What’s New in Benefits Administration?

What’s New in Benefits Administration?

Hopefully you got to take a well-deserved vacation this summer, but the world of benefits administration never takes a break. Here are some recent trends and news stories that you might have missed during the long, sunny days.

The IRS reminds companies that the ACA is still the law.

Although Republican leaders tried to repeal the ACA, the Obama administration’s health law remains intact for the moment. HR Morning reports that the IRS has been warning businesses that the reporting mandate is still the law of the land. Furthermore, although the IRS has not imposed penalties for non-compliance yet, it is ready to do so. Any employers who have been putting off their reporting duties would be wise to start making compliance a priority.

The “voluntary” nature of some voluntary wellness programs is questioned.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regulations make it possible for companies to encourage participation in voluntary wellness programs through financial incentives. AARP sued the EEOC over these rules, claiming that programs are not voluntary if employees are being financially coerced into participation, and that employees were being forced to reveal private medical and genetic information as a result. A judge ruled in favor of AARP. 

Employees voice concerns as open enrollment approaches.

For employers looking for ways to improve their open enrollment – and thus their employee satisfaction – a recent survey may shed some light. According to Plan Sponsor, more than one-third of employees surveyed gave their company’s open enrollment process a grade of “C” or lower. Frequent plan changes, confusing material and a lack of time to make decisions topped the list of common complaints. 

Employees Rank Benefits Versus Pay.

Based on data from a Glassdoor survey, the Motley Fool reported that most employees would rather receive benefits than a raise – but only if they’re the right benefits. Health insurance was the most popular offering, followed by vacation time/paid time off, performance bonuses, paid sick days and a 401(k). Flexible scheduling and the ability to work from home was also very popular, with 30 percent of those surveyed preferring it to a raise. 

Employers Vying for Talent Turn to Benefits.

Bloomberg reports that employers are focusing on benefits as they compete for top talent. Many of these benefits go beyond the basics, and can include everything from fertility benefits to Fitbit competitions. Flexible scheduling is also increasingly popular.

HSA Are Being Used Like Checking Accounts.

In light of soaring health care costs and uncertainty regarding health care reform, health savings accounts (HSAs) have been popular. However, Plan Sponsor reports that, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, many people are using their HSAs for immediate needs rather than long-term savings. Almost all – 96 percent – of HSA holders invest their money in cash, and 63 percent withdrew funds in 2016.

Need help keeping up with all the changes in benefits administration? Travisoft is here to keep you up-to-date on industry trends and regulation changes. Download our infographic to find out how we can simplify your benefits administration needs.

Also, stay tuned for details on our upcoming webinar, “Increase Profits and Decrease Costs by Going Green.”

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