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Employee Benefit News for School, City and County Employers

Steve Smith

Steve Smith, Employee Benefits Consultant for National Insurance Services, has his energy level permanently set at “high.” His maxim is “work hard, play hard.” Steve’s an expert in getting groups of people working together for a higher cause. Minnesota schools, cities, and counties rely on Steve’s unique and creative ideas of engaging employees in their own health and wellness to lower utilization trends. He has 20+ years in the health insurance field doing compliance, cost mitigation, utilization, analytics, wellness plans, and strategic planning. Steve is a licensed insurance agent and holds the designations for Managed Healthcare Professional (The Health Insurance Association of America), Certified Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Professional (National Association of Health Underwriters), and Group Benefits Disability Specialist (Hartford School of Insurance). He specializes in Employee Benefits Consulting for Minnesota schools, cities, and counties including fully insured, self-insured, and stop-loss plans.

Recent Articles by Steve Smith


Medical Stop-Loss Premiums Increased in 2022

1 minute read

Nearly 250 self-insured U.S. group health plans are seeing their average stop-loss coverage rise by 9.8% in 2022. This is according to Segal’s national medical stop-loss database of...

Inflation Reduction Act Signed into Law

1 minute read

President Joe Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. Although the law is primarily aimed at fighting inflation and reducing carbon emissions, it contains several...

Telehealth Nondiscrimination Guidance Released

1.5 minute read

With the increased usage of telehealth due to the pandemic, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services jointly issued guidance which addresses federal nondiscrimination...


2023 Open Enrollment Checklist

1.5 minute read

For plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, employers should be aware of legal changes affecting the design and administration of their plans. It’s important to communicate...

Pharmacy Benefit Managers Investigated by FTC

.5 minute read

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will investigate the six largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the U.S. PBMs are the middlemen who negotiate with drugmakers for rebates and...


Price Comparison Tool for 2023

2 minute read

Group health plans and issuers will need to provide an internet-based price comparison tool available to participants, beneficiaries, and enrollees. The tool will provide consumers with...

CMS Says COVID-19 Vaccines Must Be Covered

1.5 minute read

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated their COVID-19 vaccine toolkit. It includes a list of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters that must be covered without...

Telehealth Utilization Increase 7,000% During Pandemic

1.5 minute read

A report by FAIR Health finds that telehealth usage grew by more than 7,000% during the first year of the pandemic. In 2020, utilization of traditional health care services dropped,...

Mental Health and Well-Being in the Workplace

5 minute read

Well-being is the overall state of employees’ physical, mental, social, and financial health, which can be influenced by various workplace dynamics including workload, co-worker...

FAQs on Tax Credits for Employee Leave Under FFCRA and ARPA

1 minute read

The IRS issued four new FAQs on tax credits for employee paid leave taken under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The new FAQs...