As a policy idea, universal health care has taken huge leaps - from being generally disregarded to being widely popular in a short amount of time.
To avoid bank-breaking administrative costs and help employees save for retirement, some small employers are turning to SEP-IRAs, a crossbreed of a 401(k) and a profit-sharing plan.
As thousands of military personnel return to "real life" after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, employers should remember there are ways to help servicepeople with the transition beyond what is required of employers by federal Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act guidelines, which govern veteran job entitlements and benefits.
Institutional shareholders angry over severance pay and benefits to ousted CEO Carly Fiorina have sued Hewlett-Packard Co., raising questions of how far companies can go in giving sweet deals to departing executives.
The Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund and the SEIU National Industry Trust Fund claim the Palo Alto, Calif.-based technology firm and its former CEO, Carly Fiorina, should have obtained shareholder approval for her $21.4 million severance package last year.
Last week, I shared a few cocktails at a trendy Manhattan speak-easy with some of my benefits director friends, Sami, Charline and Mirando. We got to talking about our relationships with benefit plan carriers. As we shared anecdotes, I (your humble benefits humor columnist) keyed a question into the memo pad on my handheld:
How much weight should we carry in our carrier relationships?
Cultural norms on the West Coast spread eastward, or so they say. If this is true, corporate-sponsored "days of caring" could eventually become the norm.
"Days of caring" is a concept embraced by insurance giant The Standard in Portland, Ore., to celebrate its centennial and to promote community bonding. The company has always offered a paid day of caring to its employees. However, in the past Standard offered a summer program only. This year, it has organized activities for a full 12 months and widely expanded its list of non-profits for some very important reasons.
Stories about miracles just keep growing. This one is about the drive of Scotts Miracle-Gro, an international lawn and garden products and services company, to create a higher-performing culture in tandem with a stronger financial performance.
Even as insurers and employers try to conserve health care costs by passing on expenses to employees and slashing benefit fat, many states are passing, or at least considering, legislation raising the age of dependents covered on their parents' health plans, employer-sponsored or not.
If your company is planning to roll out a consumer-driven health plan, don't expect an employee stampede toward that new plan unless it is the only option on the table. Median employee enrollment in high-deductible health plans is just 7%, according to recent research from the National Business Group on Health.
As scientists continue to uncover a strong link between oral and physical health, dental plans are rushing to add special coverage for people who have - or are likely to develop - illnesses associated with "bad teeth." Expecting mothers are among the first to benefit from the trend, but those with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other conditions may also soon get enhanced coverage for dental care.
When worldwide employees of the DuPont Co. need to enroll in a health or benefits plan, settle a payroll problem, register for an online learning curriculum or make almost any other HR related transaction, they will soon be able to reach the expert they need by calling one central telephone number in their region.
Consider it the ultimate in one-stop shopping.
No one can care for their sick child or loved one like a parent or caregiver can, but a new service may well be the next best thing.
The freezing of pension plans has not reached the tipping point and may not do so, according to analysts at Milliman, a Seattle-based consulting firm.
The initial open enrollment period for Medicare Part D ended May 15, 2006. Throughout this period, plan sponsors have faced questions from Medicare-eligible beneficiaries and their relatives about how the plan's retiree health benefits interact with Medicare's benefits. Now, plan sponsors need to begin thinking about their 2007 benefit plan design and how best to coordinate with the new Medicare program.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance in December 2005 on group health plan coverage and Medicare and Medicaid eligibility that may help plan sponsors address the needs of their low-income participants and families. Further, the Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) program issued new guidance about obtaining the subsidy.