Measles Outbreaks: Easily Preventable Yet Breaking Records

More than 700 people across the U.S. have been infected by measles outbreaks this year. That’s the highest total number of cases since the disease was declared eliminated in the U.S. almost 20 years ago, and it’s only spring. These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel,… Read more »

Benchmarking Your Company’s Employee Benefits Plan

The employee benefits plan is changing. Enrollment in a high-deductible health plan is on the rise and PPOs are going away.

Enrollment in high-deductible health plans with a health savings account is on the rise and employers are increasingly dropping preferred provider organizations as an option in their health plans. Those are two of the key findings in the just-out 2019 Employee Benefits Benchmark Survey, which is designed to gauge how employers are responding to continually… Read more »

What Employers Can Do to Address the Opioid Crisis

Employers say that, because of the national opioid crisis, they’re seeing lower productivity, higher health care costs and fewer qualified applicants.

The National Safety Council recently released its annual report on the odds of dying, and it includes one shocking statistic: People are now more likely to die from an opioid overdose than from a vehicle crash. Given that finding, it should come as no surprise that, according to the National Business Group on Health, 80… Read more »

Democrats, Republicans Take Aim at Rising Drug Prices

Consensus and compromise aren’t common in Washington, D.C., nowadays, but there seems to be at least some hint of both in a few bills aimed at taking a bite out of surging prescription drug prices. According to Kaiser Health News, here are some of the ideas either introduced in legislation or that lawmakers’ offices confirmed… Read more »

9 Ways to Lower Your Prescription Drug Costs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year took a series of steps to help President Trump live up to his promise to lower drug prices. That included proposals to require insurers to list prices in television ads and a ban on so-called “gag clauses” preventing pharmacists from telling patients when a lower-cost… Read more »

401(k) Contribution Limits Will be Higher in 2019

Participants in 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement accounts will see their annual contribution cap raised from $18,500 to $19,000 in 2019, according to just-announced Internal Revenue Service limits.

There’s good news for anyone looking to save more for their retirement: Participants in 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement accounts will see their annual contribution cap raised from $18,500 to $19,000 in 2019, according to just-announced Internal Revenue Service limits. The new limit will also apply to 403(b), Thrift Savings and most 457 retirement… Read more »

Checklists, Tips to Make Open Enrollment a Bit Easier

open enrollment season tips

Open enrollment season is upon us, that period each year when employees can make changes in their existing health plans. Unfortunately, for too many HR managers, it’s one of the most stressful times of the year. In part, that may be because they haven’t had time to plan adequately. To help, here’s a checklist and… Read more »

HIPAA Audits Reveal Compliance Gaps

hipaa audits

The Department of Health and Human Services has been auditing healthcare entities and others to evaluate whether they’re in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA. Typically, when federal health data privacy laws come up, the discussion is focused on a hospital or a medical group where a breach or violation… Read more »