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Insurance News

  • New Executive Order Directs Federal Departments to Expand Personalized Health Benefits

    A new executive order from President Donald Trump seeks to expand personalized health benefits for U.S. businesses.

    The order, issued Thursday, October 12, directs the Secretaries of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services to consider how to expand the flexibility and use of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

    HRAs are an important supporting structure of personalized benefits, which is a new way to offer employee benefits. These arrangements allow small businesses to reimburse employees tax-free for health insurance and medical expenses.

    By expanding HRAs, the order would allow more businesses to adopt personalized health benefits. It would also increase the level of personalization possible for employees.

    In this post, we’ll examine the language of the executive order, what it means, and what will happen next.

  • Health care reimbursement plan - What is it?

    A health care reimbursement plan, in a general sense, is defined as a health benefit where employees are reimbursed by their company for their medical expenses. This differs from traditional benefits chiefly because the company makes a benefit allowance available, instead of choosing and administering a health insurance policy.

  • FAQ: What’s Causing the Shift to Personalized Benefits?

    There’s a shift occurring in the small business benefits market—one that takes companies away from traditional group benefits and toward a new model.

    This new model is called personalized benefits, and it allows companies to offer sustainable benefits that deliver real value to employees. Discussed in last week’s blog post, under the personalized benefits model, small businesses set aside a certain amount of money, tax-free, per employee per month. Employees then use that money to select and pay for programs and services that provide them with the greatest value.

  • Which Benefits Have the Best Effect on Employee Retention and Recruiting?

    Small business benefit options have never been more varied. Get the most mileage from your offerings with the benefits employees love best.

    The U.S. job market continues to grow. According to a recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses in the country added 209,000 jobs in July, marking the 82nd straight month of job growth. At the same time, the unemployment rate shrunk, ticking down to 4.3 percent—its lowest mark since 2001.

    These new metrics have led many economists to speculate that the economy is nearing “full employment,” meaning everyone who wants a job in the United States has one. This mark is a significant one, particularly for small businesses. With no spare workers, they need to boost their offerings to hire and keep their employees.

    Benefits are one of the surest ways to improve employee satisfaction. Nearly 60 percent of employees say benefits are “very important” to how they feel about their job and their company, and employees who are satisfied with benefits are almost four times as likely to be satisfied with their jobs.

    But with a proliferation of benefits now available, how do small businesses—with their typically limited budgets—make decisions that are most likely to help them with employee retention and recruiting?

    In this post, we’ll go over six common forms of employee benefits and how well they answer a small businesses’ needs.

  • Businesses Boost Benefits as Hiring Grows More Difficult: SHRM Study

    Thanks to the country’s ongoing economic recovery, the job market now firmly favors job seekers. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that two-thirds of U.S. businesses report difficulty recruiting new employees.

    That’s the latest finding from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)’s annual Employee Benefits survey. Titled “2017 Employee Benefits: Remaining Competitive in a Challenging Talent Marketplace,” the report examines more than 3,000 businesses’ attitudes and current offerings as they relate to employee benefits.

    Among other findings, the report suggests businesses have responded to the tough hiring conditions by improving their benefits packages. In fact, nearly one-third of organizations have upped their benefits offerings to remain competitive in the marketplace.

    Given that benefits are second only to wages in influencing where employees choose to work, this move is the right one. What the business offers and how they offer it, though, matters just as much as the decision to enhance the overall package.

    In this post, we’ll examine relevant findings from the SHRM study and use them to make conclusions about the role benefits will play in the talent marketplace of the coming year.

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