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Featured White Paper:
HR’s Guide to Workers’ Comp

Workers' comp has been a workplace staple for a long time, but it can confound even the most seasoned employers and HR professionals.

Download this FREE White Paper to learn workers' comp basics, including a lexicon of helpful terms, a workers' comp checklist to help you manage the process, and information about your employees' role in workplace safety.

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Health Benefits Additional
Additional HR Resources

Understanding HCR
Learn how health care reform will impact your policies and get a timeline of the changes/provisions you must have in place with the all-new HR Hero White Paper

Swine Flu and Illnesses
Whether it's the H1N1 virus or the common cold, when one employee comes to work sick, everyone at your organization is at risk for infection.

Pandemics and H1N1
Learn how to prepare your organization for a flu outbreak with the FREE HR Hero Sample Policy

FMLA, ADA, Workers' Comp
Navigating the Treacherous Triangle

50 Laws in 50 States
Compare side by side and see
exactly what employers need to do

Health Insurance Plans and Employment Law

Update: June 28, 2012 – U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform Law

On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) into law, and on March 30, 2010, he signed the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010 (HCEARA), which contained amendments to the PPACA, into law. The two laws make up an expansive health care reform package that will have many far-reaching effects on employers. While many changes that affect employers would go into effect in 2014 others will happen soon. Read the latest news on health care reform

Benefits Complete Compliance – comprehensive online management reference service and reference manual

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed a stimulus bill called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), into law. ARRA contains several provisions relating to health care benefits including:

  • COBRA subsidy. Under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), an individual may usually keep health coverage through a previous employer’s health plan for up to 18 months by paying 102% of the cost of coverage. Under the ARRA, the federal government paid 65% of COBRA premiums for up to nine months for employees who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009. Congress has extended and expanded the subsidy three times since ARRA was enacted (in December 2009, March 2010, and April 2010).
  • HIPAA changes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was originally passed in part to address another area of employee concern about health benefits — whether they could obtain coverage for health conditions they or their families had before they obtained benefits under a new health plan. The ARRA expands HIPAA’s privacy and security regulations, and under the stimulus package, business associates of covered entities will be directly subject to HIPAA. The stimulus plan also extensively changes HIPAA on other issues, including security breaches and related notification requirements, the rights of individuals regarding their protected health information, and increased enforcement and penalties for violations.

HR Guide to Employment Law: A practical compliance reference manual covering 14 topics, including health benefits

Other federal laws regarding health insurance offered by employers
The following is an overview of a few of the other major laws affecting health insurance plans offered by employers.

Same-sex marriages, civil unions, and domestic partner benefits
This area of the law is rapidly evolving in our nation’s courts and legislatures. Laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, including domestic partner benefits, appears to be a very hot issue in a number of states. Some states (and even some cities) have legalized same-sex marriages and/or civil unions, while others have amended their constitutions to forbid them. Some organizations, moreover, have chosen to offer benefits to their employees’ same-sex partners, and others cover both same-sex and opposite-sex but unmarried unions.

State-by-state comparison of 50 employment laws in all 50 states

State laws on employee benefits
States have continued to weigh in on employment and benefits issues. There’s been a steady trend for states to require employers or insurance companies to cover certain medical conditions, with coverage mandates increasing over the years. States also have a history of regulating workers’ compensation insurance, a parallel health insurance system for work-related injuries and illnesses.