Latest News

Benefit Investments Help Bottom Line

Higher health care costs may tempt companies to cut benefits or increase employee cost-sharing.  But rich benefit programs can help attract and retain a talented workforce.  Top benefit managers have successfully accomplished the seemingly impossible – keeping attractive benefit packages in place and saving on health care costs without shifting it to employees.  What are some of the ways they achieved their success?
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Increasing Health Care Costs

One provision of the health care reform law extended health coverage to employees’ adult children up to age 26.  A recent survey reports that provision increased plan enrollment by an average of 2%.  Consequently the enrollment boost translated to higher costs for employers.  While they cannot charge extra premiums for expanded coverage, companies are allowed to add premium tiers if they choose to pass some of the additional costs to their employees.
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Medicare Rules Impact Workers’ Comp Claims

More employers are opting to leave workers’ compensation claims open (and incurring additional costs for doing so) rather than satisfy Medicare set-aside funding requirements for closing cases with prescription drug expenses.  “The practice contradicts the orthodox strategy of cutting workers comp expenses by closing claims as quickly as possible and is among several forces driving an overall slowing of claims closures for older cases.”
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