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

  • 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.

  • Cafeteria Plans May Allow Employee Revocation of Health Coverage for ACA Exchange Plan

    Date:
    25 September 2014
    Type:
    News

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidance permitting employers to allow employees to revoke their election of employer-sponsored health care coverage under a § 125 cafeteria plan in order to purchase coverage in a health insurance exchange (or marketplace) established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

  • IRS, Treasury Propose Ways to Apply ACA Look-Back Measurement Method in Certain Situations

    Date:
    23 September 2014
    Type:
    News

    The Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department have proposed ways to apply the look-back measurement method for determining if an employee is a full-time employee for Affordable Care Act purposes when the measurement period applicable to the employee changes.

  • IRS Increases PCORI Fee Amount

    Date:
    19 September 2014
    Type:
    News

    The IRS announced that the adjusted applicable dollar amount for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee will increase to $2.08 for plan or policy years ending on or after October 1, 2014, and before October 1, 2015.

  • Indiana and Wisconsin Same-Sex Marriage Decisions Upheld: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    17 September 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld recent lower court decisions invalidating Indiana's and Wisconsin's laws banning same-sex marriage.

  • Taxation of Employee Benefits: Indiana

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

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

  • IRS Releases Draft Instructions to ACA Reporting Forms

    Date:
    04 September 2014
    Type:
    News

    The IRS has released draft instructions for employers to use when completing the forms required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) under Internal Revenue Code § 6055 and § 6056. An employer must use these forms to report to the Internal Revenue Service on its employee health care coverage.

  • Florida Court Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban: Employment Law Manual Updated

    Date:
    03 September 2014
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    A federal court declares Florida's same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, but the decision is stayed pending appeal.

  • New ACA Birth Control Rules Issued in Response to Religious Objections

    Date:
    29 August 2014
    Type:
    News

    New rules on the Affordable Care Act's contraception coverage mandate were published in light of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby and Wheaton College decisions. Interim final rules provide an alternative way for religious nonprofits to provide notice of their objection to covering contraceptive services, and proposed rules cover accommodating closely held, for-profit companies with religious objections.

  • California Aligns Health Insurance Waiting Periods With Affordable Care Act

    Date:
    26 August 2014
    Type:
    News

    New California legislation, SB 1034, aligns state health insurance waiting periods with the federal Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) maximum 90-day waiting period. The state had previously established a 60-day cap.