changing workforce dynamics

BenefitsPRO Features DataPath CMO on 2024 Benefit Plans

In 2024, perceived coverage gaps, flexibility, and affordability receive more attention as companies weigh prioritizing value versus shifting costs.  November 27, 2023 By Bo Armstrong Originally posted on For 2024, brokers and TPAs will be well served to focus strongly on options that add significant value. In its recently released Survey on Health and Benefits Strategies for 2024, Mercer cited three key themes emerging from conversations with leadership from more than 700 organizations of varying

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consumer directed healthcare

The Value of a Consumer Directed Healthcare Account

View the infographic below to discover the value of consumer-directed healthcare accounts. The graphic features an overview of HSAs, HRAs, and FSAs, along with other helpful information. What is a Consumer Directed Healthcare Account? A consumer-directed healthcare account is a type of medical savings account that: CDH Account Types 1. Health Savings Account (HSA) The participant owns the HSA, which acts like a regular bank account. Money deposited into the account pays for eligible healthcare

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8 questions

8 Employee Questions that Build Effective Benefits

Benefits programs help companies to attract and retain talented employees. They can also improve workforce health and engagement. But with four generations (perhaps even five) in today’s labor force, putting together a well-crafted plan that meets the needs of all employees can seem nearly impossible. Baby Boomers nearing retirement have very different benefit needs than Gen Z, who are just starting their careers. Millennials reaching their prime earning years will have different needs as well. With the rising cost

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benefit options 2024

Newer Benefits Options for 2024

Employer benefits have changed over the centuries to meet employees’ changing needs. While group healthcare is still standard, there are newer benefits that TPAs can offer in 2024 that may better serve the needs of both employers and employees. Health Reimbursement Arrangements Group Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) have been around for some time. The IRS first acknowledged them in 2002 to reimburse qualified healthcare costs. HRAs now include three additional types covering qualified insurance premiums and related

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Attract and Retain Millennials

Benefits That Attract and Retain Millennials

This is the third in a four-part series on building benefits packages to resonate with the diverse generations in today’s workforce. Today, we focus on effective strategies and engagement recommendations for Millennials. Generation Y, more commonly called Millennials, were born between 1981 and 1996. Millennials experienced rapid technological changes and grew up in an era of Microsoft and Apple, a 24-hour news cycle, and the rise of social media. In their formative years, they witnessed

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Attract and Retain Generation X

Benefits That Attract and Retain Generation X

This is the second in a four-part series on building benefits packages to resonate with the different generations. This article focuses on effective strategies for Generation X, including engagement recommendations.  Born between 1965 and 1980, Generation Xers are known for an entrepreneurial mindset, working hard, and playing hard. As enrollment season nears, let’s review this generation’s motivations, which benefits they find most important, and how they learn and communicate. The Gen X Profile Gen Xers

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What is the PCORI fee?

Two significant drivers in healthcare cost escalation have always been the lack of consumer knowledge about medical procedure cost and the lack of patient engagement in healthcare decisions. Thanks to healthcare consumerism, this is starting to change. Healthcare consumerism is a movement to improve the quality of healthcare services while making delivery more efficient and cost-effective. It aims to accomplish this goal by putting purchasing power and decision-making in the hands of consumers. Agencies providing resources

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rising costs

5 Ways to Control Rising Benefit Costs

Healthcare costs in America have risen significantly since the 1970s, leading many employers to expect modest yearly cost increases in the benefits they offer. However, the combination of current economic conditions, increased costs related to managing chronic conditions, and an aging population are leading to less manageable increases for many employers. Here are five ways TPAs can help employers continue offering high-value benefits while working to control rising benefits costs. #1 Ask Participants What They Need

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hra hsa

HRA and HSA At the Same Time? Yes!

Healthcare spending accounts, such as Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), help individuals and families pay for medical expenses. They also provide more control over how and where to pay for those expenses. One frequently asked question is, “Can a person have an HRA and HSA simultaneously?”. The answer is yes; you can have an HRA and HSA simultaneously under specific circumstances. However, to understand the advantages of having both accounts, let’s first look

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healthcare consumerism

Healthcare Consumerism Continues to Rise

Healthcare consumerism is a movement to make healthcare services more efficient and cost-effective. It transforms an employer’s health benefit plan, putting the economic purchasing power and decision-making in participants’ hands. Consumerism aims to enable patients to become wholly involved in their healthcare decisions. What drives healthcare consumerism? Customers can access features, benefits, and cost comparisons in most industries to guide their purchasing decisions. In contrast, the healthcare industry presents many choices, contact points, and service

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COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Extended Again

On January 11, 2023, the COVID-19 National Public Health Emergency (PHE) was extended for 90 days. The PHE was scheduled to expire on April 11, 2023. Update: On January 31, 2023, the Biden Administration announced their intent to end the Public Health Emergency on May 11. Effects of the PHE Extension With the extension, the temporary rule changes regarding COBRA, HIPAA, and group health plans (including FSAs and HSAs) continue. (Click here for more detailed

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new year

New Year, New Benefits

Welcome to 2023! The new year brings a renewed focus on losing weight, staying healthy, and becoming financially healthier. Across the country, millions of us have set goals of increasing our health and wealth. However, inflation, supply chain issues, continued mental health challenges, and more can make tackling these goals even harder than usual. Financial Health Resolutions Many Americans are examining their spending and saving habits. Fidelity Investment found that when asked about financial concerns,

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What is an HRA?

HRA BasicsWhat is an HRA? Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are tax-advantaged arrangements that reimburse individuals for qualified healthcare costs. HRAs were first acknowledged by the IRS in 2002 as benefits that employers could offer current and former employees, including retirees.  Legislative and regulatory activity has since modified some of the rules about HRAs and created new types, including Group Benefit HRAs, Individual Coverage HRAs (ICHRAs), Qualified Small Employer HRAs (QSEHRAs), and Excepted Benefit HRAs (EBHRAs).FundingEmployers fund HRAs to reimburse

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Compliance Priorities for 2023

A new year is upon us, and with it, the end of many temporary, COVID-related regulatory and legislative provisions. Mercer’s U.S. Health Law and Policy team has selected the top healthcare compliance priorities for 2023. Below are highlights of 10 areas considered most likely to impact employee benefits plans. For more context and discussion, see the Mercer site and consult your qualified benefits counsel. Prescription Drugs In light of recent presidential directives, Congress and federal

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