Introduce Voluntary Benefits Outside of Open Enrollment

Sign up - 3d render illustration of text on black chalkboard in a room.

Here we are again… Open enrollment madness for core benefit programs is in the rearview mirror and human resources teams can focus on planning for next year. It pleases me to see voluntary benefits gaining more traction with employers of all sizes, but I’ve noticed that most employers’ initial thought is to introduce new voluntary offerings… [Read More]

Managing Employee Hours: Measure Twice, Cut Once


It’s an open secret that many employers who will be financially impacted by the coverage expansion intend to manage employee hours to ensure employees remain below an average 30-hour work week when measured over a period of time. However, this strategy is not that simple. Employers must take note of the nuances of the law… [Read More]

Gimme Shelter. Life Insurance?


With the hike in capital gain and regular income tax rates, the search is on for relief from higher marginal tax liabilities. Because it’s not how much you make, it’s . . .well, you know. Traditionally, clients invested in managed accounts, including a blend of stocks and bonds allocated according to the client’s specific needs…. [Read More]

Bertolini: Major Change Is Inevitable


I always enjoy listening to Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna, speak. He has thought-provoking ideas, great insight and the organizational clout to impact our economy. Here’s why Mark thinks things have to change. Costs are escalating rapidly. It is clear that the shift to high-deductible plans will be swift—but even this shift won’t be… [Read More]

Could Losing Cash and Face Spur Wellness Participants?


Having trouble accomplishing a goal? Can’t quite stick to your workout regimen? Well, there’s something relatively new on the scene that may help you activate yourself. You may have already heard about it: It’s called an online commitment contract and you can draw one up on a website aptly called StickK. It’s basically free to… [Read More]

Limited Provider Network Plans May Help Employers Meet ACA Affordability Standard

While ACA is a very complicated piece of legislation, let’s try to simplify it. If employer-sponsored plans can meet two major provisions of the law—affordability and “minimum value”—a lot of the problems go away. Most experts feel that an employer will not have much difficulty meeting the minimum value provision, which is offering a plan… [Read More]

Employers Find Solutions to Rx Gamesmanship That Increases Their Costs

Facing the erosion of profits due to high-cost brand name drugs coming off patent, the pharmaceutical industry has found a way to keep the profits rolling in. Pharma would like members who face higher copays and costs for name-brand medications with generic alternatives to stay on the branded drugs. To do so, they spend $3-$6… [Read More]

Thumbnail: What You Need to Know Now about Healthcare Reform

1. If you currently provide good healthcare benefits at a reasonable cost, you can probably breathe easy. Healthcare reform won’t be a travesty for your business. 2. If you do not provide benefits to all of your workers, now is the time to plan, since many costs are avoidable with proper planning. 3. If you… [Read More]

We Have Met the Enemy: We’re All Responsible for Our Healthcare Crisis


As I’ve blogged before, sound bites are the reason the average American knows so little about the issues surrounding healthcare; we’re bombarded with bits of information dished out by biased pundits. Steven Brill’s captivating “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us” (TIME magazine, 2/20/2013) once again simply steers readers in the wrong direction. According… [Read More]