Articles tagged 'health care'

Benefits, HR Management

How to Finally Fix the Flawed Corporate Wellness Model

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Today’s model for workplace wellness is to offer a program of dazzling options, but studies show such programs are not producing the outcomes they promised and that employees and companies deserve.

Here are four major changes for employers who want to improve their employees’ health and wellness and realize a return on their investment in wellness programs.

1. Get real about outcomes

A recently published study by The RAND Corporation revealed that wellness programs are not getting the intended results. One reason programs were failing was that fewer than 37 percent of U.S. employers even measure the effectiveness of their wellness programs. Read more…

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…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Health Care Unions Turning to Ballot initiatives to Achieve Labor Goals

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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…

HR News & Trends, Recruiting and Staffing

Obamacare Rollout Is Fueling Huge Growth in Medical Jobs

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Whatever you may think of the Affordable Care Act, it’s already creating new health care jobs, and increasing demand for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

“Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are attractive options because they can do 75 to 85 percent of the work a physician does at 55 to 65 percent of the cost,” says Susan Mesa, president of the Atlanta locum tenens staffing firm Advanced Practice.com.   

These types of professionals may be the most obvious beneficiaries of the health care law, parts of which began to go into effect January 1. They are not, however, the only workers who will be needed as the number of the nation’s medically insured grows. 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

State of Texas Takes Steps to Force Screening Obamacare Navigators

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Our friends from the great state of Texas are in the news once again when it comes to employment background checks, and once again, their efforts are worthy of applause for those who support this responsible business practice.

You might recall last month the Lone Star State filed a federal lawsuit against the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for their guidance on employers’ use of criminal background checks. Well last month, according to a report in The Washington Post, they are challenging the Obama administration’s stance that the Navigator’s tasked with helping people sign up for the Affordable Care Act benefits should not be subject to employment background checks. Read more…

HR News & Trends, Legal Issues

Wisconsin Bill Would Prohibit Discrimination For Refusing Flu Vaccine

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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…

Benefits, HR News & Trends

Labor Unions May Get Exempted From Controversial Obamacare Fee

Health care reform has been a key initiative of President Obama's administration.

Weeks after denying labor’s request to give union members access to health law subsidies, the Obama Administration is signaling it intends to exempt some union plans from one of the law’s substantial taxes.

Buried in rules issued last week is the disclosure that the administration will propose exempting “certain self-insured, self-administered plans” from the law’s temporary reinsurance fee in 2015 and 2016.

That’s a description that applies to many Taft-Hartley union plans acting as their own insurance company and claims processor, said Edward Fensholt, a senior vice president at Lockton Cos., a large insurance broker. Read more…