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January 8, 2018

New Rules for Disability Claims Will Take Effect on April 1, 2018

On Jan. 5, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that, effective April 1, 2018, employee benefit plans must comply with new requirements for disability benefit claims. In 2016, the DOL released a final rule to strengthen the claims and appeals requirements for plans that provide disability benefits and are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The final rule was scheduled to apply to claims that are filed on or after Jan. 1, 2018. However, on Nov. 24, 2017, the DOL delayed the final rule for 90 days—until April 1, 2018—to give stakeholders the opportunity to submit comments on the final rule’s benefits and costs.
November 13, 2017

Don’t Forget About Voluntary Benefits

The United States is experiencing an ever-tightening labor market, where the number of jobs available exceeds the number of qualified candidates. One way employers can recruit and retain top talent is by offering voluntary benefits and educating employees on how to use the voluntary benefits they offer.
March 25, 2017

Saving With Health Care Literacy

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL), more than 1 in 3 Americans, or over 77 million people, are considered to have inadequate health literacy, which means that they have difficulty with common health tasks like reading a prescription drug label or making a wise health care decision.
March 15, 2017

The Hottest Benefit of 2017?

Businesses looking to attract new employees must distinguish themselves from the competition. Creative benefits often do the trick, particularly if they address specific needs. With an increase in college graduates entering the workforce and a large amount of them graduating with substantial debt, some companies are enticing prospective employees with a student loan repayment benefit.
March 1, 2017

ACA and Employer Health Plans Under President Trump

President Donald Trump has made dismantling the Affordable Care Act (ACA) one of the cornerstones of his administration. Steps have already been taken to begin the process. Employers should be aware that the following plan requirements would change if the ACA is repealed...
February 19, 2017

Block Grants: What You Need to Know

“Block grants” are the Republican solution to Medicaid spending, and they are now a key strategy for President Donald Trump’s health care plan. Grant blocking is an old Republican strategy, originally pushed by Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. This tactic may indicate how the Trump administration plans to tackle the ACA.
January 27, 2017

Employee Leave-Sharing and Donation Programs

Employer-sponsored leave-sharing programs enable employees to share their paid leave time with other employees who need additional time off. Employer-sponsored leave-donation programs allow employees to forgo their paid leave time in exchange for cash donations made by the employer to charities.
January 20, 2017

New Stand-Alone HRA Option Available for Eligible Small Employers

Due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), most stand-alone health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)—an HRA that is not offered in conjunction with a group health plan—have been prohibited since 2014. However, on Dec. 13, 2016, the 21st Century Cures Act (Act) was signed into law, which allows small employers that do not maintain group health plans to establish stand-alone HRAs, effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2017.
January 18, 2017

2016 Health Benefits Survey and How They Could Affect Employers

Each year, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) conduct a survey to examine employer-sponsored health benefit trends. This document summarizes the main points of the 2016 survey and suggests how they could affect employers.