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Volunteering Time Off, Part Two | Illinois Employee Benefits

Right now our national unemployment rate is 3.7%–edging towards a 50-year low. With this low rate, companies are actually finding it increasingly harder to hire and retain great talent. One way to combat this issue is by increasing employee engagement through volunteering. In survey after survey, employees state that they want to work for companies who … Continued

Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room | Chicago Benefits Agency

Let’s say you are getting ready to make your favorite breakfast—avocado toast. You’ve toasted the bread, cut the avocado in half, and are ready to remove the dreaded pit. Of course, your knife slips and you end up slicing your hand—making you the latest victim of “avocado hand.” It seems you cannot stop the bleeding … Continued

10 Tips for Excellent Company Culture | Illinois Benefits Team

When it comes to culture, companies have to walk the walk and talk the talk.HR professionals have all been there.  A potential new employee comes in for an interview.  Company representatives question the prospect and then ask if the candidate has any questions.  With surety, the first question uttered will be about the company’s culture.  … Continued

5 Tips to Beat the Heat | Chicago Benefits Consultants

There’s no denying that summer has arrived. In fact, the news has been abuzz with Alaska’s heat wave in July that sent temperatures soaring between 20 and 30 degrees above average. When you are caught in the middle of a heat wave, it may seem like there’s nothing you can do to keep cool. But, … Continued

Top 5 Learning Metrics to Watch | Illinois Benefits Advisors

How much job training equates to time wasted:  About 20%, according to one LinkedIn study.  That’s the percentage of learners who never apply their training to their job.  That same study says 67% of learners apply the lessons learned, but in the end, revert to previous habits.  Another study found 45% of training content is … Continued

Volunteering Time Off | Illinois Employee Benefits

Volunteering Time Off, or VTO, has become a buzz topic for many companies as of late. It involves encouraging employees to take time off from their job to plug in to their community and the nonprofits that support it. Let’s delve in deeper to understand what VTO looks like.Typical VTO policies allot for 8 hours … Continued

CMS Publishes 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Final Rule | Chicago Benefits Agency

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule and fact sheet for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. Although the final rule primarily affects the individual market and the Exchanges, the final rule addresses the following topics that may impact employer-sponsored group health plans:The 2020 maximum annual limitation on cost sharing is $8,150 for self-only … Continued

Kids and Body Image | Illinois Benefits Consultants

Growing up can be tough. The challenges of school, relationships with friends, sports and other activities can be stressful for children. Peer pressure, along with what they see and hear daily via social media, TV, movies and video games, can cause them to stress out about how they look. Comparing themselves with their friends—or, worse, … Continued

REMINDER: HEALTH PLAN PCORI FEES ARE DUE JULY 31 | Chicago Benefits Team

Employers that self-insured any group health plans in 2018, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), are responsible for determining whether the annual PCORI fee applies to their plan. If so, use Form 720 to calculate, report, and pay the fee by July 31, 2019.PCORI stands for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Federal law imposes a small annual fee on most health … Continued

Ask the Experts: Overtime and Paid Time Off | Illinois Benefits Advisors

Question: Should we include holidays, PTO, vacation, or other leave taken during the workweek in calculating overtime premium pay under FLSA rules?Answer: No. Because holiday, PTO, and vacation hours are not actually hours worked they do not count towards overtime pay.Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer who requires or permits an employee to work … Continued