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a quarterly newsletter for members of the New England Employee Benefits Council

Fall 2014
In This Issue
Upcoming Programs
NEEBC's Membership Video
Benefits in Brief
Resource Directory
Follow NEEBC Online
Quick Links
Short-Term Disability Claims: 20 Years of Data Highlight Workforce Productivity
Best Practices Conference, December 3rd
New at NEEBC
Upcoming Programs
November 20  
How To Series, 8:30 am-12 pm
November 20
IFEBP Webinar at 2:00 pm
December 3 

   December 16

Benefits Club

Limited Provider Networks:  Two Case Studies 


Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year. 


Soon we will have our January 2015 programs on our Event Calendar.


Check Out NEEBC's Membership Video
NEEBC now has a YouTube channel and we've posted our new membership video so you can view it.

Check it out and find out what your friends and colleagues have to say about their membership and why they value NEEBC.

View the video here.
Thanks to our Annual Partners 





Benefits in Brief
Congratulations to Gary Gustafson on his new position.
Strategic Account Director, limeade
limeade's mission is to create a happy, healthy, high performing workforce with a refreshing approach to corporate wellness. 

Please send items of interest for future issues to
Resource Directory
Looking for a provider of benefits-related services or products? NEEBC's web-based "Online Resource Directory for Benefits/HR Professionals" is an easy-to-use guide to regional benefits products and services.

The Directory offers listings in numerous categories, including Consultants, Health Care, Outsourcing, Third Party Administrators and Retirement. We hope members will consider directory advertisers when purchasing products or services. If you would like more information on how to sign up, please click here.
Follow NEEBC Online
NEEBC's LinkedIn Group Site  now has over 700 members and all are invited to register to participate. This is a great way to network.

1. Log into LinkedIn.
2. Select GROUPS on the left navigation bar.
3. Go to the "Groups Directory" tab.
4. In the "Search box" type in NEEBC.
5. Select "Join this group."
6. Once NEEBC accepts your request, you will become a member.

Follow us on Twitter

 Like us on Facebook 
Scholarship Program
Since 1990, NEEBC has awarded over $160,000 in scholarships to advance knowledge in the employee benefits field.

Scholarship applications are available online, and part-time and full-time students are eligible.  We especially encourage NEEBC members to apply.
Quick Links
 Short-Term Disability Claims:  20 Years of Data Highlight Workforce Productivity Challenges

by Cigna


An analysis of 20 years of short-term disability claims shows that absences related to obesity, treatment for skin cancer, and herniated disc surgery increased significantly from 1993-2012.  The study, conducted by insurer Cigna, also found a reduction in absences related to depression coupled with an increase in prescribed antidepressants, which may signal an underlying problem of presenteeism. 

Presenteeism, defined as sick or distracted employees who choose to work anyway, accounts for 39.4% of the total cost of obesity to employers and as much as 75% of lost employee productivity from U.S. employers.  Click Here to read the complete article.



  Patty Houpt 

A message from Patty Houpt

Executive Director


It is hard to believe it has been nearly two years since I joined NEEBC as the Executive Director. During this time, I have worked closely with the NEEBC Board in reviewing our membership model, our programs and our member services. Below are some of the innovative highlights we accomplished this year that have re-energized the organization:

  • Redesigned the NEEBC website to make program information easier to find, share and to register

  • Expanded our credit card options so that more of you can register online and manage your user profiles

  • Enhanced NEEBC's social media efforts across LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, expanding our footprint and recognition throughout New England

  • Partnered with the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans to offer quarterly webinars, and to live stream and video our major conferences

  • Expanded our online e-learning opportunities click here

  • Developed additional opportunities for networking by partnering with the NEHRA and the Worksite Wellness Council. Look for our next opportunity March 26, 2015 in downtown Boston

  • Introduced a Mentor Program for our younger associates to enhance their personal and professional development in the benefits community; and

  • Built the Next Generation Programs to attract and educate members with less than ten years of experience in the benefits field  

What can you do to help advance the organization?  Please tell your peers and business associates about NEEBC.  So often, when new people come to a program or contact the office they say, "I wish I had known about NEEBC sooner."  To help spread the word, please share our brochure and video.

Enrollment at fall programs has reached record high levels. We hope you continue to take advantage of all that NEEBC has to offer. Look for continued innovation in 2015.

I hope to see you at a NEEBC program soon! 


New at NEEBC

NEEBC & JobTarget offer a powerful Career Center.  Ten (10) featured jobs are listed in the new scroll bar on our home page.

It's Membership Renewal time.  Watch your snail mail for your renewal information, or call Sue at 781-684-8700.


New Networking events are flourishing.  Joint events with NEHRA and the WWCMA enjoy 100 attendees, and the new Women in Benefits Networking Luncheon will be offered twice in 2015.


NEEBC has partnered with WorldatWork for 2 programs in 2015: 

  • March 12-13: Strategic Communication in Total Rewards
  • September 17-18:  Health & Welfare Plans - Strategic Planning & Design

New Listserv opportunity for our Members working in the International Benefits Marketplace.  It is easy to access this new group for information exchange and support - Click Here.  Other groups will be added in 2015. 


16th Annual Best Practices Conference

Benefits for Tomorrow

December 3, Waltham Woods Conference Center


The full-day event will feature five employers who represent the "Best of the Best" in tomorrow's benefits with their innovative benefits offerings, and firsthand information on the development and delivery of their successful benefits programs. This year's winners are: Cabot Corporation, Iron Mountain, Shields Health Care Group, Staples, Inc. and UNITE HERE Local 26/UNITE HERE Health.


"The employee benefits field is changing rapidly - companies are dealing with the pressures of health care reform, provider consolidation, fee for service payments, an aging population and rising health care costs" said Patty Houpt, Executive Director of NEEBC. "With so much focus on health care, other critical benefits such as retirement planning aren't being prioritized. This conference will help companies plan for what is next in the benefits field and learn from local employers who have successfully implemented innovative, forward-thinking programs."


To bring the latest in benefits trends to professionals in New England, the conference will feature keynote speaker Ray Campbell, Health Data and Analytics Consultant and former Executive Director and CEO of the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium. Campbell's presentation "How Today's Digital World Will Affect Tomorrow's Health Care" will provide insight into what is next in e-health and how this could transform tomorrow's benefits offerings.

Ray Campbell, Health Data & Analytics Consultant

A second keynote speaker, Dr. Stuart Altman, Chair of the Health Policy Commission and Professor of National Health Policy at Brandeis University, will provide an overview of the community hospital landscape. Dr. Altman will then moderate an informative panel "Where Do Community Hospitals Fit in the Future of Health Care?" The panel speakers include: Tim Gens, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Massachusetts Hospital Association; Scott Kirschner, Director of Benefits Strategy, Iron Mountain; Dr. Andrew Norden, Medical Director, Dana Farber Cancer Institute; and Steve Walsh, Executive Director, Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals.


Dr. Stuart Altman, Professor of National Health Policy, Brandeis University


This year's Lead Sponsors are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Cigna and UnitedHealthcare. The event's Gold Sponsors are Aetna,, HomeBenefitIQ, Jellyvision, Mercer, Minnesota Life Insurance Company, Pfizer, Premier Diagnostics Services, Inc. and Tufts Health Plan. Silver Sponsors for the event include BTHR Solutions, KGA, Inc., Massachusetts Health Connector, SageView Advisory Group, The Segal Group/Sibson Consulting, Towers Watson and Wills. A few Gold and Silver Sponsorships are still available.


The December 3 Best Practices Conference will be held at the Waltham Woods Conference Center located at 860 Winter, Street, Waltham, MA. The program runs from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm with a cocktail reception from 3:30 to 5:00 pm. More information about the event, including sponsorship opportunities, is available at


Register here for the event, call 781-684-8700 or contact