Category: Benefits

From 401(k) plans to vacation policy, this topic gives HR and Compensation professionals specific strategies on how to handle benefit plans. Articles also provide guidance to brokers, advisers and consultants.

Interesting COBRA Implications, and Silver Lining, Are in New W-2 Reporting Guidance

New guidance on a group health coverage reporting requirement raises some important issues regarding COBRA coverage and provides a silver lining for employers, who should be able to use their current COBRA premiums to determine the reportable cost of health coverage — making the new burden of this requirement a little easier to bear, according […]

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Airline Fee Unbundling Challenges Travel Managers

The airline industry is helping to shift more of the cost of business travel away from the booking phase — the stage at which costs can be managed most easily — to the trip itself when expenses are incurred on the fly. This creates challenges for corporate travel managers — and the federal government, which […]

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IRS Further Clarifies Rules on Reporting Health Plan Costs on 2012 W-2 Forms

In its latest guidance on W-2 reporting of health benefits (Notice 2012-9, issued Jan. 5) the IRS has clarified that employers need not include the cost of coverage under an employee assistance program (EAP), health reimbursement accounts (HRA), wellness program or on site-medical clinic in the reportable amount if the employer does not charge a premium […]

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Is a COBRA Notice ‘Postcard’ Too Far From the Edge of Compliance?

Postcards are designed to provide a brief message, but it will be interesting to learn if such brevity is sufficient to adequately notify an individual of COBRA continuation coverage rights — particularly when the law identifies at least 14 content requirements for COBRA election notices. In a recent court case, an employer/plan administrator faced with […]

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New EFT Standards Issued for Health Plans Paying Claims

A mandatory uniform standard for health plans to pay claims electronically was adopted in rules issued Jan. 5 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The rules are designed to help health care providers match payments received with the “remittance advice” transactions that plans are already sending them under an existing HHS […]

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Nearly $23K in COBRA Penalties Assessed Due to Dearth of Evidence on Notice Procedures and Breadth of Misleading Info

A recent court case highlights two crucial issues in administering COBRA continuation coverage: (1) a plan administrator has the sole legal obligation to prove compliance with COBRA’s notice rules — it cannot pass the buck to third-party administrators; and (2) lack of sufficient evidence on COBRA notice procedures can be a costly mistake. Recently, an […]

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HHS Solicits Comments on Essential Health Benefits

An important component of health reform implementation is the imposition of an “essential benefits” package (of health goods and services that insurers of groups and individuals must cover). Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), that benefit package will be de rigueur (1) for policies sold on exchanges and (2) insurers of small […]

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Another Boon for Wellness Benefits: Revealing Employees’ Unanticipated Disease Risks

Employers — and employees — may find wellness benefits an even more welcome offering, a recent study suggests. A Quest Diagnostics study found that more than 1 out of 3 employees who took employer-sponsored lab-based wellness tests were unaware they were at high risk for a serious medical condition. The study, Value of Laboratory Tests […]

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‘Unique Interactive Process’ for ADA Key to Appeasing EEOC

EEOC is coming after anyone not using a unique interactive process, says attorney Stacie Caraway. They want to see one-on-one engagement. Caraway, of counsel with Miller & Martin in Chattanooga, Tennessee, joined Dinita James, partner with Ford & Harrison in Phoeniz, Arizona, and moderator Charles Plumb, a partner with McAfee and Taft in Tulsa, Oklahoma, […]

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Wellness Discounts of $60-$120/Month Drive High ROI

Jeppesen and Dent made their comments at the SHRM Annual Conference and Exhibition held recently in Las Vegas, Nevada. Jeppesen, who is SPHR certified, is senior VP, Human Resources of Larry H. Miller Group of Companies; Dent is a senior consultant for ACAP Health in Dallas Texas. Costs of Health Care with Wellness in Place […]

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