Benefits

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Costs Are Rising (Even If Premiums Aren’t) For 2015 Health Care

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Fall is enrollment season for many people who get insurance through their workplace.

Premium increases for 2015 plans are expected to be modest on average, but the shift toward higher out-of-pocket costs overall for consumers will continue as employers try to keep a lid on their costs and incorporate health law changes.

Experts anticipate that premiums will rise a modest 4 percent in 2015, on average, slightly higher than last year but lower than typical recent increases. Read more…

Benefits, HR Management

What PTO Abuse May Be Costing You

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When busy managers spend a lot of time out of the office, it translates to loose constraints for employees who don’t punch a time clock. You want to trust your employees. After all, you hired them for a reason.

A CareerBuilder survey reveals 23 percent of employees arrive late to work at least once a month, and 15 percent once per week. Research by Circadian shows partial shift absences like these lead to an average payroll inflation of 72 percent.

Even more shocking, companies lose $2,650 per salaried employee and $3,600 per hourly employee per year due to unplanned employee absences. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports business lose an average of 2.8 work days due to unplanned employee absences. Read more…

Compensation, HR News & Trends

Here’s Why Women (and Men) Really Do Need to Ask For a Raise

From istockphoto.com

Last week, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella gave some spectacularly bad advice to a group of women at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Phoenix.

He said:

It’s not really about asking for the raise but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along,”

I was originally supposed to be at this event, and it’s probably a good thing that my plans changed because I think I would have had to be physically restrained to not run up on the stage and shout, “He’s wrong! Please don’t do this!Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Study: Minimal Savings For Employers Who Cap Medical Payments

healthcare-dollars

In an effort to slow health care spending, more employers are looking at capping what they pay for certain procedures — like joint replacements — and requiring insured workers who choose hospitals or medical facilities that exceed the cap to pay the difference themselves.

But a study released Thursday finds employers might be disappointed with the overall savings. While the idea, known as “reference pricing,” does highlight the huge variation in what hospitals and other medical providers charge for the same services, the report says, it does little to lower overall health care spending. Read more…

Benefits, Compensation, HR Management

Is it Really Time to Say Goodbye to the Merit Matrix?

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Bill Kutik hates the merit matrix and I suspect he is not alone.

The merit matrix is not dead — not yet, with recent WorldatWork research confirming that about three-quarters of surveyed member organizations (which tend to be larger, more well-established employers) have a merit matrix in place. But should it be? Will it be?

In his recent HR Technology column at HREOnline, Death to the Merit-Pay-Increase Matrix, Kutik (co-chair emeritus of the annual HR Technology Conference and Exhibition that is going on this week in Las Vegas), shared his issues with the matrix: Read more…

Benefits

Is Unlimited PTO Really Just a Big Fat Corporate Lie?

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A few years ago, I worked for a marketing and consulting firm that hired me as a Director to build a big book of business.

Since it was a smaller firm, the cash compensation was on the lower end of the spectrum; however, they offered a competitive commission package and unlimited PTO.

I told my husband about the offer, and he said, “There’s no such thing as unlimited PTO, Laur. That means that you can’t get fired if you never come work.”

I said, “Why do you have to be like that?” (True story. Marriage. Good grief.) Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

California the Latest State to Require Paid Sick Leave on the Job

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With federal legislation continuing to prove elusive, California in September joined a growing number of states and cities that require employers to provide paid sick time off for their workers.

The California law, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, requires large and small employers to provide at least three days paid sick leave annually to employees who work 30 or more days a year. The leave would be available if they or a family member becomes ill.

When it takes effect in July, it’s expected to affect 6.5 million workers. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Growing Debate Over Employer Health Plans With No Hospital Benefits

obamacare calculator 300

Lance Shnider is confident Obamacare regulators knew exactly what they were doing when they created an online calculator that gives a green light to new employer coverage without hospital benefits.

“There’s not a glitch in this system,” said Shnider, president of Voluntary Benefits Agency, a Ohio firm working with some 100 employers to implement such plans. “This is the way the calculator was designed.”

Timothy Jost is pretty sure the whole thing was a mistake. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Software Flaw Lets Employers Offer Health Plans Without Hospital Benefits

obamacare calculator 300

A flaw in the federal calculator for certifying that insurance meets the health law’s toughest standard is leading dozens of large employers to offer plans that lack basic benefits such as hospitalization coverage, according to brokers and consultants.

The calculator appears to allow companies enrolling workers for 2015 to offer inexpensive, substandard medical insurance while avoiding the Affordable Care Act’s penalties, consumer advocates say.

Insurance pros are also surprised such plans are permitted. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Premiums For Job-Based Health Insurance Rose 3% This Year

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Premiums for job-based insurance rose modestly for the third consecutive year, reflecting slowed spending, even as key elements of the federal health care law went into effect.

Family premiums rose 3 percent in 2014, one of the lowest increases tracked since the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust began surveying employers in 1999. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Nonetheless, the cost of the average family plan rose to $16,834 annually, according to the survey of more than 2,000 employers nationwide. Read more…