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Showing posts from October, 2021

Considering the Role of Vaccines in the Workplace

Health experts and many business leaders agree that vaccination is the most effective way to protect against COVID-19- related operational disruptions. Yet, a large number of workers still aren’t vaccinated. This is forcing employers to toe the line between respecting employee viewpoints and protecting their businesses. While vaccine encouragement is still commonplace, organizations are now doing more to up their vaccination rates. Specifically, they are employing a variety of incentives , penalties and mandates to get this done.  Employer Takeaway Employers will need to decide which approach to vaccination is right for them. Health experts and business leaders alike agree that employee vaccination is critical for long-term operational success; the trick is knowing how much and through which methods to pressure employees.  Reach out for employee resources to help educate and encourage workers about the importance of COVID-19 vaccines. Read the Attraction and Retention newsletter for mo

Employer Checklist - Preparing for Osha’s COVID-19 Vaccination ETS

Recently, President Joe Biden signed executive orders requiring federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Now, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been directed to issue an emergency temporary standard (ETS) imposing similar requirements for private employers. According to the White House, the rule will require all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are either tested for COVID-19 once a week or fully vaccinated. At this time, the OSHA ETS is still in development. This checklist is a jumping-off point for your organization as you prepare for the upcoming rule. Not all items will apply to all employers in every circumstance. For more information, contact HANYS Benefit Services by  email  or by calling (800) 388-1963.

Clarifying Guidance on COBRA Deadline Extension Relief

On Oct. 6, 2021, the IRS issued Notice 2021-58 , which clarifies the application of certain COBRA deadline extensions for electing COBRA coverage and paying COBRA premiums under prior relief that was issued as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Standard COBRA Deadlines COBRA Election Deadline The standard deadline for individuals to elect COBRA coverage is typically within 60 days of receiving a COBRA election notice.   Premium Payment Deadline The standard deadline to make COBRA premium payments is generally at least 45 days after the  date of the initial COBRA election, with a grace period of at least 30 days for subsequent payments. Extended COBRA Deadlines Emergency Relief The Emergency Relief disregards the standard COBRA deadlines until the earlier of: (1) one year from the date individuals were first eligible for relief; or (2) the end of the Outbreak Period.   Notice 2021-58  On Oct. 6, 2021, Notice 2021-58 clarified that the disregarded periods to elect COBRA coverage  and to

HBS partners with USA Medicare Consultants

When employees are new to Medicare or changing their existing coverage, understanding the different Medicare programs can make them feel overwhelmed. Through our new partnership with USA Medicare Consultants, HBS clients have a valuable resource to answer all their Medicare questions, identify the best coverage options, and assist with enrolling employees in a plan that makes the most sense for them. Since 2007, the team at USA Medicare Consultants has been offering individuals expert guidance about how to secure the most appropriate Medicare coverage. We can help answer your questions about Medicare. For more information on healthcare and employee benefits changes, contact HANYS Benefit Services by  email  or by calling (800) 388-1963.

Enabling the Success of Remote Workers

Remote work is here to stay. What spawned out of necessity during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned into a must-have for many employees. In fact, 60% of employees said they’d quit rather than return to their in-person offices, according to a Flexjobs survey— only 2% said they’d like to return to in-person work full time. These statistics illustrate how valuable employees find remote working arrangements.  Here are some tips to help set remote employees up for success: Provide extensive training materials Celebrate remote employees’ success  Check in on remote employees frequently Provide in-person workstations Encourage remote employees to communicate frequently with their direct supervisors  Include remote workers in workplace activities Remote employees face unique challenges when working from home. Taking a proactive interest in their success can help them feel more included and reduce burnout. Reach out to HBS for remote employee resources that can help in this effo

Q4 Attraction and Retention newsletter

Each quarter, the Attraction and Retention newsletter offers statistics about the employment market, suggestions on securing top talent and insight to attract and retain workers. This month's Attraction and Retention newsletter offers insights into how COVID-19 vaccines are impacting employers, tips for remote worker success and the value of upskilling employees.  Download your copy today . For more information on healthcare and employee benefits changes, contact HANYS Benefit Services by  email  or by calling (800) 388-1963. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer became the most common cancer this year, accounting for 12% of all new cancer cases worldwide. In addition, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among American women. However, some men are also at risk for breast cancer. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As such, this is the perfect time to refamiliarize yourself with the following warning signs of breast cancer: The main factors that influence your risk of breast cancer include being a woman and getting older. Additional risk factors that are out of your control include genetic mutations, exposure to radiation therapy, your reproductive history and your family history. Any change in the size or the shape of the breast New lumps in the breast or underarm Pain, thickening or swelling in any area of the breast Irritation or dimpling of breast skin Nipple discharge other than breast milk Download the Live Well Work Well Octo

Coping With Pandemic Financial Stress

Many households were stressed about their finances before the pandemic, but the past year has remained just as challenging. As a result, many Americans are still financially stressed out, which can negatively impact their mental health. If you are experiencing financial stress, know that you’re not alone. Financial anxiety and stress can be debilitating. Consider these coping tips from the U.S. Department of Labor: Increase your financial literacy. Create a budget—and stick to it. Switch from credit to cash. Address the topic head-on. Download the Live Well Work Well October Newsletter . For more information on healthcare and employee benefits changes, contact HANYS Benefit Services by email or by calling (800) 388-1963. Further, if you’re feeling significant stress, talk to a mental health professional for additional guidance and support. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights rese