The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the federal poverty level (FPL) guidelines for 2017. Individuals whose household income falls between 100 and 400 percent of the FPL may be eligible for a premium tax subsidy that can lower their health insurance cost. What Is the Federal Poverty Level? Also known as “poverty guidelines,” the FPL is used to measure a household’s poverty status. Adjusted each year for inflation, the FPL can help determine if a family qualifies for certain government benefits, such as Medicaid, food stamps, or funds for education.
The year is still young, but a survey conducted at the close of 2016 indicates that small business owners are confident about growth in 2017. According to data gathered by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), optimism among small business owners increased by 7.4 points in December 2016—the biggest single jump since 1980 and the highest surge since 2004.
It seems that not a day goes by without Obamacare making headlines. As the new Republican administration gets settled, it’s an understatement to say that the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is uncertain. But just how many people take advantage of Obamacare? How many Americans will be affected by an ACA repeal or overhaul?
Studies show that employee turnover can be one of the biggest costs for businesses. On average, businesses must spent the equivalent of six to nine months of an employee’s salary to locate and train their replacement. For a worker who earned $60,000 annually, this means a company must shell out up to $45,000 simply to get another person in the door—and that’s before the company has spent a dime on the new employee’s salary. Considering the high cost of replacing and retraining, it makes sense for businesses to think about why employees leave in the first place—and to focus their efforts on employee retention rather than making counteroffers when employees threaten to move on.
As baby boomers move into their retirement years, younger generations will continue to step into their shoes in the workplace. According to a Pew Research Center report, millennials—defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as those between the ages of 18 and 34—have now overtaken baby boomers as the country’s largest living generation. For businesses, these generational shifts mean making adjustments to the benefits they offer. Businesses interested in employee retention have found themselves faced with a younger workforce in search of different types of benefits than those sought after by their parents and grandparents.
For many small businesses, employee retention efforts include offering comprehensive health insurance benefits. However, rising health costs have caused some businesses to cut certain aspects of their health-related coverage, including spousal benefits.
According to the World Health Organization, the average person spends one-third of their life at work. With so much of our time unfolding in the workplace, it makes sense that we should all strive to live healthier lives, whether we’re on or off the clock. Increasingly, companies across the board are recognizing the importance of supporting employee wellness in their workforce, with many implementing programs that promote overall health. Such programs can boost productivity, improve employee retention, and create a more positive working environment.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has added some additional paperwork to the tax-filing process. Employers offering small business health insurance are required to provide forms to both employees and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Here is an overview of forms required from employers, as well as which forms employees can expect to receive.
Everyday I talk to employers, agents, or other financial professionals who ask me questions about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and how they function with Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and insurance policies. See my earlier post "The difference between HRAs and HSAs" for appropriate background. A common question I receive is "Can an employee have an HRA and HSA at the same time?" The answer is: "Absolutely, yes. And they should!"
The new year will undoubtedly bring many changes, including new opportunities for businesses to tap into what their employees are looking for when it comes to benefits. The 14th Annual U.S. Employee Benefit Trends Study from MetLife gives businesses an excellent road map for spotting trending issues that employees have with their benefits packages. Enrollment is one such area—specifically, the study found a link between low enrollment in benefit programs, such as small business health insurance plans, and employees’ understanding of how these benefits work.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website is general in nature and does not apply to any specific U.S. state except where noted. Health insurance regulations differ in each state. See a licensed agent for detailed information on your state. Zane Benefits, Inc. does not sell health insurance.