Articles tagged 'Health Care Benefits'

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Employers See Little Increase in Workers Enrolling in Health Plans

Healthy workplace

Employers saw only a tiny increase in enrollment in their health insurance plans this year, even as key provisions of the Affordable Care Act — including a requirement that nearly all Americans carry coverage or face a fine — went into effect, a survey by benefit firm Mercer finds.

Additionally, the percentage of workers eligible for job-based coverage rose only minimally, suggesting that employers didn’t expand their programs.

This may reflect a one-year delay in rules requiring employers of 50 or more to offer insurance to full-time workers or face penalties. In February, the Obama administration gave firms with 50 to 99 workers until 2016 to comply. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Survey: Employers Not So Sure They’ll Continue Offering Health Benefits

health care reform

Big employers are pretty sure they’ll keep offering workers health care coverage. But they seem a lot less sure than they used to be, according to a survey released this week.

Only one large company in four recently surveyed by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health is confident it will provide medical coverage in a decade. That’s down from 73 percent in 2007 and 38 percent in 2010.

Much of the doubt reflects “the uncertainty around the long-term implications of the Affordable Care Act,” said Julie Stone, a benefits consultant at Towers Watson. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Health Care Unions Turning to Ballot initiatives to Achieve Labor Goals


By Gregory A. Brown

Recently, on opposite coasts, health care union have been pressing voter ballot initiatives to win concessions from hospitals and other health care institutions that the unions have been unable to successfully negotiate.

For example, in November 2013 the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West filed two ballot initiatives in California.

The first initiative seeks to limit the total compensation (salary plus bonus, pension, etc., excluding health and disability insurance) of non-profit hospital/health systems executives to $450,000 per year. The second initiative would cap the amount that both for-profit and non-profit, but not children’s, hospitals could charge its patients to 25 percent above the cost of services or items rendered to the patients. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

The Latest Affordable Health Care Delay: Here’s What It Really Means

Barack Obama

This week, the Obama administration announced another delay in rolling out the Affordable Care Act, weakening the requirement to offer coverage next year for large employers and postponing it for smaller ones.

Here is what it means:

Question: There have been other delays in health-law implementation. What’s different about this one? Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Obamacare’s “Play or Pay” Provision Delayed For Medium-Sized Employers

Health care reform2

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service announced  Monday that the Affordable Care Act’s health coverage mandate for employers with 50-99 employees working at least 30 hours per week will be delayed a year.

Employers with over 100 employees working at least 30 hours per week will become subject to the health coverage mandate under the ACA as previously announced beginning in January 2015. If these employers decide not to offer insurance to their employees, they will make an employer-shared responsibility payment beginning in 2015 to help offset the costs to taxpayers for employees getting tax credits through the government health exchanges. Read more…

HR Management, HR News & Trends

Lessons From an HR-Challenged CEO: Sorting Out the Mess at AOL


America Online is making some poor employment-branding choices again.

Last August, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong (right) publicly fired an executive while on a conference call – a call where he was explaining other layoffs and cutbacks in the company’s Patch operation.

This past week, Armstrong announced that the company would be making a change to its 401(k) that would save the company $7 million per year. This sparked a media outrage that culminated in him publicly reversing the decision three days later.

There’s a lot to unpack in this story. Read more…

HR News & Trends

Bills Addressing Definition of a Full-Time Worker Advance in House

health care reform

By Ilyse Wolens Schuman

This week, the House Ways and Means Committee approved two bills that address the definition of “full-time employee” under the Affordable Care Act.

Under the health care law’s employer responsibility requirements – commonly known as the “pay-or-play” provisions – an employer with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees will be required to provide health insurance that meets certain ACA standards to their full-time employees starting in 2015, or pay a penalty.

The Affordable Care Act considers a worker “full time” if he or she works 30 hours or more per week, as opposed to the customary 40 hours used in other employment statutes and regulations. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

What the Affordable Care Act Means For Your Internship Program

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Here’s a question I bet you never thought you’d ask yourself: Will I have to provide health insurance to my interns?

With the Affordable Care Act changing the way employers provide health benefits to their staff, it’s a valid concern.

At what point should you, if at all, provide health coverage to your interns? Will the ACA mean you may face legal ramifications if you don’t provide benefits? Or is it matter of looking at your internship program and adjusting as needed?

I talked to Mike Haberman, a legal expert and co-founder of Omega HR Solutions, to gain some insight on this unusual take of the ACA. Here are some thoughts: Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Wisconsin Bill Would Prohibit Discrimination For Refusing Flu Vaccine

123RF Stock Photo

By Adam-Paul John Tuzzo

While some states are clamoring for stricter laws concerning mandatory influenza vaccinations, some lawmakers in Wisconsin have taken the opposite approach.

A public hearing was held on Nov. 13, 2013 regarding Assembly Bill 247, which would prohibit Wisconsin employers – including health care employers – from demoting, suspending, firing or discriminating against employees who refuse a seasonal influenza vaccination. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

How Obamacare Impacts Health Care For Federal Employees

Healthy workplace

Open enrollment season begins this week for the approximately 8 million federal workers and their dependents who receive health care coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or FEHB.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act calls for some changes in that coverage. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about how the measure will impact federal workers’ health insurance.

Question: I work at a federal agency and am enrolled in FEHB. Does the Affordable Care Act require me to purchase health insurance on the law’s new online marketplaces, known as exchanges? Read more…