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.

SHRM 2011: Helping Employees Lighten Up

Weight loss is the most searched term on Google, says corporate health strategist Adam Bordes, and similarly, helping employees lose weight is the most sought-after goal of corporate wellness programs. In “Lighten Up: Daily Strategies for a Lighter, Healthier Workplace,” he gave SHRM attendees several steps to help employees trim fat from their waistlines. Bordes, […]

N.Y. Legalizes Same-sex Marriage

New York State will become the sixth state where same-sex marriage is legal on July 24. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on June 24 signed the Marriage Equality Act (MEA) into law. Same-sex marriage already is legal in Massachusetts, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. The measure goes into effect one month […]

Deadline Looms for Plans to Conform with OTC Rules

If you have not updated your plan documents to conform with the new rules for reimbursing the cost of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), time is almost up. You only have till June 30! Under the PPACA, only OTC drugs that have been prescribed may be reimbursed through […]

Claims Appeal and Review Obligations Relaxed for Plans, Insurers

Plans and insurers will have an easier time complying with health reform’s internal appeals and external review rules, under rules issued today by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services. The changes, such as dropping the requirement for plans to display diagnosis and treatment codes on initial and final notifications of […]

‘Mini-med’ plans get a new lease on limits

Employer sponsored health plans that set low annual limits on “essential” benefits have been able to apply to HHS for a waiver if they can demonstrate that compliance with June 28, 2010 interim final rules phasing out such caps would cause a “significant decrease in access to benefits or a significant increase in premiums.” Waivers […]

Civil Unions Available Now in Illinois, and Soon in Delaware

Employers in Illinois that have not done so may need to adjust their plan documents to reflect the new legality of civil unions in that state. Civil unions are legal in Illinois, Hawaii and New Jersey — and will be available in Delaware next year. The Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act went […]

A Faulty Wellness Program Can Make Your Pocketbook Sick

Your wellness program is going well, with happier and healthier employees. But then, an employee sues the company alleging that the wellness program violates his rights. So your employees are healthier, but your company’s pocketbook is not in the best of condition, as it puts out money for legal fees. Do not let this happen […]

I See Your Health Reform Study and Raise You Two

The White House felt it proper to refute McKinsey Co.’s health reform study (see yesterday’s post) finding that as many as 30 percent of employers will stop offering health insurance to their workers after reform takes full force in 2014. Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Anne DeParle cited three studies saying employers would continue covering workers unabated. […]

Reform to Reduce Health as a Recruitment, Retention Tool

Workers’ enhanced ability under reform to get insurance apart from their employer reduces the importance of health insurance as a means to recruit, compensate and retain workers, a June 2011 study concludes. Researchers at McKinsey Quarterly also predicted that as many as 30 percent of employers could stop providing benefits to workers after health reform […]