Archive for March, 2012

A customer’s praise

[ 0 ] March 30, 2012

The Jordan Group“The limited Medical Program offered to The Cleaning Authority by The Jordan Group has been very well received by our franchises. This type of medical coverage allows are franchises to provide cost-effective, comprehensive wellness coverage to their professional housecleaners. Numerous factors in our industry make it difficult to attain employee participation levels that would allow for major medical coverage programs. This program mitigates those issues and provides those same employees with an excellent alternative. Additionally, The Jordan Group assisted us the entire way in setting up the program, making it a simple, turnkey process for the franchises and plan participants. If you are looking for a viable health coverage program for your organization, I recommend contacting them today.” ~ Rob Weddle, VP of Operations, The Cleaning Authority, Columbia, MD

 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815

 

 

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Our Charitable Contributions

[ 0 ] March 28, 2012
The Jordan GroupThe Jordan Group helps the most trusted charities thrive by generating sustainable income through workplace giving and additional paths. We inspire employers and individuals to reach their philanthropic goals and support the charities of their choice. Here are a few that we are currently supporting.
It’s not too late to support a great cause! Please visit our Facebook Business Page! For every “like” that we receive, we are donating $2 to the Troops First Foundation.


Thank you for the Support! 

 The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815


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Customer Appreciation

[ 0 ] March 26, 2012

The Jordan group

“Dear Mr. Jordan,

You are well aware that my 23 year old daughter Lauren recently had double lung transplant surgery at the United Presbyterian Medical Center, UPMC, In Pittsburgh PA. Words cannot come close to express to you how much your effort and the efforts of your entire staff are appreciated. The highly professional and detailed manner in which you assisted my daughter and my family with all of her major medical insurance needs during this most difficult time for us has made this ordeal a huge success. Lauren has had Cystic Fibrosis since birth and over her short lifetime her disease has caused irreparable damage to her lungs, to the point that her only choice was to undergo the double lung transplant surgery which took place August 25th, 2010. I am happy to report that Lauren continues to exceed every one of the doctor’s wildest expectations and that Lauren is well on her way to a long and happy life with her new lungs.

It is my sincere feeling that as a direct result to the attention to detail that you and your entire staff exhibited on behalf of my daughter with her medical insurance, that much of the stress and normally expected problems and insurance issues were totally avoided.

As a result, her mother, Lauren and I, could all focus on the more important business at hand; the serious lung operation and subsequent recovery associated with this life saving surgery.

As the owner of Benefit Funding Corporation I am fully aware of the issues and problems that can occur in just the day-to-day interaction with medical insurance companies. Before we came on with your firm, we sure had our share of unnecessary problems. So you can imagine my fear and concern with the thought of those potential insurance issues that might result with something so important as a double lung transplant for my daughter. I had no idea that when you indicated to me when my firm first became engaged with yours, that you and your staff would handle all of the insurance details for us like you did. I had no idea things would ever run so smoothly, like they have for Lauren and me. The best thing that I ever did was to terminate my relationship with my former company that handled our medical insurance and to place trust in you and your staff. Words cannot describe how much I sincerely appreciate all of your effort and the effort of your entire staff, for such a job well done. Please convey my personal thanks to Ms. Melissa McDonald also. She is true asset to your already fine organization.”

Robert G Pettit

President BFC (Benefit Funding Corporation)

 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815

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Like Father Like Son

[ 0 ] March 23, 2012

Our strategic partners are companies that we work closely with to ensure that we find the most innovative products and solutions that best fit our client’s needs! Please view this short video from one of our partners.

 

Have you called a Jordan Group agent today???

 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815

 

 

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The Jordan Group Needs Your Support!

[ 0 ] March 21, 2012

The Jordan GroupThe Jordan Group is supporting a great cause! For every “Like” that they receive on their Facebook Fan Page, they will donate $2 to the Troops First Foundation. This foundation was founded by Rick Kell and David Feherty and has created several programs and specialized events designed for Wounded Warriors and their families. So please donate to the cause by simply clicking our “Like” button!!! Thank you for the support!!!

 

 

 

 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815


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Refueling Checklist For Personal Safety At The Gas Pumps

[ 0 ] March 19, 2012


The Jordan GroupThe Jordan Group Insurance
company would like to alert you in some Basic Refueling Safety Tips

If you’re lined up waiting to gas up, turn off your car when you are right behind the car that is being fueled. You should turn it off anyway while waiting.

When it’s your turn, pull up beside the pump in the proper position. Shut off your engine and all accessories including stereos and lights.

Close all doors and windows to keep the smell and vapours outside the car.

Remove the gas cap. Select the grade and other choices on the pump. Remove the nozzle from the pump and insert into filler tube.

Begin fueling. Stay and hold the nozzle for the entire fill-up.

Do not prop the nozzle open, under any circumstances.

Don’t re-enter your car during refueling. If you have to re-enter, make sure to touch something to discharge any static electricity before touching the nozzle.

If a fire should start at the nozzle, DO NOT REMOVE the nozzle from the filler pipe. Go immediately to the attendant to have the fuel shut off.

When the nozzle shuts off automatically, do not continue to fill the tank. I will round it up to the even dollar, at most.

Return the nozzle, securely, to the pump. Close the gas cap until it clicks. Some caps will click a number of times. Mine clicks once and is locked.

If any gas spills, inform the attendant for cleanup. Do not step into spilled fuel. It is slippery and stays on the bottom on your shoe. Your shoe will slip on the pedals and stink up the inside of the car with gas fumes. If you do step into a spill, wash the soles of your shoes right away with soap.

Don’t forget to pay for your gas.

Thank you to Harvey Bearinger at proven-driving-tips.com
 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815


 

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Tips For Those Short on Green

[ 0 ] March 16, 2012

The Jordan GroupSome Money Saving Tips from your Friends at The Jordan Group!!!

Pay yourself first: Add your savings account to your monthly list of bills, and make saving a priority.

Save more through small changes: Identify where you’re spending money, and where you can make changes. For instance, packing your lunch instead of eating out could save you thousands over the course of the year.

Maximize your savings: Once you’ve started saving, and know what you’re saving for, set up appropriate accounts to manage your money. Consider an IRA for retirement savings, and a money market account for your expanding nest egg.

Write a budget: It’s the most effective way to get on track to financial success and to ensure that your spending doesn’t exceed your income. Remember to allocate funds for charitable contributions,

Know your credit score: This rating will determine if you’ll have access to key credit options – whether you’re opening a new credit card or applying for a mortgage. Check your credit reports regularly to ensure accuracy and develop better credit habits to increase your score over time.

 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815


 

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Lymphedema: Still a Problem Without an Answer

[ 0 ] March 14, 2012

The Jordan GroupIt is ironic that we were asked to comment on the article by Dr. McLaughlin in this issue of ONCOLOGY. A few months ago, one of us (LKJ) was attending a patient in the breast clinic who had recovered well from a lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy followed by completion axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). She handed me an educational packet for me, my fellow, and the support staff. She was extremely appreciative of her surgical and medical care, but she had one complaint. She had developed lymphedema after her ALND. She sought the appropriate therapy approximately 4 months after the start of swelling in her upper extremity and with the aid of compression garments had significant symptomatic improvement in a matter of a few weeks, improving her functional status and quality of life. She became her own advocate and made several copies of the literature she had reviewed, to distribute to all of her providers. This patient identified a need for heightened awareness of this complication.

Early detection of breast cancer at a “curable” stage, combined with remarkable advancements in multidisciplinary care, has resulted in a precipitous rise in the number of survivors. The increased number of women living with the long-term effects of breast cancer treatment is a driving force in the development of survivorship clinics.

Lymphedema, the most significant complication of surgical therapy, will be a prominent focus in those clinics. With early diagnosis and therefore fewer axillary node dissections, we may see this complication less frequently than we did in the days of the radical mastectomy. Despite the less aggressive surgical approach of sentinel lymph node biopsy now commonly taken, there is still a risk of lymphedema; the article by Dr. McLaughlin quotes an incidence of up to 7%. For all patients who develop lymphedema, it is a complication that has a significant impact on their quality of life.

Much of the challenge in managing lymphedema is the inconsistency in diagnostic standards. If it is impossible to reach a consensus on diagnosis, it is also impossible to reach consensus on treatment recommendations. In Dr. McLaughlin’s article, the incidence is quoted as being between 6% and 70%. Our lack of understanding of the disease results in this tremendous variability and indicates that we are likely grossly underestimating the incidence in our practices. The diagnostic method known to most of us clinically is the inter-arm circumference discrepancy, in which the arm is measured every 4 cm from the wrist to the shoulder. A 2-cm difference between the arms has been adopted as diagnostic of lymphedema. However, this does not account for women with earlier stages of lymphedema who might not have progressed to this degree of swelling yet or who have intermittent swelling. This 2-cm cutoff certainly helps to confirm lymphedema but it should not rule out lymphedema if it is clinically suspected.

As physicians caring for breast cancer patients, can we recite the staging system of lymphedema as readily as the staging system of breast cancer? Do we recognize that symptoms such as pain, aching, or tightness in the extremity may precede the actual onset of the swelling? There must be heightened awareness of lymphedema signs and symptoms in order for the appropriate action to be taken. Careful physical examination may reveal subtle changes in the extremity without gross swelling. Lymphedema may also affect areas other than the extremity, including the chest wall or truncal area and breast. When initiated in the early stages of lymphedema, treatment is most successful and results in better long-term outcomes. That leads to the next question: What are the appropriate therapeutic interventions? Unfortunately, lymphedema specialists are not widely available and compression garments are not always covered by insurance companies. These are areas that will have to be addressed in survivorship clinics. The lack of progress in lymphedema research and treatment can be attributed to the lack of standard diagnostic criteria, limited awareness of and evaluation for lymphedema in follow-up visits, and findings that can be subtle. Educating patients about risk and management without clear evidence-based data is a significant obstacle to improving treatment. For example, resistance exercise, which is now deemed beneficial, was previously believed to increase the risk of lymphedema, so patients were routinely cautioned to restrict these activities. With the trend toward personalized care, we have been able to select some populations of patients that can be spared aggressive surgical approaches in the axilla, but we are still limited in our ability to inform patients about risks and treatments of lymphedema. The next steps to improved lymphedema managment will involve awareness, education, and research. We compliment Dr. McLaughlin on having the insight to shed light on this topic. It is likely that, as we continue to develop survivorship clinics, we will hear more about lymphedema in our practices. As Dr. McLaughlin poignantly stated in her article, “as long as axillary surgery and radiation remain pillars of breast cancer treatment, lymphedema will remain a potential complication.”

This article is courtesy of  Rosemarie Hardin, MD, Lisa K. Jacobs, MD at www.cancernetwork.com dated Mar 12, 2012. 

Jordan Property and Casualty offers a complete line of products and services for individuals and business, including property liability, automobile, directors and officers liability, employment practices liability, professional liability, and workers compensation. Contact Us Today!

 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815


 

 

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5 Questions to Ask About Your 2012 Health Benefits

[ 0 ] March 12, 2012

The Jordan GroupMany U.S. employers will drop a bunch of health-care options in their workers’ laps in the next few weeks, if they haven’t already.

If you’re one of those workers, unless you change jobs or lose your job, the choices you make will stick with you and possibly your family for all of 2012, so it’s important to scrutinize and compare health-plan options.

You may be tempted to automatically re-enroll in the same plan you have now, but that could cost you. Many plans are shifting costs and benefits around and some employers have introduced new ways for workers to save money, experts say.

“If an employee blows off open-enrollment communications, the employee could pay more because they’re missing incentives to pay less that are tied to participation in wellness activities,” said Eric Parmenter, vice president of consulting for High Roads, a benefit consulting firm in Nashville, Tenn.

For next year, employers generally aren’t as interested as they’ve been in recent years in raising workers’ premium contributions, but they’re finding other ways to pass on higher health-care costs, said Michael Thompson, principle in human-resource services at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York.

“There’s not as much focus on increasing premiums for workers as much as there is on increasing the amount of cost-sharing workers have at the point of service,” he said.

People who use their health plan might feel more of a squeeze than those who don’t, said John Asencio, senior vice president of Sibson Consulting, a human-resource consulting firm in New York.

“If you had a $15 copay, you’ll probably see those go up to $20, $25 for physician office visits,” he said.

The good news is underlying benefit-cost increases are expected to be moderate, compared with earlier in the 2000s when double-digit premium spikes whipsawed employers and employees alike.

Though they still far outpace general inflation and workers’ wage gains, health-benefit costs are on track to rise 5.4% on average next year, the lowest rate of increase in 15 years, according to preliminary survey data from Mercer, a consulting firm in New York. If employers did nothing to manage the cost increase through plan-design changes, the increase would be 7.1%. The overall trend of the past five years has been about 9%, according to Mercer’s findings.

Use of health-care services declined last year as people were left with less disposable income in a struggling economy and more workers faced higher out-of-pocket medical costs, said Beth Umland, director of research for health and benefits for Mercer in New York.

“If money is tight and you’ve got a $1,000 deductible, you might think twice about going to the doctor if you also think you could put it off,” she said, noting the average deductible has doubled in the past five years.

Here are five bottom-line questions to consider as you compare your 2012 options:

1. What’s new this year? As part of the health-reform law that kicks in more comprehensively in 2014, most employers already extend coverage to workers’ adult children up to age 26 even if they’re married or in school. And they have to offer free preventive care for a number of services such as colonoscopies and mammograms. For 2012, many employers are offering what are called consumer-driven health plans, which have high deductibles and often attached savings accounts. They’re trying to control costs before 2014, when they have to extend coverage to part-time workers putting in at least 30 hours a week, among other anticipated costs, Umland said.

For 2012, the minimum annual deductible required for high-deductible health plans to be coupled with health savings accounts (HSAs) is unchanged at $1,200 for self-only coverage and $2,400 for family coverage. But the annual maximum for workers’ out-of-pocket expenses is going up $100 to $6,050 for single coverage and rising $200 to $12,100 for family coverage next year, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Out-of-pocket expenses include deductibles and copays but exclude premiums.

Workers with HSAs for themselves only can contribute up to $3,100 to their accounts in 2012 compared with up to $6,250 for workers with family coverage in a high-deductible health plan. Those limits are slightly higher than for 2011.

2. What would the plan cost me? If your plan is shifting to coinsurance, where you pay a percentage of the total instead of a flat fee, you may have to think differently. “If you had a $10 or $20 copay, it was easy to understand what it was going to cost you when you went to the doctor,” Thompson said. “If the plan now has coinsurance and a deductible, that visit may cost over $100 if you haven’t met your deductible.”

In making a total estimate of what a plan might cost you, first take stock of the premiums, the amount you contribute each month out of your paycheck, which will likely be higher for more a comprehensive benefit plan than for a bare-bones one. The second part relates to your out of pocket costs. For this, consider your recent history of health services. If you see a doctor or need blood work drawn frequently, for example, your copay or coinsurance amounts could make a big difference in your overall spending projections.

Next, if you’re considering a health plan with a savings account such as an HSA, factor in what, if anything, your employer contributes to that account that may offset your costs. Your monthly premiums will likely be lower, but don’t forget unpredictable and intangible costs. “How much am I saving for sure vs. how much might I lose if I actually use the plan?,” Umland suggested asking. Plus, are you OK with managing another financial account? Try to find out how many extra administrative tasks you may need to do to use the HSA funds. Some offer debit cards you can swipe, but others may force you to submit and track claims for reimbursement.

3. What happens if I get really sick or injured? Try to run a worst-case health scenario under each of the plan options to see how financially exposed you would be among them should you or one of your covered dependents have a grave accident or illness. Know what expenses are counted in the out of pocket maximums. “How much would I be out of pocket in this option vs. this option if I suddenly need $50,000 worth of care?” Asencio said.

4. Are my meds covered? If you’re on maintenance medication for a chronic illness, check to see if any plans will waive your copay or coinsurance on certain prescription drugs, making them effectively free to encourage you to keep taking them, Thompson said. You may have to talk to a health coach or participate in a disease-management program to get the free meds, but more employers are trying this option to get a handle on their long-term health costs. Some plans also offer a separate out of pocket maximum for prescription drugs, he said.

5. Am I leaving money on the table by failing to participate in wellness programs aimed at making or keeping me healthy? Whether it’s a game-oriented workplace exercise competition, private dietary counseling, talking to a health coach or taking classes to help you quit smoking, you may not be able to afford to ignore your employer’s 2012 wellness offerings. “While these programs have been around for a while, employers are really taking them seriously now as a way to manage costs,” Umland said.

You may not have to do much work to score a break on your health-care costs. In fact, some employees may end up paying $25 to $50 more in premiums per month or hundreds of dollars more in deductibles if they don’t complete a health risk assessment or other activities meant to gauge their general health status, Asencio said. “Companies are getting more aggressive around these issues.”

This article is courtesy of Kristen Gerencher at marketwatch.com
 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815


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TAKE STEPS TO REDUCE WORKERS COMP COSTS DURING A LAYOFF

[ 0 ] March 7, 2012

The Jordan GroupBetween December 2007 and July 2009, the U.S. economy lost almost seven million jobs. In times of economic uncertainty, employees worried about their jobs might look toward the Workers Compensation system for supplemental income. Workers who have ignored aches and pains over the years and haven’t reported them might decide that the time is right to make a claim. Others who might have been healthy and who suffer an injury that they might have previously ignored might now decide they have nothing to lose by reporting it. Employers facing the possibility of having to lay off employees must be aware that their Workers Compensation costs could rise. However, there are steps they can take to keep a lid on costs.

Once risk managers learn that a workforce reduction is coming, they can prepare in a number of ways. They should become familiar with the unemployment insurance laws in each affected state, including the levels and durations of benefits and how they affect Workers Compensation benefits. They should investigate other state programs available to employees that could offset Workers Compensation costs. They also might want to meet with their insurance broker to review pending claims and identify those that might become problems.

Another priority is claims documentation. The firm should back up employee records and store both in secure locations. Claim records should be updated with the latest available information. The risk manager might want to create a video record of conditions in the building prior to the layoff so that they can demonstrate to a court what the work environment was like. Finally, exit interviews that include written questionnaires completed by the employees can serve as evidence as to the employees’ physical condition at the time of termination.

When the layoffs occur, the company should handle them as sensitively as possible. Losing a job is a traumatic experience for anyone; clumsy communications from the employer can inspire a worker to seek retribution. To the extent that the employer can help affected employees, it should do so. For example, it might want to offer resume preparation, outplacement services, or employee assistance programs for those who need emotional support. Also, if the company can afford them, it might want to offer severance payments to the employees in return for their written agreement to forego any future claims against the company. Finally, though it might seem unlikely, the company should have contingency plans in place should any of the employees become violent, either at the time of the layoff or later.

To defend against exaggerated or fraudulent claims, risk managers should ask the broker and the insurance company to coordinate claims handling through one office and one senior claims adjuster. They should also request that the insurer assign the defense of all cases to one law firm. To assist in the defense, they should make relevant records, such as videos, employee files, job descriptions, and exit questionnaires, easily accessible to the attorneys and any medical specialists the firm might hire. Finally, they should identify key personnel who might be available to testify as to job requirements and conditions, and make a list of their names and contact information available to the attorneys.

Cutting jobs is one of the most difficult things any organization must do. The goal of a workforce reduction is to lower the firm’s costs. Uncontrolled Workers Compensation expenses resulting from the action could wipe out any benefits from it. Careful planning and handling of the action and its aftermath can go a long way toward ensuring that the company’s pain will not be for nothing.

Having workers compensation coverage can save you and your business from costly lawsuits and employee issues. Workers Compensation Insurance protects your business AND your employees, who are oftentimes a huge part of the framework of a company.

The Jordan Group can provide you with a coverage program that is specifically tailored to meet your needs.  

Our extensive resources allow access to every service and product to best meet your needs. This gives us access to the best technology, the most flexible products, and expertise to help us better serve our clients. Our clients should and will get the best service and knowledge available to them. 

The Jordan Group

7230 Lee Deforest Dr. Suite 202

Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 410-312-0811
Fax: 410-312-0815


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