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The Employee Benefits Blog

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Prudential Study: Voluntary Benefits and the Battle for Top Talent

employee voluntary benefits

Voluntary benefits continue to grow in importance when it comes putting together strong benefits packages that appeal to employees. That’s one of the main results found in Prudential’s Eighth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond.

Employee Benefits News Roundup: EEOC Updates Guidelines on Pregnancy Discrimination

EEOC pregnancy update

This week, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has updated their guidelines on pregnancy and disability discrimination. In the first major update since 1983, the Commission has made clear that while being pregnant is not a disability, the limitations pregnancy may cause -- for example, arriving late for work because of severe morning sickness -- are considered disabilities and should be reasonably accommodated. Read on to see what’s happening with the new updates.

How Managers Can Help Employees Understand, Use Wellness Benefits

employee wellness benefits communication

As more organizations use wellness programs to improve employee health and save on insurance costs, recent Gallup research has found that only 60 percent of employees know about their employers’ wellness programs. In addition, only 40 percent of those employees participate -- meaning less than a quarter of employees who work at a company that offers a wellness program actually participate in it.

Employee Benefits News Roundup: The Importance of Voluntary Benefits

voluntary benefits

This week we’re reading about the importance of voluntary benefits. A recent report shows that voluntary benefits are considered essential by the majority of employees at small businesses. A legal plan and identity theft plan can also help employees maintain productivity during rough times, according to a SHRM article. Also, there are continuing efforts by some to reverse the Hobby Lobby decision, but nothing has gained traction yet. Read on to see what’s happening this week in benefits.

A Mid-Year Look at Health Insurance Costs

health insurance

As employers shift more of the burden of health insurance costs to employees, costs rose faster for employees than employers in 2014, a new study has found. The report, called the Milliman Medical Index, found that health insurance costs for employees have risen 6 percent in 2014, while costs for employers have risen by 5.4 percent.

Employee Benefits News Roundup: Improving Your Benefits

employee benefits

This week we’re reading articles on a few different topics related to benefits. According to SHRM, same-sex benefits are increasing greatly since last summer’s overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act. BenefitsPro has a great piece on how to streamline your enrollment process to avoid unnecessary hassle for employees, and LifePro outlines some helpful digital apps that can help manage healthcare costs. Read on for these stories and more.

SHRM Report Explores the Latest Employee Benefits Trends

New SHRM employee benefits research

The rising costs of employee benefits has U.S. employers rethinking which benefits they’ll continue to offer and how much of the cost they’ll cover for employees, according to the Society for Human Resource Management's report 2014 Employee Benefits: An Overview of Employee Benefits Offerings in the U.S. The report, released in June, includes the findings of SHRM’s latest survey. U.S. employers were asked to choose which of 300 benefits they’d be offering their employees in the coming year. SHRM compared those answers to data collected since 2010.

How the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby Decision Could Affect Obamacare

hobby lobby employee benefits

Last week’s decision by the Supreme Court may raise some questions for employers about what health coverage they’re required to provide under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Under the act, contraception is a preventive service that must be provided at no extra charge. But the Supreme Court ruled that as a closely held corporation, Hobby Lobby does not have to offer forms of birth control to which it has a religious objection.

Employee Benefits News Roundup: The Hobby Lobby Decision

hobby lobby employee benefits

This week we’re reading many different perspectives on the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Just as with Obamacare itself, no one is certain what the lasting effects of this decision will be in terms of an employer’s reach in dealing with allowed products and services on their plans. Many see the decision as intentionally narrow in scope while others see potential for a much larger impact. Read on for further insight.

Employee Benefits News Roundup: Making the Most of Benefits

employee benefits

This week we’re reading about how employers can help employees make the most of their benefits. How can you roll out new voluntary benefits in a way that reduces employee confusion?  Should you offer employees HRAs or HSAs? Can offering wellness programs boost existing employee benefits plans? Read on for more benefits tips.

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