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March is Save Your Vision Month and Workplace Eye Wellness Month

 
March is Save Your Vision Month and Workplace Eye Wellness Month

In March, the eyes have it. This month is both Save Your Vision Month and Workplace Eye Wellness Month. As a benefits specialist or human resources representative, you can do a lot to protect the vision health of your employees. First, make sure your organization provides and requires protective eye gear for any tasks where debris can get in the eye. Make sure office workers take precautions when using computers and take frequent breaks to avoid eye strain. Encourage sun protection for employees outside and remind employees to use their vision insurance and get routine eye exams. Eye health can be linked with many other conditions, including diabetes, so exams are particularly important.

Infographic: 10 Benefits Businesses Offer Employees

 

When people take a new job, they’re not only looking at the paycheck they’ll be getting; they carefully consider the benefits they’ll get from the job as well. Ohio University put together an infographic that looks at the 10 benefits businesses offer employees. Some are mandatory, and some are best practices for businesses that want to get the top talent they need. Here’s the rundown.

Life Insurance is an Essential Part of Financial Planning

 
Life Insurance is an Essential Part of Financial Planning

Life insurance can be an excellent way to guarantee peace of mind and safeguard your financial future. Not only can it pay off a mortgage or a child’s college expenses in the event of a breadwinner or caregiver’s death, certain policies can also build cash value that can be used for long-term care if needed.

Life insurance isn’t something you just think about once and forget. Because it’s such a useful financial tool, it requires some thought and planning. First, if you want the most benefit, you have to keep the plan and not let it lapse. You may have to take a physical to enroll or re-qualify, and it’s certainly worth it to make sure you’re getting the best price.

Here are some helpful articles and blog posts about life insurance.



Tanya Gappy Brings a Wealth of Voluntary Benefits Knowledge to the Winston Benefits Team

 
Tanya headshot

When Tanya Gappy came on board at Winston Benefits last year as an account executive, she hit the ground running. She had started with Aflac about five years ago as an independent agent, but said she felt like she had little room to grow at the benefits giant. She was looking for opportunities to grow with the changing landscape of enrollment and communication services. When we approached her, she says, it was the right opportunity at the right time. We think so, too!

Obamacare Enrollment Deadline Extended For Some

 
obamacare deadline

The federal government has extended the deadline to purchase Obamacare insurance plans by one week for those who experienced computer glitches or overly-long wait times during the days leading up to the original deadline. The new deadline for enrollment for 2015 coverage is February 22, 2015.

However, some states have extended their exchange deadlines even further, some past the annual tax-filing deadline of April 15th.

If you tried to obtain coverage and could not, or even if you just forgot, it may not be too late. The following articles and blog posts have more information about deadline extensions.



5 Ways You Can Help Your Employees Stick with Their Health-Related New Year's Resolutions

 
5 Ways You Can Help Your Employees Stick with Their Health Related New Years Resolutions 01

Now that we’re well into February, chances are many of your employees have already dropped some of their New Year’s resolutions to improve their health. After all, it’s easy to set a goal, but it can be difficult to stick with it -- especially if it’s unrealistic.

What’s the Future of Employee Wellness Programs?

 
What's the Future of Employee Wellness Programs?

The Affordable Care Act has brought a lot of uncertainty to the benefits industry. Also raising questions: wellness programs. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is questioning whether many wellness plans are truly voluntary. But, the EEOC has not issued any compliance guidelines to remedy the situation and benefits professionals are uncertain what to do going forward.

Employees continue to ask for wellness benefits from their employers. This week I’ve been reading about the future of wellness programs. Here are some of the most helpful articles I’ve read:

EEOC's Strange War Against ObamaCare And Employer Wellness Plans. Forbes:The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission does not like employer wellness plans, even when those plans comply fully with President Obama’s most significant domestic policy achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ‘ObamaCare.’ According to the Commission, when it comes to wellness plans, the Affordable Care Act and regulations passed by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury are invalid.”

EEOC’s Silence on Wellness Programs Criticized. SHRM: “The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) should not sue employers over supposedly involuntary wellness programs when the agency has not defined voluntary programs, according to Eric Dreiband, an attorney with Jones Day in Washington, D.C.”

Employees want wellness incentives, despite regulatory uncertainty. Employee Benefit News:As calls for the EEOC to issue guidance on wellness programs continue, employees are on board with their employers’ involvement in health and wellness programs. The majority of consumers (71%) say they want help from their companies in the form of programs and guidelines for health management, according to a HealthMine survey of 562 consumers with company-sponsored health plans.”





Compliance Corner: ACA Resources -- Helpful Links to Information About the Affordable Care Act

 
Compliance Corner ACA questions

This is a guest post with employee benefits compliance advice from Winston Benefits partner Joe Lazzarotti, a benefits attorney and practice group leader at Jackson Lewis P.C. He specializes in employee benefits counseling, with a heavy emphasis on health benefits and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

How Long-Term Insurance Can Help with Elder Care Issues

 
Elder care long term insurance

As baby boomers age and retire, they and their family members are paying more attention to elder care and the resources it requires. President Obama even mentioned elder care in his State of the Union address last month, proposing a tax break for those dealing with elder care costs. Long-term care insurance and specialized elder care insurance can help families deal with these costs -- but it takes planning.

Meredith Beam Joins Winston Benefits to Help Employers Do More With Less

 
Meredith Beam

The biggest benefits challenge employers face today is the rising cost and complexity of health insurance, says Meredith Beam, Winston Benefits’s new vice president of employer solutions. “Companies are spending more than ever on benefits programs. In return they are forced to cut cost where possible, or find ways to stretch their dollar.”

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