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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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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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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How to Decide Which Voluntary Benefits to Choose This Open Enrollment Season

If your company offers a multitude of voluntary benefits options, congratulations. These offerings are a valuable benefit that can make your life easier. Still, the open enrollment process and all the paperwork that comes with it can sometimes feel like a hassle. How do you decide which benefits are worth it? Here are a few tips to help you choose the voluntary benefits that will work best for you and your family this open enrollment season. Calculate Costs and Benefits Most voluntary benefits by themselves are relatively inexpensive and are less so when you purchase them through an employer rather than on the open market. That said, anything you pay for but don’t need is a waste of money. To help you determine which benefits are smart buys for your unique needs, Aoife Quinn, founder of Quinn HR Consulting Group, suggests a two-pronged approach: Look at the services you’ve needed …

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Tips for Handling Petty Squabbles Between Employees

It’s a fact of life: Some people just don’t get along. And that’s OK unless petty disagreements or personality clashes crop up at work and threaten teamwork and productivity. You can’t make people like each other, but you can help them handle their differences and get on with doing their jobs. Here’s how. Set Expectations If your organization prides itself on its culture, employees may have a distorted idea of how they should feel about each other as people. Explain to employees that no one expects them to become bosom buddies with their co-workers, says Dana Smith, president and CEO of HR outsourcing firm Exalt Resources. It’s great when team members genuinely enjoy each other’s company, but employers’ minimum expectation should be that employees treat each other with respect and dignity. “This can be achieved, even if you don’t particularly like another person’s style or disagree with their mode of …

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