Jan. 29 is Puzzle Day! To honor the occasion properly, we put together a word find with some common industry keywords. Studies show working on puzzles improves memory and cognitive function, as well as problem-solving, vocabulary, and language skills.
We saved the biggest and best for last – our final stop on the Vision 20/17 Tour this week in Chicago was our highest attended event and featured our most exciting product launch so far this year. We covered important topics from empathy to engagement, new products to new national healthcare legislation, insightful keynotes to successful case studies – all in just two days!
Over the past few years, an increasing number of companies have been turning to outsourcing partners for benefits administration and compliance management. Why? Companies today want — and need — the more specialized expertise that those vendors have, particularly when it comes to complying with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and other workplace regulations.
That’s the one of the top-level findings in a trends report, Corporate Benefits Departments: Staffing and Operations, released last month by the nonprofit International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP).
As fast as it came, open enrollment for 2016 is just wrapping up (for most employers). As tempting as it might be to totally relax and put off thinking about your 2017 enrollment challenges until next month or even next spring, now is the best time to perform an open enrollment look-back.
While it’s important to do a tactical post-mortem — what worked, what didn’t, and why — it’s equally valuable to take a step back and look at the bigger picture if you really want next year’s enrollment process to meet your goals.
Employee Benefit News recently identified several insurance trends that shook the world of benefits administration technology and services in 2015. These overarching industry developments most likely touched every employer in the mid- and large-size markets to one degree or another, as well affected the lives of benefit brokers and benefits-eligible employees.
A recent article in SHRM’s online magazine made the argument that in 2016, an increasing number of employers will introduce consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), putting the burden for cost savings on employees, and will roll out more creative and customized voluntary benefits.
This trend shouldn't come as a surprise. And while most large companies in the United States have completed annual benefits enrollment for 2016, it’s crucial to look ahead to make sure employees make the best use of their benefits.
Consumer-directed health plans will remain a key strategy for avoiding the ACA “Cadillac” tax on high-cost plans, while employers project their per-employee health benefit costs to rise an average of 4.2 percent next year, after they’ve made planned changes, according to the early responses from the recent National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans.
Right now, you may be deep in the weeds of annual enrollment. But pretty soon, the enrollment window will close, the dust will settle, and you’ll sit down to review this year’s experience and decide what changes you want to make for 2016.
Maybe you’ll decide just a few wrinkles need to be ironed out. Or maybe you’ll decide it’s time to throw in the towel and bring in a new partner for your benefits administration and technology. Either way, it’s a good idea to at least see what’s out there that might make annual enrollment and ongoing benefits administration more efficient, more cost-effective, and more valuable to your employees and to the company as a whole.
Here’s an eye-opener for you: Workers who receive more help and communications from their employers appear to value their benefits more.
That’s according to the third annual Guardian Workplace Benefits Study. The study, conducted for Guardian by an independent market research firm, included responses from 1,706 full-time employees nationwide and 1,001 employee benefits decision-makers.
Over the past 17 years we have been working efficiently and effectively to execute our core business well, all while growing at a rapid pace and developing a fantastic company culture. We’ve quietly grown to over 570 employees and expanded our footprint in the Des Moines Metro area along with opening a second office in Denver, with plans to continue that expansion. All our accomplishments, however, have been a bit under the radar. Yesterday, the Greater Des Moines partnership decided it was time to bring those accomplishments into the spotlight at the annual Economic Impact Awards.
Pop Quiz: What is looming right now, today, as the largest security threat to every piece of employee and HR data your company has stored in the cloud?
For employees, it’s not news that what happens at home doesn’t necessarily stay at home. As long as people have had jobs, they’ve had to juggle work with the demands of sick children, upheavals in marriages and personal relationships, unbudgeted financial emergencies, and the stress of wondering if they’ll ever be able to retire comfortably.
On Oct. 1, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would rescind the Affordable Care Act’s controversial expansion of the definition of a small employer, paving the way for the bill to go to President Barack Obama, who is expected to sign the bipartisan measure.
For nearly a decade, the Millennial generation has been generally criticized for entering the workplace with a sense of entitlement, lack of focus, poor work ethic, and a need to be tethered to their various devices. However new research shows the truth to be quite different — and HR leaders, benefit specialists, and brokers should pay attention.
With all of the hand-wringing and media attention surrounding data breaches in the past year or two, you’d think that the number of breaches would be dropping dramatically. Unfortunately, that’s an erroneous assumption.
When Congress passed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015 this summer, it rewrote the rules of U.S. trade policy in ways that ranged from defining the kinds of trade deals the President can negotiate to extending and revising economic benefits and opportunities to sub-Saharan Africa. The law also included a tiny provision that had little to do with international trade and had everything to do with employers who offer health care benefits.
It’s happened: Generation Y (millennials — born since 1981) has surpassed Generation X (born between 1965-1980) as the largest population of employees in the workforce. More than one in three U.S. workers are now between the ages of 18 and 34, according to the Pew Research Center. And without a doubt, those 53.5 million millennials are influencing the benefits that employers are offering.
While listening to NPR (National Public Radio) recently, we couldn’t help but notice that of the brief descriptions of the program’s three corporate supporters, two referred to doing business in the cloud and to data security:
“Support for NPR comes from ... AT&T. With AT&T, the network is on demand, the office is mobile and the cloud is designed for high security. ... And Carbonite — providing secure and automatic backup and recovery for businesses and homes.”
Talk about good news and bad news for large employers and the cost of health care benefits over the next few years.
First, the good news: Large employers expect the increasing cost of health care benefits to hold steady in 2016, thanks largely to changes that companies are making in their benefit programs, according to an annual survey by the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of 425 large U.S. employers.
For HR leaders and employee benefits administrators, the end of summer and the promise of autumn carry a whole different meaning than they do for most people. If you’re in HR or manage employee benefits, the turning of the season means annual enrollment is just around the corner. Sadly, it may seem you’re still dealing with the aftermath of enrollment a year ago — surely a turning point in the history of employee benefits.