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The 'Grand Experiments'
Are corporate exchanges the answer to soaring healthcare costs?
Grappling With LTC
When I consider the topics of long-term-care insurance and caring for loved ones -- especially elderly -- I always turn to my friends and colleagues in Hawaii. Hawaii is a harbinger for what's to come in both caregiving and LTC since it is the nation's leader in the number of intergenerational households.
Employers Shifting Benefits Costs, Choices to Employees
As healthcare costs continue to rise, companies expect to give employees greater responsibility for choosing their benefits and contributing to the cost, according to a survey of senior finance executives by Prudential Financial Inc. and CFO Research Services.
The Play-or-Pay Decision for Employers
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling on healthcare reform moved the national conversation forward. Now, employers are plotting their next moves, but what factors will weigh most heavily in their decision to either "pay" or "play"?
Is Healthcare Spending Beginning to Stabilize?
Despite continuing to grow at double-digit levels in 2012, two reports predict the rate of healthcare spending by employers will begin to stabilize or slow next year. But at least one expert warns: Don't be fooled by the headlines.
Check-up, Change and Choice
There are both challenges and opportunities in the new era of healthcare reform, experts say, so employers should continue to monitor the situation closely. Beginning in the fall of 2013, employee communication and enrollment should include information about subsidies, exchanges, Medicaid and enrollment options.
Rooting Out Domestic Violence
A recently released study has found that many employee-assistance programs do not have a policy that would specifically help identify individuals who abuse -- or have the potential to abuse -- their intimate partners.
Supervisor Liability and FMLA Leave
In the case of Haybarger vs. Lawrence County Adult Probation and Parole, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals recognized for the first time that a supervisor at a private employer may be held individually liable for violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Healthcare: Cash Comes In, Jobs Go Out
A survey by ADP shows companies of all sizes are choosing to outsource benefits administration because of the ever-increasing compliance complexity of, not just healthcare reform, but other benefits-related acts as well.
Free Online Resources
* SparkPeople An interactive weight-loss program.
FYI: Healthcare
Gen Y: Disconnected from Healthcare
Online and Beneficial
Benefit portals and websites now include a variety of online tools to help employees shape up.
Make Workplace Wellness Work
Creating competition within an organization may make it easier for employees to get healthy and stay fit. And studies show that those employees are more productive, call in sick less often and visit the doctor less frequently.
Is the Price Right?
The rise of high-deductible plans is leading more organizations to demand "price transparency" from their healthcare providers.
Battling Fatigue
Fatigue -- described as a decreased state of alertness -- may impair a worker's safety, health and productivity, costing employers billions of dollars each year.
What Comes Next?
Lots of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea of being required by law to purchase health insurance. And sometime soon -- probably later this month -- the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final word on the matter when it announces its ruling on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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Benefits Column

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