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Benefits

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Another Argument for Prepaid Legal Plans
I just finished reading the Special Report: Benefits (June 2). I note that there is a suggestion (in "Filling in the Gaps") that employees do not need prepaid legal plans because they only use lawyers a couple of times in their lives.
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Playing Games at Work
I love to play games -- something that started as a kid and continues to surprise my mom. She thought I outgrew this fascination.
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Numbers Don't Bode Well for Blue-Collar Health
With a new report showing blue-collar workers are more prone to illness than other groups, experts say HR's challenge is to understand the unique aspects of their own workforces' well-being as well as the unique things they're going to have to do as an employer to address its workers' needs.
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Legal Insurance Does, Indeed, Make Sense
A quick response to Mary Kesel's comments (in "Filling in the Gaps," June 2) about prepaid legal plans: ". . . people only need a lawyer a couple of times during their lives, so buying legal insurance is not a good use of hard-earned dollars."
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On Target
With healthcare costs only going up, employers are getting aggressive about motivating unhealthy and chronically ill workers to get healthy.
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Confusion Reigns Over ACA Implementation
With the 2014 deadline approaching for implementing major provisions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many employees covered through their employers are already receiving letters informing them of the ACA's "Medical Loss Ratio" requirement.
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Benefits from Beyond the Grave
As reported by Forbes, spouses or domestic partners of U.S.-based Google employees who die while under the employ of the company will receive a check for 50 percent of the deceased employee's salary for 10 years. The surviving spouse or partner also acquires vested stock benefits, and their children receive $1,000 a month until the age of 19.
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The Dwindling Disability Trust
With the government's disability insurance fund headed for exhaustion, is it time to "go Dutch" between employers and the federal government?
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Global Nomads' Retirement Puzzle
Some call them "global nomads." Others say they belong to an "international cadre." Either way, they are expatriate employees who spend a decent chunk of time (three to five years or longer) on multiple international assignments, typically moving from country to country in the process.
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The DOL's Move to Increase ERISA Audits
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act is probably not high on HR practitioners' things to ponder list, but a new push by the Department of Labor should change that.
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Wellness Program Passes ADA Fitness Test
A recent ruling by the 11th Circuit suggests that there are circumstances where an organization can offer a "non-voluntary" wellness program without running afoul of the ADA, according to legal experts.
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Can Lack of Access to Sick Leave Be Dangerous to Your Health?
The benefits of offering paid sick leave can outweigh the costs, even for small companies and especially for employers whose workplaces have a high risk for employee injuries, experts say.
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The Price for Retail and Hospitality
Dealing with the new definition of a full-time employee is one of the biggest challenges organizations will face in 2014 when most of the new healthcare-reform law goes into effect, experts say.
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New 401(k) Fee-Transparency Rules Demand Attention
Have plan officials been asleep at the wheel when it comes to assessing the fairness of fees charged participants in their 401(k) plans?
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Getting It Right
Against the backdrop of healthcare reform, planning and prioritizing for open enrollment is more crucial than ever.
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The New Health Marketplace
Americans have gotten used to defined-contribution retirement plans, which offer companies a more affordable alternative to traditional pensions but put the onus on employees to save for, and keep track of, their retirement investments.
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Benefits Column

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.
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