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
Updated to reflect the final Summary of Benefits and Coverage template published by the Department of Labor.
This podcast gives listeners a unique look inside the Supreme Court with on-the-scene coverage of Zubik v. Burwell, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA's) contraceptive coverage requirement. The Court recently heard arguments in this case brought by two dozen religiously affiliated nonprofits, and we feature the key questions on the justices' minds.
The Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a closely-watched case involving the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage requirement. But during the 90 minute argument in Zubik v. Burwell, the now eight-person Court appeared equally divided. If the justices split 4-4, that would mean religious-based organizations in different parts of the country would have differing obligations.
For Affordable Care Act purposes, the IRS has adjusted the "pay or play" penalties for inflation and equalized the rate for determining health care coverage affordability for 2015 and 2016.
Updated to reflect reporting of flex credits, health reimbursement arrangement amounts and opt-out payments.
Updated to reflect IRS guidance on rolled over unused amounts in health flexible spending accounts and how such amounts affect COBRA premiums.
Updated to reflect the effect of short-term and long-term disability payments on determining an employee's hours of service.
A federal court has denied an employer's motion to dismiss a proposed class action lawsuit, Marin v. Dave & Buster's, Inc. The lawsuit alleges that the employer violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by reducing workers' hours in anticipation of higher costs under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Affordable Care Act (ACA) market reform final rules will apply beginning January 1, 2017. Also, the IRS has issued guidance on various ACA provisions.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.