In a glimpse of what we may expect in terms of premiums, a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation has found that most insurers are not factoring in added costs or savings related to COVID-19 for their 2022 health coverage rates for personal health plans in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
A temporary rule that allowed covered employees to make mid-year election changes to their health plans and revisit how much they set aside into their flexible spending accounts (FSAs) will sunset at the end of the year.
The rules gave employers the option to allow their employees to make changes to their health plans, including choosing a new offering, but it did not require that they allow them to make these changes.
Regulations are slated to take effect over the next few years that will greatly increase the transparency requirements for group health plans.
The regulations issued under the Trump administration will require health insurers in the individual and group health markets to disclose cost-sharing information upon request, make cost-sharing information available on their websites and disclose negotiated rates with in-network providers.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service in late June released a series of new regulations targeted at banning surprise billing in most instances, taking aim at a scourge that ends up costing many covered individuals thousands of dollars even when they are treated in-network.
The IRS has set the maximum amounts employees can funnel into their health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) for the 2022 policy year.
There are signs that the Internal Revenue Service is starting to step up its enforcement of the Affordable Care Act employer mandate.
During the past six months, there's been an uptick in the number of employers receiving initial notices stating they may be out of compliance with the requirement that they offer their workers coverage.
As the labor market tightens and businesses struggle to attract new talent, many companies are starting to boost their employee benefit offerings, particularly voluntary benefits.
But besides added benefit choices, what many employees want is relief from continually increasing health premiums as well as more options to choose from for their health insurance.
One major repercussion of the COVID-19 pandemic is that employees are embracing the voluntary benefits their employers are offering them, but they'd like to see more choices and issues such as mental health and voluntary benefits have risen to the fore.
The Hartford's "2021 Future of Benefits Study" found that before the pandemic, benefits were mainly viewed as a means of attracting and retaining talent. But the pandemic changed all that due to the stress of having our work and personal lives upended, as well as the widespread suffering and grief that the coronavirus has caused.
With so many people having been relegated to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, many employers are now wrestling with how to proceed as it starts to wane. Many companies are considering implementing hybrid, flextime work schedules after seeing success with remote work.
Flextime is the use of flexible schedules in which employees spend a portion of their workday on the worksite, and the rest from home or another location. For example, a flextime schedule might require an employee to work on-site from 8 am to 2 pm, and complete the rest of the workday from another location.
One of the main recommendations for employees with 401(k) plans is that they should contribute at least enough to their plan every paycheck to ensure they receive the maximum they can in their employer's matching contributions.
But a new study by Willis Towers Watson recommends that younger, healthier workers should divert savings to their health savings account from their 401(k) after capping out employer matching instead of continuing to put money into their retirement plan.