eBRIEFS Masthead

May 2012


Featured Article

Despite the smorgasbord of new services, few employees use their employee assistance program, studies show.  The national average for utilization has hovered around 3 percent for years.  Click here to continue.
In This Issue
Employee Knowledge and Attitudes About Disability Insurance
The Thin Digital Line
Protect Your 401(k) Plan's Fiduciary
A Good Strategy for LTC Benefits
Risk Management Services Newsletter
Passengers Increase Change of Teen Driver Fatalities

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 Legislative/Regulatory Update

NJ Governor Vetoes State Health Insurance Exchange Legislation 


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday vetoed legislation, that would create a state health insurance exchange where insurers could provide coverage to individuals and small employers.  Click here to continue.

IRS Announces 2013 HSA Contribution Limits and HDHP Minimum Deductibles and Out-of-Pocket Maximums


The IRS has released the 2013 cost-of-living adjustments affecting HSAs and HDHPs. Each of the inflation-adjusted amounts-the HSA contribution limits, the HDHP minimum required deductibles, and the HDHP out-of-pocket maximums-will increase for 2013.  Click here to continue.

DOL Reports to Congress on Self-Insured Health Plans; Agencies Seek Information on Stop-Loss Coverage


As required by health care reform, the DOL has issued its second annual report to Congress about self-insured health plans and the financial status of employers that sponsor them.  Click here to continue.

EEOC Issues Guidance on Use of Criminal Background Checks


The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued its long-anticipated Enforcement Guidance on employer use of arrest and conviction records in making employment decisions.  Click here to continue.


 Health Care Reform

Essential Health Benefit Packages Under Health Care Reform Have Employers Wary


Employers and consumer groups are tracking state efforts to craft insurance benefit packages for individuals and small businesses as required under the federal health care reform law. The scope and cost of these benefit packages could have ramifications for years to come, and employers are seeking flexibility in their design.  Click here to continue. 



 Benefit Trends

Employee Knowledge and Attitudes about Employer-Provided Disability Insurance


Employer-provided disability insurance, along with other forms of insurance such as workers' compensation and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), provide financial protection to employees unable to work because of injury or illness.  Click here to continue.

Winning the Health Trend Battle with Carrots and Sticks


In recent years, more businesses are recognizing that employee health isn't just a personal issue, it's a

business issue that has a significant impact on health care costs, productivity, and the bottom line. As a result, employers are turning to more aggressive approaches to improve the health of their employees.  Click here to continue.

The Employer's Evolving Role in Health Care Benefits


As the nation awaits a Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of insurance mandates within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), employers continue to reshape employer-sponsored health benefits out of necessity.  Click here to continue.


 HR and Payroll Issues

The Thin Digital Line


There are yet more wrinkles in the impact of social media on employers, as recent lawsuits seek to establish the boundary between employer and employee ownership of Twitter accounts and contacts. It may be an ever-moving target, but HR leaders need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing policies and procedures governing social-media use.  Click here to continue.

DOL Launches Campaign to Protect Workers from Heat Related Illnesses


Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis announced a national outreach initiative by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to educate workers and their employers about the hazards of working outdoors in the heat and steps needed to prevent heat-related illnesses.  Click here to continue.

Smart Employers Accommodate Needs of Parents in the Workplace


May and June always put a spotlight on parents, as we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day. Many of our co-workers are parents, and we all realize that although their children don't generally come to work with them, they are still parents during their work-days.  Our policies, practices and work-place culture matter to these employees.  Click here to continue.


 Retirement Plans

How to Protect Your 401(k) Plan's Fiduciary Under New Regulations

You may not have given much thought to your company's 401(k) plan since establishing it years ago. And it is likely that you have a third party service provider, such as a bank or financial institution, doing the administrative work. But a new ruling by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) - which goes into effect July 1 - is forcing in-house retirement plan administrators to stand up and take notice. Click here to continue.

Uncle Sam Gives Workplace Roths a Big Push


Roth workplace accounts, which have grown more popular in recent years, are about to get a shot in the arm from Uncle Sam. This week the federal government started rolling out a Roth option to 3.3 million employees who participate in its main retirement program.  Click here to continue.

Retirement Savings Tax Breaks Safe-for Now
Tax breaks for retirement savings plans emerged unscathed from a House hearing Tuesday that focused on whether their favorable treatment should be curbed as part of comprehensive tax reform.  Click here to continue.

 Financial Services

A Good Strategy for Long Term Care Benefits 


Long-term-care coverage offers some difficult challenges for employers -- and for insurance companies as well. Even though LTC plan designs are sorely in need of an overhaul, HR leaders must find a way to give their workers access to a benefit that can offer the financial assistance many employees will require. Click here to continue.


 Risk Management

Bollinger's Risk Management Services Newsletter


Click here to read the most recent issue.

Protect Your Company's Website from Malware


In 2010, Todd Christopher's 25-employee photography business landed a choice gig snapping shots of prominent locals at a swanky fundraiser. But when attendees went online the next day to search for their portraits, they got security warnings from their Internet browsers stating that Christopher's site had been blacklisted, or blocked due to malware, which is malicious software put on a site without the owner's consent.  Click here to continue.

Be Wary of Running Background Checks


Running criminal background checks on future employees is smart business. However, be aware of federal regulations governing such checks before you jump into the pool. They may come back to bite you later.  Click here to continue.


 Personal Lines

Passengers Increase Chance of Teen Driver Fatalities, AAA Study Finds


For generations, teenagers have been the most dangerous drivers on the road, crashing almost four times more often that older drivers. A study released recently quantifies for the first time in a decade how their risk of a fatal crash multiplies when they have other teenagers in the car.  Click here to continue

Watch Out for RV Coverage Gaps


Recreational vehicle (RV) owners expect to hit the road in big numbers this summer, despite higher gas prices. According to a new survey conducted by the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, 64 percent of RV owners intend to use their RVs more this summer than they did last year.  Click here to continue.