Insurance News From Benefit Analysts

Comparing HSAs, HRAs and FSAs

year-round benefitsEmployers are increasingly looking to consumer driven health plans to help soften the blow of continually rising health care costs. Depending on the model, consumer driven health plans typically include health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs).

Consumer driven health plans generally increase employees’ stake in their own health care costs. In most cases, a consumer driven health plan covers a wide range of medical expenses, but also includes more cost-sharing for participants (for example, higher deductibles). Some plans incorporate an HRA, health FSA or HSA to help employees pay for their out-of-pocket medical expenses on a tax-free basis. This article provides some basic information about the similarities and differences between HRAs, FSAs and HSAs.


COBRA Covered Employers and Health Plans

Benefit Analysts Group Insurance BenefitsThe Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives workers and their families who lose their employer-sponsored health benefits the right to continue group health coverage for limited periods of time under certain circumstances, such as a job loss, reduction in hours worked, death, divorce and other life events.

Most employer-sponsored group health plans are subject to COBRA’s continuation coverage requirements. However, some employers, such as churches and small employers, are exempt from COBRA. In addition, certain welfare benefit plans, such as long-term and short-term disability plans are not subject to COBRA because they do not provide medical care.


Motivating Employees

Employee Financial Well-beingEnsuring your employees are satisfied and feel appreciated is important in order to reduce turnover. Organizations need to focus on keeping employees happy and motivated in order to stay competitive in their recruiting and retention efforts.

One way to boost employee morale and productivity is to introduce strategies to motivate your employees in the workplace; this may include tangible rewards and more intangible things like communication or attitude. Doing so can help employees feel like their performance is meaningful to the company, and that their work is appreciated.


Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2022

mployee Benefit Plan Limits for 2022Many 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.

Why Is It So Hard to Find Workers Right Now?

Why Is It So Hard to Find Workers Right NowEmployers 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.


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