6 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Reforms Taking Effect in 2014

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Although the employer mandate required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) doesn't take effect until 2015, several reforms become effective in 2014. Here are the key reforms that you need to know.

1. Minimum Essential Coverage

Beginning in 2014, the ACA requires that health insurance issuers and sponsors of self-insured plans provide "minimum essential coverage" and report health coverage information to the IRS. This information will likely be used to verify data related to the ACA's individual and employer mandate.
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3 Health Care Cost Benchmarks

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With some organizations and individuals encountering significant changes to their health insurance costs and plans in 2014, the following metrics provide benchmarks on how organizations in Northeast Ohio have structured their health insurance plans and how much these plans are costing both employers and employees.

Although the needs of each organization vary, understanding how these benefits are being delivered to employees and at what price can help organizations gauge how competitive their benefits offerings are compared to other organizations in the region.

Plan Type

As the figure below illustrates, the most common type of health insurance plans offered are Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP). In terms of controlling and sharing costs, HSAs have been experiencing the strongest growth in popularity. Many organizations have turned to HSAs as a way to better fit the financial and health related needs of certain employee groups. Although the numbers vary somewhat from those reported in the table below, according to ERC’s 2013 Workplace Practices survey, the number of organizations offering HSAs has jumped by nearly 30% over the past 10 years.
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Q&A: Holistic Wellness in the Workplace

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Holistic wellness approaches are gradually becoming more common in the workplace, with more organizations realizing that truly enhancing well-being requires a broader view of wellness. ERC continually sees employers gradually incorporating holistic approaches into their wellness and health care options, and citing very positive results.

Wellness is now recognized as much more complex than just physical well-being. Employees are "whole people" comprised of many aspects (physical, emotional, mental, etc.), and when one aspect is off-balance, the body and its health can be negatively impacted.
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20 Subtle Signs of Bullying at Work

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20 Subtle Signs of Workplace Bullying signs of bullying at work

If you think workplace bullying doesn’t affect some of your employees, you're mistaken. One in four employees is affected by it. There is a misconception that bullying is overt. Rather, it’s often subtle, slow, and insidious mistreatment that passes over the radar screen.

Rarely can bullying be identified based on one action, but rather a pattern of actions over a long period of time. This is why it so often goes undetected in the workplace, and your employees could be suffering because of it.
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What to Do When Managers Behave Badly

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What to Do When Managers Behave Badly

A new national study of leadership uncovered that many managers and senior managers lack the behaviors required to be good leaders. This calls into question: what if our managers are behaving badly with our employees, and what should we do about it?

In many organizations, managers behave badly, negatively affecting employees and the workplace environment, and putting their companies at risk. Bad management behavior can range from minor to major offenses, but can be destructive, eventually chase away great employees, and sometimes even cause a lawsuit.
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The “5 W’s” of Payroll

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Payroll may not be the most glamorous function in an organization, but it is certainly one of the most critical. To better understand how this process takes place at a sampling of 179 Northeast Ohio organizations, we turn to the results of the 2013 ERC Payroll Practices Survey, which are summarized in the “5 W’s” below.

Who is processing payroll?

If you are in Human Resources (HR) or Accounting at your organization, there is a good chance that you or your departmental colleagues have some role to play in processing payroll. In fact at several organizations, payroll administration is an interdepartmental task shared by HR and Accounting or some other similar financial type department.
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6 Easy Tips to Re-Recruit & Retain Your Best Employees

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6 Tips to Re-Recruit and Retain Your Best Employees

Challenged with retaining good people? In order to retain your best talent, your organization needs to constantly re-recruit internally to re-energize them and solidify their loyalty so that they remain committed to your company, just like you would with a job candidate.

Why re-recruit your best talent? Here are some key reasons.
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3 Insights on Employee Motivation

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What makes some employees pour themselves into the work they do? That's the heart of the question behind motivating employees. Here are three (3) insights on employee motivation.

What makes some employees pour themselves into the work they do?

1. Limit using carrots and sticks to employee motivation.

One of the most well-known motivational concepts is the 'carrot and stick' approach which uses rewards and penalties to motivate others to produce desired results. Believe it or not, this method is still used quite a bit in organizations, despite its lackluster results. Employers continue to rely on rewards and incentives as well as discipline and punishment to motivate their employees.
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An Overview of Workers' Compensation

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While most employers take numerous steps to keep the workplace safe and healthy, injuries and accidents happen occasionally. Workers' compensation provides pay and benefits for workers injured while working, and also saves employers' liability and medical expenses. 

Workers' Compensation Defined

Workers' compensation is insurance that replaces an employees' compensation and medical benefits when they become injured on the job.
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7 Tips for Workers’ Compensation Claims

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Workers’ compensation claims can be costly to an organization, especially if they aren't managed well. Here are seven (7) tips for employers in managing workers’ compensation claims cost-efficiently and correctly.

1. Promptly report all claims to the insurer.

Effective case management begins with timely reporting of your workers' compensation claim. The more quickly an injured employee reports a claim, generally, the more smooth the claims process. When claims are reported in a timely manner, evidence can be preserved and the claim can be better resolved; workers can start treatment sooner; fraudulent claims can be identified more quickly; and you can avoid potential monetary fines/penalties for failing to report claims.
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