The Employee Benefits Blog

Disability Insurance Is Often Overlooked, But No Less Important

Posted by Colin Bradley on Thu, Oct, 20, 2016 @ 07:10 AM

This open enrollment season, as employees choose next year’s insurance benefits, it’s a good time to take notice of disability plans. Most workers consider health and retirement plans their most important benefits, but they should also be weighing the importance of disability insurance, especially younger workers who may not immediately see its value. Employers can take steps to highlight the benefits of such plans and educate their employees during open enrollment periods.

The following articles explain why disability insurance is important and what employers can do to review their offerings and promote them to employees.     

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Topics: open enrollment, disability insurance

How to Communicate About Your EAP More Effectively

Posted by Colin Bradley on Tue, Oct, 18, 2016 @ 07:10 AM

Your employees face a lot of stresses at work — deadlines, production quotas, interacting with co-workers. They may also be facing all kinds of problems that don’t have anything to do with work but that affect the quantity and quality of their production. Relationship problems, depression, mental issues, grief and addiction are just a few things they might be trying to deal with even as they’re working — and that aren’t covered by health insurance.

It can help if you have an Employee Assistance Program, but only if your employees know about it. According to a report by Aon Hewitt, employee use of EAPs can range from 1 to 15 percent, depending on the company. This can mean that most of your employees are missing out on assistance.

Here’s how to get the word out effectively.

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Topics: employee benefits, employee assistance program, EAP

Employees Find Benefits Options and Terminology Difficult to Understand

Posted by Colin Bradley on Thu, Oct, 13, 2016 @ 08:10 AM

Research indicates that many employees don’t fully understand the terms, options and finer points of their benefits packages or their choices. Despite the difficulty and confusion, employees, particularly millennials, consistently say that benefits are an important component of what they want from an employer, but a lack of clarity could lead to underuse of available options and even misplaced resentment if an employer offers a benefit but employees don’t understand that it’s available to them or how it can be maximized.

The following articles can provide insight into what employees are struggling with and how employers can help with improved communication and education about benefits plans.
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How to Communicate About Disability Insurance

Posted by Colin Bradley on Tue, Oct, 11, 2016 @ 07:10 AM

It can be hard for anyone to talk about becoming disabled, but the conversation is especially touchy at work. The idea of not being able to provide for oneself or one’s family can be dismaying, enough so that employees don’t like to think about it or plan for it. This avoidance can have dire consequences, because the Social Security Administration says more than a quarter of today’s 20-year-olds will be disabled at some point before age 67.

Communicating about disability insurance takes discretion and compassion as you debunk misunderstandings about the product. Here’s how to make it work.

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Topics: voluntary benefits, employee benefit communication, disability insurance

U.S. Making Progress, But Still Lagging on Paid Parental Leave

Posted by Colin Bradley on Thu, Oct, 06, 2016 @ 08:10 AM

The U.S. has been notoriously behind other developed nations on federally mandated paid parental leave benefits. However, private companies have been implementing better paid maternity and paternity leave policies, and politicians are becoming more vocal about the need for new plans.

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How to Keep Open Enrollment Running Smoothly

Posted by Colin Bradley on Tue, Oct, 04, 2016 @ 07:10 AM

You’ve had months to prepare for open enrollment, and now the moment of truth is about to arrive. But once open enrollment gets going, don’t just sit back and let it happen. Managing open enrollment will help make sure there aren’t any bumps and everything stays on track. Here are four tips to ensure open enrollment goes smoothly.

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Topics: employee benefits, open enrollment

2016 Presidential Election Brings Uncertainty to Benefits World

Posted by Colin Bradley on Thu, Sep, 29, 2016 @ 07:09 AM

No matter who is elected president in November, the benefits world is probably headed for a big transition. Donald Trump has said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, the defining feature of the Obama presidency, and undo all of the changes many have worked to adapt to over the past several years. Hillary Clinton wants to expand the law, which some already feel is highly problematic, and go even further toward a public option.

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Topics: Obamacare, parental leave, election

Product Spotlight: What is Critical Illness Insurance?

Posted by Colin Bradley on Tue, Sep, 27, 2016 @ 07:09 AM

Even when they have health insurance, employees face a maze of co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance that can leave large gaps in coverage. If they find themselves dealing with a devastating illness such as cancer, the costs can be overwhelming. These issues have inspired growth in several insurance products to fill the gaps; one of the most popular is critical illness insurance. According to Mercer, 45 percent of employers with more than 500 employees offered critical illness insurance in 2015, compared with 34 percent in 2009.

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Topics: critical illness insurance, cancer insurance, employee benefits, employee health care

Discover Which Benefits Your Employees Really Want

Posted by Colin Bradley on Thu, Sep, 22, 2016 @ 09:09 AM

It can be daunting to try to design a new benefits plan tailored to your employees’ wants and needs. Some studies say core benefits are most important, while others say flexibility or career development are key. One thing they mostly all agree on? Salary alone isn’t going to keep or attract your best hires. A comprehensive benefits package that includes a robust health plan, retirement and a mix of voluntary and lifestyle benefits is absolutely necessary.

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Topics: voluntary benefits, flextime, telecommuting

Winston Benefits’ New Wellness Program Offers Something for Everyone

Posted by Colin Bradley on Tue, Sep, 20, 2016 @ 07:09 AM

We’ve talked before about how tailored employee wellness plans are more effective — and we’ve decided to take our own advice. We recently overhauled our wellness program to provide more multidimensional options for a wider variety of employees in the hopes that more people would participate. So far the verdict is that our new Wellness Dimensions program is a good one. Here’s how we moved from a one-size-fits-all program to something that works for everyone.

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Topics: employee wellness, employee benefits, wellness program