Benefits

The Health Care Executive Order and Its Impact on Employers

The recent executive order on health care could have very different impacts on the mid-size to large employer market than on the individual to small group market.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Thursday, Oct. 12 that would change many aspects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This order is a way to “start the process” of repealing and replacing Obamacare after several failed attempts to do so through legislation, most recently through the Graham-Cassidy bill.  The executive order is intended to…

Guiding Employees Toward Mental Health Practitioners

Employees may not know how to navigate the mental health care system, and more employers are considering benefits that help with that navigation. But should they need to?

Your company is aware of the impact mental health has on the workplace. It trains managers, uses EAPs and communicates relevant information on the company’s intranet. But there’s just one problem: employees still aren’t well. Today, Oct. 10, is World Mental Health Day, and the theme this year is mental health in the workplace. My colleagues and I have written…

Just Try to Curb Your Enthusiasm About This Post on the ADA and Attendance

How does an employer handle an employee who skips work because she’s constipated? Just ask Larry David.

On last night’s season nine premier of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Larry David was faced with this age old problem. How does an employer handle an employee who skips work because she’s constipated? Larry handled it by foisting his problem employee (his personal assistant) onto someone else. What should you do? It depends. First, is constipation an ADA-protected disability? Likely,…

Who Is the Healthiest Employer?

Three contenders for the healthiest employers award spoke about their wellness programs and what makes them successful.

Fitbit recently held its Captivate 2017 conference in Chicago, where health analytics software company Springbuk released their list of the 100 healthiest employers in America. (Photo by Andie Burjek) Health analytics software company Springbuk held its Healthiest Employers Award Program in the evening at Fitbit’s wellness conference in Chicago on Sept. 19. The event recognized the top 100 companies for…

Maneuvering the Maze of Maternity Leave: Preparation

HR leader Gretchen Van Vlymen is posting while pregnant on parental-leave benefits, sharing her insights as a professional and a mom-to-be. In this second installment she addresses what happens when an employee takes leave and coworkers must pick up their responsibilities.

Gretchen Van Vlymen, StratEx As a first-time mom due in about a month, I am becoming more and more excited to take time off to bond with my new baby boy! However, as an HR consultant, I am also aware that not everyone at work may be as thrilled about the impending maternity leave as I am — and for…

7th Circuit Rejects Extended Medical Leaves of Absence as ADA Accommodation

This case is a huge win for employers, which grapple daily with the issue of employee medical leaves and the difficulties they present.

“You’re FIRED!” No, this post is not about a recent Trump rally; it’s about the end game to Severson v. Heartland Woodcraft, Inc., in which an employer terminated an employee unable to return to work after the expiration of his 12-week FMLA leave. The employee requested an additional two or three months of unpaid leave as a reasonable accommodation under the…

Employers Embrace Telemedicine But Employees Exhibit Uncertainty

Worker usage indicates their jury’s still out; expert testimony remains neutral; and employers plead their case with lower health benefits costs as evidence.

Lee Damiano felt ill one day in May 2015. The previous year when she signed up for her employer’s new telemedicine benefit that would allow her to contact a doctor any time, any day of the week, she thought she’d never actually use it. She was wrong. Initially thinking, “I might as well wait until Monday,” Damiano ultimately called and…

6 Things to Ask Your Insurance Broker Before Renewing

Creating plans that have a meaningful impact on employees’ health can be a tough task, especially when few of them understand the value of their benefits package.

Employee health benefits renewal season is upon us, and you know what that means: It’s time to think about your company’s health and benefits coverage offering. And you’re likely not looking forward to it. Creating plans that have a meaningful impact on employees’ health can be a tough task, especially when few employees truly understand the value of their benefits…

Value-Based Health Care Gets a Boost From the Feds

Expanded coverage under high-deductible health plans could entice employers to take part.

A White House draft executive order expanding coverage for chronic conditions under high-deductible health plans could eliminate a major hurdle for employers seeking to adopt a value-based approach to health care. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, account for three-fourths of U.S. health care costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making disease management a…

Midwest Business Group on Health Names New President

The nonprofit employer coalition will see the leadership change starting in 2018, when vice president Cheryl Larson will take over current president Larry Boress’ role.

Cheryl Larson The board of the Midwest Business Group on Health, a nonprofit employer coalition of 130 employers, announced that vice president Cheryl Larson will take over the role of CEO and president in 2018. She will replace Larry Boress, who has been with MBGH for 26 years including 12 years as president and CEO. Larson has worked for MBGH…