Health & Benefits

Attract and Retain Staff without Breaking the Bank

A strong employee benefits package is a powerful tool for attracting and retaining the best workers. In a 2011 Harvard Business review survey of human resource leaders, 60 percent said an attractive benefits package is “very important” in recruiting and retaining quality employees, as opposed to 38 percent who said a high base salary is very important. Benefits play an integral role in employee satisfaction. A recent survey by Met Life found that roughly 49 percent

Health Care Law ‘Wellness’ visit might not be free

As a cost conscious health-care consumer, some caution is called for, on your part, where those seemingly “free” annual checkups or well-child visits are concerned. A young mother recently learned this lesson the hard way and shared her story with us. This mother took her 10-year-old twins to their pediatrician’s office in January for their annual wellness checkups. A few weeks later, when she

Employer Mandate Delayed Again

The Obama administration delayed the implementation of the so-called employer mandate by a year, initially pushing the requirements off until 2015, past the midterm elections. However, in what is seemingly a concession to business, Treasury Department officials announced on Monday, February 10th that the administration would not enforce the rules across the board next year.

The Need for Disability Insurance

Disability Insurance, often called “DI” or “disability income” insurance, is a form of insurance that insures the beneficiary's earned income against the risk that a disability may impede a person’s ability to complete the core functions of his or her work. For example, the inability to focus or maintain composure due to psychological disorders or an injury, illness or condition that causes physical impairment or incapacity to work. Benefits

Wellness Programs

Wellness programs are being implemented in large and small companies across the country, and the results are positively impacting the bottom line. “Research is showing that it’s more cost-effective to invest in preventive health practices, such as screenings, immunizations, health risk appraisals, behavioral coaching, and health awareness/education, rather than spending resources exclusively on the small minority of employees/dependents

Drop Dead Deadline

It is common for the Human Resources person at a workplace to pass out new forms every year during open enrollment, requiring every employee to indicate their personal information and that of their spouse and children, as well as the health plan they are choosing, the primary care physician, etc. It seems that there is always a question that cannot be answered immediately so these forms are set aside to complete later. Sometimes, later is after the deadline

A Country Divided

In the 30 years of my professional career in risk management and insurance, I have never come across an issue as divisive as the debate over National health insurance. I will admit, right up front, that I am an opponent to the idea. Categorically, I am one of those conservatives who are prone to side with Thomas Jefferson who was quoted as saying, “The role of government is to do for society what society cannot do for itself.” Likewise, I am apt to quote what was printed in the monthly periodical

Health Care Exchange Explained

An Exchange is a New York State marketplace where small business employers, sole proprietors and individuals may shop for health insurance plans. The Exchange is an addition to your current health insurance options. There are two parts to the Exchange: 1. the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) 2. the sole proprietors and individuals program (Individual Exchange) The Exchange is a means of shopping

Large Employer Update

The Treasury Department has confirmed that the 2014 mandate for employers with 50 or more full-time workers has been delayed until 2015. This means that employers will not be subject to Federal penalties for not providing qualified health insurance in 2014. The Affordable Care Act requires that all employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health insurance

Health Care Benefits – Contraception

Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a broader opt-out provision for religious non-profits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control for women. This is an update to the August 2012 mandate that all health insurance plans are required to cover FDA approved and prescribed contraceptive services. There has been significant objection by some due to the contraceptive component.