What Are the Benefits of a High Deductible Health Plan?

Benefits, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Insurance, Health Care Cost

The medical insurance landscape looks a lot different today than it did two decades ago. At one point in time, quality, employer-backed medical insurance was a given. However, with the persistent rise in healthcare costs since the early 2000s, employers have had to reassess health insurance plans and determine what makes the most sense for both the business and employees. In some instances, employers have had to make the tough decision to cut back on the health insurance benefits offered.

by Chris Freitas

HMO vs PPO Insurance Plans: What’s the Difference?

Benefits, Compliance, Employee Illness/Injury, Government Shutdown, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Insurance, Law, Health Care Cost

Health insurance is an essential benefit that everyone needs. Medical bills are one of the top reasons individuals file for bankruptcy in the United States. The cost of healthcare is also one of the top stressors for Americans.

Health insurance provides financial security for illnesses, accidents, and injuries. Without medical insurance, individuals are often faced with letting their overall health go unchecked or face mounds of debt due to medical bills accumulated from catastrophic events or chronic illness.

by Chris Freitas

Business Interruption Insurance and COVID-19

Benefits, Compliance, Employee Illness/Injury, Government Shutdown, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Insurance, Law, Health Care Cost

Owning and operating a business requires the purchase of insurance to mitigate risks associated with potential losses. Examples of essential business policies are property insurance, professional liability insurance, and commercial auto insurance. However, another necessary insurance policy many business owners overlook is business interruption insurance.

Business interruption insurance helps a business stay afloat if a temporary closure occurs due to covered perils. Without business interruption insurance, a company forced to close temporarily due to something like a fire or a hurricane would face dealing with income losses out of pocket. Many small businesses do not have the financial resources available to support payroll and other operating expenses when there is a loss of income due to forced closure.

by Chris Freitas

Construction Liability Insurance vs. Builders Risk Insurance

Benefits, Employee Illness/Injury, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Insurance, Law, Health Care Cost

For those who are in the construction business, there are certain insurance policies you need to carry to protect your project and business. Without the right coverage level, companies could face a substantial loss due to potential lawsuits or damages.

Construction liability insurance and builders risk insurance are two essential insurance policies for every construction project. Though many think these two types of insurance policies are interchangeable, that is not the case. Each covers and excludes different risks and damages, as outlined below.

by Chris Freitas

In Network vs Out of Network Providers

Benefits, Benefits Plans, Employee Benefits, FSA, Group Health, Health Insurance, Health Plans, Healthcare, Insurance, Open Enrollment, HDHPs, Health Care Cost

Health insurance is essential to help cover medical costs. However, the patient can easily get confused when they need to determine which of their doctor visits and medical expenses will be covered versus those that won’t. It becomes even more confusing when the patient’s doctor is unexpectedly gone from their current health plan.

The question comes down to whether your doctors and other healthcare providers are in network vs out of network.

by Chris Freitas

6 Types of Retirement Plans: Differences and Overview

Employee Benefits, Family, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Retirement, Wellness, PTO, Health Care Cost

Financial wellness matters to employees. Unfortunately, however, a large portion of the workforce is not financially healthy. From an overload of debt to living paycheck to paycheck, individuals often struggle to maintain financial balance and make ends meet. When employees stress about finances, that stress doesn’t check itself at the office door when the employee arrives at work. Financial stress impacts an employee’s ability to do her job, which can lower productivity and eventually affect the bottom line.

Financial stress can harm mental and physical health. In the American Psychological Association’s 2019 Stress in America survey, 60% of respondents reported money as a significant stressor, which has been recorded at a similar level for the past few years. In a Bank of America Merrill Lynch report, 40% of employees said they spent three or more hours dealing with personal finances weekly, and 56% of employees revealed that they experience financial stress. Money management and financial stress are also cited as top reasons why many married couples file for divorce. These stats partly indicate why so many employees seek out employers that have a well-rounded benefits package with some type of retirement savings plan.  

by Chris Freitas

5 Benefits of Paid Parental Leave

Employee Benefits, Family, FMLA, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Wellness, Leave of Absence, PTO, Health Care Cost

Approximately 93% of fathers and 72% of mothers make up the U.S. workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because many of the men and women who are not currently parents will be at some point, family-friendly benefits are essential to offer as part of an organization’s employee value proposition.

However, in 2018, only 17% of workers had access to paid family leave, leaving approximately  80% of American workers without paid family leave. Further, 93% of low-wage workers who are in the bottom quarter of wage earners have no access to paid family leave, and 94% of part-time workers have no access to paid family leave. Almost all of the 193 countries in the United Nations offer paid parental leave to its citizens; the United States is one of the rare exceptions. The United States is also the only country out of the 41 in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the European Union that does not mandate some level of parental leave benefits for employees.   

by Chris Freitas

What Is a Comprehensive Benefits Package?

Employee Benefits, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Health Care Cost

Employee benefits matter. They affect work productivity, employee retention, morale, health, and your ability to attract and hire candidates. In the 2018 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) job satisfaction and engagement survey, 92% of employees surveyed indicated that employee benefits were linked to their overall job satisfaction. Almost one-third of the employees noted that their current benefits package was one reason why they would possibly look for another position in the upcoming 12 months.

Indeed, compensation is a key factor when candidates are considering different job offers. Many candidates, however, will take a job with lower pay if it has a comprehensive, high-quality benefits package.

by Chris Freitas

The Importance of Goal Setting for New Hires

Employee Benefits, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Health Care Cost

Goal setting is important for employees at any level within an organization, and it is the responsibility of leadership and managers to ensure that they work with employees to set goals on a regular basis. Goals provide the road map of where an employee wants to go in his or her position, which should also align with what are the organization’s expectations of the employee.

Further, goal setting engages employees in their short- and long-term success, as well as the short- and long-term success of the company. Therefore, assuming that the employee is actively achieving goals that align with work expectations, goal setting increases productivity. Goal setting also boosts employee engagement, which ties to employee well-being and morale.

Formal goal setting, such as during the annual performance review process, provides the necessary legal documentation for performance improvement plans and performance-related terminations. Also, referring back to documented goals provides performance markers for managers and employees to discuss, as well as criteria to be met for any bonuses or pay tied to performance.

by Chris Freitas

How to Handle a Change in Benefits for Your Employees

Employee Benefits, Health Care, HR, Human Resources, Insurance, Health Care Cost

It’s no secret that benefits are important to employees. An Aflac employee overview survey showed that 60% of workers would accept a job with better benefits, even if the pay was lower. Another study by Fractl showed similar results, with 88% of workers saying that they would consider a lower-paying job over a higher-paying one if the health benefits were better.

In a 2018 Clutch survey, 14% of employees surveyed said that they would like their employer to offer different benefits altogether, and 52% said that they would like their employer to increase the level of a benefit they already had. A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) job satisfaction and engagement survey reported that 92% of employees believed that employee benefits were important to overall job satisfaction.

Organizations that offer robust benefits programs are more likely to attract and retain top talent. And since benefits are also linked to job satisfaction, it implies that benefits are also linked to increased employee morale, well-being, and productivity.

by Chris Freitas