Many employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are periodically updated for inflation by the IRS. The following commonly offered employee benefits are subject to these limits:
- High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs);
- Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs);
- 401(k) plans; and
- Transportation fringe benefit plans.
Employers across the country are facing a pronounced issue right now: too many open positions and not enough workers.
On its face, it might seem like there are not enough workers available for jobs—hence all the openings. But, confoundingly, that’s not the case. The unemployment rate is still hovering just below 5%, translating to around 7.5 million unemployed Americans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Additionally, several key COVID-19 initiatives ended at the end of summer—expanded unemployment benefits ceased, and children returned to in-person classes. As such, many economists expected workers to be spurred back into the workforce this fall. That’s decidedly not been the case; while some individuals are returning to work, others are quitting in record numbers.
This article explores the current labor market, offering potential reasons why individuals have been slow to return to work despite available positions and suggesting ways for employers to attract some of these workers.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adapt and test their operational capacities. One of the most common pivots has been remote work.
Now that workplaces are reopening, a significant number of employees want to retain their remote status. In fact, 58% of workers said they want a fully remote position, and only 3% said they wanted to return to fully in-person work, according to a recent FlexJobs survey.
So, how does a business that wants to utilize its in-person workspace deal with employees who want to stay home? For some, the answer is a hybrid work model.
Under this arrangement, employees work in person some of the time and from home the rest of the time. This can be a great compromise for a workplace, and it’s gaining popularity among employers. Many organizations are now exploring their own forms of hybrid work models.
On Sept. 30, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the application of the Health Insurance Privacy and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule on COVID-19 vaccination and the workplace.
Overview of the FAQ Guidance
The FAQs provide that the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prohibit any person (an individual or an entity, such as a business)—including HIPAA-covered entities and business associates—from asking whether an individual has received a COVID-19 vaccine. Rather, the Privacy Rule regulates how and when a covered entity or its business associate may use or disclose protected health information (PHI), including information about an individual’s vaccination status.
Coverage and Premium Discounts
On Oct. 4, 2021, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury
(Departments) issued FAQs addressing rules regarding premium incentives for COVID-19 vaccinations and rapid coverage of preventive services for COVID-19.
Premium Incentives for COVID-19 Vaccinations
The FAQs clarify that a group health plan (or health insurance issuer offering coverage in connection with a group health plan) may offer participants a premium discount for receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. However, plans generally may not condition eligibility for benefits or coverage on vaccination status, and any discount must comply with the final wellness program rules.
Under the Affordable Care Act, when a plan covers dependent children, it must continue to make the coverage available until a child reaches the age of 26, even if the young adult is married, no longer lives with his or her parents, is not a dependent on a parent’s tax return, or is no longer a student. Applicable large employers should note that they may be liable for a pay or play penalty if they do not offer coverage to the dependent children of their full-time employees through the entire calendar month during which the dependent attains age 26.
According to a Gallup poll, 55% of Americans experience stress on a daily basis—making the United States one of the most stressed-out nations in the world. Unfortunately, chronic and long-term stress can greatly increase your risk of developing a serious health condition.
What is stress?
Stress is your body’s natural response to any type of demand. It is a feeling of emotional or physical tension in response to an event or thought that causes you to be angry, nervous or frustrated. For example, you may feel stressed out about meeting a deadline or when traveling. Short-term instances of stress are not typically harmful to your long-term health.
About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease every year. That mean every 1 in 4 deaths is caused by the chronic condition.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.
The warning signs for heart disease include the following:
- Unhealthy diet
- Lack of exercise
- Excessive alcohol use