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 include information on COVID-19 testing requirements.
Updated to include Form W-2 reporting requirements for EPSLA and EFMLEA credits under IRS Notice 2020-54.
Updated to reflect an amendment to the Florida Civil Rights Act.
Updated to include information on the Executive Order regarding travel and paid sick leave or other paid benefits.
In this survey report, XpertHR examines a wide array of benefits, including health care, paid leave, retirement, and others, in order to provide clarity about the state of employee benefits in today's workplace.
The US Department of Labor has revised its model COBRA notices to provide additional information about COBRA's interaction with Medicare.
The Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could make it easier for employers to deny their employees contraceptive coverage by claiming religious or moral objections. A ruling is expected by the end of June.
HR guidance on understanding the value of health care benefits.