<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=765055043683327&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">
Jeff Griffin

Jeff Griffin

Founder & President

Jeff is a 25-year veteran of the employee benefits industry and is the Founder and President of the JP Griffin Group.  Jeff established the JP Griffin Group six years ago to fuse together the art and science of benefits management – the analytical rigor required to make well-informed decisions, married with the behavioral sciences required to affect positive change.

Jeff also established the JP Griffin Group to address aspects of the field of employee benefits which he felt were being tremendously underserved by the brokerage community. These neglected areas included the failure of fellow brokers to; put employer interests before their own, provide compliance support commensurate with the growing complexity of the U.S. healthcare system, and approach cost containment as a continuous and sustainable effort to “bend the cost curve” vs. simply an annual opportunity to negotiate for lower rates.

As President of the JP Griffin Group, Jeff is responsible for overall client satisfaction, vendor management and renewal processes. Jeff has extensive experience working with all types of medical benefit programs and his experience includes extensive involvement with fully insured and self-funded programs. He currently holds insurance licenses in 47 states.

His focus these days is on helping our clients take advantage of opportunities brought about by the Affordable Care Act, as well as the rapid and disruptive advances in benefits enrollment, hr administration, and wellness technologies.

Jeff is often invited to speak at regional and national business forums on the financial impact and compliance risks of healthcare reform to small and mid-market businesses.

Prior to the JP Griffin Group, Jeff spent nearly a decade on the carrier side, at UNUM, before becoming an independent broker. Jeff was also a partner at DBG Benefit Solutions.

Jeff holds a degree in finance from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. When he’s not in the office, you might find Jeff playing guitar, enjoying a round of golf, or hunting and fishing up north.

Connect with me:

Author's Posts

The Omicron BA.2 Subvariant – What Employees Are Asking About COVID-19 At-Home Testing & Mixing Booster Shots

Jeff Griffin

Several high-profile people have tested positive for COVID-19 these past few weeks, including Sarah Jessica Parker, Miley Cyrus, Daniel Craig, and nearly 75 of Washington's elites such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Attorney General Merrick Garland, just to name a few.

Accordingly, interest has grown in a fourth vaccine dose, approved recently by the FDA, for Pfizer and Moderna, for people age 50 or older (as well as a few other groups with weakened immune systems).

With major cities in Europe and China, as well as some parts of the U.S. seeing an uptick in cases driven by the BA.2 subvariant, the CDC quickly backed the FDA's decision, though it's worth noting that both agencies made their decisions without consulting their committees of independent vaccine experts. While this has been done before, this action continues to come under intense scrutiny.

With renewed worries about another wave of coronavirus infections comes three questions employees and employers have on their minds:

1) Are today's at-home tests capable of detecting the Omicron BA.2 subvariant? 

2) Are health plans still required to cover at-home rapid tests?

3) What's the latest guidance on mixing booster shots?

Read More
Topics: Preventative Care, COVID-19

Related posts

How to Update HR Technology Systems When the Pace of Change Is Overwhelming

Jeff Griffin

Technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics are transforming Human Resources information systems. The change is happening so rapidly that even those who updated their human capital management (HCM) systems as recently as five years ago likely aren’t up-to-speed on the changes.

The pace of change is reflected in the growth of human resources technology: In 2020, the global human resource management market comprised sales of $17.6 billion, with estimated annual growth of 12.2% through 2028.

Many HR managers and executives simply don’t know what’s possible, making it difficult to upgrade even antiquated systems. The future for HCM is bright, but not all HR departments can yet see the possibilities in the new systems.

Our HR Technology Specialty Practice experts are well-versed in helping employers navigate this ever-evolving landscape of HCM technology. Here are a few steps to follow as you begin your journey towards upgrading your HR tech.

Read More
Topics: Automation, Employee Productivity, HR Technology

Related posts

Addressing Employee Financial Wellness in an Era of Extreme Financial Stress

Jeff Griffin

When 56% of student loan borrowers say they’d take a punch in the face from heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson and 40% would take one year off their life expectancy if it meant they’d be relieved of student debt, it probably means the public is under financial stress.

And that was before the coronavirus pandemic further complicated finances. Financial stress seems to be endemic: Three-quarters of American workers say they feel financial anxiety every day. The causes for this are numerous and varied, from insufficient savings (80%) and retirement funds (73%) to ballooning credit card balances (19%).

Financial anxiety doesn’t exist in a vacuum. There’s a tight link between financial, emotional, and physical health, and when an employee’s financial anxiety becomes overwhelming, it can affect the body and mind.

What’s more, that state of financial distress results in rising rates of presenteeism, absenteeism, and workplace accidents that can result when workers are distracted by financial worries. Consider that 43% of employees spend time working on their personal finances while at work.

As a result, many employers realize that a myopic focus on core benefits like health, dental, and vision shortchanges employees. Finding ways to integrate financial wellness into a holistic wellness strategy will be a competitive advantage, especially as many workers are emerging from the pandemic feeling financially scarred from the experience.

Read More
Topics: workplace wellness, Employee Productivity, presenteeism, absence management

Related posts

3 Ways to Strengthen Cost Management for Pharmaceutical Benefits

Jeff Griffin

When considering prescription drug cost savings, plan sponsors know where to look: the cost of specialty drugs.

Specialty drug treatments accounted for approximately 52% of pharmacy spending in 2020, and when 2021 is fully accounted for, that number is expected to increase. Plan sponsors can expect specialty drug spending to hit 55% or more of total drug costs in 2022.

And it’s no surprise that specialty drugs are eating up a huge amount of total drug spending — whether it’s an oncology drug, a drug to treat a rare condition, or a biologic with multiple indications, the annual cost of a single specialty treatment can easily run into five, six or even seven figures.

Because of its increased percentage of total drug spending, specialty drug costs are proving a major headache for plan sponsors. They need to find ways to control spending on these treatments, lest the cost of the drug benefit become prohibitive.

Here are three ways to manage the cost of pharmaceutical benefits.

Read More
Topics: Cost Containment, Prescription Drugs

Related posts

2022 IRS Contribution Limits For Tax-Advantaged Employee Benefit Programs (Consolidated)

Jeff Griffin

The IRS has finally announced adjustments to 2022 contribution limits on various tax-advantaged health and dependent care spending accounts, retirement plans, and other employee benefits such as adoption assistance and transportation benefits. Many of these contribution limits, though not all, are indexed to cost-of-living adjustments.

Together, these combined announcements by the IRS detail 2022 adjusted limits to the amounts employees can tuck away pretax into Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), transportation benefits, and retirement plans such as 401(k)s.

While IRS limits for HSAs and HDHPs are required, by law, to be announced by June 1st, limits for these other pretax savings vehicles always seem to come so late in the year that many employers have already completed their employee benefits open enrollments.

Employers who have already completed open enrollment for 2022 have two choices when it comes to communicating these updates; 1) they can do nothing, since there isn't an obligation to make the maximum election amounts available to employees, or 2) they can reopen the enrollment process and let employees who want to increase their elections do so before December 31st, for calendar year plans.

What follows is a summary of the new IRS limits;

Read More
Topics: Compliance, Employee Communications, HSAs, Retirement Planning, HDHPs, FSAs

Related posts

[Employer Survey Results] COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates, Testing Plans, and Premium Surcharges

Jeff Griffin

From Texas to Florida to Montana, state Governors and legislators are trying to get ahead of the federal government's final drafting of vaccine mandates for large employers.

Through executive orders banning these mandates and pleas to state legislatures to pass more enduring laws, several states are staged for a showdown with the federal government. Nevertheless, while this face-off is headed to the courts for resolution, several large employers are already weighing in.

Both Southwest Airlines and American Airlines have already stated they will proceed with the vaccination mandates. The two Texas-based carriers believe the federal mandate supersedes Republican Governor Greg Abbott's barring of COVID-19 vaccine mandates by any entity, including private employers.

So how will Arizona employers respond? We posed that question to over 250 Arizona employers. Here are the results.

Read More

White House Announces Vaccination Requirements for Large and Mid-Size Employers

Jeff Griffin

Nearly 100 million workers, or two-thirds of the U.S. workforce, will be impacted by new vaccine requirements announced by President Biden yesterday. 

Prompted by a surge in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths - most especially among the unvaccinated - the requirement stipulates that employers with 100 or more employees require their workforces to be vaccinated or undergo weekly Covid-19 testing.

While it’s expected to be challenged in the courts, this new requirement is part of a six-point initiative the White House laid out yesterday to boost vaccinations, increase access to testing, and broaden the availability of Covid-19 treatments.

Final details of the plan will come by way of an "emergency temporary standard" issued in the next few weeks by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Businesses that don’t comply may face fines of up to $14,000 per violation. 

Per yesterday’s announcement, workers will be considered vaccinated if they receive a single Johnson & Johnson dose or two doses of the vaccines from Moderna or Pfizer. It’s unclear how a booster shot might play into things if/when approved by federal regulators.

Here are additional details of the plan.

Read More
Topics: COVID-19

Related posts

Employer Vaccination Mandates and Medical Premium Surcharges

Jeff Griffin

Many employers are struggling to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates among their workforce, concerned not only about the safety of the workforce but also the costs of COVID-19 treatment that could be avoided through vaccination.

Some, like Delta Airlines, are turning to higher premium costs, or a surcharge, for any group health plan participants who remain unvaccinated. This decision by Delta, taken once an FDA-approved vaccine came on the market, should by no means be interpreted as a full-throated endorsement of this action. In fact, it’s quite likely that Delta’s decision will be tested in the courts.

Challenges are likely to come in three areas: wellness positioning, surcharge amounts, and possible discrimination. Nevertheless, Delta’s decision has prompted some employers to consider doing something similar.

Here are issues employers need to consider if they decide to take similar action.

Read More
Topics: Compliance, Cost Containment, wellness, COVID-19

Related posts

Shopping for Healthcare Services - 8 More Ways to Save Through Pricing Transparency

Jeff Griffin

As employee benefits consultants, we take our responsibility seriously to educate employers and employees on resources available to help reduce employee benefits program costs and out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.

This is especially true for those enrolled in High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs), but even for those who aren’t. For without any effort, as a collective, to become more price-conscious consumers, healthcare providers will have no reason to reign things in.

In a recent blog, we discussed how consumers can save on prescription medications, including comparison shopping, manufacturer rebates and discounts, drug substitution, pill splitting, bulk buying, mail-order, and more.

As a complement to that blog post, today we’ll discuss various ways consumers can save on healthcare services and procedures. After all, when combined, hospitals and physician/clinical services account for 48% of healthcare expenses.

With nearly half of medical expenses centered around these areas, it makes sense for healthcare consumers to focus on these cost centers as target-rich environments for possible savings.

Read More
Topics: Cost Containment, Consumer Driven Healthcare

Related posts

8 Ways Employers and Employees Can Save On Prescription Medications

Jeff Griffin

With over half of today's workforce enrolled in high-deductible health plans (51%), a majority of insured individuals are now on the hook for deductibles of at least $1,400. In addition, those with family coverage are responsible for at least $2,800.

While these higher deductibles are offset by cheaper monthly medical premiums and often by employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA), HDHP plans are nevertheless structured in such a way as to promote heightened "healthcare consumerism."

Judging by the sticker shock most consumers experience the first time they pay for medical services or prescription drugs without a copay, this heightened awareness of the "true cost of care" seems to be making an impact. As a result, consumers are indeed becoming more proactive about shopping for services and comparing prices, just as they would for any other consumer good.

Many employers, especially those that are self-funded, encourage this type of behavior since it can help them control costs and ultimately save significant dollars for both the company and its employees. (Employers with fully funded medical plans also have plenty of reasons to control their medical claims, though the potential savings often aren't recognized as immediately.)

And while consumers seem to have a love/hate relationship with HDHPs, many of those who take the time to fully calculate the total out-of-pocket cost of medical coverage and care realize that HDHPs, even with higher deductibles, can often save them money.

This isn't to say that HDHPs are for everyone, and if a company isn't helping its workforce adequately prepare for this change in consumer behavior, they are setting themselves up for failure.

Since we wouldn't want that to happen, here are eight suggestions to offer your workforce to help them save money on prescription drugs. In a future post, we'll offer tips on how to save money on common medical procedures.

Please share this information with your workforce. In doing so, you'll be helping them to become better consumers of healthcare and more satisfied enrollees in high deductible health plans.

Read More
Topics: Cost Containment, Prescription Drugs

Related posts

Instant Blog Alerts

Straight to Your Inbox

Most Read

Posts by Topic

Expand all