Employee Benefits Report – April 2018

Don’t Let a Flu Epidemic Take Your Business Down

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A particularly virulent influenza strain, H3N2, was responsible for a record number of illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths this winter.
Read on for details.
 
 

Tuition Assistance for a Better Future

2Tuition assistance not only benefits your employees, it helps your company.
Read on for details.
 
 
 

Making a 401(k) Plan a Reality for Your Employees

3A 401(k) retirement plan is one of the most desirable and valuable benefits you can provide your employees. Having an employee retirement plan shows you care about their future and helps employees create a nest egg for a comfortable retirement.
Read on for details.

A Partnership with an Eye To Better Health Caree

Three successful American companies decided to see if the status quo of rising health care costs and decreasing patient satisfaction can be improved.
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – March 2018

Stepping into Lower Drug Costs

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Step therapy can save money but some say there can be a downside.
One way to keep your health benefit plan’s overall costs lower is to encourage employees to choose generic drugs whenever possible. The U. S. healthcare system saved $1.68 trillion from 2005 to 2014 by using generic drugs, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
Read on for details.

Ten Reasons to Motivate Employees to Use Their Employee Health Benefit Portal

2It’s not enough to give your employees the right health plan if they don’t understand it. An online employee portal or self-service site can help — if employees are motivated to use it.

Read on for details.

Kicking it Up a Notch — Retirement Contribution Limits Increased

3That’s just one of the many changes to retirement plans for 2018.
This year employees can contribute $500 more to their federally legislated retirement funds. The federal government raised contribution limits to $18,500 for 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the Thrift Savings Plan. The adjustment was made to keep up with the cost of living. Participants age 50 or older, by the end of 2018, may make additional catch-up contributions of $6,000, meaning older savers may defer up to $24,500 into their retirement plan.
Read on for details.

Ways to Proactively Combat Mental Health Issues in the Workplace

Do you have employees who are depressed, anxious or addicted to alcohol or drugs? If so, do you know what to do?

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – February 2018

Affordable Care Act Compliance Issues to Watch in 2018

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Regardless of whether the Republican-controlled House and Senate repeals, replaces or alters the Affordable Care Act (ACA), there are a number of rules and regulations employers must comply with in 2018 and 2019 if they offer group health benefits to employees. To make sure you’re not caught unaware, review and implement this checklist of obligations and deadlines: Read on for details.

Questions to Ask Potential Retirement Plan Providers

2Thinking of changing retirement plan providers? Here are the questions you should ask.
If your employees are planning to live on Social Security alone after they retire, they could be in for a big shock. The average monthly Social Security payment is now $1,335, while some retirees get as little as $650. Most people, especially when health care costs are factored in, would have a hard time living on that amount. Read on for details.

Communicating the Value of Your Health Benefit Plan

3You’ve worked hard to choose and provide the right group health benefit plan for your employees. The premiums are reasonable, the deductibles are low and plan participants have a good choice of health care providers. Read on for details.
 

The Advantages of Bundling Group Dental and Vision Insurance

If you shop around, you might be able to save money and get better group coverage by purchasing your dental and vision insurance from the same company.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report -January 2018

Pharmacogenomics: Better Health and Cost Savings

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Drugs are formulated for normal physiology. Physicians with knowledge of a person’s unique genetic makeup can better determine which drugs will be most effective. Read on for details.
 

Short- or Long-Term? Which Disability Policy is Best for Your Employees?

2Long-term disability coverage offers employees better financial security. Yet most workers choose short-term coverage
Read on for details.
 
 

The Benefits of Offering Supplemental Life Insurance

3Supplemental insurance allows employees to customize their coverage to meet their individual needs. Read on for details.
 
 
 

Voluntary Benefits Now Almost Mandatory

>More employers are turning to voluntary benefits as a cost-effective way to help employees protect their financial assets. Employees, too, are looking for more robust benefit packages.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report -December 2017

Changes to 401(k) Plans Under Consideration

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Congress is debating possible changes to the 401(k) retirement plans employers offer their employees. Some of the ideas being discussed by Senators and Representatives would favor employees, some would benefit the federal government. Read on for details.

Vision Insurance Trends to Incorporate in Your Benefit Plans

2Employees increasingly rank vision insurance as one of the most important benefits. Here’s how to get the right plan for your employees:
 
 
 
Read on for details.

Proposed Changes to Group Health Insurance for Small Employers

3The president and congress continue proposing changes to healthcare laws and the country continues to debate what the effects of those proposals will be. Read on for details.
 
 

Getting the Most Out of Disability Benefits

You spend valuable time and money to offering benefits to your employees. So imagine how frustrating it would be for you and your employees if they were unable to enjoy the benefits they deserve.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report -November 2017

Your EEOC Responsibilities as an Employer

association health plansEmployers have a responsibility to protect the rights of employees suffering from a mental health condition. Read on for details.
 
 
 

What to Look for Before Signing a Group Health Plan Contract

2To get the best benefit plan it’s important to know your options
Read on for details.
 
 
 

What Type of Group Health Plan is Right for Your Company?

3These days there are a lot of group health plans to choose from. To pick the right one for your employees it’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages of each. Read on for details.

Why You Should Consider Re-Enrolling Your Employees in Their 401(k)

Once you establish a 401(k) retirement plan for your employees, you might think your work is done. However, despite your retirement plan carrier’s best efforts to educate employees on how to make good investment decisions, many employees do not have appropriately diversified portfolios.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – October 2017

The What, Who and How Much of Offering Life Insurance

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As an employer you are in a unique position to offer your employees an easy way to purchase a valuable benefit, costing them less than if they purchased it on their own. Read on for details.
 

Strategies for Making Your Wellness Program Pay Off

2Wellness programs are promoted as win-win. Employers save money on health care benefit costs. Employees improve their health.
Read on for details.
 
 

New Ways to Keep Health Care Benefit Costs Down

3After salaries, Health care benefits are an employer’s largest employee-related expense, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A 2016 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) pegged the annual cost in 2016 at $8,669 for each employee. Read on for details.

Group Health Costs Continue to Climb

It could cost you five percent or more to provide your employees with health care benefits in 2018.
After surveying large employers, the National Business Group on Health released a report on plan design costs this summer.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – September 2017

Could Direct Primary Care Control Your Health Care Benefit Costs?

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Affordable Care Act marketplaces are closing at an alarming rate. Health care benefit costs are soaring. Some Republicans are trying to repeal and replace the current Affordable Care Act and others in Congress just want to make changes before it implodes. Meanwhile, coverage isn’t getting any cheaper, and many Americans are left wondering what options they have for affordable health care coverage. Read on for details.

Opioid Addiction in the Workplace: How to Help Employees

2Opioid addiction is on the rise and is affecting the workplace. The National Safety Council reported that nearly 70 percent of the employers they surveyed said prescription drug abuse has negatively impacted their companies.
Read on for details.

Switching to a High-Deductible Health Plan? Here’s How to Explain the Change

3High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are gaining in popularity as a way for employers to save money and to give employees more say on how their health care dollars are spent. Read on for details.
 
 

Great Reasons to Offer a 529 Savings Plan

A 529 college savings plan is considered one of the best ways for parents to save for their children’s’ higher education. Similar to a 401(k) savings plan or an Individual Retirement Account, contributions to the state-run plan grow tax free. In many states, participants get a tax deduction or credit for their contributions.
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – August 2017

HRA Changes That Affect Your Employees

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A new law, along with rules governing Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA) affects the type of health care benefits you can offer your employees. Read on for details.
 

Four Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Dental Insurance for your Employees

2If you’re a small employer with 50 or fewer employees, you might be wondering what benefits you need to provide to attract and keep valuable talent. You want to offer attractive benefits on a cost-effective, sustainable basis for yourself, your family and your employees. Health care benefits are expected and often mandatory, but are dental benefits worthwhile?
Read on for details.

Ways to Help Your Employees Have a More Secure Retirement

3Have your employees saved enough for retirement? The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) says an individual could easily spend 30 years or more in retirement, and to retire comfortably could need up to 80 percent of their annual income. Read on for details.
 
 

GOP Proposal to Tax Employer Health Plans – Pros and Cons

Estimates show that almost half of American private sector employers offer health care insurance to their employees. The Kaiser Family Foundation says the percentage ranges from a low of 34 percent in Idaho to a high of 70 percent in the District of Columbia. The practice is popular because the benefits are exempt from federal, state and city taxes and employers can deduct 100 percent of the costs.
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – July 2017

The American Health Care Act: A Bill in Transition

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Wondering how the changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect you? You’ll have to be patient. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill is still in flux. Possible enhancements or repercussions are only educated guesses at this time. Read on for details.

Voluntary Benefits: The Upside of Giving Employees a Choice

2Many employers rely on a robust benefit package to attract and retain employees. The challenge is determining which benefits will appeal to a diverse employee base.
Read on for details.

It’s the Law: Benefits You Must Provide Employees

3Employers have a lot of options for increasing the appeal of their benefits plans. But there are also certain minimums to comply with — benefits required by law. Read on for details.

Want an Edge Attracting and Keeping Millennials? Consider Offering Pet Insurance

The Nationwide insurance company estimates that 65 percent of Americans own at least one pet. Of those pet owners, the American Pet Products Association estimates 24 percent are millennials.
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – June 2017

How Employers Can Curb a ‘Hidden Workplace Epidemic,’ Save Money and Boost Productivity

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Every day, 60 people die from opioid pain medications in America. That’s 22,000 people every year. Opioids are being overprescribed and they’re now the #1 cause of unintentional death in the United States. Not surprisingly, this “hidden epidemic” is impacting businesses. The National Safety Council has recommendations on what employers need to do. Read on for details.

Bill Would ‘Alter the Legal Landscape’ for Workplace Wellness Programs

2A bill that members of Congress are considering would substantially change federal rules governing workplace wellness programs, lifting limits on the inducements that can be used to persuade workers to provide personal health information, according to a brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Read on for details.

Retirement Policy Likely to Change Radically in Near Future

3As President Trump and the new Republican-controlled Congress settle in, experts say U.S. retirement policies are likely to change significantly over the next few years. Read on for details.
 
 

Benefits Paid to Long-Term Care Policyholders Rise 6 Percent

America’s long-term care insurance companies paid $8.65 billion in benefits to 280,000 people in 2016, an increase of 6 percent over the prior year, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.
Read on for details.