DOL Issues Model COBRA Election and Exchange Notices
On May 8, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an updated model COBRA continuation notice and a model notice of coverage options through the soon-to-launch health care exchanges. The exchange notice must be provided to current and new employees beginning Oct. 1.
Match Thresholds and Default Rates Impact Savings
Employers can keep costs down and encourage more robust savings in auto enrollment 401(k) plans by getting creative with "stretch matching" and other design features.
Poor Worker Health Costs U.S. Businesses Billions
Lost productivity because of workers’ poor health is costing the U.S. $84 billion a year, according to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that found more than two-thirds of workers reported having chronic health conditions or being overweight.
Rewards Pros Link Loyalty (Their Own) to Career Development
Much like the workforce they serve, HR total rewards professionals identify their own career training and developmental opportunities as key drivers of long-term loyalty.
Guidance Sought on Wellness Efforts and Anti-Discrimination Laws
More regulation is needed to stop wellness programs from violating worker-protection laws, labor advocates told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at a May 8 hearing. Business advocates, meanwhile, sought protection for incentive-based wellness programs.
Use of Outcomes-Based Incentives Up
Most employers say they are likely to adapt or increase their use of wellness program incentives tied to achieving health goals.
Open Enrollment HIPAA Action Items
Added to the open enrollment to-do list are more Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) employee notices and related procedures, required by final regulations issued earlier this year.
For 2014, Higher HSA Contribution Limits
The IRS announced higher limits for 2014 on contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) and for out-of-pocket expenses under high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) linked to them.
Boosting 401(k) Plan Effectiveness
Eighty-four percent of plan sponsors identified improved participant education as a focus area for their plans, according to a new survey.
White House Opposes Flex Act Bill
The Obama administration “strongly opposes” a SHRM-supported bill that would give private-sector employers the option to provide nonexempt employees with comp time in place of overtime.
Related: Working Families Flex Act Passes House
Proposed Rule Clarifies Minimum Value Determinations
On May 3, the IRS published a proposed rule that provides additional guidance on what constitutes the minimum value of an employer-sponsored health plan. The rule addresses wellness incentives and health savings accounts, among other factors.
Expansion of FMLA to More Relatives Proposed
Sponsors of the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, introduced in the House and Senate, claim the FMLA's coverage is too narrow.