HR Benefits Strategy

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  • IRS releases draft instructions for ACA reporting forms

    August 29, 2014

    The IRS has posted draft instructions for the various Affordable Care Act reporting that will be done for calendar year 2015 and while the instructions provide much needed guidance for employers and insurers, they also confirm the daunting complexity of the reporting task.


  • Forensic underwriting: A CSI approach to lowering benefit costs

    August 29, 2014

    Insurance underwriting is hardly dramatic enough to warrant a TV show, but there is a forensic component to the annual renewal process.


  • 5 top employee benefits communication methods

    August 28, 2014

    Whether it’s benefits enrollment time, or in between opt-in periods, benefit managers are finding that employees are starting to prefer digital options over traditional communication methods. A new Prudential analysis finds that while individual one-on-one meetings and group meetings are still the preferred ways for employers to communicate information, digital communications are gaining ground among employees.


  • Researchers voice concerns over app gamification rewards

    August 27, 2014

    In what could serve as a caution to employers using health and fitness apps to engage workers in their wellness programs, researchers at Brigham Young University are warning over the trend of developers basing their platforms' rewards on gamification.


  • Reducing benefit costs while still valuing employees

    August 26, 2014

    Commentary: Financial services company BOK Financial enlists the help of a benefits communication vendor to boost participation in its consumer-directed health plan.


  • Employers make the business case for benefits through RFPs

    August 26, 2014

    With increased CFO involvement in health care and benefit decision-making, benefit managers are under more scrutiny than ever before to ensure they efficiently manage their health and benefits vendor relationships.


  • One-quarter of young adults lack health coverage

    August 26, 2014

    Millennials are 10% more likely to lack health coverage than adults age 30 and over despite paying lower costs, receiving subsidies based on income and possibly staying on their parent's health insurance policy until age 26.


  • 3 ways to encourage family-friendly benefits utilization

    PODCAST | August 25, 2014

    Nancy Grunnet, regional vice president for First Sun EAP, discusses challenges benefit managers face when it comes to educating employees about family-friendly benefits and offers three suggestions for encouraging their use.


  • The rising threat of medical identity theft

    August 22, 2014

    Commentary: In this digital information age, it’s imperative to closely guard personal information. If you pay attention to the news, you’re familiar with the concept of identity theft, the potential loss of financial information. However, there’s a new emerging type of identity theft — medical identity theft — and it can literally kill you. Here’s how your employees can protect themselves.


  • Employers create game plan for expected health care cost increases

    August 22, 2014

    In anticipation of the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax, U.S. employers are planning to take more aggressive approaches to projected single-digit increases in health care costs by revisiting the viability of consumer-driven health plans and spousal and dependent coverage.


  • Profiles of achievement in wellness: University of Michigan

    August 21, 2014

    In this series, EBN profiles three companies with winning wellness programs. The University of Michigan shares how its network of 400 wellness champions is key to the program’s success.


  • New report calls for updating employer e-cigarette policies

    August 21, 2014

    While use of electronic cigarettes is growing in popularity, employers are starting to take a look at adopting policies on use of the device at work, and how to protect workers from coming into contact with second-hand vapors.


  • Profiles of achievement in wellness: Whirlpool

    August 20, 2014

    In this series, EBN profiles three companies with winning wellness programs. Whirlpool Corporation, the global manufacturer of major home appliances, began its exploration into wellness in 2009.


  • 5 must-haves for life insurance enrollment meetings

    August 20, 2014

    Open enrollment season is a busy and important time of year for employers. Many employees are underinsured or unaware of the reasons they need life insurance. John West, director of product marketing at Standard Insurance Company, provides five focus areas for open enrollment meetings this year to ensure employees understand the need for the benefits and, ultimately, enroll in them.


  • Are pharmacy discount cards still relevant?

    August 15, 2014

    Providers of prescription drug discount cards are increasing their efforts to reach out to employers, even as the Affordable Care Act is expected to decrease the ranks of those most likely to use the cards – those without health insurance.



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