Wellness Programs Can Help Small Employers Save Money: Study

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: While most small businesses do not offer health and wellness programs to their employees, three out of four that do offer a wellness programs have found that the program has had a positive impact on their bottom line, according to a recent report from Humana and the National Small Business Association. […]

HR Managers Say Employees Do Not Understand Benefits; Improving Employee Communication Is Top Priority

Human resource (HR) managers are frustrated with their employees’ understanding of their benefits packages, according to a recent Quick Poll from human resource consultant Corporate Synergies Group. The poll found that 84 percent of HR managers said plan participants do not understand how their “lifestyle or utilization decisions” impact the cost of benefits. In addition, […]

Enrollment Reaches 86,000 In Health Reform’s Temporary High-Risk Pool

  from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: According to the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, 86,072 individuals have enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) as of Aug. 31, 2012, the temporary high risk health insurance pool established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The 86,072 figure means that enrollment has increase […]

Retiree Health Savings Needs Drop Due To ACA Provision

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: Projections for how much elderly Americans need to save for out-of-pocket health care in retirement have decreased, due to a provision the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that covers more prescription drug costs, according to a recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The report, Savings Needed […]

Husband’s Medical Records Must Be Disclosed To Former Employer In Employee’s Lawsuit Based On FMLA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) did not prevent disclosure of medical records to his wife’s former employer in a wrongful termination suit because the husband’s medical condition was a central issue in the litigation, a federal district court has ruled in Tavares v. Lawrence & Memorial Hospital (D.Conn, 3:11-CV-770 (CSH)). The employee, […]

Few Employers Offer Retiree Health Benefits, And The Number Keeps Dropping: EBRI

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: In 2010, only 17.7 percent of employees worked at companies that offered health coverage to early retirees, down from 28.9 percent in 1997, according to research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). In addition, the report, Employment-Based Retiree Health Benefits: Trends in Access and Coverage, 1997‒2010, published in an October […]

Health Reform Survey Finds Business As Usual For Employers In 2013

Employers say it will be business as usual in their approaches to health benefits, as they plan for new developments in the coming year due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a recent survey from the nonprofit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH) and The Benfield Group. The survey polled […]

Employees Not Feeling Confident In Benefits Elections This Open Enrollment Period: MetLife

Just 56 percent of employees are highly confident they will select the right employee benefits during the annual benefits enrollment period in 2013, according to recent research from MetLife. The MetLife Benefits Election Poll also found that one in five workers who had the opportunity to participate in a benefits enrollment last year failed to […]

IRS Issues 2013 Adjusted Limits For Long Term Care, MSAs

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: In Rev. Proc. 2012-41, the Internal Revenue Service provides a variety of inflation-adjusted figures for 2013, including figures for long term care and medical savings accounts (MSAs). Long term care. For tax years beginning in 2013, the limits under IRC Sec. 213(d)(10) for eligible long term care premiums deductible as “medical […]

Create New Excepted Benefit Category For HRAs, Group Suggests

A new excepted benefit category for stand-alone health reimbursement arrangements (HRA) should be created, according to a letter from the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC) to the Departments of the Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor (Departments). The new category is needed because of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) effect […]