Benefits Column

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At a Healthcare Crossroads
Some employers -- those that understand today's health-and-benefits model isn't working -- are beginning to take a new approach, one that goes beyond insurance products and under-utilized programs to offer workers the real-life help they need, right when they need it.
Working with Wearables
Tech giant Apple's long-anticipated introduction of its smartwatch threw wearable technology into the headlines again. But while there's no denying the value of these devices in capturing meaningful healthcare data, some serious questions surrounding their true effectiveness remain.
Underground Benefits Conversations
The time has come for HR executives and other leaders to take private discussions public, which may accomplish several positive things, including spirited debate, innovation and helping younger colleagues join the conversation.
Rethinking Your Approach to Voluntary Benefits
It appears employers have moved in droves to include voluntary product offerings as part of their overall employee-benefits strategies. Here are a few things to consider as you evaluate the many and varied options out there.
The Other Side of Melanoma
Looking back five years after a cancer diagnosis, our benefits columnist uses her own experience to remind employers of the importance of disability insurance.
Getting 'The Benefits Story' Right
As open-enrollment season approaches, employers might want to reflect on whether their efforts are taking into account the life stories of employees.
Employee Benefits Forecast
While the spring HR-related conferences showed there's still a heavy employer focus on the Affordable Care Act and employee health, companies are starting to bridge the gap that's existed between mental and physical -- and even financial -- health.
Private Exchange Designs Continue to Morph
There is a long consideration list to review before making the move to a private exchange. If you don't like the current blueprint for exchanges, express your opinion and wait. Things may shift again soon.
'Survival Entails a Price'
Thirty years after its creation, critical-illness insurance can still play an important role in protecting employees when a medical disaster strikes.
Mindfulness Comes to Work
Mindful living is one of the top 10 trends for 2014 and beyond -- and perhaps for good reason. New research has shown that mindfulness-based and therapeutic yoga programs can be effective interventions to target employees' high stress levels, sleep quality and stress response. So should HR professionals consider adding such programs to their employee-benefits mix?
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