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Welcome to the Institute for Human Resources (IHR) Benefits: Cost Containment, Audits and Legal Risks Workshops and Program! This session will introduce the Benefits Community and the Institute for Human Resources (IHR) certification program. You’ll find out about the workshops that will be available, and learn how the IHR certification process works. Amanda Norris is the “Go Getter” at HR.com. She manages HR.com’s Institute for Human Resources Benefits: Cost Containment, Audits and Legal Risks, Performance Management and Health and Safety. She is responsible for building and aligning the curriculum for these Institutes as well as generating a strong network of industry professionals who will be able to collaborate and offer content to the HR.com members. Throughout this conference you will gain practical ideas and concepts that you’ll be able to put into practice in your business.
The Institute is committed to furthering the deploying and adoption of best practices across the Benefit vertical. The Institute provides an opportunity to bring together industry thought leaders in a year-long community that promotes best practices among vendors and HR Professionals with a series of research, webcasts, presentations, virtual events, awards and market research. The next two days mark the seventh virtual event for this great community. We have a very exciting event planned for you with many informative sessions covering the hot topics and trends in this exciting space.
You will be introduced to the Advisory Board, learn about the opportunity to become certified within the IHR and see who is speaking and their topics. You will be given guidance on how to chat online with colleagues and access the virtual exhibit hall. You will have the opportunity to ask questions as it relates to the overall program, prior to its commencement. You can access all of the archived sessions where we launched this Institute in May, 2011.
Group Long Term Disability Insurance: Relationship of Risk vs. Cost (Premium)
Group Long Term Disability Insurance represents 4-5% of the dollars spent on fringe benefits and as a result in many businesses it gets much less attention than other benefits which represent the larger dollar costs.
The purpose of this session is to discuss how, unlike the decision on the purchase of group life insurance which is driven by the lowest price tag, the decision on the purchase of group disability insurance should take into consideration the transfer of risk to the insurance carrier. In that regard, multiple plan design features (9) and multiple contractual language definitions (18) will determine the level (amount) of risk transferred to the insurance carriers vs. being borne by the insured employee.
The impact due to plan design choices include the following:
1. Covered earning description
2. Percent of income protected
3. Taxation of benefit received
4. Policy elimination period
5. Policy benefit period
6. Own occupation definition of disability
7. Social Security offset
8. Minimum benefit
9. Conversion option
The impact due to contractual language include the following:
1. Definition of disability
2. Partial disability wording
3. Trial work days during the elimination period
4. Earnings test
5. Maximum capacity working
6. Offset of partial earnings
7. Disability earnings
8. Offset for prior earnings
9. K-1 earnings offset if totally disabled
10. Offset for salary continuation sick leave or severance
11. Offset for retirement benefits
13. Wellness program
14. Substance abuse limitation, mental disorder limitation, specific illness limitation, musculoskeletal limitation
15. Preexisting limitation
17. Benefit while residing outside USA/Canada
18. Survivor Benefit
An example will be provided that demonstrates a 50% increase in the net take home check for a disabled employee due to changes in the plan design and improved contractual language.
Now that we know healthcare reform is here to stay, employers had better get ready! This presentation will help guide employers and HR professionals in making sure that they know what they need to be doing as well as what they have to do to get ready for 2014. First, for those who have maintained grandfather plans, we will review what that means and what you need to be doing to maintain that status.
Next, we will discuss some of the health care reform requirements that are currently in effect. This includes a refresher on the W-2 Reporting requirements, making sure that cafeteria plans are being administered in accordance with the reduced deferral limit, and that participants have received the required summary of benefits and coverage explanation.
We will also navigate through the requirements that take effect in 2013. This includes discussing the notices that employers need to provide to employees regarding the health care exchange and the available premium credits under the exchange as well as the most recent changes regarding HIPAA privacy and security.
Lastly, this presentation will assist HR professionals in getting ready for 2014. This includes figuring out what, if any penalties an employer might be subject to by not offering coverage under the employer’s health plan or offering unaffordable coverage, a discussion of automatic enrollment, ensuring that excessive waiting periods have been eliminated, and other requirements that take effect. This presentation is a must for every HR professional who needs to keep up with the latest developments in healthcare reform!
This presentation will explain why employers must lead the way in preparing the nation for the caregiving tsunami that is poised to devastate productivity.
A long-term care event can happen to anyone at any age and can quickly take an employee out of work whether the employee needs the care or provides the care. The fastest growing cohort of the U.S. work base is employees 55+ and is projected to make up nearly 1/4 of the labor force in 2020. This is significant because this age group represents the prime caregiving years. Health insurance and Medicare only pay for short term care, which forces workers to use their own money, and potentially lose their savings, their retirement funds, and even college education funds set aside for their children. While they struggle to keep their jobs and be caregivers, these workers will experience stress, absenteeism, tardiness, distraction, and many will give up their jobs. Women make up almost half of the workforce in the U.S. and 2/3 of the nation's caregivers. Forward thinking employers are concerned about what will happen to productivity levels in the face of a mass exodus of women in their peak working years over the next 20-30 years.
This presentation will explain the participation and underwriting requirements for offering worksite LTC insurance in today’s environment, as well as explain the best practices for employee education in a successful LTC insurance offering.
Phyllis Shelton will relate the latest happenings in long-term care insurance and link it to the overall picture of health care reform.
Employers have offered wellness incentive programs for a number of years, usually giving rewards to participants for meeting certain health-related goals, such as losing weight, getting flu shots or meeting health requirements.
In order to motivate healthy behavior, employers have shifted incentives to insurance discounts or penalties which can add up to hundreds of dollars. The occurrence of penalties being used has increased in recent years. A 2009 survey of 500 companies found that 8 percent used financial penalties. By 2012, that number had risen to 20 percent.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows employers to implement rewards and penalties as long as employees are also given a path to address lifestyle issues that could compromise their health. While the ACA does not allow insurers to charge more when a person is sick, wellness incentives could mean being penalized for what might be deemed as questionable health behaviors.
There are some gray areas when it comes to implementing a company wellness program:
• How to apportion financial rewards among family members where health goal may not be applicable to all of them (e.g., a spouse who smokes)
• How to define “tobacco use”
• How percentage limits apply to a financial reward whose amount may not be known initially (e.g., waiver of copayments)
• Whether reasonable design requirement means you must use evidence- or practice-based standards
A wellness program is a long-term investment into the health of the employees and the company as a whole.
We will cover the two types of incentives, the requirements for health factor-based wellness programs, provide examples of incentives and an action plan for compliance.
Join this exciting webinar to gain a new understanding of the importance of having a solid financial education.
Balancing benefits costs with benefits needs is challenging, especially as it pertains to employee’s financial security. According to MetLife's 10th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends, 72% of employees are very interested in their employer providing programs to help them make decisions about their financial needs. Programs such as the Retirewise program connects the workplace benefits that employers offer with employees’ overall financial strategy – increasing benefit utilization, appreciation and overall loyalty. Financial education at the workplace may play a fundamental role in employees’ basic financial and retirement planning. The workshop program delivers objective information covering a broad spectrum of financial planning issues. No matter what their age, background or stage of retirement planning they are in, there is something here for all employees to learn.
In this webinar, we will provide a sampling of a 4-part workshop series covering each module: Building the Foundation, Managing and Protecting Wealth, Establishing a Retirement Income Stream and Making the Most of what You Have. Workshops delivered at the workplace enable the employer to demonstrate your company’s concern for employees by helping them better understand the very complex and important subject of retirement planning. It can be customized to reflect each company’s particular benefits package, so employees can see the value and leverage all that you have to offer.
Please join us for this webinar to learn more about how financial education in the workplace may be a valuable part of your benefits and wellness platform.
Employers that sponsor group health plans have faced increased regulatory audits and enforcement activity since the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) in 2009. Final regulations recently issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) update the privacy and data security requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and continue this trend. The new regulations will present a number of compliance challenges for employer plans during 2013 and 2014.
This session will provide a quick review of the basic rules under HIPAA, then describe the new final regulations and their changes. The focus will be on providing practical compliance assistance in areas of particular concern to employers.
Among other topics, the session will cover:
• the evolving relationships between employer plans and their external vendors (or “business associates”), including recommended updates for existing business associate agreements;
• the revised standards for evaluating breaches of security involving protected health information, and the new risk assessment required to determine whether a breach has occurred;
• the updated rules governing HITECH breach notification and reporting obligations;
• limits on the use of genetic information for health plan underwriting and related notice obligations;
• the expansion of participant rights to access health information and require restrictions on its use; and
• enhancements to the HHS enforcement regime and HIPAA’s civil penalties.
Attendees will have an opportunity to raise questions about the new regulations during the session and will leave with a road map for addressing their HIPAA compliance gaps.
This session will discuss the reasons why some companies are offering legal-access plans and identity-theft mitigation coverages as voluntary benefits. We will discuss the size and scope of employee marketplace for these coverages; we will review recent surveys into the American marketplace and whether or not a need is indicated; and we will review the options for the timing of enrolments (open enrollment vs. mid-year enrollments).
We will also make a distinction between these specific coverages and whether or not the presence of an Employee Assistance Program impacts the decision to offer these sorts of plans.
We will make a comparison between the different approaches to legal-access coverage – open panel, closed-panel, and discount clubs. We will examine the pros and cons of each approach. We will then review the major players in the North American marketplace – MetLaw (formerly Hyatt Legal), ARAG, and LegalShield (formerly Prepaid Legal Services, Inc.). These each have their strengths and specific markets, as well as differing levels of customer service, enrollment support, and claims processing. Next we will review several of the larger presences in the identity-theft mitigation space, such as Lifelock, LegalShield’s Identity Theft Shield, and some others, and look at the differences in their respective approaches to the “before,” “during,” and “after” of identity theft.
We will review the differing price-points of these coverages, and produce a side-by-side comparison. We will address the shallow understanding that most people, employees and managers, have about identity theft and what the real consequences are, in time and money, to having one's identity stolen.
Many employers reduced their workforces to remain viable during the recession. As a result, they required higher productivity and improved performance of their employees. Now employers need to retain their key contributors who possess important intellectual capital while attracting new talent to the organization to remain competitive as the job market provides more opportunities. Horizons Workforce Consulting, a division of Bright Horizons, in collaboration with Dr. Russell Matthews, Assistant Professor at Bowling Green State University, completed a research study in 2013 to demonstrate the impact on these critical business outcomes when employers provide child and elder care supports to their employees. The web-based survey resulted in over 5,000 respondents who had utilized employer-sponsored back-up care in the previous six months and over 3,000 respondents who are currently enrolled in an employer-sponsored child care center.
Data will be shared regarding the impact of child and elder care supports on recruitment, retention, productivity, engagement, return to work after family leave, reduced stress levels and overall employee well-being. Case studies will also be shared to provide real-life examples of how organizations implemented dependent care supports, to demonstrate how the offerings are aligned with strategic organizational goals and to illustrate satisfaction levels of that were realized among program users.
Finally, we will discuss a road map of how organizations to begin to explore developing child and/or elder care supports for their employees and how to create a business case that will be compelling for senior level decision-makers. Following this road map will result in a data-driven due diligence process that will clearly demonstrate whether the need exists for dependent care supports among your workforce.
Healthcare reform is here to stay and it is contributing to an explosion of part-time workers, even as the government continues to tweak ACA definitions and deadlines. And while the employer mandate has been delayed until 2015, effective January 1, 2014, individuals are required to have health insurance or face fines.
The government recently provided the definition of a full-time employee, which set wheels in motion for employers in the restaurant, staffing, retail, hotel and all of the other service industries where part-time employees are prevalent. While the delayed employer mandate will impact some employers, many will find it advantageous to manage their employees to fewer than 30 hours per week, exempting them from the penalty arriving in 2015. Several well-known large employers have already suggested they may cease hiring full-time hourly workers and begin transitioning to part-time employees to avoid having to provide these employees with health insurance. Many employers with part-time employees will discontinue offering insurance and encourage their part-timers to purchase coverage through the exchanges. These employees look to their employer for solutions and even if the benefits are voluntary, employees appreciate the knowledge of an HR department, the ease and pre-tax benefits of payroll deduction, and the education that comes with a common benefit structure among a large number of co-workers.
How can you attract and retain the best part-timer workers when you aren't offering major medical coverage? This session will review which companies are affected by the ACA mandate, calculating full-time vs. part-time workers, the financial impact of not offering coverage (pay vs. penalty), options for part-time employees, and best practices for managing your part-time employee population.