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U.S. Senate Votes to Extend PPP Program to May 31

On March 25, 2021, Congress extended the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Second Draw deadline until May 31, giving eligible businesses and non-profits extra time to submit applications and work with lenders to secure this critical aid.

The U.S. Senate voted 92-7 in favor of the extension, giving small businesses and non-profits two more months to secure a forgivable PPP loan once the bill has been signed by President Biden.

This important update from the Washington Economic Development Association notes that WA employers have secured 54,471 loans, totaling over $4.6 billion in 2021 alone.

For more information, SmallBizHelpWA.com offers valuable information and links to help small businesses find funding, get help and find a lender, among other resources as Washington state continues to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

BHT Introduces New 401(k) Plan for Businesses that Dream Big

Offering a 401(k) plan can be costly and time-consuming – and when you’re growing a business, you need to manage your resources wisely. As your source for employee benefits, Business Health Trust is proud to expand on its solutions by introducing the EVOLVE 401(k) plan for small businesses that dream big.

More than insurance, Business Health Trust is a resource, offering small employers in Washington the information and tools they need to design and manage a competitive employee benefits program. EVOLVE is the ideal 401(k) solution for businesses that want to offer full-service retirement benefits and keep costs in check.

Learn more about the plan in our Q-and-A with ABD Retirement Services, the team of professionals who handle the details so you can stay focused on growing your business:

How can adding a 401(k) program help a small business grow and succeed?

Offering a 401(k) plan gives your business a competitive advantage to attract and retain quality employees. In addition, a retirement plan at work addresses one of the main financial wellness concerns employees have and can help you increase loyalty and productivity.

How is EVOLVE different from other 401(k) plans?

EVOLVE is specifically created to address the challenges small businesses face when deciding to offer a retirement plan, including:

  • Fee Transparency – EVOLVE has no hidden fees
  • Simplicity – EVOLVE offers plan options that minimize employer tasks
  • Liability Protection – EVOLVE offers investment oversight by an independent fiduciary limiting your liability for plan investments
  • Employee Focus – EVOLVE is designed to make saving and investing easy for employees

EVOLVE offers large plan features to small employers. It’s for businesses that dream big!

Is EVOLVE only for companies that don’t already have a 401(k) plan?

EVOLVE is for any employer, including those with an existing plan. Contact the EVOLVE team to compare your current plan with EVOLVE plan options. You will get unbiased guidance to evaluate your options.

How does EVOLVE make it easier for small businesses to set up a 401(k) plan that meets their budget while satisfying employees’ needs?

EVOLVE uses a simple questionnaire to gather essential data that will help you setup your plan. The EVOLVE team provides guidance to make sure the plan is a good fit to your business. The simplified plan types that are offered by EVOLVE are designed to reduce operational burden on the employer. The easy-to-use website and app combined with low-cost investments help employees use the plan effectively.

What resources are available to help employees wisely invest in their future?

EVOLVE focuses on what matters. The platform is designed to assist employees making the two major decisions required for successful retirement outcome:

  • How much should I have?
  • How should I invest what I’m saving?

The platform has web-based tools that will guide employees in making these two key decisions. Keeping it simple helps keep cost low while helping employees make the right decisions. The EVOLVE platform can also automate the employee decisions with automatic enrollment and annual adjustments.

Is EVOLVE suitable for employers with complex needs or on a fast growth track?

Yes. EVOLVE is a solution, not a one-size-fits-all package. The EVOLVE team has experience working with a range of clients from startsups to publicly traded global companies. Reach out to us for free consultation at info@businesshealthtrust.com.

Stay Safe and Stay Open with Free Sanitizing Supply Kits for Small Businesses

Business Health Trust aims to be a resource to employers by providing affordable and comprehensive employee benefits. As our economy continues to open up, we want to ensure small businesses across our region have the supplies they need to keep their employees and customers healthy and safe this holiday season.

To support this goal, Business Health Trust has partnered with King County to offer Sanitizing Supply Kits at no cost to qualifying businesses in December. Each kit contains:

  • Hand sanitizer station with automatic dispenser and refill
  • Pump bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant approved by EPA to kill COVID-19
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Disposable masks
  • Posters and resources to promote employee safety

These will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis to businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Under 50 employees
  • Revenue is $2 million or below
  • Has a public-facing business where the primary service delivery is face-to-face in King County
  • Has experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Has not received grant funds to purchase these items previously
  • Operates in the following industries
    • Retail and/or grocery
    • Tourism
    • Childcare facility
    • Personal services

To learn more, download the Stay Safe and Stay Open flyer. For additional resources, Business Health Trust has compiled a list of local PPE suppliers.

Virtual Care Appointment

BHT Introduces New Virtual Plus Plans Through Kaiser Permanente

With its focus on providing high-quality, affordable employee benefits, Business Health Trust is proud to announce the new Virtual Plus HMO plans available to members enrolled in medical through Kaiser Permanente.

Starting in 2021, the Business Health Trust Small-Group Program will include two new options that feature fully covered virtual care visits: Virtual Plus Silver and Virtual Plus Gold plans.

These unique plans are a good option for employees who want affordable care and the convenience of starting most care online. Available in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Kitsap and Thurston counties, the new Virtual Plus plans feature the following highlights:

  • Low monthly premiums.
  • No charge or referral needed for virtual care, first in-person primary care visit, and all preventive care.
  • Get virtual care through 24/7 Care Chat online messaging or nurse phone line, scheduled video visits and phone appointments, e-visits, or email for nonurgent questions.*
  • Virtual visits are with Kaiser Permanente doctors and clinicians — the same ones you’d find in our medical facilities.
  • Fill the first prescription for a new medication at an in-network pharmacy or mail order. Get most refills and maintenance medications through mail order. Delivery is free and usually takes 1 to 2 days.
  • Includes worldwide in-person emergency and urgent care coverage.
  • Care at Kaiser Permanente walk-in clinics is not considered urgent care and requires a referral in order to pay a lower out-of-pocket cost.

The Business Health Trust Small-Group Program is available to employers with up to 50 employees, offering scalable, competitive benefits for even the smallest companies. To learn more or to get a quote, contact info@businesshealthtrust.com or fill out our Request a Quote form.

*When appropriate and available.

Open Enrollment Resources to Help You Find the Right Health Plan at the Right Cost

Business Health Trust offers more than health insurance — we are also a resource, offering small employers in Washington state the information and tools they need to design and manage a competitive employee benefits program.

With open enrollment now under way for many businesses around the state, Business Health Trust strives to help you stay informed with resources from our partners at Washington Health Alliance.

Need help selecting a health plan that attracts talent and keeps your employees healthy and productive — at a budget you can afford? The Washington Health Alliance’s following video on Getting the High-value Care you Deserve is a great place to start.

For more resources, consider articles such as:

Learn more at ownyourhealthwa.org.

Video chat with male doctor

BHT Expands Virtual Care Access Through Premera Blue Cross in 2021

Business Health Trust (BHT) is making it even easier to visit with a doctor in 2021 with expanded access to virtual care for members enrolled in medical through Premera Blue Cross.

Instead of planning your life around provider access, take advantage of this reimagined network that significantly increases access to primary and hard-to-get specialized care.

No matter where you are, you can get the right care quickly through the following integrated virtual care offerings for BHT members enrolled in medical through Premera:

  • 98point6: Text-based primary/urgent care from a doctor, 24/7.
  • Doctor on Demand: Video and phone-based primary/urgent care and mental health therapy.
  • Talkspace: Video and phone-based mental health therapy.
  • Boulder Care: Treatment for opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. Video visits and messaging with a therapist.
  • Workit Health: Treatment for opioid use disorder and alcohol use disorder. Live chat and video with a therapist.

Business Health Trust’s 17 different medical plan designs through Premera Blue Cross come with a variety of value‑added benefits, including embedded life/AD&D insurance and employee assistance program (EAP), which offers additional access to virtual counseling through BetterHelp.

To learn more or to get a quote, contact info@businesshealthtrust.com or fill out our Request a Quote form.

Important Employment Law Update Available from Archbright

With our focus on helping small businesses navigate the complex word of health insurance and employee benefits, Business Health Trust would like to share an important resource from our partners at Archbright:

Free Webinar Recording: Pacific Northwest Employment Law Update 

Each year brings changes in employment and labor laws affecting employers, which is perhaps the only way 2020 is a typical year.

In this recorded webinar, Erin Jacobson, Director of Legal & HR Advice, and Joy Sturgis, Content Manager, review employment and labor law updates in 2020 at the federal level and those relevant to employers in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

Learn more and register at Archbright.com.

This valuable opportunity is available free of charge, and a great way to discover how Archbright’s HR, safety and legal advice could complement your business.

Through our exclusive partnership with Archbright, Business Health Trust members receive free access to Archbright’s online resources, as well as discounts on upgraded subscriptions.

For more information on Business Health Trust or how to access your Archbright membership, email info@businesshealthtrust.com.

Event: Value-Based Care Virtual Summit

Please consider joining this free virtual event from our partners at Washington Health Alliance:

Event: Value-Based Care Virtual Summit
Date: November 12, 2020
Time: 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Featuring keynote speaker Donald Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, the free virtual Value-Based Care Summit will examine obstacles and barriers to change for all stakeholders, and actively promote and support a more rapid acceleration of value-based payment models across our state.

For more information and to register, visit the event site.

Kaiser Permanente Keeps Members Informed as Flu Season Nears

Even though flu season doesn’t usually peak until December to February, this year Kaiser Permanente is urging its Business Health Trust members to get vaccinated before the end of October.

Kaiser Permanente’s updated Flu Q&A can get you up to speed on what’s new for the 2020-2021 flu season, but one of the biggest changes is that this year, flu shots are available by appointment only at in-network provider offices and in-network pharmacies.

More information will be shared at Kaiser Permanente’s next webinar in its COVID-19 series, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, October 5, 2020, on “What to expect this flu season and supporting caregivers through the pandemic.” Topics will include:

  • COVID-19 updates and trends – New insights on the current state of the pandemic
  • What to expect this flu season – How COVID-19 compares to other pandemics and outbreaks, and why flu prevention matters more than ever
  • Supporting caregivers through the pandemic – The additional challenges faced by employees who are also caregivers, and how you can help make things easier

Learn more about how you can protect yourself and others by getting a flu shot in this Kaiser Permanente Flu Shot flyer that can be posted in your office, home or other communal space.

Ready for Back-to-Home-Schooling Season? Resources Abound in Our August ‘Healthy Living’ E-News

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change our lives at home and at work — which for many are now at the same place — Business Health Trust also is adapting to better serve its members. More than your source for comprehensive employee benefits, Business Health Trust also is dedicated to helping employers across the state continue to thrive during and beyond the pandemic, offering resources in our monthly Healthy Living with Business Health Trust e‑newsletter.

Check out the August edition of Healthy Living for resources including our COVID-19 Supply Resources for Employers website and valuable tips from our wellness partners, including access to a parenting webinar series from Wellspring EAP and the 9 top-rated nutrition and diet apps from Kaiser Permanente.