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Reflecting on Innovation in Employee Benefits

Reflecting on an insightful and engaging experience at the New England Employee Benefits Council’s recent conference, “Innovation in Employee Benefits: The Power of Progress,“ which focused on innovative benefits (including a breakdown by many life stages), point solution fatigue,  AI, and strategies to help control expenses without compromising coverage.  It was truly inspiring to be surrounded by a community of brilliant minds, all dedicated to the shared mission of helping our clients – countless organizations around the region and beyond – and their employees navigate the complex landscape of benefits with strategic vision.

The discussions around Point Solution fatigue resonated deeply, highlighting the challenges organizations face in managing an overwhelming array of solutions. In the era of information overload, employers must find a balance between value and confusion, which makes streamlining and optimizing benefits through innovative approaches paramount.  In the quest to tailor benefits packages for employees, employers are increasingly turning to targeted solutions to add a personalized touch. However, they face the delicate task of balancing customization with the risk of inundating employees with an excess of choices leading to less impact, and costs becoming a deterrent without a true ROI.

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Paid Leaves: Key Points for National and Multi-state Employers

National and multistate employers have a lot to think about when it comes to administering paid leave in a compliant manner. In the ever-changing landscape of statutory leaves, employers are forced to monitor new laws and changes to existing laws and be ready to implement those changes around their existing benefits. I previously faced these challenges directly while working on the employer side for two large, national employers, and now focus on analyzing these regulations to help clients operationalize compliant leave and disability processes.

If you are an employer with a national footprint, or even one with employees in multiple states, it can be quite a challenge to keep up. Many mandating states make annual changes that impact employer and employee contribution rates, benefit amounts, notice requirements, and other statutory changes that impact eligibility and entitlements under each state’s program.

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What employers need to know about cancer and health equity

February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month, and to many employers, that likely sounds like yet another opportunity to highlight standard prevention advice: quit smoking if you smoke, prioritize fresh foods and exercise, and make sure to follow cancer screening guidelines. But the truth is that there is much more to this issue than this one-size-fits-all advice. Increasingly, health experts and employers alike are discovering that no standardized message is enough to adequately solve this persistent problem.

FAST FACTS:
- A little over 2 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer each year, and more than 600,000 die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.[1]
- Research suggests that less than half of cancers can be prevented by a healthy diet and lifestyle alone.[2]
- Only 14% of diagnosed cancers in the U.S. are detected by a recommended screening, per research from the University of Chicago.[3],[4]


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A Holistic Approach to Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Student loan payments are restarting in October 2023, and many borrowers haven’t made payments for over three years. Luckily, changes to income-driven repayment options and one-time account adjustments can have big benefits for borrowers. This article can help you understand how to (1) prepare your employees for student loan payments to restart under the latest rules; and (2) the various repayment assistance programs available to employees to ease the burden of repaying student loans.

I Steps for employees restarting student loan payments:

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Getting Your Money’s Worth From an MSK Care Solution

Every business leader is reaching for the same brass ring: ROI. You need benefits solutions that will move the needle with buy-in-worthy metrics that back up claims of success. And you need them now.

Health benefit costs per employee are projected to jump 5.4% in 2023 and continue to increase in the years ahead, notes Mercer. This is in sharp contrast with the prior decade, during which costs went up only 2.1% to 3.9% every year except 2021.[1]

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Nondiscrimination testing: Simplifying the core concepts

Nondiscrimination testing is a crucial part of sponsoring employee benefits as required by the IRS. In a world of constantly changing rules and regulations, it is crucial that employers remain up to date on how these tests impact their benefits. Nondiscrimination tests work to satisfy the Golden Rule, which dictates that highly compensated employees cannot receive a higher benefit than other employees.

Basics of Nondiscrimination Testing
There are three major tests you should have an understanding of as a plan sponsor Cafeteria Plan testsDCAP FSA tests and Health FSA tests. All the three categories include eligibility tests, which is where we see the Golden Rule at play.

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How a flexible workforce approach helps organizations grow and thrive

7 strategies for increasing your talent pool and employee retention rate

The future of work is – in a word  flexible. Companies are fiercely competing for talent. Job openings remain above pre-pandemic levels and are higher in Massachusetts than in the country. Broadening your hiring strategies and taking a flexible approach that creates a positive employee experience will give your organization the upper hand in attracting and retaining top-quality employees.

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