On October 30th, the Internal Revenue Service announced the Health FSA inflation adjustment effective January 1, 2015.
Health insurance is an important benefit that adds great value to any compensation package. Although employees are more likely to focus on more “exciting” benefits, like vacation time or amusement park discounts, health insurance is an actual necessity. Unfortunately, it is generally only thought about when someone is sick, has an accident, or becomes pregnant. Many employees don’t realize that there are rules to when you can start or end insurance, add dependents, or even utilize the services. Frequently, there is confusion about what is covered and how to calculate costs (both premiums and out-of-pocket).
Written by: Kristy Kwan, Benefits Administrator
Cost is always a major concern for employers at healthcare renewal time. How can you control costs while keeping up with the industry standards? There is a fine line between remaining competitive and offering too much; on the one hand you may lose employees to a competitor that offers something better, while on the other you risk wasting money on something that the employees take for granted.
MMC 401 k benefits- Plan today, save for tomorrow
As a valued MMC client your company has a great opportunity to establish a 401 k at a fraction of the cost than if your firm were to sponsor it alone. What is so unique about the MMC plan? The MMC 401 k is a multi-employer plan which allows MMC clients the ability to leverage over $25 million in collective assets. This translates to tremendous volume discounts for all who are in the plan. In a retail 401 k plan you would be paying somewhere between $1500-2500 in set up costs. This is in addition to a $1500-$3000 annual base fee and $25-30 per head charge on an ongoing annual basis. The MMC plan because of its size is able to provide a premier 401 k plan with significant cost savings to all participating MMC clients. As a standard adopter of the plan, there is no set up charge and flat fee of $235 a year.
Deadlines… Everyone has them! There are certain dates by which we need to pay our bills, finish work assignments, complete a school project, or accomplish personal goals. Whether you face deadlines with dread or welcome them as a challenge, each of us have deadlines in our lives that must be met. When it comes to making decisions about health insurance, meeting a deadline is not only advantageous, but it is ultimately necessary. It is important to be aware of the deadlines concerning initial eligibility date, open enrollment, or a qualifying event.
In the article “Another Storm on the Horizon” I discussed a potential unforeseen consequence when the job market rebounds which is, many high performing employees may leave their current employers. Experts agree that employers should amp up their retention programs right now or develop one if they do not have currently have a plan on how to retain their best employees. When the economic ship rights itself its important to be viewed as a lucrative workplace to retain your talent and attract new people. The cost of replacing a trained worker is 50 – 150% depending on the type of employee, for example the cost for a managerial position is 150%. One must ask if this a cost they can easily bear in this current economy and if so, what about this cost multiple times over depending on how many people turn in resignation letters.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize that businesses can thrive by retaining their brightest and best employees – those who are hard working, reliable, loyal and knowledgeable. There is no doubt that keeping these star employees around (and happy) beats the weeks of applicant searching and months of training just to get a new employee up to speed. So what goes into keeping your valued employees happy?
Many factors point to a comprehensive benefits package as being a major contributor to employee retention and happiness. In fact, in a 2004 Metlife survey, 72% of employees who responded to the survey cited benefits as the reason for joining their employer and 83% said benefits were a factor for remaining there. But just having great benefits won’t keep your employees around if they don’t understand or recognize those benefits.
“COBRA” is often confused by our employees as being a type of insurance that employees can enroll in after their termination. In fact, “COBRA” is simply the name of the law that allows for the continuation of the insurance that the employee was enrolled on during their employment – the exact same plan, with the exact same benefits. COBRA only applies to group insurance, not individual insurance, and has very strict rules governing eligibility, enrollment, communication and payment. Many companies utilize a third party vendor just to oversee the administration process, as it can be quite burdensome.
Beg, Borrow, or Steal: How to Coordinate a Low-Cost Health and Wellness Fair
As our country’s rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes hit record highs, society is finally starting to realize that health and wellness is not just a trend – it’s a necessity. Due to the amount of time that we spend at work, it makes sense that this necessary change in diet, exercise, and lifestyle should begin in the workplace. Employers want to see their expenses decrease, and one way to do that is to help your employees help themselves, through a Health and Wellness Fair.