February 6, 2018
Action Group Annual Employer Benefits Survey Now Open!

The Action Group opened its online Annual Employer Benefits Survey to all Minnesota employers on February 5, 2018. Visit actiongroupsurvey.com to participate!

"Management wants lower costs, employees want better benefits, and vendors want you to buy their newest solutions," says Jon Schloemer, director of compensation and benefits for Mills Fleet Farm and Action Group Board member. "Amid this dynamic, the Annual Benefits Survey represents an independent source of information that helps benefits leaders keep their finger on the pulse of health care benefits." (Click here to view Jon's new blog!)

Now in its eighth year, this unique Survey provides comprehensive health benefit benchmarks from Minnesota employers. Click here to learn more and to view a new video, or here to view a summary of 2017 Survey results.  
Mark your calendar with these key dates:
February 5-23, 2018: Survey is open
March 29, 2018: Final report distributed at Survey results meeting (for participants only -- members and non-members may participate)
April: Final report mailed to those unable to attend the results meeting
Health Policy in Transit: Movement on the Margins

While health care reform dominated the headlines in 2017, in reality, there was little movement around the Affordable Care Act. In the last two months, however, significant developments have emerged. Through two pieces of legislation and one regulatory announcement, changes have been put in place.

The National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions has developed this one-page guide, summarizing the changes and the implications for employers.
Surviving and Thriving: Making the Most of the RFP Process

Depending on your perspective, Requests for Proposals (RFPs) can be a solid business discipline or a time-consuming burden. Either way, they are a reality for benefits professionals today.
At The Action Group's February 20, 2018, member meeting, we will convene a panel of experts to share their perspectives, lessons learned, and best practices to help benefits professionals survive and thrive during the upcoming RFP season.

To learn more, click here. Action Group members may register by clicking the button below.

Are you actively considering Action Group membership to contribute to driving positive health care change in Minnesota?
If so, you are invited to join us at this member meeting to learn more! Click here for membership information, or contact Deb Krause, Action Group vice president ( dkrause@mnhealthactiongroup.org).
Join Us for the Annual Employer Leadership Summit!

An impressive array of speakers has been announced and registration is now open for The Action Group's highly anticipated 2018 Annual Employer Leadership Summit! This year's theme  is "A New Lens: Purpose-Driven Solutions for Optimal Health," and the event is May 11, 2018. We will:
  • Explore the role of purpose in creating vibrant, high-performing, and HEALTHY organizations.
  • Tackle the tough issues of our time, including the alarming rate of obesity and the opioid epidemic.
  • Focus on breakthrough innovations and demonstrated results.
  • Feature fun and informative interactive polling.
  • Ensure robust networking opportunities to promote a sense of optimism, collaboration and action.
  • Offer all-day access to engaging sponsors who can answer your pressing health care questions.
Click here to learn more.
"You did a wonderful job on a very interesting and valuable Summit! Kudos on putting together a really stimulating and thought-provoking day, full of opportunities to network and to learn from each other. The conference materials were informative and inspiring. As always, it was a top-notch Summit!" (2017 attendee)

Employers Key to Helping Employees with Depression

Action Group members may access  this guide to advancing mental health in the workplace by logging into the Member Center.

Employee mental health and well-being is imperative to the success of every organization, yet is too often overlooked. With depression the leading cause of disability worldwide, employers can play a key role in early detection and treatment.

This new article from Employee Benefit News explores how employers can better deal with employee depression, not the least of which is being alert to common signs:
  • A lack of focus and concentration
  • Procrastination or missed deadlines
  • A decline in hygiene and attention to personal appearance
  • Difficulties with memory or learning
  • An uptick in late arrivals or early departures
"Four in 10 in the U.S. will face mental illness or substance use in their lives, many during the prime of their working years," says Sue Abderholden, executive director of NAMI Minnesota, and special advisor to The Action Group's Mental Health Learning Network. "Whether fearing the perceived negative attitudes of self-identifying a problem, or simply unaware of how to seek help, more than half will suffer in silence, and 40 percent will simply stay home from work. Employers -- and employees -- can play a meaningful role in moving toward lasting solutions."

Set Time Aside to to Network, Learn, Share!   
A member poll about meeting topics of interest is complete, and the input will shape 2018 content. Meeting dates can be found below, and topics will be announced soon.  
Together, we will continue accomplishing more than any of us can alone! 
Member Meetings:
Members spoke. We listened! Meetings will begin later this year, with networking at 8 a.m., meetings beginning at 8:30 a.m., and concluding at 10 a.m. All will continue to be held at the Hilton Airport/MOA Hotel.
Public Meetings and Events:     

"The inexorable rise in U.S. health care costs is a hungry tapeworm on the U.S. economy."
From the Star Tribune article,