Category: Employee Benefits

Millennials in the Workplace

When I started my career search during my junior year of college, I quickly became aware about the generational differences in the workplace. Now with three different generations in the work place (Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millenials), the gap between these three may seem larger to employers and employees than before.

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International Employee Benefits

International employee benefits are a constantly changing, dynamic aspect of any global organization. With the continuation of globalization in the US economy, companies will continue to increase interest and usage of international employee benefit plans. Employers are now taking a centralized approach to their global benefits strategy.

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Secrets to the Healthiest Cities in the World

Although a healthy lifestyle is defined uniquely by each individual, these cities seem to be doing it right and ultimately, there is something we can all take away from them.

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Do You Know Your 10-Digit Number?

New federal HIPAA rules require 10-digit identifier for self-funded plans The Health and Human Services Department recently updated the Code Set Rules, a set of requirements under HIPAA to create uniform electronic procedures for health plan administration.

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Against the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that closely held for-profit corporations with sincere religious objections to certain types of contraceptives cannot be required to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive mandate. Under the ACA, employers with non-grandfathered health plans are required to provide cost-free coverage for certain preventive care for women, including all FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Three family-owned corporations objected to providing health coverage for certain types of contraceptives, based on their owners’ religious beliefs.

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After Decades of the Status Quo Health Benefits Get a Makeover

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), signed into law in March 2010, rocked the health benefits world. Every industry has its own historic timeline that illuminates significant discoveries or changes in product or product delivery.  Health Benefits Insurance is no different.   From the inception of group health benefits plans in the 1940’s, the advent of Medicare and Medicaid in the mid 1960’s and HMO’s in the 1970’s, very little has changed in health benefits delivery.

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Are You Providing All The Required Disclosures To Your Health Plan Participants? DOL Audits on the Rise….

Did you know that the Department of Labor (DOL) has broad authority to investigate or audit an employee benefit plan’s compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA)?  Now that the DOL has begun enforcing compliance with the ACA, health plan audits are on the rise.  Audits are performed by an enforcement arm of the DOL, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).  Sometimes the benefit plan is selected for audit as a result of a participant complaint or a Form 5500 issue.  However, often times it is a result of random selection.  A new initiative in the EBSA called the Health Benefit Security Project (HBSP) combines the EBSA’s existing enforcement activities with even more random audits of employers to ensure compliance with the ACA.

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Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Period Ends in March

The existence of the Health Insurance Marketplace has been in full swing for almost two months with coverage being effective as early as January 1, 2014.  The open enrollment period for the Marketplace ends on March 31, 2014 and those individuals who do not enroll in the Marketplace will have to wait until the next proposed open enrollment period of November 15, 2014 – January 15, 2015 unless they experience a special enrollment period due to a qualifying life event (i.e. loss of coverage, marriage, have a child).

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Pay-or-Play Provisions Delayed

Yesterday, the Obama Administration delayed parts of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA)
Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions  (“Pay-or-Play”). The Treasury Department stated that businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees will not be required to offer health insurance to its workers in 2015 or potentially pay a fine if they choose not to do so. Employers of this size will also not be exposed to fines in 2015 if their plan does not meet ACA minimum value and affordability standards. This policy gives mid-size businesses (50-99 full-time employees) until 2016 to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s Pay-or-Play provisions.

 

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ACA & Young Americans

 

The “Young American” population, those age 18-34, have become the major demographic of interest in determining the potential success of the Affordable Care Act. Government reports had initially stated, “2.7 million of the projected 7 million enrollees in the health care law’s exchanges would need to be from the young adult demographic” (Klein, Phillip).

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