In the last 12 months I’ve been to 73 cities in 19 countries, working with our global clients about the advantages of using online benefit management and employee engagement software.
Along the way, I’ve picked up some interesting facts, figures and anecdotes regarding employee benefits management strategies. These are high-level observations and therefore should be taken with a pinch of salt.
I know how infuriating it can be to have your country or region generalized. For example, you can’t talk about the American economy in high-level terms: Read more…
By Ilyse Wolens Schuman
In response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court holding in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that closely held, for-profit entities with religious objections to certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control requirements could avoid the mandate by invoking the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the U.S. Department of Labor has released guidance to address this eventuality.
In the latest set of Frequently Asked Questions on the ACA’s implementation, the Labor Department explains that group health plans offered by closely held, for-profit businesses that intend to cease providing all or some contraceptive coverage must notify plan participants within 60 days after the adoption of a modification or change to the plan’s coverage. Read more…
Health costs will accelerate next year, but changes in how people buy care will help keep them from attaining the speed of several years ago, PricewaterhouseCoopers says in a new report.
The prediction, based on interviews and modeling, splits the difference between hopes that costs will stay tame and fears that they’re off to the races after having been slow since the 2008 financial crisis.
“This is not an immediate return to double-digit growth rates,” says Ben Isgur, a director in PwC’s Health Research Institute. However, he adds, “what we’re seeing for 2015 will be our first uptick in some time.” Read more…
June is National Employee Wellness Month, so let’s focus on some current workplace health and wellness stats.
We know that a workplace culture based on trust creates happier, engaged and higher performing employees on all levels. And health and well-being should be considered an important factor towards this overall goal, because employees who experience poor health and wellness are likely to (among other things):
- Experience higher levels of stress;
- Miss more days of work; and,
- Experience less productivity.
These are all important determinants in an employee’s overall engagement. Read more…
Employers with 20 or more employees are required to offer COBRA benefits to departing, eligible employees.
Managing these COBRA benefits can be a burden to mid-sized businesses, whether they invest the time to manage the process in-house or invest the money to have a third party manage it.
The Affordable Care Act has added a new wrinkle into this process that both employers and employees should be aware of. The issue boils down to timing. Read more…
Work can be sickening. Literally.
During an appearance at the recent Great Place to Work annual conference this month n New Orleans, Stanford business school professor Jeffrey Pfeffer presented a devastating case for the negative effects of U.S. workplaces on our health.
Pointing out that human sustainability ought to be at least as important a goal as environmental sustainability, Pfeffer described bad work environments as environmental hazards and even more dangerous than carbon emissions or second-hand smoke. Read more…
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…
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…
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…
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…