Tuesday, 03/07/23

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Can’t Give Employees Raises? Add Benefits
Sarah Green Carmichael/ March 3, 2023/ Bloomberg / / Read Article

Despite fears of a slowdown, the labor market is still pretty tight. Most companies aren’t laying people off. They are more concerned about retaining the workers they have. But how? Inflationary pressures mean employees want raises, but employers might not want to grant pay increases in an uncertain economy.

Yet too often, companies overlook another way to boost employee retention and morale. Enhancements to benefits are often cheaper than across-the-board raises. There are usually also tax advantages both for employees and employers. Those that convince workers to stay are those that increase what academics call “employee embeddedness.” In other words, they entangle the employee in the organization in a way that makes it tough to escape, er, quit. While nap pods, on-site yoga and free food got a lot of attention during the tech boom, these sorts of perks are probably better for impressing potential recruits than retaining existing staff. And the most common benefits in the US are more pragmatic: paid vacation, health insurance, a retirement account.

What’s Working: How a Denver nonprofit is expanding the benefits of work
Tamara Chuang / Mar 4, 2023 / The Colorado Sun / / Read Article

Here’s a novel approach to employee benefits: Offer something workers may need right now, such as a small loan to pay off an unexpected bill. Or help them find a last-minute babysitter or longer-term affordable child care. Or just connect them to someone to talk to in order to get through a stressful day.

That’s the approach of WorkLife Partnership, a Denver nonprofit that’s been around for more than a decade and is eyeing a national expansion. Clients, which include Denver Health and Intermountain Healthcare, tend to employ front-line workers who could use that extra assist. The organization’s focus is on the things outside of work that stress out employees and aren’t part of a typical benefits package. About 44% of the folks they counsel have a financial concern but the type of benefit WorkLife provides varies from case to case.

Paid by employers, WorkLife offers individual support with its small team of “navigators,” who help employees problem-solve and deal with issues like a sudden rent hike (Consider a roommate?) or household budget management. Approximately 69% of workers counseled last year did not have $300 saved for an emergency.

Many Americans neglect to plan for long-term care
The cost of long-term care is projected to rise, from an average nursing home cost of $115,000 ...The cost of long-term care is projected to rise, from an average nursing home cost of $115,000 a year in 2023 to more than $155,000 a year within 10 years, and to $207,000 in 20 years.
By Toni King / LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL / March 2, 2023 / / Read Article

Dear Toni: My brother recently had to move out of his house into an assisted living facility because he broke his hip and is unable to live on his own. The monthly cost of the facility is about $4,500, and his adult children are having to help him financially.

Is it too late to buy him a long-term care policy? He is 69 and, except for his hip issue, his health is decent. — Leslie from Tyler, Texas

Dear Leslie: Because of his health issues, your brother will most likely not qualify for a long-term care policy. And he will have to spend down his retirement and savings before Medicaid will assist in paying for his assisted living/nursing home care.

We are noticing more long-term care issues because many people are waiting until they are retiring and past age 65 to apply for a traditional long-term care policy. By then, the premium is often unaffordable for their retirement budget, or they cannot qualify because of health issues.

Americans need to know that the cost of long-term care is projected to rise, from an average nursing home cost of $115,000 a year in 2023 to more than $155,000 a year within 10 years, and to $207,000 in 20 years.

Assisted living c osts less, with the 2023 average at $57,000 a year, projected to rise to $77,000 for 2033, and to $103,000 in 20 years.

Student Loan Debt Decision Could Spark the Need for More Employer Assistance
Kathryn Mayer / SHRM / March 1, 2023 / / Read Article

While the fate of Biden's plan is unknown, one thing is certain, industry insiders contend: The case puts a spotlight on the massive toll of student loan debt afflicting Americans, highlighting a need for additional support from employers. It's also likely that the Supreme Court case—no matter the outcome—will heighten interest in student loan repayment benefits.

"The nationwide conversation that this news has sparked is reigniting the push for workplace programs that help employees navigate their student loans, which are a massive financial burden on countless individuals," said Edward Gottfried, director of product at Betterment at Work, a New York City-based financial wellness provider. "This can take a few different forms, from educational resources to repayment tools that make it easy for workers to understand their debt and how to prioritize paying it down over specific time horizons, to benefits such as matching contribution programs or direct financial assistance."

9 best practices for onboarding new employees in 2023
Jordan Nottrodt, HR MORNING / March 2, 2023 / / Read Article

Effective onboarding is a vital piece of the hiring process. It helps new employees familiarize themselves with your company culture while providing them with the tools and resources they need to comfortably hit the ground running. So, what are the best practices for onboarding, and does onboarding really make a difference?

Employee disengagement is a real issue – one that’s only been made worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, employees who are not engaged or who are actively disengaged cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity – equal to 11% of the global GDP, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report. The more disengaged an employee is, the more likely they are to find work elsewhere, and the more lackluster your onboarding process, the less likely your new employees will ever become engaged.

Don’t allow this to happen. If you want to maximize company productivity and profit, reduce turnover and support employee wellness, a comprehensive and engaging onboarding strategy is a must. So, what does your current onboarding process look like? How do your team members feel about your onboarding process, and are they still ‘onboard’?

It may be time for an onboarding revamp. Let’s dig into the best practices for onboarding in 2023 so that you can set up each new hire for continued success.

1) Have everything prepared in advance
2) Preboard to build excitement
3) Don’t lead with the rules
4) Introduce team members based on relationships
5) Have a lunch plan built into the first day
6) Establish a shared definition of success
7) Build in time for questions
8) Schedule future one-on-one meetings
9) Enact everboarding – the latest onboarding trend

Transamerica Elevates Employee Benefits Experience Through Automation and Predictive Analytics
Transamerica / Mar 06, 2023 / PRNewswire / / Read Article

Transamerica announced today the introduction of ConnectedClaims SM, a suite of customizable services that makes it easier for employees to access their workplace supplemental insurance benefits. ConnectedClaims offers an automated and personal claims experience to help take the stress and guesswork out of filing a claim.

"Even employees who prepare for the unexpected can find it challenging to deal with claims when medical events occur," said Phil Eckman, President of Workplace Solutions for Transamerica. "With ConnectedClaims, we guide customers through the claims process and help them access the benefits they deserve however they prefer. At Transamerica, we continually look for ways to provide convenient and compassionate services when customers count on us most."

ConnectedClaims helps connect workers to their benefits with seven distinct pillars that simplify and speed up the claims experience:

FNZ launches transformative benefits package to drive diversity and support employees globally
FNZ / Mar 06, 2023 / PRNewswire / / Read Article

- FNZ's new global family leave benefits package is available to all employees and recruits worldwide and marks a significant step forward in the industry

- Primary and secondary caregivers are each entitled to 26 weeks of fully paid parental leave – including if both work at FNZ

- Employees are also entitled to up to eight weeks of fully paid bereavement leave, and up to two weeks emergency care leave per year

- With 6,400 employees across 30+ global locations, the new benefits package is a clear demonstration of FNZ's commitment to creating a culture for growth, and promoting an inclusive and diverse workforce across its global business

Tuesday, 02/28/23 - - Humana to exit employer insurance business to focus on government plans

Wednesday, 03/01/23 - Why Employers Prefer Employer-Sponsored Health Plans Over Exchanges

Thursday, 03/02/23 - - Optavise Annual Benefits Broker Survey: Employers Turn to Voluntary Benefits, Communications Support from Brokers to Rein in Healthcare Costs?

Friday, 03/03/23 - - Businessolver Benefits Insights Data Reveals Impact of Personalization on Benefits Engagement
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