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Bayonne BOE, city team up to enter shared prescription drug plan

BAYONNE — The Bayonne Board of Education and City Hall have inked an agreement to enter into a shared-prescription drug plan for their employees, which officials say will save taxpayer money.
The two entities will pool their insured individuals to capitalize on potential savings for the city as a whole under the new agreement, which was passed by the City Council on June 21 and by the Bayonne BOE during their meeting last night.
“When you buy in bulk, you get a better deal,” said Joe DeMarco, the city’s business administrator. “So we’re joining forces with the Board of Education, and as a result there will be savings.”
The city employs roughly 650 people, while the Board of Education has more than 900 employees people insured under its plans.
Beginning Sept. 1, the BOE and city will switch from their previous prescription plans — the city used Benecard, while the BBOE used the New Jersey State Health Benefits plan — to the ProAct Pharmacy Benefit Management Program.
Multiple officials in the school district and city said that there will be little to no disruption in the switch of employees from their current plans.
“We have an equal-to or greater-than guarantee from (the insurance broker) that it will be the same level of  benefits and formularies that our people are accustomed to,” BOE Business Administrator Leo Smith said.
“The difference, if it’s done correctly, really should just be swapping out your card — otherwise there will be no other effects,” DeMarco said.
Tammeisha D. Smith, an insurance consultant for Fairview Insurance Agency Associates — which brokered the new deal — said at the BOE meeting last night that there may be slight changes to the prescription vendors and the formularies, but said that anybody who sees changes to their formularies for the drugs they are taking will be able to get a complimentary refill of the drug while receiving adequate time to make the switch to a new drug of the same clinical category.
As a result of the shared plan, Bayonne will have “potential savings of at least $400,000 to approximately $1.5 million,” with immediate savings right off the bat due to a 20 percent decrease in administrative costs, the insurance consultant said at the BOE meeting last night.
“By joining with the BBOE for insurance purposes, you can bargain for a better price, and that’s what we did,” DeMarco said.

Triple Play: Promoting a positive company culture

Triple Play: Promoting a positive company culture

August 21, 2016 at 3:00 AM
Triple Play is a weekly NJBIZ feature that asks top executives in New Jersey to talk about three things related to their industry.
Michael Graham is the chief operating officer for Fairview Insurance Agency Associates in Verona.
We asked Michael for three ways employers can ensure their business is promoting a positive company culture for employees

Employee empowerment: Continuously engaging with employees in a one-on-one setting and in group meetings creates a better way of understanding and getting to know your employees. Actively seek feedback and allow employees to have input and openly share ideas within the organization.

Establish expectations: Establishing clear expectations of employees (i.e., how you expect employees to treat co-workers, work product quality and work output) from the beginning creates a mutual understanding between employee and employer. If employees understand what is expected of them, they tend to better understand where the company can and will be flexible in terms of work/life balance.

Help employees maintain their work/life balance: Allowing flexible schedules, providing ample vacation days and maintaining a spirit of comradery in the office lets our employees know that we care about their satisfaction as much as their productivity. And a happy, motivated employee is a productive employee!


Seminar focused on prevention and resolution of school shootings
West Orange, NJ – May 26, 2016 – Fairview Insurance Agency Associates recently held a statewide Active Shooter Profiling & Coordinated Response Seminar on on May 6, 2016. Over 50 police, government and school officials convened at the Wilshire Grand Hotel for this informative seminar.
The day’s two sessions were lead by Dale Yeager of SERAPH, a specialized consulting and training firm. Mr. Yeager is a school safety advisor for the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The first session ‘Prediction, Prevention & Mitigation of Potential Active Shooters’ focused on the underlying issues that create shooters and the predictive behaviors that could alert officials. The second session of the, ‘Emergency Psychological Response Training, focused on providing training for leaders to operate more effectively and efficiently in a crisis.
Currently there is no national database of school threats, but according to published reports there have been over 1,000 cases involving bombs or shooting threats in schools from coast to coast. Nationwide, school threats jumped 158 percent between 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years, according to a published report by the National School Safety and Security Services. About three-quarters of these were bomb and shooting threats and more than 70 percent targeted high schools.
About Fairview Insurance Agency Associates
Fairview Insurance is an independent, full-service insurance agency based in Verona and Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Working on behalf of individuals, companies and public entities, we provide customized insurance plans, employee benefits, risk management, and insurance consulting services. Our longevity and depth of experience have fostered a solid reputation for friendly, personal service that forms the core of our success.

Sidewalk Repair

Now is the time of year when we engage in the time honored tradition of spring cleaning. When you are making your to-do list for your business don’t forget to add: your sidewalks.
Repeated cycles of freezing and thawing can cause sidewalks to crack and heave, creating a potentially hazardous situation for anyone trying to navigate the uneven terrain. The danger is easily recognizable, but whose responsibility is it to remedy that danger? The answer may surprise you. Going back hundreds of years to early English Common Law, it always has been the responsibility of the government to repair defects in sidewalks. Read more

Active shooter profiling, coordinated response seminar in West Orange

WEST ORANGE, NJ — A statewide active shooter profiling and coordinated response seminar will be held Friday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Wilshire Grand Hotel, 350 Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange.
The seminar, hosted by Fairview Insurance Agency Associates, is focused on prevention and resolution of school shootings. The seminar will be led by a team of experts, including Dale Yeager of SERAPH, a specialized consulting and training firm. Yeager and his team are school safety advisers for the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice. The SERAPH team was asked by the White House to provide and develop a national school safety study after the Columbine High School shooting.
The seminar will cover education management systems to prevent shootings and emergency response training in the event of a shooting. According to Yeager in a press release, “much of the training that has been given to school leaders has been inadequate. It does not deal with the underlying issues that create the shooter and predictive behaviors that could alert officials. This training will do just that: prediction and prevention.”
In addition, there will be a separate program, Emergency Psychological Response Training, focused on providing training for leaders to operate more effectively in a crisis.
“In this day and age, it is critical for our school and community leaders to be trained how to effectively handle an active shooter situation and prepare for a potential crisis,” Zach Edelman, Fairview’s director of risk management, said in the release. “Trainings such as these provide an inside look into the best practices of the nation’s top safety and security advisers.”
There is no cost for this seminar for school, fire rescue, police or government officials; those interested must pre-register at