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.

DOL Audits Health Reform Compliance of Employer Plans

It may seem paradoxical that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) should begin auditing health plans for compliance with the health reform law’s mandates, given that the U.S. Supreme Court could very well strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for being unconstitutional in early summer. But it’s better that plans be ready to demonstrate […]

Space Shuttle and Employment Perks: Symbols of the Past Say Final Farewell

When we think of the term “bygone era,” one thing that commonly comes to mind is the space program. And perhaps another is employment perks. Not that either is gone, by any means. But times seem to be changing for both during an era of economic contraction, so perhaps it is no coincidence that the […]

Arizona Surgery Practice to Pay $100,000 in HIPAA Settlement

A heart surgery group practice agreed to pay $100,000 to settle federal allegations that it chronically neglected standard HIPAA requirements such as risk assessment, training and business associate contracts, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced April 17. This settlement, coming hard on the heels of HHS’ $1.5 million agreement with BlueCross […]

401(k)s, Free Food, Pet Insurance—What Benefits Are Best Employers Offering?

For years, BLR has surveyed HR, compensation, and benefits professionals to find trends in benefits. We appreciate your participation in our series of brief, targeted benefits surveys. Today’s survey topic: Benefits Other than Health Insurance. (We’ll publish the results in a future issue.) Complete the Benefits Other than Health Insurance Survey now Please participate in […]

Bill Would Lower Burden of Proof for Employees Bringing ADA, ADEA Claims

Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would lower the burden of proof for employees bringing disability and age discrimination claims. If passed, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (S. 2189) would change the laws’ “but for” standard to one allowing “mixed motives.” Both the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act […]

Proposed Health Plan Identifier Could Cost Plans More Than $1B

A standard health plan identifier proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) could cost health plans a total of up to $1.3 billion to implement. The proposed rules, released April 9, would establish a unique health plan identifier (HPID) for HIPAA-covered health plans (both group health plans and insurers), and an […]

Employer Stuck with $830k Bill After Delay Results in S-L Claim Denial

The outcome in this case should remind employers that even with stop-loss (S-L) in place, a self-insured health plan is risky business. Trouble for the Claire’s Stores health plan started in the form of a premature birth, which generated about $1 million in charges. Under the terms of its S-L contract, the plan had to […]

Final Health Reform Exchange Rules Flesh Out Privacy and Security Requirements

Final rules that will govern the state-based insurance exchanges created by health reform include more detailed privacy and security requirements for the exchanges themselves and participating insurers. These restrictions also will apply indirectly to agents, brokers and others involved in this process. In the rules, published March 27 (77 Fed. Reg. 18310), the U.S. Department […]

Successful Wellness Programs Require Ongoing Commitment, Tailoring to Employees

Getting good results from an employee wellness program requires a continuing organizational commitment and understanding of what motivates individual employees, wellness expert Brad Cooper told a recent Thompson Interactive webinar. He warned of some common wellness program pitfalls. One is a “check-the box” approach — such as setting up a biometric screening and distributing a […]