Overview: Educating employees about employee benefit programs and providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions is not an easy task. Employers that do this successfully are committed to providing ongoing, comprehensive communications that educate employees on their benefit choices.
Benefits are complex, and making benefit elections can be difficult. In addition, employees are being asked to play a more active role and take greater responsibility for their health and well-being. Unfortunately, all too often, they are ill-equipped to take on that responsibility with any degree of success.
Educating employees about their benefits is a process, and for employees to buy into that process, they need to be engaged. Employers that do not effectively communicate benefits run the risk of having employees become indifferent and frustrated. Having an effective benefit communication plan in place can help to ensure that employers and employees get the most from the substantial investment an employer makes in benefits.
Trends: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires additional benefit communication and disclosure requirements. The summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) describes the benefits and coverage under an employer's plan so that participants can compare the information to other plans for which they may be eligible.
Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor
Under the 21st Century Cures Act, a small employer that has fewer than 50 full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) and that does not offer group health insurance to its active employees may provide stand-alone qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements (QSEHRAs). An employer may use this model notice to fulfill the annual notice requirement.
XpertHR offers many tools and resources to help an employer address and manage open enrollment season.
As mandated by the New York State Workers' Compensation Board, employers covered by the state temporary disability benefits law must provide the New York Temporary Disability Benefits Law Statement of Rights (DB-271S).
Updated to reflect the repeal of West Virginia's health benefit exchange law, effective July 5, 2017.
Covered San Francisco employers must provide this form to employees under San Francisco's Paid Parental Leave Ordinance.
Updated to reflect the final Summary of Benefits and Coverage template published by the Department of Labor.
An employer with a certain percentage of employees who have consented to a voluntary plan for payment of disability insurance and family leave benefits, must provide written notice to new hires.
HR guidance on the value of having an effective benefit communication strategy.