Articles tagged 'health care'

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Small Businesses Drop Health Coverage Due to Obamacare Alternatives

health care reform

For two decades Atlanta restaurant owner Jim Dunn offered a group health plan to his managers and helped pay for it. That ended Dec. 1, after the Affordable Care Act made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Health-law subsidies for workers to buy their own coverage combined with years of rising costs in the company plan made dropping the plan an obvious – though not easy – choice.

“I had a lot of regrets going into it,” Dunn, who owns three Italian Oven restaurants in suburban Atlanta, said of his decision. “I don’t think I have as many now — only because I’ve seen the affordability factor for my managers improve.” Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Employers Love Wellness Plans, But the Question is – Do They Even Work?

workplacewellness

If you get health insurance at work, chances are you have some sort of wellness plan, too. But so far there’s no real evidence as to whether these plans work.

One thing we do know is that wellness is particularly popular with employers right now, as they seek ways to slow the rise of health spending. These initiatives can range from urging workers to use the stairs all the way to requiring comprehensive health screenings.

The 2014 survey of employers by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 98 percent of large employers and 73 percent of smaller employers offer at least one wellness program. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of KFF.) Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Feds Warn Employers Not to Dump Sick Workers From Health Plans

Health care reform2

As employers try to minimize expenses under the health law, the Obama Administration has warned them against paying high-cost workers to leave the company medical plan and buy coverage elsewhere.

Such a move would unlawfully discriminate against employees based on their health status, three federal agencies said in a bulletin issued this month.

Brokers and consultants have been offering to save large employers money by shifting workers with expensive conditions such as hepatitis or hemophilia into insurance marketplace exchanges established by the health law, Kaiser Health News reported last May. Read more…

Rewards & Recognition, Talent Management

Engagement Matters, But It Is REALLY Critical in Health Care

Health care communications

Employee engagement is critical to customer satisfaction.

This has been proven by study after study. And engagement is critical in any industry from retail to manufacturing to high-tech to pharmaceuticals.

But personally, if I had to pick an industry in which I’d want employee engagement to be particularly high due to its impact on me as a customer, that industry would be health care. Read more…

Benefits, HR Management

Big Changes For Workplace Health Plans: 6 Pitfalls to Watch For in 2015

123RF Stock Photo

You don’t get a pass this year on big health insurance decisions because you and your employees are not shopping in an Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Employer medical plans — where most working-age folks get coverage — are changing too.

Rising costs, a looming tax on rich benefit packages and the idea that people should buy medical treatment the way they shop for cell phones have increased odds that workplace plans will be very different in 2015. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

What Do You Do When an Employee Says They’re Quarantined With Ebola?

Time-Magazine-Stopping-Ebola

By Eric B. Meyer

Five minutes ago, after taking the obligatory selfies and between games of Candy Crush, one of your employees texted from an Ebola quarantine tent to alert you that she will be out of work for 21 days while under observation for Ebola.

As an employer, what are your obligations? What workplace laws are implicated?

And of course, because half of you are thinking it, can you just fire her? Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

What You and Your Business Need to Know About Obamacare, Year 2

health care reform

For business owners, two things in life are certain: taxes and rising health care costs. The two become nearly interchangeable when new IRS Health Care Reporting requirements go into effect, starting in 2016.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), large employers (or those employing more than 50 full-time workers) face penalties if they fail to offer minimal coverage to employees. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, health insurance decisions were largely up to the individual business.

Beginning in 2016, large employers must report very specific information to the IRS to remain compliant, and the IRS has recently issued draft copies of the health care coverage forms. Read more…

HR Management, HR News & Trends

The Ebola Scare: 10 Workplace Issues HR Should Be Ready For

Ebola This Week

You might initially think that Ebola is only a medical issue, but corporate leaders, HR, and recruiting professionals should realize that any Ebola-related panic and anxiety will also negatively impact an organization’s employees and candidates.

Take a moment to visualize this possible scenario where during the upcoming flu season employees will irrationally stress, panic, and avoid other employees and customers who appear to be even slightly symptomatic. Envision an HR function that will be bombarded with questions and concerns about sick leave, medical benefits, and a variety of Ebola related issues. Read more…

HR Insights, HR Management

Ebola Crisis Plan? Here’s What HR Should Do If They Get Asked About It

businessweek-ebola-cover

Wait for it…

Any minute now some executive is going to come into your office and ask “you” what you’re doing about this Ebola outbreak!

I’m not trying to slight the importance and the tragedy that disease is creating in West Africa, because it’s horrific. But our American media is bringing this to hysteria levels in the States (see video below)! As of this writing, there are three (3) confirmed cases of Ebola in the U.S. and one death. Read more…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

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

Photo illustration by istockphoto.com

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…