Annual Aflac study shows employees continue to lack understanding when it comes to benefits enrollment

Aflac has released the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report (AWR), which shows that American workers may feel more confident about benefits choices, while admitting a lack of understanding regarding the choices being made. A separate Aflac study found younger workers who may be making benefits decisions for the first time also lack knowledge of health insurance […]

Lower prescription drug costs predicted for 2018

The increase in prescription drug benefit cost trends will be lower in 2018 than in 2017, according to the 2018 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey. The survey found that outpatient prescription coverage for active employees and retirees under age 65 will be 10.3 percent in 2018, down from 11.6 percent in 2017. And, the […]

Adjusted applicable dollar amount for fee imposed on health insurance plans announced

The IRS has announced that the applicable dollar amount used to calculate the fees imposed by Code Secs. 4375 and 4376 for policy and plan years that end on or after October 1, 2017, and before October 1, 2018, is $2.39. This figure is based on the percentage increase in the projected per capita amount […]

Kraft retirees had no vested right to health care benefits beyond termination of CBAs

Kraft did not violate ERISA when it terminated retiree health care benefits for retired hourly workers, ruled a federal district court in Wisconsin. The employer argued that no language in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA), memorandum of agreement (MOA), or summary plan description (SPD) promised to provide medical benefits to retirees that would continue beyond […]

City manager fired while she was on leave-behind her back-not because she was on leave

Even assuming that a city manager had notified the city council that she was going on FMLA leave when she told them she was having foot surgery and would be able to work from home while recovering, her employer could fire her without unlawfully interfering with the FMLA as long as the reason for her […]

Senate EEOC hearing discusses employer wellness program rules and disability

In September, a hearing by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions to consider two nominations to be Commissioners on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and a nomination for General Counsel for the Department of Education addressed the need for clear rules for employer-sponsored wellness programs and the empowerment and employment of […]

Governor Raimondo signs legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for Rhode Island employees

Governor Gina M. Raimondo, joined by legislative sponsors, members of her Cabinet and community advocates, has signed legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for more than 100,000 Rhode Island employees. “Being able to recover from an illness or care for a sick relative without having to worry about losing your job or going without pay is […]

2018 per diem rates issued for travel expense reimbursements

The IRS has provided the 2017-2018 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use to substantiate ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home. The guidance provides the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates, the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction, and the rates and list of high-cost […]

Employers want small fixes to ACA

According to recent Mercer pulse survey, there is limited support for continued efforts to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The survey of 300 health benefit professionals found that just 35 percent say they favor repeal and replace, with 51 percent opposed and 14 percent expressing no opinion. Employers are, […]

Nearly one-third of employers offer vacation time donation

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) has released results from a new report, “Paid Leave in the Workplace: 2017 Survey Results.” The report shows that: 30 percent of employers with paid vacation allow workers to donate paid vacation days; 28 percent of employers offering paid-time-off (PTO) plans allow workers to donate paid time […]