Benefits

Posts Tagged Benefits

Companies looking to pare health costs by requiring working spouses to get health insurance through their own employer may find the move has some unexpected consequences, according to a new study by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

News Updates
January 29, 2014

Workplace wellness programs can significantly lower health care costs by helping workers to better manage chronic diseases. However, encouraging workers to adopt healthier lifestyles may not noticeably reduce an employer's health costs or lead to lower net savings for otherwise healthy individuals, according to a new Rand Corp.

News Updates
January 16, 2014

As employers struggle with decisions regarding how to insure their employees in the changing health care landscape, brokers are using newly accessible data to help employers assess their options.

News Updates
January 15, 2014

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provisions that took effect Jan. 1, 2014, require health care coverage for individual- and small-group markets on one of four levels—referred to as an essential health benefits package—bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

News Updates
January 14, 2014

With all of the attention being paid to the public health insurance exchanges established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), it's easy to overlook the growth in private health insurance exchanges that has taken place in recent years.

News Updates
January 6, 2014

It’s not what you know that can hurt you; it’s what you don’t know.

That adage is particularly appropriate today as Congress quietly considers an issue that could affect every American—yet few are aware of it.

While every conscientious HR professional has been working overtime to keep up with the evolving status of the Affordable Care Act, developments with immigration reform, and the implications of new workplace rules, something else has been happening behind closed doors on Capitol Hill.

January 6, 2014
 
 
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employer-provided coverage is considered "unaffordable" if it:
  • Costs more than 9.5 percent of the employee's W-2 wages, or
  • Doesn’t cover an average of 60 percent of the employee's medical expenses.
If an employer does not provide affordable coverage, the employee can shop for insurance through a public exchange and may qualify for federal tax credits.
 
News Updates
January 3, 2014

Only a quarter of organizations use their workplace benefits program to help recruit employees, according to survey findings released by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in December 2013.

News Updates
December 30, 2013

Despite competing priorities, one-third of HR professionals in the U.S. (32 percent) have increased the time they spend educating employees about workplace benefits, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch's latest Workplace Benefits Report, based on an August 2013 nationwide survey of more than 1,000 companies of all sizes. The final sample was weighted back to representative proportions based on size.

News Updates
December 23, 2013
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For the third year in a row, chief financial officers (CFOs) in the U.S. cited rising health care costs as their No. 1 concern, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2014 CFO Outlook survey.

Of the financial executives who participated in the annual survey of middle-market companies, nine out of 10 also said they expect their organization to increase or maintain the size of its workforce in 2014.

News Updates
December 19, 2013

The vast majority of American workers say that the benefits package an employer offers, especially health insurance, is important in their decision to accept or reject a job. Yet a quarter of employees are not satisfied with the offerings, according to a new survey.

The 2013 Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey by the nonprofit Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and research firm Greenwald and Associates, released in November, reveals that:

News Updates
December 13, 2013

On the day before Thanksgiving, the Obama administration quietly announced plans to delay another part of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, in states with a federally run health insurance marketplace.

News Updates
December 5, 2013

Employers are increasingly likely to offer voluntary benefits to help workers meet their financial needs and fill gaps in coverage, according to two benefits professionals who reviewed the hottest voluntary benefits for 2014 in a recent webinar. But as the costs of benefits shift to workers, employers have an obligation to help employees choose the best benefits.

News Updates
December 4, 2013
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As the end of the year approaches, HR should remind employees with flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to determine whether they need to spend some or all of their unused funds before the end of the year (or extra grace period) to avoid forfeiting them.

News Updates
December 3, 2013
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Washingtonian magazine has selected the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) for its 2013 list of 50 Great Places to Work in the Washington, D.C., area.

“We are thrilled to be named one of the Washington area’s top employers,” said Henry G. “Hank” Jackson, SHRM president and CEO. “SHRM educates HR professionals and employers on workplace best practices. So we are gratified for the recognition that SHRM ‘walks the talk.’ ”

News Updates
November 25, 2013

Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are becoming more flexible. New federal guidance permits employers to allow workers to carry over unused amounts of up to $500 for expenses in the next year and still contribute up to $2,500 annually.

News Updates
November 11, 2013

America’s workers aren’t doing enough to learn about their benefits options and coverage gaps—and it’s hurting them at annual enrollment time.

News Updates
October 14, 2013

U.S. employers expect their health benefit cost per employee to rise by 4.8 percent, on average, in 2014, according to a survey by consultancy Mercer. Cost growth slowed to 4.1 percent in 2012, a 15-year low. The projected increase for 2014, while still relatively low, represents a slight uptick.


(Click on graph to view larger version)

News Updates
October 7, 2013

Employers struggling with the application of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) received welcome relief in July 2013 when the Treasury announced a one-year delay on implementation of the "pay or play" mandate. This mandate would have required most employers with the equivalent of at least 50 full-time employees to provide affordable, minimum value health insurance coverage to their full-time employees by Jan. 1, 2014, or pay penalties.

News Updates
October 2, 2013

U.S. workers said that to make informed decisions about selecting health care coverage options they need a description of the available benefits, a comparison of how the cost of health insurance may change, and a comparison of coverage among available plans, according to the First Annual Transamerica Center for Health Studies Survey.

News Updates
October 2, 2013