How to Pick the Right Voluntary Benefits for Your Lifestyle

A recent survey from Towers Watson says more than 90 percent of employers expect voluntary benefits to be an important part of their value proposition to employees in the next three to five years, compared with 59 percent who said the same in 2013. As a result, chances are you’ll see an increase in the scope of voluntary benefits your employer offers. Voluntary benefits can be a great way to get coverage for a variety of issues at a reasonable cost, but it can be a challenge to determine which ones are right for you. Here’s how. Consider Your Needs Your voluntary benefits needs will rely on factors such as life stage, current income, plans for the future and dependents. Take stock of what’s at risk and what could be better served by purchasing voluntary benefits options. Entry-level workers, for example, are more likely to be single and have no …

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7 Essential Health Insurance Terms Everyone Should Know

Health insurance is full of its own lingo — and that can make bills and descriptions of benefits hard to understand. Learning the common terms that your insurance company might use is an important part of taking charge of your coverage. These terms are some of the most common — and commonly misunderstood — that you might encounter. 1. Deductible This is one of the most important terms, says Robin Solomon, a partner at Ivins, Phillips & Barker. “This is the amount you will pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in at all,” she says. For example, if you have a $2,000 deductible, then your insurance will not pay a dollar until you reach $2,001 in expenses. As more employers switch to high-deductible plans, it’s vital to understand this term. 2. Copay The copay is the amount you have to pay for a particular service, says Jeffrey Koontz, …

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“It takes a village…to run a successful corporate wellness program”

It takes a village…to run a successful corporate wellness program

The popular Nigerian proverb of “It takes a whole village to raise a child” is often paraphrased, however, the meaning is clear. The essential meaning is that child upbringing is a communal effort. The same philosophy holds true when implementing and executing a wellness program. Much like the roles of a mother, father, aunt, uncle and even grandparents when raising a child, employers should incorporate specific roles and responsibilities when considering a deployment of a wellness program to its employees. Prior to moving forward with launching a wellness program, it is in the best interests of any employer to select employees (and potentially even outside resources) to come together and serve on a wellness committee. With any launch of a major initiative, proper leadership and consistent fostering is necessary to make sure the program is running as planned. A wellness committee should consider (but not be limited to) representatives from …

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How Benefits Have Changed in 20 Years

How Benefits Have Changed in 20 Years

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) first began annual surveys of HR professionals back in l996 to find out what benefits organizations offer employees. To see how employee perks have evolved over time, the latest SHRM Employee Benefits Report, which queried almost 3,500 HR pros about 300 benefits, compared the 2016 findings with 1996 data and also to information collected in the past 5 years. “The number of benefits employers are offering is consistent with recent years,” said Evren Esen, director of survey programs at SHRM. “However, employers are always looking for new and innovative benefits that are cost-effective and best fit their workforce.” Employers have increased and decreased benefits strategically due to economic and technological changes, as well as to the shifting concerns of workers. For example, the SHRM report notes organizations are offering more telecommuting and flexible schedule options in response to employees, especially Millennials, who want …

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3 Ways to Give Your Benefits Website a Fresh Look

3 Ways to Give Your Benefits Website a Fresh Look

You don’t need a huge budget to give your website a new look. With a little creativity, and some basic knowledge of how your site functions, you can make changes that can both provide employees with the content they need and give the site a fresh feel. Here are three cost-effective things you can do to give your site a mini-revamp. 1. Reorganize Your Sitemap Every benefit is important, yes. However, every benefit does not deserve its own page. If your sections are beginning to feel bloated with sub-sections, it’s time to change how your pages are organized and linked to each other. You don’t want employees to have to sift through your menu with the same intensity they would sift through library index cards. Start your reorganization by looking for pages that can merge. You can use program data or Google Analytics to help you determine which pages (and …

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