How to Understand Your Health Insurance Coverage

Understanding ins and outs of your health insurance plan may be difficult, but it’s an important step in protecting your physical, mental and financial health. To help you out, we’ve assembled some health insurance basics that apply to almost any plan. To begin with, there are so many insurance-specific terms that it’s easy to get tripped up and confuse them. Here are four you need to understand: Deductible: This is the amount you must pay out-of-pocket before the insurance company will contribute to any of your health-related expenses. Coinsurance: This is the amount, usually a percentage, that you pay for any health care costs after you’ve met your deductible. For example, if your deductible is $1,000 and you require a service that costs $2,000 and have 25 percent coinsurance, then you pay $1,000 to meet the deductible and 25 percent of the rest ($250), for a total of $1,250. Copay …

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Don’t Miss These Year-End Retirement-Planning Deadlines

It’s not too late to ensure that your retirement planning is on track to maximize tax savings before the end of 2017. Understanding end-of-year deadlines can help you maximize your tax savings as well as prepare for another year of saving. “Tax planning should really start in January, not in November or December,” says Randall Luebke, a financial planner at Lifetime Paradigm. “That said, if you do wait, be sure to do everything you can to reduce the taxes you pay.” Now is the time to accelerate your tax-deductible expenses and put off receiving taxable income. Here are some tips. Consider Roth Accounts If you’ve been thinking about converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, it’s a good time to make a decision and act because you must file forms by the end of the year. With Dec. 31 falling on a Sunday in 2017, experts recommend aiming for …

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How Big Data Is Changing HR

One of the most revolutionary trends technology has brought to the field of human resources is the development of powerful software that can crunch enormous amounts of data. Through the use of “Big Data,” HR departments can analyze the vast stores of information they possess and identify patterns in employee recruitment, performance and retention that can provide valuable insights into what’s happened in the past — and even make predictions about what’s likely to happen in the future. By basing their predictions on hard data instead of instinct or casual observation, HR professionals can discover insights they may never have found through conventional means, and make confident decisions backed by solid evidence. Using Big Data is “seeing beyond the obvious,” says Luciano Pesci, CEO of Emperitas, a Utah tech company that builds customized business information tools and predictive analytics, and performs market research. “Big Data presents far more than a …

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Family-Friendly Work Options All Employees Can Use

Some companies like to tout themselves as being family-friendly, but are they really if their family-friendly policies only benefit married couples or employees raising children? “Family-friendly work options are not only for employees with immediate family,” says Eileen Timmins, Ph.D., founder of Aingilin. “Having diversity of options for the diverse workforce family is the key.” “Family” doesn’t necessarily refer to only spouses and minor children — it can encompass domestic partners, stepfamilies, aging parents and close aunts or uncles. Truly family-friendly policies also apply to singles and employees without children. Paid time off is one option all employees can use. “PTO is an option, but many more companies are using ‘take what you need’ time,” Timmins says. “An employee takes the time they need for vacation or sick time. It’s similar to an honor policy — if it becomes excessive, then the employer will approach the person and see if …

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Train to Retain: How to Develop High-Potential Employees to Keep Them

Employee retention is essential for companies looking to build their businesses and boost their bottom lines. But retention alone isn’t the secret of success. High-potential employees who are in line to move up through the ranks of management need to be nurtured, trained and developed. As high-potential employees advance, they will be the ones to mentor and groom yet another generation of your company’s leaders. High-potential employees are highly motivated to grow, develop and advance, and if you don’t take steps to meet these needs, they’re likely to seek work with companies that will. These employees are the ones who will create the innovations and systems that will propel your business through the coming decades, so it’s essential to your company’s future to help them advance their skills and their careers — and to give them reasons to stay with you as they do. Your investment in your employees’ futures …

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