Since the Michigan Supreme Court issued its decision in 1980 in Toussaint v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and identified how an employer’s actions could cause it to change the presumption of “at will” into “just cause” employment, employers who have wanted to continue to be “at will” have been careful in the language used in applications and in handbooks. The Michigan court of appeals in Brugger v. City of Holland upheld the dismissal of the case in an unpublished 2-1 decision where the language used was unnecessarily confusing. Continue reading »
Recently, an employer I’ve consulted with on their benefits programs for over a decade implemented an entirely new Executive Management team: new President, CFO, and COO. This new management team brings a new culture and risk tolerance to the organization, and they are systematically reviewing the existing business operation and making modifications accordingly. Understanding this change in ethos, we recommended that we first isolate the key benefit decisions that a similarly situated company of their size and type may have made differently had their risk tolerance and culture varied. Continue reading »
I added to my reading list recently as I listened to speakers and chatted with people at the Health and Benefits Leadership Conference in Las Vegas and the World Health Care Congress in DC. What do you think I missed? Please share your recommendations in the comments below.
- 5 Hollywood Moments In The Latest U.S. Health Care Spending Numbers from Leah Binder of Leapfrog that ran in Forbes Magazine January 24, 2014 Continue reading »
For employers subject to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) 2015 Shared Responsibility requirements, one item on their 2014 To Do list is ensuring that the cost their employees will pay for health coverage in 2015 meets the ACA’s definition of affordability (in this post, we’ll refer to this cost as the employee’s payroll deduction). Most employers know that, generally, only the single payroll deduction rate of their lowest cost plan must be affordable, not each deduction rate in each plan. Further, most employers are aware of the 9.5% of Box 1, W-2 income affordability safe harbor. However, some employers aren’t aware that there are two additional affordability safe harbors and that one of these eliminates all of the accounting work and headaches associated with the other two safe harbors. You might call this safe harbor the Easy Button. Continue reading »
Yesterday I was asked what are policy is on e-cigarettes. Hmmm, I should have anticipated that question, but I had not even contemplated it. ASHA has been a smoke-free workplace for many years. When we moved to our current office in 2007, we expended the prohibition to become a smoke-free property. I guess now it’s time for us to choose a stance on vaping in the office.
|Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
In our last post, Employers with less than 101 employees and the ACA’s Fair Health Insurance Premium rules , we discussed the challenges employers with less than 101 employees that sponsor non-grandfathered fully insured plans will face in 2016. And we cited that one way these employers can escape these onerous rules is by self-funding their plan. In this follow-up post, we’ll briefly discuss why the Affordable Care Act’s new taxes on fully insured plans increases the financial benefits of self-funding.
First, what is self-funding? Continue reading »
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