How a business can lower healthcare costs for employees: 1 quick tip

how to lower healthcare costs pictureThis is an excerpt from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about the increasing costs Nevada businesses will face:

Several Western states, including Arizona, Utah and Colorado, already have agreed to federal grandfathering guidelines, Wright said. If Nevada fails to do the same, employees of small businesses will pay more for less, he said. And those costs could pass through to employees. (more…)

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Top 25 US Companies for Pay & Benefits

happy_employeesCompanies are struggling to attract and retain skilled employees, and the response by some has been to create an attractive work environment. A report from online career site Glassdoor shows why a number of employers rank at the top in terms of pay and benefits, giving them a leg up in an extremely competitive market for the best talent. Here’s a list of 25 great employers that topped the list: (more…)

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5 easy steps to higher HSA participation and employee satisfaction

Coin Dropping Into Piggy BankBrokers and advisers tell me they keep hearing the same question from their employer clients: “How can I get more employees to understand the benefits of health savings accounts (HSAs)?”

Based on experience, I recommend five best practices that can help employers achieve better participation rates, stronger HSA balances and higher employee satisfaction rates. Employers who stick to these guidelines see more than 90 percent of employees open an HSA with their high-deductible health plan compared with only 27 percent at companies that don’t. (more…)

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Millennial health plan participation drops

milenialsA police officer holds the door as people line up outside the Joe Celestin Center in North Miami, Fla., during National Youth Enrollment Day. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Participation in employer-sponsored insurance plans by workers ages 30 and under trailed the rate of their elders by as much as 20 percent in a comparison of participation by age group released by Automatic Data Processing Inc.
According to the study, which has followed insurance trends at 200 major companies for four years, 85 percent of workers 30 and younger were eligible for coverage. Yet for this year, just 53 percent opted for coverage.
The highest participation rate among those surveyed was to be found in the 50-59-year-old category, where 73 percent of those eligible chose to be covered. Other age groups were within spitting distance of that number — except for the millennials. In fact, that number is dropping over time.
“In this age group, the take rate declined 7.6 percent between 2010 and 2014,” ADP reported.
In other findings from the study: healthcare
Between 2010 and 2014, the percentage of full-time employees who were eligible for employer-provided health benefits remained relatively steady at an average of 90 percent.
The overall percentage of those participating in health benefits also remained relatively constant at an average of 68 percent.
Health plan premiums (defined as employee plus employer contributions) rose for employees of all ages over the period, but the steepest increase was for those age 50 to 59, who saw premiums rise by 16.4 percent 2014.
self-confidenceIn 2014, the average monthly health plan premium was $870, an increase of 15 percent since 2010. However, after a spike of 6.9 percent between 2010 and 2011, the rate of increase moderated. Premiums rose 1.7 percent between 2013 and 2014.
In 2014, employers contributed 74 percent of the premium cost for those with dependents, whereas those with no dependents saw a 77-percent employer contribution share. Employer contributions to health premiums declined slightly for all groups.

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Survey shows 71 percent of businesses add more mobile apps to employee devices in 2014

iphone-5s-BlackPrepackaged applications, or apps, reached a technological plateau during the past year, but with more exciting advancements expected in 2014, North American companies are once again deploying a wide array of mobile worker software. Frost & Sullivan’s latest research finds that overall, the largest proportion of decision makers (48 percent) report their companies already deploy one to 10 apps for employees on mobile devices.

Frost & Sullivan’s new analysis, the 2013 North American Mobile Enterprise Applications research, finds the app viewed as most necessary by businesses is wireless email, followed by mobile sales force autom


ation. The analysis measures the current use of and future decision-making behaviors toward mobile enterprise apps, specifically mobile asset tracking, mobile sales force automation, mobile workforce management, and wireless email solutions. The findings are based on a survey of 308 North American enterprise decision makers who were responsible for purchasing mobile software apps.

Among the deterrents to implementation, the most prominent reasons were concerns regarding the security of company and customer data as well as the potential high cost of implementation. Although pricing remains stable, with minor tweaks, app providers are showing a greater willingness to offer discounts for contractual commitments. In this scenario, service level agreements (SLAs) are receiving considerable attention.

Source: Frost & Sullivan.

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Nevada’s minimum wage and overtime rates to remain unchanged

Nevada Labor Commissioner Thoran Towler today released the annual bulletins for Nevada’s minimum wage and daily overtime requirements that will take effect this summer. The rates for the upcoming year will remain unchanged from last year.

The minimum wage for employees who receive qualified health benefits from their employers will remain at $7.25 per hour and the minimum wage for employees who do not receive health benefits will remain at $8.25 per hour.

The 2006 Minimum Wage Amendment to the Nevada Constitution requires the minimum wage to be recalculated each year. The rates are adjusted annually by comparing the amount of increases in the federal minimum wage over $5.15 per hour, or, if greater, by the cumulative increase in the cost of living.

“While the cost of living adjustment for this year increased over last year, it is still less than the $2.10 increase in the federal minimum wage that went into effect in 2009,” said Commissioner Towler.

Likewise, Nevada employers will not see an increase in the threshold for daily overtime. Nevada is one of a few states with a daily overtime requirement in addition to the more familiar requirement to pay overtime for more than 40 hours in a workweek. “Nevada’s daily overtime requirement is tied to the minimum wage,” Towler said, “As the minimum wage goes up, so does the daily overtime requirement. Since the minimum wage is not increasing this year, the daily overtime will remain the same as well.”

Employees who receive qualified health benefits from their employer and earn less than $10.875 per hour, and employees earning less than $12.375 per hour who do not receive qualified health benefits, must be paid overtime whenever they work more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period. These changes do not affect employees who are exempt from overtime under Nevada state law.

Source: State of Nevada Department of Business and Industry Press Release, April 1, 2014

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Payroll employment increases in March, while unemployment rate sticks at 6.7%

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 192,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported April 4. The number of unemployed persons was essentially unchanged at 10.5 million. Both measures have shown little movement since December 2013. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.2 million and 0.8 percentage point, respectively. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for adult women increased to 6.2 percent in March, and the rate for adult men decreased to 6.2 percent. The rates for teenagers (20.9 percent), whites (5.8 percent), blacks (12.4 percent), and Hispanics (7.9 percent) showed little or no change. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.4 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 3.7 million, changed little in March; these individuals accounted for 35.8 percent of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed was down by 837,000 over the year.

In March, employment grew in professional and business services (+57,000), in health care (+19,000), and in mining and logging (+7,000). Employment also continued to trend up in March in food services and drinking places (+30,000) and Construction (+19,000). Employment in government was unchanged in March. Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, and financial activities, changed little over the month.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

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The War for Talent

I just read a post by Seth Godin where he talked about this.  I’s a short one – so I’m including the text of it here…

The truth about the war for talent

It’s more of a skirmish, actually.

Plenty of recruiters and those in HR like to talk about engaging in a war for talent, but to be truthful, most of it is about finding good enough people at an acceptable rate of pay. Filling slots.

More relevant and urgent, though, is that it’s not really a search for talent. It’s a search for attitude.

There are a few jobs where straight up skills are all we ask for. Perhaps in the first violinist in a string quartet. But in fact, even there, what actually separates winners from losers isn’t talent, it’s attitude.

And yes, we ought to be having a war for attitude.

An organization filled with honest, motivated, connected, eager, learning, experimenting, ethical and driven people will always defeat the one that merely has talent. Every time.

The best news is that attitude is a choice, and it’s available to all. You can probably win the war for attitude with the people you’ve already got. And if you’re looking for a gig, you’ll discover that honing and sharing your attitude goes a lot farther than practicing the violin all day.

Okay, I don’t think he’s totally wrong.  But there are some skills you absolutely have to add to the mix.  If I’m hiring for a ASIC Design Engineer – his ATTITUDE is important, but his skills as a IC Designer come first.

Past that, I’m always torn by the ‘attitude’ issue because I meet some great people that have wonderful attitudes – but if they are not technically stellar – usually the hiring manager is not willing to budge just because I see greatness in their attitude.

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