Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM.
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Articles by Stephen Miller
On May 29, 2013, the U.S.
Employers with employees who may seek coverage through a public exchange should become familiar with the applications and the information they will need to provide as part of the Employer Coverage Tool.
Many employers are making changes to their health plans as a result of health care reform coverage mandates, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ 2013 Employer-Sponsored Health Care: ACA’s Impact report.
Key findings from the survey of more than 950 U.S.-based employee benefits professionals include:
"Organizations that pay for performance are more likely to attract those interested in performing," said Jay Schuster, a partner at consultancy Schuster-Zingheim & Associates, speaking at the 2013 WorldatWork Total Rewards conference, held April 29-May 1.
The rewards package is "a powerful communications tool that defines the kinds of people who will want to join the organization,” he explained. “You can't change the corporate culture without changing rewards."
Wellness programs are an increasingly common feature of employee health benefits, but additional guidance is needed to stop employers from violating federal equal employment opportunity laws, labor advocates told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) at a May 8, 2013, meeting in Washington, D.C.
New bachelor degree graduates in the U.S. commanded an overall starting salary of $44,928 in the first quarter of 2013—up 5.3 percent over the average starting salary that their class of 2012 counterparts realized a year earlier ($42,666), according to the nonprofit National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
Don't underestimate the importance of job advancement for keeping talent.
Employers in the U.S. are facing a "talent paradox." Despite relatively high unemployment, many companies are confronting shortages in areas where they most need to attract and retain experienced workers. As the economy recovers, employers increasingly should be concerned about losing critical and high-potential talent, according to a presentation at the 2013 WorldatWork Total Rewards conference, held here April 29-May 1.
To control health care expenses, U.S. businesses are continuing to switch to health plans that shift a greater share of costs to employees. According to benefit provider Aflac's 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report, published in April, more than half (53 percent) of employers have implemented a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) over the past three years—a trend that shows no sign of slowing.
Access to voluntary and other ancillary or nontraditional benefits provided through the workplace varies greatly according to employer size, region and industry, highlighting the importance of using local benchmarking data in benefits planning, a new study finds.
While only two out of five U.S. workers would strongly recommend their organization as a “great place to work,” those who did so were three times more likely to be satisfied with their benefits, according to MetLife’s 11th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends.
Large U.S. employers—those with at least 1,000 workers—remain committed to providing active employees with health care benefits. But they are taking more aggressive actions to improve health care delivery and manage rising costs, according to a nationwide survey by consultancy Towers Watson and the nonprofit National Business Group on Health (NBGH).
Fewer U.S. employees took hardship distributions and loans from their 401(k) plans in 2012 compared with 2008—a sign of economic improvement—according to a study by WorldatWork, an association of total rewards professionals, and the American Benefits Institute, the research and education affiliate of the American Benefits Council, which represents major U.S. employers.
Employers that follow best practices for workplace wellness programs were more likely to report improvements in lowering medical cost trends and improving employee health status, a Scorecard report from the nonprofit Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) and consulting firm Mercer indicates.
In an analysis of data collected from more than 700 U.S. employers, researchers found that the best practices most strongly associated with positive wellness program outcomes were:
Even as stock prices rise, unemployment drops and overall recovery takes hold, more U.S. workers than ever are planning to delay retirement, according to a 2012 report from The Conference Board, an independent business membership and research association.
A set of frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) issued by federal regulators on Jan. 24, 2013, will limit the use of employer-provided health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to fund employee purchases of individual (nongroup) coverage on government-run health care exchanges, scheduled to launch in 2014.