The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both women and men. Heart-related ailments such as hypertension can cause a host of other health issues as well. February is American Heart Month, so it’s a good time for employers to get people thinking about their hearts and how to make heart-healthy choices.
The Employee Benefits Blog
Regular dental checkups are an integral part of maintaining health and wellness. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more children are now covered by dental insurance, but there is still a large gap for adults. Changes to the ACA may make employer-sponsored dental insurance even more necessary to keep the nation’s teeth healthy.
Once your department or organization has made the decision to outsource benefits administration, you may feel like sending off that pile of administrative tasks and never looking back. While outsourcing will definitely reduce your burden, a little bit of prep will go a long way toward making the relationship thrive and be successful.
It’s commonly known that employees experiencing negative stress are at a higher risk for health problems as well as reduced engagement and productivity at work. Employer-sponsored wellness programs frequently focus on physical health, but many are exploring the benefits of mental and emotional wellness programs as well. Reducing workplace stress can improve employee morale and save money by minimizing lost productivity.
Manufacturing jobs offer some of the best benefits around. According to the Economics and Statistics Administration, employee benefits at manufacturing jobs are worth about 60 percent more in monetary terms than those at other jobs. Some of this may be due to higher rates of collective bargaining among many manufacturing jobs, but the level of education and experience necessary for many manufacturing jobs means those workers can command better benefits, and hazardous work conditions in some facilities mean a stronger benefits package often is necessary to attract workers.
Businesses are learning that financial stress can be as detrimental to the workforce as other types of stress that cause health problems and low productivity. Many companies have already wellness programs to keep their employees healthy and engaged at work, and some are adding programs designed to mitigate financial worries. Retirement benefits and assistance with retirement planning have been a standard benefit for many years, but there’s a growing trend of programs designed to help employees manage their finances in matters other than retirement.
President Donald Trump’s moves to change the Affordable Care Act have made big news. In the past few days, lawmakers, physicians and governors have pushed back, saying it’s irresponsible to repeal the ACA (also known as Obamacare) without a new plan in place. Employers are to some extent caught in the middle because reporting dates are fast approaching. It’s difficult to determine how it will all play out.
Now that open enrollment is ending, benefits communication in many workplaces will slow as the topic is shelved until 2018 approaches. However, studies indicate that employees need more information about their benefits to help them make more informed choices when the time comes. Employees differ on what types of communication they prefer, be it digital or in-person conversations, but the studies indicate they tend to want a combination of communication methods and more information overall when it comes to benefits.
The decorations have been taken down and packed away, and everyone’s back from their holiday break. In many places, the weather is miserable, and people might find that their New Year’s resolutions aren’t sounding nearly as exciting or achievable as they did among all the confetti and party horns. Setting resolutions is easy; keeping them is hard.
The new Congress started work this month, and one of its first acts was to take preliminary steps to repeal the Affordable Care Act, one of Donald Trump’s main campaign promises. However, even as elected officials are digging in to repeal and replace the ACA, there is no clear indication of what will change in the law. When and how legislative changes in health care will impact employers is still anyone’s guess.