Health Plans

  • Expanded coverage under ACA means more work for advisers, little extra pay

    July 10, 2014

    Millions more Americans have gained coverage as a result of the health reform law, increasing the workload for benefit advisers, but not necessarily the compensation they receive.

  • New York HIX insurers seek double-digit premium increases

    July 9, 2014

    The six most popular insurance plans on the New York state health insurance exchange are seeking double-digit increases in their premium rates for next year, with an average request of a 14.6% rate hike.

  • DOL investigating outsourcing of employee benefit plan services

    July 8, 2014

    The DOL’s ERISA Advisory Council plans to identify current industry practices and trends regarding the types of employee benefit plan services being outsourced and the market for delivery of those services as part of its 2014 issue agenda.

  • Time’s up for mini-med plans as skinny plans gain focus

    July 7, 2014

    With the major elements of the Affordable Care Act taking effect this year, mini-med plans have met their demise, but skinny plans are gaining traction in their place.

  • Employers adjusting benefits spending habits to focus on health care

    July 3, 2014

    Employers are spending more money to keep their employees healthy, even if it means sacrificing other benefits.

  • Why worry about ERISA?

    July 2, 2014

    If it “smells like a benefit plan,” you likely have to follow ERISA, said one speaker at the National Association of Health Underwriters annual convention in Scottsdale, Ariz. Here are some general tips benefit advisers need to know about complying with this law, for your clients and their employees alike.

  • Benefits enrollment disconnect

    July 1, 2014

    A significant divide exists between the open enrollment tactics employees find helpful and those that employers actually provide. For instance, 94% percent of employers agree that one-on-one, in-person meetings are an effective tactic to engage employees, but less than half implement it.

  • 50 best cities for employee satisfaction, Part I

    July 1, 2014

    Where in the U.S. are employees most satisfied? The online career site Glassdoor has released its annual Employment Satisfaction Report Card by City, offering a comparison of overall employee satisfaction, including with compensation and benefits, career opportunities, number of employers hiring, and business outlook expectations. We're counting them down to No. 1 — here are 50-26 and stay tuned for the final 25.

  • Remove IT roadblocks to make HR strategic again

    July 1, 2014

    Multiple vendors providing best-of-breed solutions that are not integrated with each other present budgeting, deployment and management costs and challenges for benefit managers.

  • Digging in to private exchanges

    July 1, 2014

    Still in their infancy, private exchanges present a tremendous opportunity to rein in health care spending and help HR deal with more pressing issues. But what makes a good one, and how are they growing?]

  • Bare-bones health plans may be small employers’ savior

    July 1, 2014

    With the employer mandate just around the corner, small- and medium-sized businesses are beginning to consider so-called "skinny" health plans to provide basic coverage and avoid major penalties.

  • Supreme Court backs Hobby Lobby’s religious objection to contraception use

    June 30, 2014

    In a major 5-4 ruling on religious freedom, the Supreme Court of the United States Monday ruled that religious rights of two Christian company owners trumped the rights of its employees to receive full contraceptive coverage promised by mandates in the Affordable Care Act.

  • Half of benefit advisers considering leaving the industry

    June 27, 2014

    While many brokers consider leaving the industry in response to the changing health care environment, most agree that reform has created a huge opportunity for advisers willing to adapt.

  • Auto-enrollment on ACA exchange won’t hurt brokers

    June 27, 2014

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Thursday announcement that consumers already enrolled in marketplace plans in 2014 can auto-enroll for 2015 is largely positive for brokers, though the decision is symbolically unsettling to some.

  • Can employers reimburse employees for coverage purchased on the ACA exchanges?

    June 26, 2014

    Benefit broker and former lawyer David C. Smith breaks down this question that has been somewhat controversial in the past few months, yet he says has a very clear answer.

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