More employers are requiring same-sex couples to marry to receive health benefits

Employers are increasingly requiring same-sex couples to legally marry to receive health care benefits, data from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans reveals. The trend follows the June 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage. Immediately after the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage, three in ten employers reported they were […]

ERISA preempted state unpaid leave claim; policy was VEBA-plan dependent

An employee’s unpaid leave claim under the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act was completely preempted by ERISA because the employer’s leave policy was dependent on the terms of its VEBA plan, ruled the Seventh Circuit. In affirming the district court’s grant of summary judgment for the employer, the appeals court found that the employee’s […]

HSA assets reach $42.7 billion in June

Health savings accounts (HSA) have grown to an estimated $42.7 billion in assets and 21 million accounts as of June 30, 2017, according to the 2017 Midyear Devenir HSA Survey. Devenir is projecting that the HSA market will exceed $60 billion in HSA assets held amongst nearly 30 million accounts by the end of 2019. […]

2017 monthly national average premium provided

The IRS has issued guidance providing the 2017 monthly national average premium for qualified health plans that have a bronze level of coverage for taxpayers to use in determining their maximum individual shared responsibility payment under Code Sec. 5000A(c)(1)(B). An explanation of the methodology used to determine the monthly national average premium amount also is […]

Financial wellness programs on the upswing, reflecting high costs of financial stress

Mercer has released the second installment of the Inside Employee Minds (IEM) Financial Wellness survey, which found that employers could lose up to $250 billion in lost wages due to employees’ stress about their personal finances. Employees reported spending approximately 150 hours annually of their work time worrying about money. On a total US wage […]

Wellness program design tips are offered in new ComPsych report

ComPsych has released its yearly aggregate report of health assessments across its book of business, including data from hundreds of thousands of employees of all ages, occupations, regions and industries. The report provides eight tips on wellness program design, messaging and promotions, as well as a snapshot of employee physical and emotional health. “Health assessment […]

FMLA’s limitations period was a statutory right that could not be waived by contract

Refusing to dismiss a fired employee’s FMLA interference and retaliation claims, a federal district court in Indiana first found that it was not barred by a six-month contractual limitations period because the longer two-year statutory period was an FMLA right that could not be waived. The court also found that the employee sufficiently pleaded her […]

Failing to clarify maternity leave also FMLA leave results in triable issue on interference claim

Denying cross-motions for summary judgment on a discharged employee’s FMLA interference claims, a federal district court in New York found triable issues on whether her employer’s inadequate FMLA notices resulted in her inability to structure her leave for childbirth so as to successfully return to her job, particularly given her obvious confusion over whether maternity […]

Wellness programs boost employee health, productivity

Nearly 90 percent of companies in the United States use some form of employee wellness program—from gym memberships to health screenings to flu shots—all designed to improve health. But how do these wellness programs affect everyday employee productivity? Is it possible to do a job better as a result of feeling better on the job? […]

Large employers project health care benefit costs to surpass $14,000 per employee in 2018

Faced with another five percent increase in health care benefit costs, a growing number of large U.S. employers plan to focus more on how health care is delivered and paid for while still pursuing traditional methods of controlling costs such as cost sharing and plan design changes, according to an annual survey by the National […]