Overview: Health care benefits are an important part of the overall compensation package and employee benefit program that employers use to attract and retain workers. Employees value health care benefits because they soften the financial impact of a catastrophic, unanticipated illness or injury.
Employees are typically provided an opportunity to participate in the employer's group health plan. Eligibility for participation may depend on a number of factors including working for a required period of time and/or an individual's employment status (e.g., full time or part time).
Most health care benefit packages include medical and prescription drug coverage, but many employers offer more comprehensive packages that include dental and vision benefits as well. Basic health insurance covers costs related to hospital care, including hospitalization, inpatient surgery and doctor fees related to the hospitalization.
Trends: The requirements of the Affordable Care Act pose some real challenges for HR professionals, and its requirements have a significant impact on how both employers and employees view health care benefits.
Author: Tracy Morley, SPHR, Legal Editor
In-depth review of the spectrum of Alabama employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits
The Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a group of retired employees are not necessarily entitled to permanent, contribution-free health care benefits. Writing for the Court, Justice Clarence Thomas said, "Employers or other plan sponsors are generally free under ERISA at any time to adopt, modify or terminate welfare plans."
The US Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of a 6th Circuit decision upholding state bans on same-sex marriage. A ruling is expected by June.
A South Dakota federal district court ruled that the state law banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. The decision was immediately stayed pending appeal.
Same-sex marriages became legal throughout Florida on January 6, 2015.
The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury have released proposed regulations regarding the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) and the uniform glossary for group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets.
In-depth review of the spectrum of Florida employment law requirements HR must follow with respect to health care benefits.
This new chart summarizes each state's health care continuation coverage requirements (often referred to as "mini-COBRA" laws).
This chart helps employers understand each state's health care continuation coverage requirements. These so-called "mini-COBRA" laws cover smaller employers or may otherwise provide greater rights than the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA).
As mandated by the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) some employers are required to provide this notice to terminated employees.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.