Friday, 03/24/23

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Transamerica Reveals Workplace Benefits Forecast for 2026
Transamerica / Mar 22, 2023 / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Transamerica today unveiled predictions from workplace benefit professionals on a wide range of employee benefits issues looking toward 2026. Transamerica Prescience 2026 is the first in a series of ten polls and three discussion sessions being conducted over 12 months, each focusing on a particular aspect of employee benefits. Transamerica asked the panel about their expectations for employee financial wellness offerings. The results of the first poll presented in this report paint a positive picture for the future of workers' financial well-being.
By year-end 2026, these industry professionals foresee:

Retirement plan coverage in the under-100 employee market will have equaled coverage in the 100+ employee market.
Flexible benefits and total rewards programs will have grown in popularity to accommodate an increasingly diverse workforce.
Financial well-being benefits (e.g., mortgage or rent assistance, credit improvement) will be added, and more than 50% of employers will offer student loan repayment programs.
More than 40% of employers will offer an emergency savings fund mechanism.
More than two-thirds of employers will offer High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).
Nearly 40% of employers will offer gap insurance to help employees who lack the means to fund a Health Savings Account (HSA) which helps cover the risk of unexpected healthcare expenses.
Organizations that offer employment flexibility and mobility will have a competitive advantage in the race for talent.
The performance gap will widen between those employers able to offer the flexible total rewards program of the future and those who simply cannot.

New PeopleKeep Report Shows Small Businesses are Committed to QSEHRAs, Increasing Allowance Amounts and Expanding Offerings
The 2023 Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRA) Annual Report indicates the average monthly allowance offered by employers utilizing the health benefit has increased by almost 40%
March 23, 2023 / BUSINESS WIRE / / Read Article

PeopleKeep, the leader in personalized benefits for small to midsize organizations, released its sixth annual report on Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRA), showing that the average monthly allowance provided by employers offering QSHERAs through PeopleKeep has increased by almost 40% in the last four years, underscoring the growth and viability of the health benefit, an often-overlooked asset within the Affordable Care Act.

“The 21st Century Cures Act gave small employers a more affordable way to support coverage for their employees through the QSEHRA”

The QSEHRA is a formal, IRS-approved health benefit allowing small businesses with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees to offer a tax-free reimbursement to their employees in all family status categories for their health insurance premiums and other qualifying health expenses.

Other key findings from the report include the following:

The longer companies offer QSHERAs, the higher the allowance they offer—an average of $448.42 at six years compared to $396.53 at year one.
Companies with 1-4 employees have the largest allowance at $439 compared to larger companies with up to 49 employees.
The percentage of companies who enabled Employer-Sponsored Premium Reimbursement (ESPR)—a feature to allow the reimbursement of another employer’s Group Premiums so that employees can be reimbursed for premiums they, their spouse or eligible dependents have through another employer—reached 31% in 2022, an 8-point year-over-year increase.
The average monthly allowance offered by employers in 2022 rose to $412 from $402 in 2021—covering nearly all of an average lowest-cost self-only silver plan premium of $428 for a person age 40—as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Hormel’s New Employee Benefit: A $5M Onsite Child Care Center
Kathryn Mayer / SHRM / March 21, 2023 / / Read Article

Food processing giant Hormel started looking for child care facilities for its employees a few years ago, when the company noticed finding local child care was a problem for some of its workforce. But Hormel also ran into problems when it tried to find or recruit a center into its headquarters, reports said.

So now, the company is building its own. The company behind products like Spam and Jennie-O turkey will soon kick off construction on a $5 million child care center at its headquarters in Austin, Minn. It's expected to open next year.

The benefit announcement comes at a pivotal time for many working parents. Child care has long been a problem for many working parents, but the issue worsened during the pandemic as child care facilities and schools temporary shut down. As a result, many parents, notably women, exited the workforce or considered doing so. The exacerbated problem is causing some employers to roll out more benefits to help.

New Survey: Big Disconnect Between Benefits Workers Want and What Companies Offer
Most Employers Don’t Plan to Adjust Benefits This Year
March 22, 2023 / Source: Express Employment Professionals / GLOBE NEWSWIRE / / Read Article

Two-thirds of Canadian companies (66%) say it is impossible to offer all the benefits employees want, but the real issue may be that the benefits being offered by employers are not what jobseekers want, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll commissioned by Express Employment Professionals.

Flexibility remains in-demand, with jobseekers saying flexible work hours (64%), the ability to work remotely (56%) and a shortened work week (40%) are the benefits they want most. However, only a minority of employers currently offer flexible work hours (44%), the ability to work remotely (35%), and a shortened work week (22%).

Part of the desire for flexibility in work location and shortened work week comes from the increased cost of commuting, as nearly two-thirds of employed Canadians (63%) say they would quit their job if they could find something closer to home due to the high cost of commuting (e.g., gas prices, public transit fares).

Despite this strong desire by jobseekers for more work flexibility, the majority of companies expect benefits will remain the same in 2023 (62%). While some companies do plan to increase benefits this year (28%), they expect to mostly improve their traditional benefits and not the non-traditional benefits Canadian jobseekers clearly favour.

Flimp Releases New HR Digital Postcard Library with 50+ Employee Communication Templates
Flimp Communications / Mar 22, 2023 / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Flimp Communications, a leading provider of employee benefits and wellness communication solutions for employers, today announced the availability of its HR Digital Postcard Library. The new library contains over 50 pre-built templates on a range of common topics for employee education and communication. Due to their extraordinary engagement rates*, and in-depth viewer tracking, Flimp Digital Postcard campaigns have become a best practice solution for hundreds of companies, including dozens of the Fortune 500. They are resource rich, visually appealing, easy to use, measurable, and can be rolled out in a matter of days. The Digital Postcard Library provides a leg up for time-strapped HR leaders looking for a better way to engage, educate and empower employees.

Anthem Launches on TPA Stream Claims Data and Benefits Software Platform
TPA Stream / Mar 14, 2023 / PRNewswire / / Read Article

TPA Stream is pleased to announce that Anthem Patient Access APIs are now live within the TPA Stream platform. This means that the 43 million members on Anthem can get their out-of-pocket health expenses paid faster and more accurately when their third party administrator uses TPA Stream.

"We're so excited to have the Anthem Patient Access API live for our customers. We've supported claims harvesting for the Anthem group of carriers for years. Connecting directly via API improves the participant experience and enhances the deliverability and connectivity for the third party administrators working on reviewing and approving out-of-pocket claims for our members," Jacob Sheridan, CEO and co-founder of TPA Stream.

Bacteria in recalled eye drops linked to cases of vision loss
ABC 7 Chicago / March 22, 2023 / / Read Article

The death toll of an outbreak linked to contaminated recalled eye drops has risen and more people have lost their vision.

More than 10 different brands of artificial tears have been recalled. Most cases have been linked to EzriCare and Delsam Pharma eye drops, made by India-based Global Pharma Healthcare.

Tuesday, 03/21/23 - - Backed by 21 years of research, MetLife’s Employee Benefit Trends Study is the longest running report on trends in employee benefits and workforce dynamics.

Wednesday, 03/22/23 - CalPERS to pay $800 million settlement over claims it misled retirees on costs of long-term care insurance

Thursday, 03/23/23 - - The future of US employee healthcare benefits / McKinsey & Company

Friday, 03/17/23 - - Gympass Surpasses 250 Million Check-Ins as Employee Demand for Wellbeing Benefits Reaches Unprecedented Heights

Editorial Mission Statement: The goal of this publication is to provide readers a broad selection of what is being written about the insurance industry and related issues. Some articles may have a “tilt” towards a particular perspective one way or another. Inclusion in this newsletter is not an endorsement of any views or content; but report the various and differing views appearing in media.
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