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
The health care reform resource page can be used as a tool to help subscribers comply with the complex requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Health Care Benefits section of the Employment Law Manual has been expanded to include additional content on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Employer-sponsored health care benefits are an important part of the overall compensation package used to attract and retain employees. Employers, however, face a number of issues when deciding on employee health care benefits. This section assists HR professionals in understanding the different types of benefit plans (e.g., traditional indemnity, managed care), the benefits that may be offered (e.g., prescription drug, dental, vision), how cafeteria plans work and the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).
As mandated by the Department of Workforce Development, Equal Rights Division, employers with 50 or more employees in Wisconsin must post the Wisconsin Notification Required for Cessation of Health Care Benefits poster.
Health Care Benefits and Taxation of Employee Benefits sections updated as a result of changes to the "Use It or Lose It" Rule for Health FSAs.
To help employers determine whether an employee is properly categorized as full-time or part-time, a new How to Determine Full-Time Employee Status Using the Look-Back Measurement Method and Evaluate Pay or Play Penalties has been added to the Health Care Reform Resource Center.
An applicable large employer may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment if it does not offer minimum essential coverage to its full-time employees or if the coverage offered to full-time employees does not meet the minimum value and affordability requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The determination as to whether an employee is full-time is done on a monthly basis. This How To will help an employer determine whether an employee is properly categorized as full-time or part-time.
A new Annual Retirement Plan COLAs and Fringe Benefit Limitations - Chart has been added to the Quick Reference Tool. The chart provides employers with a comparison of the current and prior year retirement plan cost of living adjustments (COLAs) and fringe benefit limitations.
The US Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued a new rule modifying the "use it or lose it" rule for FSAs. The change to the long-standing "use it or lose it" rule, issued on October 31, 2013, is effective immediately.
President Barack Obama speaks about the problems with the HealthCare.gov website.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.