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Employee Benefits Syracuse NY Insurance, Retirement Specialists in Syracuse NY

April 26, 2024

Healthcare Bill of Rights

The National Association of Benefits and Insurance Professionals (NABIP) has released a Healthcare Bill of Rights to outline their goal of keeping healthcare private, affordable, and accessible. Read More

April 5, 2024

2024 HSA Limits

The IRS has announced the 2024 HSA contribution limits. Read more

July 11, 2023

NY PFL Claims Data

The Paid Family Leave Program enacted in 2016 has expanded statewide and increased the share of private workers eligible for the benefit in New York to at least 88 percent in 2021 compared to 23 percent nationally.

Listed are some of the claims data from the initial years (2018-2021):

  • Participating insurers approved over 550,000 claims and paid over $2.2 billion in cash benefits to eligible employees.
  • Bonding with a newborn child generated over 80 percent of all payments and more than 70 percent of all claims by claim type.
  • Women filed and received about two-thirds of all program claims and payments.
  • Service employees-such as health care, education, information, and legal services workers-accounted for nearly 45 percent of all claims by industry.
  • Employees earning less than $40,000 per year accounted for the greatest number of claims, with the number generally decreasing as income rises, suggesting paid family leave is a particularly important benefit to low- to moderate-income employees.
  • 2023 the deduction rate is 0.455 percent of employee wages per pay period (lower than 2021 and 2022)

This information was provided by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, visit:  For more information

May 31, 2023

DOL Launches New Mental Health Webpage

The recently launched DOL portal on mental health and wellness has helpful resources and tools for HR practitioners to promote best practices and compliance.

Particularly with the GenZ population, awareness of mental health, reducing stigma, and employers providing appropriate support will play a role in where job candidates seek employment.

Read more

May 12, 2023

Addressing Gaps in Your Employee Benefits Package

With the tight labor market, employers are finding that offering just a “good health plan” is not enough.  Employees are looking for help with income protection and supplemental plans that help cover deductibles. Employers are increasingly engaging employees on these benefits that are valued and make a real difference.

Read more

May 4, 2023

Reducing Healthcare Costs

On April 26th NABIP submitted written testimony to the House Education and Workforce Subcommittee on Health proposing solutions to help control healthcare costs.  Although there is no silver bullet, we’re pleased to see Federal discussion of issues we supported at the state level when we went to Albany in March.


April 24, 2023

End of National Public Health Emergency

The Biden Administration is ending the National Public Health Emergency for COVID-19 at the end of the day May 11, 2023. This means that there will be changes to the way insurance plans cover testing and treatment of COVID-19.

Excellus lists the following changes:

  • FDA authorized COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be available at no cost in network. A standard cost share will be charged for out of network services.
  • OTC tests will no longer be covered after May 11, 2023.
  • Lab testing will revert to the diagnostic laboratory benefit.
  • Telehealth for COVID-19 will be covered at the primary care or specialist benefit.

More Information

February 4, 2022

COVID At-home Test Reimbursement Information

  • For FDA-approved over-the-counter (OTC) tests purchased after January 15, 2022
  • For those exposed to or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
  • NOT for assessment testing required for school or work

Aetna – Offers reimbursement and no-cost options for those enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans. For more information:

Aetna COVID Test Reimbursement Information

Excellus – Offers reimbursement and no-cost options for those enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans. For more information:

Excellus COVID Test Reimbursement Information

MVP – Offers reimbursement to commercial plan members. For more information:

MVP COVID Test Reimbursement Information

UHC – Offers reimbursement and no-cost options for those enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans. For more information:

UHC COVID Test Reimbursement Information

Other options for free at home tests:

The Federal government has a website for each household to request a one-time shipment of four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Go to

Medicare has announced that free at-home tests will be available under Part B in the spring of 2022.

February 3, 2022

ERISA Penalties Increase for 2022

The Department of Labor announced an increase in ERISA penalties for 2022 for employers who fail to maintain plan documents for health and welfare plans, file Form 5500, or provide required documents and notices. For details, click here.

January 7, 2022

COVID-19 Cost-Sharing

Excellus, United Healthcare, and MVP have updated their policies regarding cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

  • Testing: Medically appropriate testing is still covered with $0 cost-sharing. Testing to return to work or for public health surveillance is NOT covered.
  • Treatment: Cost-sharing is the same as it would be for the treatment of other illnesses under the member’s coverage.

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