An attractive benefits program is vital for your recruiting and retention efforts, but it is also a significant expense. To ensure you are providing a package that is both competitive and economical, you need to know how your offerings compare to others in your industry. Benchmark data can provide valuable insight for evaluating your benefits package, including:
Employer interest in benchmark data has grown over the past decade, as companies look for new ways to manage costs. Analyzing how other companies are structuring their plans and the strategies they are using to cut costs may make your own benefit plan decisions a bit easier.
The possibility of becoming disabled is very real for working Americans, and so are the financial consequences and costs associated with employee absence. Unless it is offered through their employer, most adults have little, if any, disability insurance coverage.
Did you know that millennials have become the nation’s largest living population? Millennials, also known as “Gen Y,” are projected to surpass 75 million this year. In fact, more than 1 in 3 American workers is a millennial. That means millennials – those workers age 18-34 – have the largest share of the country’s workforce, and this number will only increase as more finish college and enter the workforce.
SF563 and HF489 are companion bills that would require health plans to share prescription drug rebates directly with the consumers, instead of sharing the rebates with the employers to reduce premiums and health costs. Despite being promoted as a benefit to the consumer, these bills may lead to the use of higher-cost drugs even when less expensive, equally-effective drugs are available.
Both bills have survived the first “funnel” deadline of the Iowa legislature.
Whether your health plan is self-funded or fully-insured, it is expected that these bills (if passed) will raise premiums and increase overall spending on drugs. Based on actuarial calculations, premiums could increase 2-3%.
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have made these bills a priority, and have been successful at attracting state and national attention to these proposals. However, efforts to curb prescription drugs at a national level are already well underway with Senator Chuck Grassley leading a bi-partisan effort in Washington to lower drug prices and increase transparency.
LMC is dedicated to keeping employers informed of important issues such as these. Please contact us to learn more! Employers who are concerned about the potential impact of this legislation should immediately contact their Iowa legislators. A vote is expected to take place in the very near future
Group life insurance is often offered to employees as an employee benefit. It serves as both an employee retention tool and a way provide employees some peace of mind for their families.
There are various avenues for funding these group plans, and different underwriting criteria that can either reduce or increase the premium amounts. In most cases, life insurance face amounts will vary from policy to policy and will usually be based in part on each employee's base salary.
While the Trump administration has eased off a number of regulations and enforcement actions during the past two years, Fed-OSHA continues focusing on the safety of temporary workers as much as it did under the Obama presidency.
This puts the onus not only on the agencies that provide the temp workers, but also on the companies that contract with them for the workers.
On December 19, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued proposed regulations to rescind the requirement that employers and plan sponsors obtain and use a unique health plan identifier (HPID).
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) required HHS to adopt a standard unique health plan identifier, to standardize the electronic transmission of certain health information. The goal of the requirement was to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the healthcare system and to decrease the clerical burden on patients, providers, and health plans.
A company’s retirement plan is often the first place many U.S. workers go for financial advice. According to a study by T. Rowe Price, the top three financial objectives for workers are:
The results of the study show how much value employees put on their retirement plans and how active they really are in trying to secure a sound financial future for themselves. With the stresses of rising costs, particularly health care expenses, many workers are having trouble managing their regular finances as well.
Offering both a 401(k) plan as well as some financial wellness services as part of your voluntary benefits package can go a long way to helping them employees become better stewards of their finances.
More and more employers are being overwhelmed by all of the compliance requirements associated with managing employee benefits.
The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America's "Benefits Balancing Act" study found that 60% of employers are feeling overwhelmed with the increased complexity of managing their benefits programs. One of the main reasons for the additional burden is the Affordable Care Act, with its myriad of compliance and reporting requirements.
The large employer mandate and the documentation and new filing requirements with the IRS are high on the list of compliance issues, as are evolving Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and ERISA requirements.
Employers do all they can to keep their employees' health insurance and health care outlays to a minimum. And while most of the effort is focused on the upfront cost of insurance, copays and deductibles, employers are now trying to help their employees control the very costs they actually have the most control over - and one of those areas is prescription medication.
Helping employees become wise consumers of health services may also reduce overall insurance costs, as well as help employees conserve more of their own funds if they have high copays and deductibles.
The cost of drugs can vary greatly between pharmacies. And while your employees may have low copays for some drugs, if they go to the most expensive option when the insurance is covering the tab, it basically adds to the cost drivers for your insurance plan.
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