Employee Benefits Report – December 2023

What’s Driving Benefit Costs Up 7% for 2024?

U.S. employers should brace for a 7% hike in healthcare costs next year, fueled largely by chronic conditions, costly prescriptions, and catastrophic claims, according to new data. Read on for details.

How Loss of Childcare Funding Will Impact the Workplace

A crisis is looming for working parents across the country as federal pandemic relief funding for childcare expired on September 30, threatening affordable care op¬tions. Employers stand to face major workforce disruptions if they don’t take action to support employees with childcare needs.

How Claims Data Analyses Can Make Healthcare More Affordable

Employer-sponsored health insurance represents the single largest source of healthcare coverage in the U.S., accounting for roughly $1.3 trillion in annual spending. Read on for details.

Support Your Staff As They Transition Back to Making Student Loan Payments

Now that federal student loan payments have restarted after a nearly three-year pause, HR teams can play a key role in supporting employees through this transition. With over 45 million Americans holding $1.77 trillion in stu¬dent debt, many workers face renewed financial burdens from monthly payments. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – November 2023

Seven Open Enrollment Tips for Communicating Benefits

This year’s open enrollment period presents some unique challenges for employers looking to effectively communicate benefits options to employees. Read on for details.


Virtual Physical Therapy: An Employer’s Secret Weapon Against Opioids

The opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities across America, taking more than 41 lives per day and costing billions in lost productivity and increased healthcare expenses. Read on for details.

How Smart Employers are Using Second Opinions to Avoid Unneeded Surgeries

When employees require surgery, the costs to employers can be immense—not only the direct medical bills but also lost productivity from time off work. However, a growing number of employers are realizing that many recommended surgeries may be unnecessary. Read on for details.

Employers Apply Brakes to Runaway Compensation Growth

Employers are still boosting compensation for workers, but the pace is slowing, according to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The latest BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation report shows total compensation costs for private-industry workers rose just 0.59% from March to June 2023. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – October 2023

Seven Strategies for Helping Employees Understand Their Benefits

A recent survey found that 81% of employees want more information about company-sponsored benefits throughout the year, yet 47% don’t know enough to make informed choices during open enrollment. Read on for details.

Preventative Health Helps Cut Costs without Cutting Care

With healthcare expenses only continuing to rise, employers are seeking innovative ways to curb costs while still providing quality care for their workforce. New data reveals strategic investments in preventative services and cutting-edge technologies can significantly reduce spending on serious medical interventions down the line.

On-Demand Pay Reduces Employee Financial Stress

A recent surge in on-demand pay benefits offers employers a powerful tool to reduce employee financial stress. With workers increasingly squeezed by economic uncertainty and the rising cost of living, the ability to access wages immediately is becoming a highly sought-after benefit. Offering this perk can boost worker loyalty, motivation, and productivity. Read on for details.

Are Weight-Loss Drugs The Next Big Benefit?

With nearly half of American adults saying they would be interested in taking prescription weight-loss medications if covered by insurance, employers may soon face rising pressure to provide coverage for these drugs in their health plans. But concerns around safety, efficacy and costs are giving some employers pause.Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – September 2023

Controversial Bills Target Employer Obligations

A series of high-profile bills recently cleared a key Senate committee which could substantially impact employers’ obligations regarding unions, pay equity, and paid leave. Read on for details.

Is Your In-House Medical Program Exposing You to OSHA Citations?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is devoting more attention to scrutinizing employers’ inhouse medical programs for general duty clause violations related to alleged medical mismanagement of injured workers. Read on for details.

Bridging the Gap Between Working and Pumping: Keys to Supporting New Moms

The passage of the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP) represents a major step forward for breastfeeding moms in the workplace. Read on for details.

Unlimited PTO Gaining Traction: Is Now the Time?

In recent years, a growing number of employers have been experimenting with unlimited paid time off policies. But is now the right time for your organization to make the switch?Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – August 2023

How to Motivate Employees to Seek Healthcare When Needed and Encourage Well-Being

Workplace flexibility in the modern business landscape has evolved beyond mere hybrid schedules. A significant paradigm shift is occurring, with employees placing a premium on flexibility. Read on for details.

How to Motivate Employees to Seek Healthcare When Needed and Encourage Well-Being

The modern workplace has come to recognize the importance of employee health and well-being. Yet, there is a concerning trend of employees delaying their own healthcare. Read on for details.

Parents Win Big: The Surprising Shift in 2023 Employee Benefits

The modern business landscape is shifting, propelled by fundamental transformations in employee benefits, according to the 2023 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Employee Benefits Survey. Read on for details.

Should Employers Cover Employee Weight Loss Medications?

Originally prescribed for diabetes management, GLP-1 drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy have shown significant potential as weight loss tools. A rising demand underscores their effectiveness, and their off-label use for weight loss has added another layer of complexity for employers deliberating their health plan coverage.Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – July 2023

Unlocking Employee Potential with Divorce Coaching Benefits

A divorce is a life event that is both common and challenging, and its impact on an employee’s professional life can be profound. The most recent CDC data shows that over 34% of marriages end in divorce. Read on for details.

The Silent Crisis: Rising Mental Health Problems at Work

An undercurrent of mental health issues is disrupting workplaces across the United States, leading to concerns about productivity, engagement, and retention. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently released a report revealing a startling trend: an increasing number of U.S. employees are battling mental health issues, often directly resulting from their work environment. Read on for details.

The IRS Takes on Inflation: Major Changes in HAS and HDHP for 2024

High inflation continues to shape the economic narrative of the nation. Now the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has responded by unveiling significant modifications to the health savings account (HSA) and high-deductible health plan (HDHP) limits for the year 2024. Read on for details.

How to Compete in Today’s Tight Labor Market

The 2023 labor market continues to tighten, creating challenges and opportunities for employers. Compensation is a key aspect of these dynamics. Mercer’s latest data reveals that pay increases this year are the highest since the 2008 financial crisis.Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – June 2023

The Healthcare Affordability Gap: Employer Confidence Meets Employee Skepticism

pills and dollarsThe burden of paying for healthcare benefits has grown substantially for many employers. As the average expense for employee healthcare is projected by the Society for Human Resources Management to increase by 6.5 percent in 2023, surpassing $13,800 per employee, businesses of all sizes struggle to balance their budgets while ensuring their workforce remains healthy and productive. Read on for details.

Reimagining Retirement: The Case for a Return to Pension Plans

two empty adirondac chairsAs the retirement crisis looms, experts are exploring innovative solutions to ensure a secure financial future for America’s workforce. One such solution is a return to pension plans, which could provide the stability and affordability employers and employees seek. Read on for details.

Rethinking Employee Benefits: Strategies for Enhancing Worker Satisfaction

employee meetingRecent data reveals a troubling trend: employee satisfaction with workplace benefits has reached its lowest point in a decade, falling to 61 percent in 2023 from 64 percent in 2022.
Read on for details.

Supporting Employee Mental Health After Tragic Events

rubber stampsArising number of mass shootings have been reported across the United States in recent years, with a significant increase in 2023. These tragic events considerably impact employees’ mental health, making it essential for employers to offer support in these challenging times. E Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – May 2023

Tripledemic Presents More Challenges for Employers

empty desks
Employers across various industries face unprecedented challenges as they deal with the surge in employee absences caused by the simultaneous spread of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Read on for details.

Harnessing AI and Data Science to Revolutionize Workplace Safety

multiple monitors
Artificial intelligence (AI) and data science are having a transformative impact on workplace safety. Read on for details.


How to Provide Benefits Equitably for Both Remote and Onsite Employees

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching effects on the world of work, including a rapid shift in employee benefits needs and preferences.
Read on for details.

Biden Vetoes Attempt to Overturn ESG Rule

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On March 20, President Joe Biden vetoed the US Senate’s vote to overturn the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) rule, which allows retirement plan fiduciaries to consider ESG factors when selecting investments. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – April 2023

New Labor Policies to Be Aware of in 2023

2023 promises to bring sweeping changes for employers and the employee experience. A host of new labor laws, rules, and regulations are set to come into effect in the coming year, with a focus on wage equity, expanded healthcare benefits, and other initiatives. Read on for details.

Biden Administration’s ESG DOL Rule Under Fire from Multiple Fronts

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) new rule on “Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights,” which allows for consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions, has come under fire from multiple fronts. Read on for details.

How Employers Can Benefit from Accommodating Disabled Workers

President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) into law on July 26, 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that forbids individuals with disabilities from being discriminated against in all areas of public life, including employment, transportation, and public and private places open to the general public. Read on for details.

Telehealth Services, Mental Healthcare, and the Consolidation Appropriations Act of 2023

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 was signed into law on December 29, 2022, by President Biden. This $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill is set to fund the US federal government for the 2023 fiscal year. It includes several provisions that will significantly impact telehealth and mental health care services in the coming year. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – March 2023

New DOL Rule Would Have Retirement Plans Consider Environmental and Social Factors

On November 22, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) introduced new regulations that allow retirement plans to factor in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations when choosing investments and exercising shareholder rights. This update to legislation previously established in 2020 gives 401(k) participants access to climate-friendly funds and other ESG-focused options. Read on for details.

How Employers Can Maintain Worker Well-Being with Leaner Budgets

As businesses across the country struggle to adjust their budgets during an uncertain economic climate, ensuring employee well-being has become increasingly difficult.
Read on for details.

Do Rewards Programs Really Help Employee Retention?

Many companies have implemented rewards programs to retain employees and keep them engaged, motivated, and committed. The idea is that employees will be more satisfied with their job if they are rewarded for their hard work and dedication.
Read on for details.

Proposed Changes to the VFCP Would Make Self-Correction Easier

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration recently proposed an update to its Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program that would allow employers and retirement plan officials to report self-correction of late deposits electronically. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – February 2023

Top 5 Benefits Concerns of Employers in 2023

As HR teams re-evaluate their offerings in the coming year, they are focused on providing the best employee benefits in the most efficient ways. To help teams make informed decisions, one benefits firm, Nava Benefits, collected information about choices made by HR teams from over 600 vendors across 28 benefit categories. Read on for details.

How to Help Employees Accelerate Retirement Savings  

With retirement just around the corner for many, employees are increasingly concerned about their financial future for several reasons, including recent economic events, personal financial issues, or job changes.
Read on for details.

SECURE Act 2.0: What Employers Should Know

At the end of December 2022, the SECURE Act 2.0 cleared both houses of Congress as part of an omnibus end of year appropriation. The Act is a package of bills focused on retirement that expands on provisions from the original SECURE Act enacted in 2019. Read on for details.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fees Rise for 2023

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced on November 14, 2022, that Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees for health plans for plan years ending in 2022 will increase for the 2023 calendar year. The fees are collected annually and are due by July 31, 2023. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – January 2023

Annual Health FSA Contribution Limit to Increase in 2023

laptopOn October 18th, the IRS announced that the annual contribution limit in 2023 for health flexible spending accounts (health FSAs) will be increased to $3,050 — double the $100 increase from 2021 to 2022. Read on for details.

How to Encourage Employees to Use Mental Health Resources

group meetingStressors in the workplace can have a profound impact on mental and physical health. The Deloitte Mental Health 2022 Report revealed that more than 80% of respondents experienced at least one adverse mental health symptom. Read on for details.

Employers Can Help Employees Overcome Burnout with Sabbaticals

woman covering her eyesBurnout is a real issue for many employees today. According to the 2022 Deloitte Mental Health Report, 55% of employees reported experiencing burnout, which is not good news for employers. In addition, Mercer’s 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds study revealed that burnout due to a demanding workload is one of the top factors for employees considering leaving their job. Read on for details.

Healthcare Costs to Rise in 2023: Cancer Top Driver

man in hosptial bedAccording to professional services firm Aon, the average cost of healthcare for their own employees will increase by 6.5% next year. This is a significant increase from the 3.7% uptick seen in 2022. This cost increases similar to other cost increases mentioned here and likely due to the increased willingness of Americans to go in-person for testing and treatment now that the pandemic has subsided. Read on for details.