Employee Benefits: Essential But Unruly
Employers and employees both know the critical role that the workplace plays in offering a better quality of life through a robust benefits package.
Did you know March 5-11 is National Sleep Awareness Week? Better sleep creates happier, healthier, more productive individuals.
We help our clients develop wellness programs with customizable employee communications like our Live Well, Work Well newsletter, which highlights topics like Simple Steps to Improve Sleep - available in English or Spanish.
The IRS has issued Notice 2012-9, providing updated and new guidance on the reporting of employer-provided health plan coverage on Forms W-2, as required by the health reform law ("PPACA"). The new notice supersedes the March 2011 Notice 2011-28 (see Client Action Bulletin 11-03) and applies to taxable years beginning in 2012 (i.e., the W-2s employers generally furnish to employees by the end of January 2013).
As your company has likely experienced, health care costs were expected to rise between 5 and 11 percent in 2011, according to several reputable surveys and research groups.
Several causes were cited, including the slow economic recovery and increased health care utilization; the most notable factor was the cost to implement various health care reform provisions.
Faced with this cost increase and the expectation of continued rising costs, employers shared in these surveys various strategies they were utilizing or considering to control health care costs.