Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The 5 employee benefits trends you need to know

The landscape is abuzz with reports on the importance of benefits in attracting and retaining employees.

To help bosses recognise the most popular benefit packages in the market in the past five years, Human Resources picked out five interesting trends in employee benefits based on the 2015 SHRM Employee Benefits Survey.

Firstly, the report showed that the percentage of organisations that offer health care and wellness benefits has increased.

Some of these benefits included mental health care coverage (91%), contraception coverage (83%) and vision insurance (87%).

The increased cost of health care in recent years has also led in a shift in health care costs to employees with an 8% increase in the use of health savings accounts (HSAs) (43%) and a 10% increase in employer contributions to HSAs (30%) over the past five years.

Secondly, companies have been offering preventive health and wellness benefits – one of the strategies to bring down the cost of health care benefits.

Some perks under this category include wellness resources and information (80%), general wellness programmes (70%), health and lifestyle coaching (46%) and preventive programmes specifically targeting employees with chronic health conditions.

Thirdly, there has been an increase in monetary related benefits such as financial and compensation benefits and retirement savings and planning benefits.

More organisations have been seen to offer spot bonuses/awards (34% in 2011 and 45% in 2015) as well as non-executive incentive bonus plans (43% in 2011 to 49% in 2015).

At the same time, more organisations are offering Roth 401(k) or similar defined contribution retirement savings plan (31% in 2011 to 48% in 2015) and retirement-preparation specific planning advice (37% in 2011 to 48% in 2015).

Fourthly, there has been an increase in several leave benefits since 2011 such as paid sick leave plans (37% to 42%), paid family leave (25% to 27%) and paid maternity leave (16% to 21%).

Despite this however, fewer organisations are offering paid vacation leave donation programmes (15% to 8%) and a paid vacation cash-out option (16% to 8%).

Lastly, as compared to 2011, there has been a decline in the provision of certain family-friendly benefits such as bringing children into work in emergencies (33% to 22%), child care referral services (17% to 9%) and on-site parenting seminars (4% to 1%).

30/06/2015 Tue 12:50 in All markets by Jerene Ang

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Obamacare Sticker Shock Arrives: Insurance Premiums To Soar 20-40%

Two months ago, we outlined why the CPI-boosting Affordable Care Act is on the verge of bankrupting that all important driver of the US economic growth engine — the American consumer.

Put simply, inflation in medical care services costs hadn’t yet reared its ugly head because many insurers were as yet unable to gauge the full base-effect impact of Obamacare on their P&L. That, we said, was about to change: “After finally digesting the true cost of Obamacare, any recent insurance prime hikes will seem like a walk in the park compared to what is coming.

Sure enough, insurers have now taken a close look at exactly how much socialized medicine is costing them.

Not surprisingly, the picture isn’t pretty.

In some cases, forecasters grossly underestimated the number of claims they would likely receive, and indeed, even a PhD economist can tell you that when the amount going out for claims is greater than the amount coming in via premiums, there’s a problem with the model and because staunching the outflow is effectively now forbidden, something has to give on the receivables side of the equation which means dramatically higher premiums.

Submitted by Tyler Durden of www.zerohedge.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Supreme Court saves Obamacare

Washington (CNN)Obamacare has survived -- again. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court saved the controversial health care law that will define President Barack Obama's administration for generations to come.

The ruling holds that the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal marketplaces. It staved off a major political showdown and a mad scramble in states that would have needed to act to prevent millions from losing health care coverage.

"Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate, we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few but a right for all," Obama said from the White House. "The Affordable Care Act is here to stay"

In a moment of high drama, Chief Justice John Roberts sent a bolt of tension through the Court when he soberly announced that he would issue the majority opinion in the case. About two-thirds of the way through his reading, it became clear that he again would be responsible for rescuing Obamacare.

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. "If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter."