INSURANCE

As military-leave season nears, plan now for reservists' absence

04/17/2015
Summer is usually when employees who belong to the National Guard and military Reserves give their two weeks of duty to Uncle Sam. Some military-connected employees may be deployed for longer periods of time. Now is the time to prepare for their absence.

One-third of workers want to rebalance pay, benefits

04/09/2015
Most workers are satisfied with the health benefits they have now, but nearly a third are interested in changing the mix of benefits and wages they receive, according to a new survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Can your workers afford out-of-pocket costs?

04/07/2015

For years, employers have tried to keep health insurance premiums down by passing along other costs to employees in the form of higher deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance fees that must be paid out-of-pocket. But now, employee cost-sharing measures may be getting too expensive for many workers to afford.

Employer trade group pushes to privatize workers' comp

04/06/2015
A who’s who of some of the nation’s largest private-sector employers have formed a lobbying group to “advocate for better medical outcomes to injured workers and give employers a choice in how they will manage employee benefits.” Critics say the Association for Responsible Alternatives to Workers’ Compensation is out to gut workers’ comp laws.

Employers aren't cutting staff to escape ACA mandate

03/30/2015
Only a handful of employers have considered reducing full-time employees’ hours to dodge the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.

Employers planning changes to health benefits

03/25/2015
More than 80% of U.S. employers expect to make changes to their health benefit programs over the next three years, despite cost increases remaining at historically low levels, according to new research from the Towers Watson HR consulting firm.

COBRA strikes after benefits were continued

03/24/2015
Most employers know they must send a COBRA notice to terminated workers no longer covered by the company health plan. COBRA letters tell former employees they can continue their health insurance coverage for 18 months if they begin paying the entire premium, plus a small service fee. But what happens if the employee hasn’t been fired, but instead has been placed on an unpaid suspension pending possible discharge?

Obama administration publishes final rule on excepted benefits

03/23/2015
The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury have published final rules to amend the definition of excepted benefits to include certain limited wraparound coverage for employees who buy health coverage in the private market, including through Affordable Care Act insurance exchanges.

New California unemployment insurance deadlines coming July 1

03/23/2015
Effective July 1, 2015, deadlines for reconsideration or appeal of unemployment insurance benefit rulings, determinations, computation or administrative law judge decisions will be extended from 20 days to 30 days.

How best to control health costs?

03/22/2015
There’s no consensus on the best way for employers to rein in health care costs, but consumer-directed health plans, such as high-deductible coverage paired with a health savings account, have the most support.

OSHA: Workers' comp covers small share of workplace injury costs

03/18/2015
Workers’ compensation payments cover just 21% of lost wages and medical costs of work-related injuries and illnesses, according to a new OSHA report.

Unemployment comp possible even when fired 'for cause'

03/09/2015
Generally, employees fired for misconduct aren’t eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. That’s because payments are due to employees who are unemployed through no fault of their own. But not every mistake counts as misconduct.

What to do if your health plan was affected by Anthem's data breach

03/02/2015

In February, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, one of the largest health insurers in the country, announced it had been targeted by a cyber attack that compromised the confidentiality of medical and other personal information maintained on its computer systems. If your organization provides benefits through Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, your employees have probably been affected.

Employers scaling back family coverage

02/04/2015
Health coverage for employees’ spouses and dependents is on the chopping block as employers seek to rein in health care costs and avoid the Affordable Care Act “Cadillac tax” on high-value insurance plans set to take effect in 2018.

Pregnancy Discrimination Act

01/30/2015

HR Law 101: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 prohibits discrimination on the basis of "pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions." Employers can't deny a woman a job or a promotion merely because she's pregnant or has had an abortion ...

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