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Dealer Guide: Make Change, Drive Results

The automotive sector is on the rebound, with OEMs and dealerships in all tiers working through recovery from the global pandemic that shook the market. Automotive retailers are adjusting to a “new normal” that’s here to stay as the industry transforms.

Forward-thinking auto brands are staying two steps ahead of consumer expectations, changing the way cars are sold by rolling out innovative technology – both online and offline – and challenging the traditional dealer franchise system. Combined with maintaining ad spend and visibility, strategic auto dealers are successfully continuing to grow throughout the pandemic.

 

Download the guide from Effectv

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Look what you can easily do using your online account

It’s a new year and a new opportunity to get the most benefit out of your BCBS healthcare plan.

Tap in to your health care plan. You’ve got apps to count calories and steps, monitor your heart rate and track your meals. Now add the Blue Cross mobile app — the only one that helps you manage your health care benefits and better budget for care.

CHECK YOUR BALANCES AND COVERAGE
Your deductible, coinsurance and out-of-pocket balance are pulled together in easily understandable charts.

MONITOR CLAIMS AND EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS STATEMENTS
Keep your claims and EOBs under one well-protected account. Track how much of the services your plan covers and your part of the costs. Get emails and alerts that tell you as soon as your explanation of benefits statements are posted to your account.

SEARCH FOR DOCTORS, HOSPITALS AND SPECIALISTS
Save time choosing or changing your primary care doctor. Look up doctors and places within your plan’s network and see which are accepting new patients. Compare quality, office hours, hospital affiliations and other information.

COMPARE COSTS FOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES
Look up estimated costs for a wide range of health care services.* You’ll be ready to talk with your doctor about options for affordable care. Also compare real prescription costs based
on your plan’s deductible, coinsurance and copayment, if you have Blue Cross or Blue Care Network pharmacy coverage.

FIND PEACE OF MIND WITH QUALITY HOSPITAL CARE
Feel good knowing you’re receiving the best of care. Find hospitals that meet national quality standards.

CARRY YOUR ID CARD SAFELY
Your Blue Cross or Blue Care Network ID card is always at your fingertips. If you need more plastic cards, order them using your secured account.

GET ANSWERS FAST WITH 24/7 PERSONAL SUPPORT
Ask MIBlue Virtual AssistantSM, an interactive, automated chat feature, to direct you on finding care, getting balances, choosing a doctor and more.

STAY HEALTHY
Get online health and well-being resources and information, store your personal health record and track your goals in one location.

SEE THE STATUS OF AUTHORIZATIONS AND REFERRALS
Know when your referral or authorization is approved, if your plan requires them, before you schedule an appointment. An email lets you know as soon as a new, approved or denied referral
or authorization is posted to your account.**

USE YOUR MEMBER DISCOUNTS
Save on gym memberships, fitness gear, weight loss programs and more with Blue365.®

 

*Cost estimates for certain services are available for most non-Medicare members

**Not all approval and denial letters are handled by Blue Cross or BCN. Letters distributed by a vendor other than Care Advance
aren’t available through the Blue Cross member account.

Blue365 is brought to you by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.
Value-added items and services are not a part of your insurance benefits and are not covered under contracts with Medicare or any other applicable federal
health care program. For complete terms and conditions see www.blue365deals.com/terms-use.

 

 

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Reminders: Vehicle Transactions and Business Operations in 2021

Every year brings new rules, requirements and information for vehicle transactions. Here are a few reminders for 2021:
  • RD-108. The Michigan Department of State released an updated version of the RD-108 that must be in use no later than January 1, 2021. The updated version should already be in place for CVR transactions. A copy of the new RD-108 is available here, with a video-walkthrough of the changes here.
  • Sales Tax on the Difference. For vehicles delivered in 2021, owners trading in a motor vehicle receive a sales tax credit for a vehicle’s trade-in value up to a max. of $7,000. This is a $1,000 increase from the 2020 max. Trade-in Sales Tax Credit FAQs
  • Odometer Disclosure. Effective Jan. 1, 2021, there will be new requirements in place for odometer disclosure upon a transfer of vehicle ownership. The new federal rules require the seller to disclose the mileage of the vehicle being sold for a period of 20 years following the production model year of the vehicle (previously 10 years). This will be done in a phase-in process, so one model year will be added to the rule each year, beginning with model year 2011 on Jan. 1, 2021. After 10 years, all model years will be phased into the 20 year disclosure rule.
  • 2021 Fuel Economy Guide. Federal law requires new car dealers to provide this guide to customers upon request. You can download the latest guide by visiting the dealer page. It is updated periodically to include newly released vehicle models and current fuel cost estimates.
  • Standard Mileage Rates. The IRS has issued the 2021 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. See the 2021 rates here.
  • Form 8300, Cash Transactions. Dealers who receive more than $10,000 in cash in a single transaction or in related transactions must provide a written statement to each party whose name was included on the Form 8300 by Jan. 31 of the year following the reportable transaction. Read more here.

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Minimum wage increase unlikely to take effect on Jan. 1

The Michigan Bureau of Employment Relations, Wage and Hour Division has announced the state’s scheduled minimum wage increase is not expected to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

Michigan’s Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act of 2018 prohibits scheduled minimum wage increases when the state’s annual unemployment rate for the preceding calendar year is above 8.5%.

The state’s 2020 annual unemployment rate, which is determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Dept. of Labor, is calculated by using both average labor force and unemployment levels for January through December.

While Michigan’s October unemployment rate continued its downward trend and is 5.5%, the annual average from January through October currently sits at 10.2% and is highly unlikely to dip below the 8.5% threshold when when BLS releases the final 2020 unemployment numbers for Michigan.

If, as expected, the annual unemployment rate does not fall below 8.5%, then effective Jan. 1, 2021:

  • Michigan’s minimum wage will remain at $9.65 an hour.
  • The 85% rate for minors age 16 and 17 remains $8.20 an hour.
  • Tipped employees rates of pay remains $3.67 an hour.
  • The training wage of $4.25 an hour for newly hired employees age 16 and 17 for their first 90 days of employment remains unchanged.

Per statute, future increases to the minimum wage rate will occur in each calendar year following a calendar year for which the unemployment rate for this state, as determined by the BLS, is less than 8.5%.  See MCL 408.934(1) and (2).

Michigan’s minimum wage rate will next increase to $9.87 in the first calendar year following a calendar year for which the annual unemployment rate is less than 8.5%. See MCL 408.934(1)(h).

Visit Michigan.gov/WageHour for more information regarding minimum wage.

Helping Your Employees Stay Healthy

The CDC has said that getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself, your family and your community from flu. A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and save medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients. If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine yet, get vaccinated now.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has made it simple to inform your employees about the flu shot and resources available to them. Check out the various Outlook email templates, posters, FAQs and more on the BCBS ENGAGE web page. You might also want to know the symptoms of the flu versus COVID-19.
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2021 Fuel Economy Guide Now Available

2021 Fuel Economy Guide Now Available

Federal law requires new-car dealers to provide the Guide to customers upon request.

The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency have just released the 2021 Fuel Economy Guide. The Guide provides detailed fuel economy estimates for model year 2021 light-duty vehicles, along with estimated annual fuel costs and other information for prospective purchasers. By law, dealers must display the Guide and provide copies to customers upon request. Dealers may choose to (1) print copies to have on hand or (2) provide access to the electronic version/website on a computer or electronic device in the display area. The regulations ensure that prospective customers have ready access to fuel economy information for current model year vehicles. Click here to view the EPA/DOE letter detailing how to make the Guide available to customers.

2021 Fuel Economy Guide

  • Enhanced Electronic Access: The 2021 Fuel Economy Guide will be published in electronic format only. You can download the latest Fuel Economy Guide from the government’s fuel economy website by clicking here or visiting the dealer page and print copies from the electronic file as needed. The online Guide will be updated periodically to include newly released vehicle models and current fuel cost estimates.
  • Display Signage: Dealers can download and print a sign/poster to place in their display area directing customers to the Fuel Economy Guide (this is optional and not required by law). Signage is also available on the dealer page.
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Free COVID-19 safety consultations through MIOSHA Ambassador Program

MIOSHA partners with NSF International to expand Ambassador Program for businesses across Michigan

Businesses across the state can now schedule free COVID-19 safety consultations as a part of the new Ambassador program partnership with NSF International and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). Ambassadors are conducting outreach to statewide businesses to offer education and support to implement regulations on workplace safety.

“Partnering with NSF allows us to do even more for businesses at a time when we know they need the support,” said COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. “As experts on public health and safety, NSF brings the exact prowess we need during this challenging time. Together, our Ambassadors will help businesses to understand and comply with changing regulations.”

The partnership with NSF International is enabling MIOSHA to drastically expand access to the program immediately. In addition to tier-one education which provides a brief consultation, businesses can now visit the COVID-19 workplace safety website to schedule tier-two consultations, an in-depth assessment of workplace safety requirements, with NSF International. These in-depth, collaborative meetings will connect employers directly with an Ambassador to identify and implement solutions in their specific workplace free of charge to the business. Tier-two visits are targeted to these at-risk industries: retail stores, restaurants and gyms.

Businesses that successfully complete tier-two visits will soon receive official signage to acknowledge COVID-19 workplace safety commitments and efforts to keep customers and employees safe.

As Michigan continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases, employers must operate in compliance with the current MIOSHA Emergency Rules, MDHHS orders and federal guidelines. Ambassadors will work with business owners and managers to best implement safety directives to help ensure a safe workplace for employees and customers. Ambassadors will utilize the Ambassador Assessment to evaluate required safety precautions and then provide a toolkit of resources for additional ongoing support.

Ambassadors are delivering education toolkits to businesses statewide as part of tier-one efforts for the Ambassador program. The toolkit enables a review of current workplace safety and health procedures to limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Ambassadors will not propose citations or issue penalties. They are there to work with businesses to improve conditions and help comply with regulations on workplace safety.

Educational materials in the Ambassador toolkit can be found at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety, including:

“We know employers need support, especially as we see cases rise across the state,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “Thanks to the new partnership with NSF International, we’re now equipped to help even more Michigan businesses. Employers can visit our site right now to sign up for a consultation to work directly with one of our Ambassadors.”

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., NSF International is a global public health organization with a 75-year history of collaboration with businesses, governments and regulatory agencies around the world. The not-for-profit organization protects human health by developing public health and safety standards and providing independent certification and testing services.

“Michigan has been a national leader in providing education and resources to local businesses in response to COVID-19 and we’re proud to support that ongoing effort,” said Paul Medeiros, Managing Director of NSF International’s Consulting and Technical Services group. “We’ve worked with hundreds of businesses and institutions around the world to minimize COVID-19 risks for employees and customers. This program will help Michigan businesses understand regulations and best practices so they can keep their doors open.”

The Ambassador program supports businesses from various industries, including retail stores, restaurants, and gyms where community transmission is heightened.

“We need programs like this to support the business community,” said Scott Ellis, Michigan Licensed Beverage Association Executive Director. “As business owners, all we want is to keep our doors open and to serve our customers. We’re doing everything we can to create safe spaces, but cases are rising, and we need to be diligent to stem the spread. It’s nice to have support to ensure we are all sharing solutions to keep Michigan safe.”

Employers and employees with specific questions regarding workplace safety and health may contact MIOSHA using the hotline at 855-SAFEC19 (855-723-3219).

Businesses can sign up to participate now at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety.

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Foolproof Ways to Work Out in the Morning

It’s 5:30 a.m. Your alarm clock is sounding off relentlessly and you are one giant, toasty cinnamon bun in bed. The absolute last thing you want to do is get up and dive into a workout … but you should!

Research and testimonials show that working out before breakfast sets the tone for the day and reinforces a healthy schedule over time. Most people think they can’t handle morning workouts or don’t want to give up their sleep, but the routine gets addictive. The energy and morale boost felt throughout the day is well worth adjusting your schedule to wake up early.

Here are a few tricks that fitness buffs (and A Healthier Michigan bloggers) swear by to get you out of bed and into the gym each and every morning:

  1. Sleep in your workout clothes: They are just as comfy as pajamas and give you no excuse to not get moving after a good night’s rest.
  2. Move your alarm clock: Set your alarm on the other side of the room, forcing you to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re up and out, there’s no reason not to keep going.
  3. Brush your teeth ASAP: This is the bare minimum for getting ready for facing the day and can help you feel mentally ready to tackle a workout.
  4. Make your bed: As soon as you’ve brushed your teeth, make your bed. You’ll feel way less inclined to climb back in for another hour or two of rest.
  5. Allow enough time to get ready after: Working out from home makes this one a no-brainer! If you are heading to a workout facility, packing a bag is an easy excuse not to go before work or school. Don’t allow yourself an easy out!
  6. Build two playlists: Create one for preparing in the morning and one for your workout. Both should include motivational music and ways to get you psyched about the day.

Are you on board with the morning workout? Here are a few other ideas to motivate you in the a.m. and throughout the day: 

 

This article was originally published on www.ahealthiermichigan.org a website sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  Blue Cross and MADA are your trusted partners in building a healthier business and workforce.

Embezzlement and Fraud – The silent crimes that could cost millions

Join Zurich on November 17 to gain a better understanding of embezzlement and fraud in the automotive industry. Discover how individuals carry out these crimes – many times for years – and the effect it can have on your dealership. Zurich specialists will uncover four habits of an embezzler, share loss stories, explain strategies used by embezzlers, plus offer basic guidelines to help reduce your risk of becoming a victim.

Get more information and register here.

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SOS offices encouraging online donations as part of annual Harvest Gathering campaign

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that due to changes in this year’s Harvest Gathering campaign, all donations will be made virtually at www.FeedMichigan.org.

“As we celebrate 21 years of participation in this campaign, we’re adapting to the pandemic alongside food banks and other resources,” Benson said. “Instead of having you drop off food items at our branches, we encourage you to donate online and mention our offices when you make your donation. Even as we adjust to this new normal, donors are still able to put food on the table for their neighbors during a time of need.”

Due to COVID-19, many food banks are not accepting food donations this year, so the Food Bank Council of Michigan moved the Harvest Gathering campaign to a virtual-only giving opportunity. Residents can include a specific Secretary of State branch office name or business area if they would like that team to receive credit for their donation. When customers donate funds, they can also indicate what foods they would like to buy with those donations, or they can provide a donation to be used as needed.

Every $1 donated helps provide five meals for Michigan families. Before the pandemic, the food bank network distributed 2.6 million pounds of food each week. Since March, that average has increased to 4.5 million pounds of food a week, largely due to the impacts of COVID-19. On top of that, the Food Bank Council anticipates the need to increase another 15 percent heading into this fall and winter.

The campaign begins today and runs through Wednesday, Nov. 25. For more information visit www.FeedMichigan.org.