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.

Twelve for ’12: A Dozen Ideas for Flexible Benefits

The year 2011 will soon be in the history books so it is not too early to work on the master “to do” list for 2012. Here are a dozen suggestions for benefits and insurance professionals who are involved with flexible benefits, by Rich Glass, JD, Chief Compliance Officer, Infinisource, Inc. Keep an eye on […]

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No Travel Reimbursement for Feds Who Stay at Lodging They Own

Federal employees who stay at lodgings they own while on job-related travel should not even try to obtain a reimbursement for their lodging expenses. So says the General Services Administration (GSA), the federal agency that sets the rules for reimbursement of federal employees’ employment-related travel expenses. The GSA issued a final rule on Oct. 14 […]

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Gallup Data on Obese Workers: Time to Dust Off ‘Lighter’ Workplace Tips

Most U.S. workers are either obese or suffering from at least one chronic condition, which costs employers $153 billion in lost productivity, says a new Gallup-Healthways survey. That’s the bad news. The good news is employers can take steps to lighten their workforce, and I’ll provide a refresher on some of those steps later below. […]

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Surrogate Mother Fails to Impose State Definitions to Make Plan Pay for Delivery

A plan participant cannot pick definitions from various state or federal statutes and impose them on an employer-sponsored health plan where the plan left terms undefined, if the plan applies a common and ordinary meaning to those terms when asked to justify a claims denial. Applying this rule, a Michigan appeals court affirmed a lower […]

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CLASS Dismissed: Health Reform Law’s LTC Program Tabled

I’ve read how, due to the cost of administering long-term care (LTC) insurance, some private-sector vendors are either revisiting that benefit  or jacking up premiums — partly because not enough people are signing up to sufficiently spread the risk, and costs, around. Well, the federal health reform law included a lofty goal of establishing a […]

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Premium Subsidy Extension Passes Congress

A bill that would extend premium subsidies for health coverage under the Health Care Tax Credit (HCTC) program has been passed by both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, meaning it’s on the way to President Obama’s desk. The HCTC was enacted as part of the Trade Act of 2002. As originally enacted, it […]

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Pulled in 2 Directions: The Cost of Uniform Coverage Summaries

Health reform’s uniform summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) will cost insurers and third party administrators (TPAs) about $160 million over the next three years to develop, update, and provide the SBC and glossary to applicants and enrollees, its agency drafters estimate. That includes $25 million in 2011 , $73 million in 2012 and $58 million in […]

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What Do These Protesters Augur for Jobs and Benefits?

Last week I caught wind that some protesters were causing a street closure at the corner of 16th and I Streets, N.W., in Washington, D.C., a block from the White House and, as luck would have it, a block — in the other direction — from the editorial offices of Thompson Publishing Group. I grabbed […]

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Are your retirement plan’s fees excessive? Failed participant suits may inform plan sponsors

Federal courts on numerous occasions in the last two years have dismissed plan participant allegations that their employers charged excessive retirement plan fees. The rulings taken together say: If a plan is not enriching itself at participants’ expense — or operating with a conflict of interest in relation to its investment company — then it’s […]

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COBRA Coverage—Qualifying Event Determines Length

Length of COBRA coverage varies according to the type of qualifying event. The following events qualify an individual for COBRA continuation coverage if the event causes loss of coverage for a qualified beneficiary: Termination or reduction of hours of a covered employee other than because of the employee’s gross misconduct Death of a covered employee […]

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