Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Monthly Newsletter November 2019

Posted by on November 6, 2019 in Newsletters

Dear Valued Clients and Associates,

With January rates finally available from the carriers, benefit strategy meetings are in full swing between employers and their brokers.

Offering multiple medical plans coupled with ancillary and voluntary benefits may give you the edge in attracting and retaining top talent. To accomplish this, a smart employer contribution strategy is critical for your bottom line and we can help you find the balance!

We’d love to learn about what is important to you and your organization and help you reach your benefit goals. If you’re open to a chat, give me a call today 732-258-1032.

Here is your November 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!

All the best to your success,
Brandi Bowers



Employers Are Scaling Back Their Dependence On High-Deductible Health Plans

By: Michelle Andrews for khn.org

Everything old is new again. As open enrollment gets underway for next year’s job-based health insurance coverage, some employees are seeing traditional plans offered alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been their only choice in the past.

Some employers say that, in a tight labor market, offering a more generous plan with a deductible that’s less than four figures can be an attractive recruitment tool. Plus, a more traditional plan may appeal to workers who want more predictable out-of-pocket costs, even if the premium is a bit higher.

Read More Here



Using Voluntary Benefits to Entice Millennial Talent

Millennials consistently cite elements like work-life balance and benefits packages as huge factors when considering employers. Salary, it seems, comes secondary in many cases.

You can capitalize on this market shift by offering more imaginative and comprehensive perks to reel in millennial talent. A good place to start is with voluntary benefits. Here are some voluntary benefits to consider:

  • Pet insurance
  • Student loan repayment
  • Identity theft insurance
  • Elder care
  • On-site daycare

Offering even a few voluntary perks can signal to millennials that you’re taking their wants seriously and get them through the door.



The Rut is on! Beware of Deer on the Roads

Drivers are urged to use extra caution and watch for white-tailed deer as deer mating season gets under way and darkness arrives earlier. For the full article, click here.



Roundup of Selected State Health Developments —Third-Quarter 2019


Employer reporting for state or local individual health coverage mandates drew regulatory action in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Washington, DC, during the third quarter of 2019.

Changes to several states’ employment laws have benefit implications, as do legal developments that affect domestic partnerships and common-law marriages in California and South Carolina.

Here are highlights of some key state health, leave and related employment activity in Q3 2019.

Read More Here



DOL Issues New Salary Limits for Overtime Exemptions

On Sept. 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a new final rule that updates the salary thresholds that some individuals must meet in order to qualify for a minimum wage and overtime exemption under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The final rule becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2020.

2019 Overtime Final Rule

The final rule affects the exemptions for executive, administrative and professional (EAP) employees, highly compensated employees (HCEs), employees in the motion picture industry and individuals who work in various U.S. territories.

The final rule’s salary levels differ from both the 2016 and 2019 proposed levels. For 2020, the final rule EAP and HCE salary exemptions are as follows:

  • Standard salary level: $35,568 per year ($684 per week)
  • HCEs: $107,432 per year

The DOL intends to update the standard salary and HCE total annual compensation levels more regularly in the future through notice-and-comment rulemaking.

Employer Action Steps

To prepare for the final rule’s Jan. 1, 2020 effective date, employers should:

  • Determine which currently exempt employees have salaries below the new threshold.
  • Decide whether to increase salaries for these individuals or reclassify them as nonexempt employees.



Medicare Open Enrollment 2020: Skipping This Step, or Rushing Through, Could Cost You


About 60 million Medicare recipients have the chance to change their coverage during the health care service’s annual open enrollment season, which opened on October 15 and closes on December 7. But research indicates fewer than 4 in 10 seniors review their Medicare plan each year to find the best deal.

Read More Here

Curious if there might be a better Medicare plan available for you? Need help navigating Medicare? Give us a call or send us an email



Women Shocked by Cost of Mammograms: “I Wasn’t Expecting a Bill at All”


More than 30 million women get mammograms a year. And while many thought they were free and preventative, the ended up with big bills.

Read More Here



The Pros and Cons of Incentive Pay

It’s no secret that top talent expects to be paid top dollar. According to PayScale, 25% of employees said that compensation was their main motivation for quitting a job. Moreover, compensation is consistently reported as one of the top motivators for employees.

That’s where incentive pay can be beneficial. Incentive pay is a type of compensation awarded to employees for results achieved. One common example of incentive pay is commission, where sales professionals are paid a proportion of each sale they make.

Incentive pay programs can be designed in a variety of ways, but their ultimate goal is to encourage and reward employees for working hard and delivering results.

Incentive Pay Advantages

With incentive pay, employees who work hard to produce results will receive the compensation. As such, employees will be motivated to deliver results and go above and beyond in hopes of receiving incentive pay. Typically, productivity and employee engagement will increase too.

Incentive Pay Drawbacks

With incentive pay programs, there’s a risk for increased competition among employees that can lead to resentment and a cutthroat workplace culture. Additionally, as employees push themselves in hopes of receiving incentive pay, they may be putting themselves at risk of burnout.



Frequent Drinking Riskier For Your Heart Than Binge Drinking, Study Finds

By Robert Glatter for forbes.com

It turns out that how often you drink affects the chances of developing an irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation (AFib) more than the amount or volume of alcohol consumed, according to the findings of a new study. The translation: having one to two drinks daily increases a person’s risk of developing Afib more than binge drinking on weekends.

To learn more click here



Don’t Let Painful Joints Make You Sedentary

By Kristen Gerencher for forbes.com

Exercise is essential for good health and quality of life, and that’s generally true even if your joints are stiff from arthritis.
Whether they’re drop-in classes or extended programs, a growing number of fitness offerings are targeting a population that may think it can’t exercise — even though it can and should.

To read more click here



Five Steps to Successful Employee Communication

Effective managers must be strong communicators to inspire and lead their teams. The video below offers five strategies and suggestions to keep your managers’ communication efforts on point.


Five Steps to Successful Employee Communication – HR 360, Inc.



Need Dental Insurance?

Delta Dental now offers individual policies – Search Plans, see prices and sign up online here.


November 2019

Brandi Bowers | Benefits Consultant
PF Compass Employer Guidance & Benefit Solutions

461 Somerset St. North Plainfield NJ 07060
Tel (732) 258-1032


Credits: Copyright © HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved., Forbes.com, mercer.com, shrm.org, khn.org, usa today.com, cbsnews.com, NJDEP

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