MBriefs Byte Sized Benefits | June 2019 Edition

Welcome to Volume Uno, Issue Uno of probably one of the coolest, most forward-thinking publications on employee benefit engagement, education and communication ever created - JUST ASK US! Seriously, if you are just looking to "check a box" and want to continue with the same old, sanitized, generic, run-of-the-mill way of doing things, this newsletter isn't for you. If you like to be challenged, have your imagination stretched, pushed a little past your comfort zone, and are willing to consider taking a risk or two, then by all means, continue reading. Everyone else, please return to the back of the pack; however, keep in mind that doing things the same way over and over again and expecting a different result is INSANE!

Each month, we will share articles we believe will disrupt the status quo and reinforce your status as a benefit superhero in the process. These spectacularizing (look there, we even create new words) videos will focus on how your employees can make better health care decisions, save money, access health care at the right place/right time, and change behavior...but alas, that's for your employees, let's get back to you! Get sneak peeks to upcoming events, learn how to leverage social media with your employees, and listen/download our newest podcasts (which BTW have been highlighted by iTunes three separate times as NEW & NOTEWORTHY). ENJOY!

The Real Stuff You Need to Know

Mean-Girl Medicine Manufacturers

The U.S. generic drug manufacturers are not playing nice with their prices, and Ohio is ready to push back. Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost shares that Ohio and other states once again have put a lawsuit in motion charging “a broad conspiracy to artificially inflate and manipulate prices, reduce competition and unreasonably restrain trade for more than 100 different generic drugs,” as reported by DDN staff writer, Kaitlin Schroeder.

Of course, the manufacturer’s representative, Association of Accessible Medicines is going to share the ‘good news’, they did save approximately $2 trillion over the past 10 years, but at what cost? What did the U.S. pill takers have to spend out of their pocket to make up THAT much savings?

These accusations are directed to Teva, Pfizer, Mylan, Sandoz and 16 others. Four of the largest generic drug manufacturers with Teva being the queen bee.

For an entire list of manufacturers read USA Today’s article.

“Are You Planning to Share with Everyone, Billy?”

You may not realize it, but yes, if you are using a health, wellness app, you probably are sharing your personal health information (PHI) with everyone. Well, just one at first, and then they share it with Facebook, and other social domains. These get-up-and go health-assisting applications are not protected by the rules of HIPAA.

HIPAA is specific to the relationship between health provider and patient regarding recommended course of treatment, thus any medical provider that endorses an application or patient portal, like MyChart or MyHealthPlan, falls under the stipulations and is supported by HIPAA.

You may think twice before downloading that app from the App Store. Sure, get the FitBit, it will still count each of your steps but just know when you transfer those miles walked to your phone app, or computer, everyone can see everything about you. Yikes!

“Hey Mommy, I Wanna Go on Medicare!”

You would too, knowing that, on average, U.S. hospitals are charging almost three times as much as the 2017 Medicare rates. According to RAND Corp, a non-profit think tank that provides research and analysis of complex issues, believes this ongoing issue of government versus the private sector will come to an ugly head once again with political debates. RAND also mentions, “the lack of transparency, coupled with public outrage over rising hospital bills, has spurred calls for disclosure of the rates negotiated.” At MB, we cannot encourage you enough to think about some of those ways to put money back in your pocket. Price Transparency- look around before setting an appointment. RxDiscounts- use GoodRx to cut the costs of high price prescriptions. Access to Care- think about telemedicine or Urgent Care before going to the emergency room. Since most of us aren’t on Medicare yet, we can try to match those rates by being a smart health consumer.

Video Links for Quick Health Care Knowledge

We bet you a Benjamin (that’s $100) that your employees believe accessing health care is the same as purchasing a television at Best Buy – higher price means higher quality. WRONG! It is opposite in health care. Have all your employees watch this game-changing video that will make them question their health care purchases in the future. If you really like it, we can even brand it for your company. Just ask us.

Side Affects: Our Podcast to Provoke You to Think Differently

With today’s thriving economy, many of your managers have been thrown into leadership roles so fast, that reluctantly, there is no time for proper training. The newer employees are eager to succeed, but are they equipped to manage? Listen in as leadership consultant, Kristi Dinsmore reminds us, “It is the company’s role to invest in their people and make them the best that they can be.” Join Side Affects producer, Kenzie Fell, co-host, Scott McGohan and Kristi as they discuss how to grow with millennials and develop them into leaders.

Events You Should Probably Plan to Attend

Retirement Health Insurance – Your Employees’ Dilemma and How You Can Help:

By 2024, one in four U.S. workers will be 55 or older, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The Medicare-eligible population is growing with 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day and many individuals plan on delaying retirement until age 70 or older. Some don’t plan to retire at all. This learning center class will address the challenges that employees face as they prepare for retirement and health insurance in retirement. You will learn ways to provide educational opportunities for your aging workforce as they begin navigating the confusion surrounding Medicare.

The course has been approved for 1 hour of HRCI and SHRM credits.

Course Instructor: Donna Foster, Account Executive

Donna Foster is an Account Executive with RetireMEDiQ and has served in the Medicare insurance industry for 12 years. Donna partners with employers, financial planners, credit unions and other organizations that have individuals retiring and transitioning to Medicare. RetireMEDiQ is a trusted advisor serving over 25,000 retirees in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

MB Columbus - Wednesday, June 12th | 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

“Is It Something I Said” Improv:

Do you have high turnover? Are you losing your talented workforce, and don’t know why? Employees often leave dream jobs due to their manager’s communication skills. This three hour hands-on experience-based course will help you understand how certain communication strategies, when practiced, will increase employee engagement by ways of valuing your employee simply through communication. As a participant, you will not only be enlightened and entertained, but you will leave with the tools to teach these exercises to other managers, assuring employee engagement across multiple departments. This is Justin Howard’s third year with MB Learning Center, and his classes are gaining popularity every year. Do not miss this opportunity to have fun, and learn vital managerial skills.

This course is approved for 3 HRCI / SHRM credits.

About the Speaker: Justin Howard

Justin is the founder of Black Box Improv Theater in Dayton and lead facilitator at Emerge Improv, a professional training and coaching organization dedicated to workplace and individual development. Justin graduated from Wittenberg University with a degree in communication and studied improv in Chicago and New York City. He started improv training for businesses after leading workshops for Harvard Business School MBA students, and his clients include local governments, nonprofits and Fortune 100 companies.

MB Dayton - Wednesday, June 19th | 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM

MB Cincinnati - Wednesday, June 26 | 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM

To Post or Not to Post?

Hello HR Execs, it’s finally time for you to join the social media revolution. Embrace social media and use the tools that your employees will understand and accept. With the straight-forward tips listed below, you are one step closer to trending all the way home.

To Post or Not to Post?

Tip #1

Upload a video directly to LinkedIn vs. uploading the video to YouTube and then adding the link from YouTube to your post.


This will help you rank on LinkedIn because the embedded video is native to LinkedIn and will get 10x more exposure than a YouTube video link.

Tip #2

If you want to share something motivational or inspiring, Monday is the day to do it!


People love to read inspiring messages at the beginning of the week to jump start their work week. #MotivationMonday

Tip #3

Share your work/life balance techniques. This could include your hobbies, pictures with family, what you like to do on the weekend, after work, etc.


Original content gets the best engagement! You can share personal details on LinkedIn without getting TOO personal. (That's what Facebook is for!)

Rumor Has It…But Details to Come

In the state of Ohio, Medical Marijuana has been legalized. Case closed!

Dude, not so fast.

Legalized in approximately one third of the US states plus DC and ten of those states have also legalized recreational use. State voters have agreed that medical marijuana is helpful, but at the federal level, it is still illegal, and since the government still has its thumb on most of the health care process, what does that mean for the drug use going forward?

Cannabis is a proven solution for those riddled with chronic pain, however doctors are discovering that on average, 50% of their patients are not able to afford it.

Consider this, if the federal government joins the state mentality to legalize marijuana, will cost be regulated? Will it ever be HSA approved? Most patient are still purchasing the less expensive/illegal options because they cannot 1. Find a nearby dispensary and 2. Afford to pay the higher prices than what is offered on the street. With those drawbacks, for some, it is no longer a helpful prescription and doctors cannot control the type, or the amount to determine a regulated prescription.

Ohio has elected a maximum 90-day supply limit with the amount still to be determined. 90 days? Sounds like mail order prescription option, but how will that work? Most dispensaries are cash only.

As Americans it was voted in to these 33 states with more probably joining in, but as an insurance broker, we find it interesting how it will affect the health care system going forward. We would just like you to ‘consider this’… and possibly consider investing in your favorite Fast Food stock for a lucrative future.

Created By
McGohan Brabender

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