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Benefits Buzz – February 2019

This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the upcoming Affordable Care Act reporting deadlines and the removal of the wellness plan incentive limits. Click HERE to download the full newsletter.  

Benefits Buzz – January 2019

This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the 2016 pay or play enforcement and provides an overview of the health flexible spending account contribution limit increase for 2019. Download Now: Benefits Buzz Jan 2019  

Benefits Buzz – October 2018

This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the guidance on association health plans issued by the IRS and Department of Labor, provides a reminder that Medicare Part D notices are due Oct. 15 and explains the repeal of the individual mandate penalty. Click here to Download.

Workplace Wellness: Choosing the Right Wellness Program

Workplace Wellness: Choosing the Right Wellness Program
According to a RAND survey, approximately half of U.S. employers with 50 or more employees sponsor some type of workplace wellness program. As the issues of rising health care costs and increased absenteeism due to health problems grow, wellness programs are seen as an effective method of improving employee health and morale and decreasing health-related costs for employers. In order to realize improved employee health and a good return on investment (ROI), you need to choose the right wellness program for your company. Success is dependent on both employee engagement and support from all levels of management. To choose the right program, you will need to determine your organization’s needs and resources and then match that with the appropriate type of wellness program. Determine Your Needs and Resources If your company is considering implementing a wellness program, you will need to consider several factors before deciding what type of wellness program will be most effective for your company and its employees. Employee Needs and Interest Assess your workplace to determine your employees’ health problems and fitness levels, as well as their interest in different types of wellness programs. Consider using surveys, focus groups and health risk assessments to learn more about the health status and interest areas of your employees. You will need a solid idea of the areas of interest and level of anticipated engagement from your employees to help you decide what type of wellness program is best suited for your workforce. Areas of focus for a wellness program may include disease prevention, fitness, smoking cessation, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, nutrition education, mental health help, weight loss and stress management. In order to engage employees, your wellness program must fit what they perceive to be a need and must be something that they are willing to participate in. If your employees don’t see a benefit, you will have extremely low engagement and participation. Resources and Management Support For a wellness program to succeed, leadership on all levels must also buy in to the wellness program idea. To ensure the support of management, inform managers about the program early on and encourage them to participate. Communicate the program’s goals and benefits clearly and often.   CLICK FOR FULL ARTICLE

Health Care Reform: Workplace Wellness Program Incentives

treadmillMany companies operate wellness programs to keep their employees productive and their insurance costs down. Some wellness programs include incentives or rewards to promote healthy lifestyle choices and discourage behaviors that are detrimental to employees’ good health. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established new guidelines to regulate and encourage the use of workplace wellness programs. Beginning in 2014, these rules allow employers to increase incentives or rewards offered as part of a health-contingent wellness program, provided the program follows certain guidelines. While it is important to note that companies must follow specific guidelines if they choose to offer a wellness program, they are not required to provide a program to employees. CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE