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week ending November 8th, 2019
Employers are not only focusing on reducing their own health benefits spend, they know they need to reduce costs for employees. A Mercer survey identified ways midsize and large employers are doing so, but pointed out smaller employers may not have the same resources. A separate survey found 92% of small businesses are willing to work together to push for changes to make health care more affordable. Mercer found that to improve utilization of health benefit offerings, 41% of large and midsize employers say all or most of their benefit offerings are accessible to employees on a single, fully integrated digital platform (most often through a smartphone app), up from 34% in 2018. Doing so is one factor that can improve employers return on their health benefit investment. Enjoy this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend!
Editor's Choice
Benefits
Employer Health Benefit Costs to Rise 6.5% in 2020
A focus on managing chronic conditions, and education to improve health care utilization can help employers manage cost increases.
Benefits
Survey Reveals Emerging Health Benefit Cost-Saving Measures
Employers are encouraging the use of biosimilars instead of specialty pharmacy products, creating an environment that makes it clear and easy for employees to opt for high-value services, and engaging effective programs to help manage anxiety and stress.
Benefits
Employers Recognize Need to Reduce Health Benefit Costs for Employees
Many are turning to innovative tech-enabled programs that cut costs for them while not shifting costs to employees, Mercer found.
Benefits
Small Businesses Willing to Band Together to Reduce Health Benefit Costs
A survey found 92% of small businesses are willing to work together to push for changes to make health care more affordable, but there are options created by regulators that could help some of them now.
Benefits
Return on Health Benefits Investment Can Be Improved With Single Access
Research found low engagement levels with health benefit programs, and one problem it identifies is employees are often required to access multiple disparate systems to learn about and access their full range of health benefits.
Popular Reads
Opinions
Democrats Take Control of the Senate: What Does That Mean for Your Retirement Plan?
Syed Nishat, with Wall Street Alliance Group, discusses potential effects on retirement plans if President Joe Biden is able to move forward his legislative agenda.
2020 Recordkeeping Survey
Compliance
Takeda Pharmaceuticals Faces ERISA Lawsuit Over TDF Suite in 401(k) Plan
The lawsuit says the target-date funds were selected for the plan despite having no performance history and, when they continued to underperform, they were not replaced with better options.
Data and Research
Pandemic Puts More Households at Risk in Retirement
The Center for Retirement Research says half of American households are at risk of not being able to live at pre-retirement standards of living in retirement.
Compliance
Trustee Sued Over Retirement Plan Account Fraud
The lawsuit claims the trustee allowed an unauthorized person to take a distribution from a participant’s account and that the trustee is refusing to provide information to help remedy the situation.
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