Associates Life, Health and Group Benefits Consultant

Increasing healthcare costs impact both employees and employers. In fact, according to The New York Times, high-priced insurance plans are causing middle-class consumers to drop coverage altogether.

As mentioned in my previous blog, medical trends are the cause of these increasing costs. Medical trends are determined by health insurance companies monitoring the costs of visiting a physician, having lab work done and receiving other routine outpatient treatments. Price inflation, increased usage of medical care and services, leveraging effect of fixed deductibles and copays, cost shifting from the uninsured to private payers, government-mandated benefits, and technological advancements also influence medical trends.

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By: David Murdock, J.R. Prewitt & Associates Life, Health and Group Benefits Consultant

There is no doubt that health insurance is an extraordinarily confusing concept. As a Life, Health and Group Benefits Consultant, I am often asked, “Why am I paying so much for healthcare and still incurring the costs of copays and deductibles?” In short, my answer is medical trend.

What is medical trend?

Medical trend is defined as a change in health care costs. Health insurance companies, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, monitor the costs of visiting a physician, having lab work done (i.e. MRI’s, x-rays, colonoscopies, etc.) and receiving other routine outpatient treatments to determine how they are trending. Other factors that influence medical trend include price inflation, increased usage of medical care and services, leveraging effect of fixed deductibles and copays, cost shifting from the uninsured to private payers, government-mandated benefits and technological advancements.

How did the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impact medical trend?

While ACA caused some positive change, like removing lifetime maximums—the amount a health plan will pay in benefits to an insured individual during his/her lifetime, it prompted medical costs to grow at a faster rate. With lifetime maximums removed, health insurers began facing multi-million-dollar claims. Consequently, to counter those costs, the only health plans they offered required higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, which put the costs back on the consumer.

How do increasing health care costs impact employees?

Employees often associate the cost of healthcare with what comes out of their pockets. They usually don’t think about their share of the premium since it’s a payroll deduction, but expensive co-pays and high deductibles catch their attention and raise complaints.

How do increasing health care costs impact employers?

As the healthcare benefit provider, employers not only incur the costs of outsized healthcare premiums, but they are also confronted with employee complaints and questions. These spur employers to seek a solution that offsets the costs of higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums.

What is the solution?

At J.R. Prewitt and Associates, we’re encouraging employers to consider secondary insurance options. The emergence of secondary insurance coverage has helped defray the burdensome out-of-pocket costs to employees. Essentially, secondary insurance kicks in to cover a lot of the costs that would otherwise go to deductible and out of pocket expenses. While secondary insurance may not cover everything, it helps minimize large expenses in many cases. If you’re interested in learning more about secondary insurance, contact me today, and we’ll determine a plan to meet your unique needs.