• America's Best Health Insurance Plans November 29, 2008 by admin

    America’s Best Health Insurance Plans
    By Michelle Andrews U.S. News & World Report

    For years, workers have watched their healthcare outlays rise and benefits shrink, and for some, whether they will have benefits at all suddenly is in doubt. As Wall Street’s turmoil sloshes over Main Street, it seems that every day another trusted company files for bankruptcy, succumbs to a takeover, or shuts its doors. Nearly 34,000 businesses filed for bankruptcy in the 12 months ending in June, 42 percent more than the year before—and the word from on high is that this may be just the beginning. If your company stumbles, your healthcare, along with your job and your 401(k), could suffer as well. Many employees may worry they’re only a couple of bad balance sheets away from joining the ranks of the nearly 46 million Americans without health insurance. Unfortunately, they may be right. (more…)

  • Onsite Health Facilities: Watch Out for Regulatory Pitfalls November 3, 2008 by admin

    Onsite Health Facilities: Watch Out for Regulatory Pitfalls
    Watson Wyatt

    Today’s onsite health care facilities usually go beyond dispensing bandages and aspirin. Many provide comprehensive medical services to employees and sometimes to spouses and other family members. Yet the employers implementing and paying for these facilities — commonly through a third-party vendor — are often unaware that some of these benefits are considered employer-provided health care and thus are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Internal Revenue Code. (more…)

  • Sununu, Gregg Announce Signing of "Michelle's Law" November 2, 2008 by admin

    Sununu, Gregg Announce Signing of “Michelle’s Law”

    The law is named for the late Michelle Morse, a 20-year-old college student at Plymouth State University (New Hampshire) who died in 2005. Michelle had remained a full-time student while being treated for advanced colon cancer because, due to existing law at the time, her parents’ insurance would not otherwise cover her care. Her case prompted the State of New Hampshire to adopt a similar law in 2006. (more…)

  • Adoption Act Amends Tax Code Definition of Qualifying Child November 1, 2008 by admin

    Adoption Act Amends Tax Code Definition of Qualifying Child
    Watson Wyatt

    The definition is used to determine eligibility for certain tax benefits, such as the dependency exemption, the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit and the dependent care tax credit. In addition, it is referenced by many employer-sponsored health care and dependent care plans.

    Under current law, a qualifying child of a taxpayer generally must: (more…)

  • Benefits Communication Gap Between Employers and Employees September 30, 2008 by admin

    Survey Finds Benefits Communication Gap Between Employers and Employees
    Colonial Life

    COLUMBIA, S.C., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ — Nine out of 10 employers think that it is important for their employees to understand and appreciate their benefits, but most employees don’t, according to a survey conducted by Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company.

    Colonial Life surveyed more than 650 human resource managers and benefits administrators at the recent national conference of the Society for Human Resource Management. Employers were asked about the benefits they provide and how much their employees understand those benefits. (more…)

  • More Employers Committing to Wellness Initiatives August 30, 2008 by admin

    More Employers Committing to Wellness Initiatives

    Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

    From health risk appraisals to weight management programs to providing health coaches, employer wellness programs and strategies continue to rise, according to a National Business Group on Health (NBGH) report released July 14, 2008.

    “We have seen a sea change” among employers in the past five years as they “began to connect the dots” between employee lifestyle and employer payout on health coverage, NBGH president Helen Darling said at a Washington, D.C. news conference. (more…)