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 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.
The Affordable Care Act's automatic enrollment provision was repealed by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.
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.
An employer with religious objections to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage requirement may use this form to certify that it qualifies for an accommodation.
An employer with religious objections to the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage requirement may use this form to notify the Department of Health and Human Services of its objections.
The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor have released FAQs clarifying provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA).
The Quick Reference chart, Annual Retirement Plan COLAs and Fringe Benefit Limitations, has been updated with the 2016 Fringe Benefit Inflation Adjustments.
The IRS has announced the 2016 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 2016 from an employee's taxable income for specific benefits.
XpertHR's innovative Liveflo Tool now includes a workflow to help an employer determine ACA reporting obligations.
Use this workflow to determine which entity is responsible for complying with Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6055 and Section 6056 reporting requirements.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.