ACA SHOPs postponed one year, HHS urges using brokers instead

Small business owners won't be able go online to buy health insurance for their employees until November 2014. Meanwhile, the Department of Health and Human Services suggests doing it the old-fashioned way—through a broker.

Work with providers to sort DOMA impact

The June 26 Supreme Court decision that overturned Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act will have very specific effects on HR. The most immediate ones involve taxes on pay and benefits. If you operate in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, start working now with your benefits providers.

Benefits alert: Health insurance exchange notice requirement postponed

The health care reform law required employers to begin notifying employees on March 1 about the availability of state-based exchanges as an option for buying health insurance. But acknowledging the obvious—that the state exchanges are nowhere near ready to go live—the Department of Labor has temporarily rescinded the notice requirement.

4 questions to ask about supplemental insurance


Supplemental health insurance plans can build good will among employees, make your benefits package more competitive and enhance HR’s image. To make sure you secure the best coverage at the best prices, ask insurance brokers about the following topics.

Hacked! How to limit liability for employee data breaches


Imagine this nightmare scenario: You’ve contracted with a vendor to enter personnel data into a new computer system, including employees' Social Security numbers, addresses, names of dependents, health records and bank account routing numbers. Then the vendor notifies you that employee data was somehow stolen or lost. What do you do?

Plan now for 2013 insurance renewal: 6 questions

Open enrollment season for health insurance benefits can leave any HR professional ex­­hausted. But that’s not a reason to forget about the topic completely for the next several months. As you plan for next year, ask these questions:

Focus now on insurance renewal for 2013

For most employers, open enrollment for health insurance benefits in 2012 has come and gone. So now's the time for comp and benefits professionals to start planning for the next health insurance renewal go-round. An early start will give you a fighting chance to keep costs under control in 2013.

Save on legal fees: The 7 most common law firm billing errors

If part of your job is dealing with outside attorneys and reviewing their invoices, know what kind of overcharges to look for. You can save the company money and prove your bottom-line impact to the top brass. Here are the seven most common errors to watch for.

Outsource staffing to save labor costs, offer better benefits


During these difficult economic times, small and midsize businesses are looking for ways to reduce their employment costs—while maintaining employee benefits and gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Many employers are looking at alternative staffing models to meet those objectives.

Just looking at the caller ID, you're already dreading answering the phone. The person on the other end of the line is ...

Ouch! Be glad you’re not a vendor—the people HR pros really don't want to talk to.

If you needed legal advice on an employment law issue, what would you do?

When HR Weekly readers and users of need employment law advice, they don’t look for just any old lawyer.

37 ways to lower your health care costs

Average employer-paid health benefit costs have increased about 6% per year for the last five years. At least in the short term, the year-old health care reform law may make the problem even worse. All the more reason to act now to get your health care costs under control. One of the most effective ways: conducting a dependent audit to make sure the people you're covering are actually eligible for insurance benefits.

New tax law delivers savings--and benefits changes--that affect HR

The contentious tax law signed by President Obama last week brings tax savings to workers nationwide—and contains several provisions that will affect HR. Here's a round-up of various elements—from Social Security withholding to tuition reimbursement to on-site child care—that you'll have to deal with when the law takes effect on Jan. 1.

Make 2011 the year of comp & benefits strategy

Much of your work as a compensation and benefits professional involves putting out fires and dealing with day-to-day tasks. But don’t let the details get you down! Start the new year by resolving to think strategically. Use this planning guide as a road map for 2011.

DOL to require more disclosure of 401(k) fees

Starting Jan. 1, 2012, employers will need to more clearly spell out the fees charged by their 401(k) plan so employees can comparison shop among the plan’s investment options, say new Department of Labor rules...
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