HR Support on Employee Health Care Benefits

Editor's Note: Health care benefits can serve as a recruitment and/or retention tool.

Tracy MorleyOverview: 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

Latest items in Health Care Benefits

  • IRS Announces 2015 Inflation Adjustments to Fringe Benefits, Other Taxable Amounts

    Date:
    31 October 2014
    Type:
    News

    The IRS has announced the annual cost-of-living adjustments made to several employee benefits and taxable amounts, based on changes to the Consumer Price Index. These are the maximum amounts that may be excluded in 2015 from an employee's taxable income for specific benefits.

  • Same-Sex Marriage Bans Fall in 13 States: Employment Law Manual, Chart Updated

    Date:
    20 October 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The US Supreme Court declined to review challenges to three federal appeals court rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, which also cleared the way for the legalization of same-sex marriage in Colorado, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming. Bans also fell in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada.

  • New Jersey Continuation Coverage Rules Form

    Type:
    Policies and Documents

    As mandated by the State of New Jersey, Department of Banking and Insurance, New Jersey employers with covered, eligible employees must distribute a copy of the New Jersey Continuation Coverage Rules form.

  • Wal-Mart to End Health Care Benefits for 30,000 Part-Time Employees

    Date:
    13 October 2014
    Type:
    News

    Effective January 1, 2015, Wal-Mart will stop providing health insurance to part-time employees who work fewer than 30 hours per week.

  • Conflicting Louisiana Same-Sex Marriage Decisions on Appeal: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    03 October 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    A federal district court upheld Louisiana's statute and constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, while a Louisiana state court ruled that these laws are unconstitutional.

  • Oklahoma Judge Rules Against ACA Federal Exchange Subsidies

    Date:
    02 October 2014
    Type:
    News

    An Oklahoma federal judge ruled in State of Oklahoma v. Burwell that Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium subsidies are illegal for individuals who purchase health insurance coverage through the federal exchange.

  • ACA, HIPAA Excepted Benefits Final Rules Released

    Date:
    01 October 2014
    Type:
    News

    On October 1, the Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services published final rules regarding excepted benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and Public Health Service Act (PHSA), as amended by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rules specifically cover vision and dental benefits and employee assistance program (EAP) benefits.

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Louisiana

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    The value of health insurance benefits provided to an employee's same-sex spouse or partner and their dependents is taxable in Louisiana.

  • Medical and Dental Insurance Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees who is eligible to participate in medical and dental insurance, whether and to what extent coverage may extend to spouses and other family members and when benefit selections should be made should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.

  • Flexible Spending Accounts Handbook Statement

    Type:
    Employee Handbooks

    Employers seeking to advise employees of the different forms of flexible spending accounts (FSAs) that they offer should consider including this model policy statement in their handbook.