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

  • ACA Cadillac Tax Delayed Two Years: Various Documents Updated

    Date:
    January 7, 2016
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The Affordable Care Act Cadillac tax that was to go into effect in 2018 has been postponed to 2020.

  • ACA Information-Reporting Deadlines Extended for 2015: Various Documents Updated

    Date:
    January 7, 2016
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    Affordable Care Act information-reporting due dates for 2015 have been extended.

  • Wellness Program LawfuI Under ADA's 'Safe Harbor,' Federal Court Rules

    Date:
    January 6, 2016
    Type:
    News

    The US District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin has ruled that wellness programs that are part of an insurance benefit plan may fall under the "safe harbor" exception to the Americans with Disabilities Act's (ADA) general prohibition that a covered employer require a medical examination, unless the examination is job-related and consistent with business necessity.

  • Labor and Employment Law Overview: California

    Type:
    Employment Law Manual

    Updated to reflect an increase in California's minimum wage, effective January 1, 2016.

  • IRS Extends Health Care Information Reporting Due Dates

    Date:
    December 30, 2015
    Type:
    News

    On December 29, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2016-4, which extends the time an employer has to provide employees with Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, or Form 1095-B, Health Coverage. The deadline for filing the forms (also required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)) with the IRS has been extended, as well.

  • Omnibus Tax, Spending Bill Impacts Payroll Administration

    Date:
    December 22, 2015
    Type:
    News

    President Obama has signed an omnibus appropriations bill (H.R. 2029) that will significantly impact payroll operations. The Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH Act), which represents half of the bill, permanently extends parity between qualified (tax-free) employer-provided parking and commuter benefits and substantially revises the rules for filing Forms W-2, Wage and Tax Statement, and 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which is the other half of the omnibus bill, amends the Affordable Care Act.

  • Health Care Reform

    Date:
    December 15, 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    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).

  • Final ACA Implementation Regulations Issued by Trio of Enforcement Agencies

    Date:
    November 20, 2015
    Type:
    News

    The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury have jointly published comprehensive final rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which essentially combine and solidify interim rules, several pieces of guidance and Questions and Answers issued since 2010, when the ACA was first enacted.

  • Affordable Care Act Automatic Enrollment Requirement Repealed: Various Documents Updated

    Date:
    November 12, 2015
    Type:
    Editor's Choice

    The Affordable Care Act's automatic enrollment provision was repealed by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

  • Federal Budget Agreement Addresses ACA, OSHA and Pensions

    Date:
    November 6, 2015
    Type:
    News

    President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which repeals the automatic enrollment requirement mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), increases OSHA penalties and addresses employer premiums with respect to pensions.