open enrollment

If One of Obamacare’s Biggest Critics Wants to Use It To Save His Business, Can It Really Be That Bad?

I read a ton of employee benefit articles everyday. And when you read as much as I do you start to think you can predict where the field is going. Of course not everyone agrees with my opinions. But that doesn't stop me from sharing them...

For example, it's my opinion that some of the biggest Obamacare critics will eat their words. I'm not just talking about these critics being proven wrong because that happens daily. I mean they will embrace the very law they claimed was the worst thing to ever happen to America. Don't agree? Well, how about this as an example...

In 2012 Donald Trump
said this about Obamacare,

I know so many people who have companies where they are going to close them up as soon as it [Obamacare] really starts kicking in, which is in '14."

Irony of ironies, Trump Entertainment plans to stop paying for health care for thousands of union workers as it tries to avoid going out of business. And here is the kicker,
Trump Entertainment wants to provide these workers with a $2,000 stipend to purchase coverage on the federal exchange. Yes, instead of ruining companies, one of Obamacare's greatest foes is trying to use it to save one of his. Continue Reading...

Three Obstacles to a Successful Open Enrollment


Human Resources departments often view the annual benefits open enrollment period as one of their biggest moments. Those responsible for administering the employee benefits program are rocks stars for two to six weeks. Each year they put out their clear as mud greatest hits of benefits options. And like all bad rock stars they think they gave it their all and that their gig was the bomb.

The reality is they have a lot of obstacles to overcome to just get their show on the road.

Three Open Enrollment Obstacles: Time, Cost, and Communication

    Time: Employees don't know this, but the open enrollment period starts with the insurance renewal process. This is when the top HR and benefits staff sits down with their medical plan insurance reps to agree on premiums and plan benefits. Ancillary plans like dental, vision and flexible spending accounts don't normally require face-to-face renewal meetings. These "negotiations" take place via email.

    The renewal period typically occurs late in the plan year and employers have to compete for the attention of their insurance reps that are trying to service all of their employer clients at once. Additionally, both employers and insurers want to include as much of the current year's claims data in the renewal quote as possible. The more data included in the quote, the more valid and reliable the cost and premium projections. All of this waiting and back and forth negotiating limits the time HR has to prepare for and hold the open enrollment period.
    Continue Reading...