Benefits

HDHPs, Wellness Programs Losing Luster as Employee Health Care Remedies

Experts contend that companies will need to get creative with health care strategies rather than rely on popular ideas.

A recent study found that substantial wellness incentives and high-deductible health plans are not the quick fix to improving health care costs they were originally thought to be. Employers pinned their hopes on high-deductible health plans, but HDHPs only represent 30 percent of medical plans offered by employers, according to the “2018 Medical Trends and Observations Report” released in early…

Barber Shop Banter: The Work-Health Connection

While getting a haircut from an old friend, we stumbled into a conversation about access to health care and roadblocks people face when trying to get better.

A recent long discussion with an old friend left a lot on my mind. This friend is now a hair stylist, and she built a salon in her basement to cut clients’ hair in her home. In one comment that I found particularly intriguing, she mentioned she was going back to school to study psychiatry since that’s “basically what she…

Supreme Court Puts the Brakes on the Narrow Constructions of FLSA Exemptions

While the decision is interesting to automobile repair shops and car dealerships, it's the opinion’s broader implications that are more interesting to me.

In a narrow 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court on April 2 held that automobile service advisers are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime requirements. The exemption applies to “salesmen … primarily engaged in … servicing automobiles.” The majority broadly defined these terms to hold that the plaintiffs were exempt. And while this aspect of the decision is interesting to automobile repair…

Accommodating Life Annuities in a Defined Contribution World

Most retirees get a lump sum, not a lifetime annuity, with their 401(k) account. What are some ways employers can give employees more flexibility in how they take out money upon retirement?

Given the trend away from defined benefit plans in corporate America, many observers are concerned that defined contribution plan distributions continue to be primarily lump sums. The concern is that some retirees will withdraw too much in the early years and need to slash withdrawals later to avoid running out of money. Others might overreact by withdrawing so little that…

Are Digital Pills Worth It for Benefit Plan Sponsors?

HR leaders should be asking questions before including digital pills in their pharmacy benefit plans.

The first digital pill, Abilify MyCite, is a treatment for schizophrenia aimed at improving patient adherence. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November 2017, Abilify MyCite includes an ingestible sensor, a small wearable sensor patch, a mobile app and a web-based portal for use by medical professionals in addition to the medication. Now, with more digital pills for…

The 5th Nominee for the Worst Employer of 2018 is … the Political Pension Preventer

If you fire a long-tenured employee (hint: former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe) on the eve of his pension vesting, you might be the worst employer of 2018.

ERISA section 510 provides: It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge, fine, suspend, expel, discipline, or discriminate against a participant or beneficiary for exercising any right to which he is entitled under the provisions of an employee benefit plan … or for the purpose of interfering with the attainment of any right to which such participant may become…

The New Retirement: 4 Ideas to Help HR With Its Mature-Age Employees

HR leaders must focus on new policies that are beneficial for employees as well as the organizations that offer them.

Not only are people working longer into the traditional retirement years, but the vision of retirement and what it means to retire is evolving altogether. Such factors are creating challenges for HR leaders who are now tasked with finding ways to help mature-age workers discover the next phase of their lives while developing initiatives that allow the organization to utilize…