Three things employers should know about the new HSA bills

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Aug 06, 2018 @ 09:08

New bills could expand qualified expenses and contribution limits

In July, the House of Representatives passed two new bills affecting Health Savings Accounts. The new bills could expand the list of qualified medical expenditures, as well as nearly double contribution limits.

With adoption of high-deductible health plans still on the rise, the new regulations would expand the opportunity for employers to maximize the value of their benefits plans and support employees in opening accounts.

Here’s what employers should know about the new bill:

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Tags: HSAs, health savings accounts, employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest

Tips for optimizing an HSA benefits strategy

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 02, 2018 @ 08:05

Health Savings Account use continues to rise

A new study from the National Center For Health Statistics shows significant growth in the number of consumers with HSA-eligible plans and consumers with HSAs, though opportunities for increased adoption remain.

The study, which covered the first nine months of 2017, found that nearly half of privately insured consumers under the age of 65 have high-deductible, or HSA-eligible, health plans.

Eighteen percent of those enrollees also have a Health Savings Account, though a quarter of consumers with HSA-eligible plans do not yet have a Health Savings Account.

These percentages are on the rise. The percentage of people enrolled in HSA-eligible plans has increased almost 18 percent since 2010, and the percentage of people with HSAs has more than doubled since 2010.

Does your organization struggle with HSA adoption? Many do. Here are three challenges and solutions to an optimized HSA-eligible benefits strategy:

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Tags: HSAs, health savings accounts, employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest

Is your recruitment strategy tech-savvy?

Posted by Rebekah Michel on Wed, Apr 18, 2018 @ 08:04

Three ways to use HR tech to reach recruits where they are

U.S. employers have recruitment on the brain. With unemployment at near-historic lows, finding and keeping good talent is one of the top priorities for the HR department these days.

But is your organization’s recruitment strategy tech-savvy? Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, and finding new talent requires meeting them where they are—and that’s online.

Here are three tips for bringing your recruitment process online.

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Tags: HR, employers, hr software, hiring, employer digest, recruitment, HR tech, Small Biz Daily

Employers—here’s how to adopt HR tech

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 @ 09:04

Broker-supported benefits software is better than seeking a solution on your own

According to analytics firm Larocque Inc., venture capital investments in HR tech surpassed $1 billion in 2017, particularly focusing on talent acquisition, followed by HCM (human capital management) tools to manage core HR functions.

These tools include benefits, time tracking, applicant tracking and more.

The takeaway is that small and mid-sized employers are on the cusp of a huge move to administer HR and benefits online.

But how do you know which type of solution is right for your organization, and where can you find the right solution?

The first place to start is by asking your broker what solutions they can provide or recommend. Many brokers nationwide license software tools to streamline benefits and HR administration. Bernard Health clients have access to BerniePortal, an all-in-one benefits and HR platform.

There are a few benefits of a broker-supported platform:

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, employers, solutions for employers, health insurance small employers, employer plans, broker, employer digest, HR tech

UnitedHealthcare to share drug rebates with consumers

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Mar 14, 2018 @ 09:03

Industry responds to growing consumer frustration

UnitedHealthcare announced this week it will begin sharing the rebates it receives from drug companies with consumers next year.

According to UnitedHealthcare, the savings will apply to plan participants who are filling a prescription for a drug where the manufacturer provides a rebate. The savings from rebates will be provided at the time of sale to reduce members’ out-of-pocket costs.

Currently, UnitedHealthcare keeps those rebates, using them to “keep premiums lower for the benefit of all member and customers,” rather than distributed to individual consumers.

Manufacturers do not provide rebates for every drug, but for those that do, the expanded pharmacy discounts will begin for UnitedHealthcare plan members January 1, 2019.

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Tags: employers, health insurance small employers, UnitedHealthcare, employer digest, employee benefit adviser, drug rebates

How to help employees file taxes with an HSA

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Mar 09, 2018 @ 08:03

What employees need to know

Filing taxes with a Health Savings Account can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are tips to share with employees about how to file taxes with an HSA.

As you gather all the necessary paperwork to file your taxes, here are three forms you’ll need to have on hand:

Year End Status Filing Report
This report shows account activity for the previous calendar year, and is not an official tax document.

IRS Form 1099-SA
This report provides you with ‘distributions made,’ or where you spent HSA dollars during the tax year.

IRS Form 5498-SA
This form provides you with the contributions you made to your HSA during the tax year.

These three forms are necessary to complete the IRS Form 8899 on your taxes. Typically, these are sent to you from the HSA administrator, such as HSA Bank.

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Tags: HSA, HSA taxes, health savings accounts, HR, employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employee benefit adviser

Tax bill reduces HSA contribution limits

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Mar 07, 2018 @ 07:03

What employees need to know

The IRS published information this week describing changes to the contribution limits for family health savings accounts due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The new limit will not affect individual consumers with self-only coverage, but the HSA contribution limit for family coverage has been reduced to $6,850 from $6,900.

What does this mean for employers and employees?

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Tags: HSA, HSA taxes, health savings accounts, HR, employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employee benefit adviser

Higher employer healthcare costs driven by price increases

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 @ 07:02

Costs rising while utilization is unchanged

Spending per privately insured person grew by 4.6 percent in 2016, driven by price increases for care, according to a new report by the Health Cost Institute.

The report found that utilization remained unchanged or actually declined, both year over year as well as between 2012 and 2016.

Because utilization was unchanged, the spending growth was driven almost entirely by price increases, the report said.

This presents both a challenge and opportunity to employers. It does raise questions around the efficacy of cost-containment efforts focused on utilization, including wellness programs and shifting additional cost responsibility to employees.

However, it does suggest that efforts focused on improving price transparency and helping consumers find lower-cost sites of care may be more effective in bending the cost curve.

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Tags: BerniePortal, employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, benefits administration, employee benefit adviser, health insurance costs, HR tech

HR tech is driving productivity—don’t get left behind

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Feb 23, 2018 @ 08:02

How tech reduces the burden of HR

HR tech is increasingly important to workforce productivity. According to a study by Randstad Sourceright, 65 percent of organizations listed it as a top-cited influencer, among a dozen market factors.

There are two key ways HR tech drives workforce productivity.

The first is by reducing the administrative burden of HR. From onboarding to benefits administration, traditional HR processes have been conducted on paper, leading to inefficiencies and error.

By adopting a platform, organizations are able to streamline HR, freeing up valuable time.

This allows the HR department to operate more strategically, and refocus on high-impact training and development activities, which in turn lead to a more productive and capable workforce.

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Tags: employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employee benefit adviser, HR tech, HRIS

Is Obamacare repeal over?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Feb 12, 2018 @ 07:02

Repeal train slows, but what’s next?

Is the GOP giving up on Obamacare? Healthcare stakeholders and political news entities are suggesting as much. Forbes reports “insurer profits rise as Trump waves white flag on Obamacare,” noting the President mentioned Obamacare only once during his State of the Union address.

Politico reported there were no discussions of repeal and replace at a recent House and Senate joint retreat, and BenefitsPro said Republican leaders in the House and the Senate see a lot of risk and little reward in trying repeal again.

While hardly anything is certain when it comes to U.S. healthcare policy, if the GOP does move on to new priorities in 2018, where does that leave brokers and employers?

Here are three things employers should consider.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, obamacare, aca, employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest, employee benefit adviser, repeal and replace

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