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Employee Medical Benefits: Self-funded vs. Fully Insured

Group employee medical benefit plans typically fall into one of two categories: self-funded or fully insured. The choice of one over the other should not be made arbitrarily. Each type carries its own set of administrative rules and legal constraints.  What is self-funding?   Under an insured health benefit plan, an insurance company assumes the financial and legal risk of loss in exchange for a fixed premium paid to the carrier by the employer. Employers with self-funded (or self-insured) plans retain the risk of paying for their employees’ healthcare themselves, typically from corporate funds.   Most employers with more than 200 employees self-insure some or all their employee health benefits. Many employers with fewer than 200 employees also self-fund, but these employers require greater stop-loss insurance protection than larger employers (stop-loss insurance is discussed below). Generally, employers with fewer than 100 employees fully insure their group medical benefits. In New Yo

Getting the Most Out of Your 2024 Open Enrollment Communications

Open enrollment is a crucial period for both employers and employees. It’s when employees can make important decisions about their benefits and an opportunity for employers to engage with their workforce effectively. As organizations continue to adapt to evolving workforce needs, open enrollment communication becomes more critical than ever.   This article highlights why open enrollment communication to employees matters and provides tips on what to do before, during and after enrollment to maximize its effectiveness.   Why communication matters   Communication matters because it enables employees to understand the open enrollment process in a clear and accessible manner, which can boost active participation in benefits selection. Employees who feel valued and informed about their benefits are more likely to appreciate their employer’s efforts and stay engaged with their work.   Before open enrollment   Effective open enrollment communication to educate and inform employees about new,

June 2024 Benefits Buzz: 2025 HSA/HDHP limits and HIPAA privacy changes

HSA/HDHP limits will increase for 2025  On May 9, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2024-25 to provide the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts and high-deductible health plans for 2025. The IRS is required to publish HSA/HDHP limits by June 1 each year. These limits include:  the maximum HSA contribution limit;  the minimum deductible amount for HDHPs; and  the maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs.  These limits vary based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under an HDHP.  Eligible individuals with self-only HDHP coverage will be able to contribute $4,300 to their HSAs in 2025, up from $4,150 in 2024. Eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute $8,550 to their HSAs in 2025, up from $8,300 in 2024. Individuals age 55 or older may make an additional $1,000 “catch-up” contribution to their HSAs.  The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs increases to $1,650 for self-only coverage and $3,300 for family coverage

Employee assistance programs benefits: How to increase usage

Employers often ask, “What are the benefits of employee assistance programs, and how can I encourage employees to use them?”  EAPs are employer-sponsored programs that offer services or referrals to help employees manage personal challenges. These programs can boost employee well-being, satisfaction, performance and health.   Unfortunately, these programs are heavily underutilized. According to Mental Health America , 98% of mid- to large-sized companies offer EAPs, but only 4% of employees use them yearly. This represents a significant missed opportunity for employers and employees. Employers can use the guidance in this article to increase the use of their EAPs.  What is an EAP?  EAPs vary between organizations. Some programs focus specifically on issues such as mental health or substance misuse, while others offer expanded services to address eating disorders, marital issues, legal problems, childcare, care for older adults, gambling addiction and more.  Depending on how these progr

FMLA Outsourcing: 6 Key Employer Insights

Organizations need help navigating employee leave of absence. With so many complex regulations, many employers consider outsourcing their employee leave programs to specialized third-party vendors. Compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, a federal law allowing eligible employees to take unpaid leave for personal reasons, is central to administering employee leave.  In this blog, we'll go more than six insights employers need about FMLA outsourcing. Use this as your go-to list as you weigh the potential benefits against the drawbacks.  1. Third-party prowess  Expertise is at the heart of the outsourcing question. Can your in-house human resource team competently manage the complexities of FMLA requirements? Or are there benefits to be gained from a third-party vendor’s specialized focus?  In-house HR staff might need help with FMLA regulations , causing compliance errors and/or knowledge gaps. In this case, it would make sense for employers to search for a list of FMLA out

Q1 2024 Market Recap: Bulls on Parade

Is 2023’s market rally here to stay?   Moving into 2024, investors were cautiously optimistic about the financial market’s soft landing in the fourth quarter of 2023. Specifically, market strategists were uncertain if 2023’s rally was here to stay with inflation above the Federal Reserve’s target, a longer than expected terminal rate and concerns over earnings.   As Q1 2024 ends, our latest Retirement Market Recap examines Q1’s unique market cycle, documenting the financial markets’ strong start. Our professionals cover key economic trends, including:   the resilience of the equity market;  U.S. equities’ strong performance;  the disconnect between equity prices and underlying fundamentals; and  fixed income’s first quarter struggles.  Download our report today to get the first glimpse of 2024’s market performance . Contact us with any questions about this Market Recap or how TruePlan can help enhance your organization's retirement offerings .

Attraction & Retention Newsletter – Q2 2024

Last year’s challenging labor market continues to impact employers across all sectors in 2024. Organizations are still struggling to find and keep workers, as the U.S. economy added 275,000 jobs in February.   As competition to attract talent fiercens, all eyes are on innovative talent strategies that meet today’s workforce needs and make sense for organizations. Read the latest edition of the Attraction & Retention newsletter to gain expert updates on:  meeting demands with voluntary benefits ;  university and college recruiting season; and   key workplace outlook data, including primary job gains and unemployment rate.  Download your copy now and get the top labor trends and methods to secure talent. If you'd like more information regarding TruePlan and our services, contact our team today ! We’ll take the time to examine your current employee benefits and find the best solutions for your needs.  This is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions