Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2023

Q3 2023 Market Recap: A Tale Of Two Economies?

The first half of 2023 saw a red-hot rally in the stock market. However, this came to a halt in the third quarter due to concerns over inflation and central bank policy, leading to higher interest rates. The decline in consumer confidence, unrest among unions, weaker consumer pockets and mounting credit card defaults also contributed to a potentially volatile market in the final months of the year. The high-growth technology sector could be immediately impacted, as it faces pressure from higher discount rates impacting future cash flow. There appears to be a bearish trend forming around technology. Corporate earnings are expected to decline for the third quarter in a row, with many S&P 500 companies issuing negative earnings per share guidance. The American consumer is also sharing a dim outlook, as consumer confidence has dropped for the second straight month. Fixed income struggled in Q3 after experiencing a 2.09% gain in the first half of the year. The growing expectation that r

Dental Care: Oral Hygiene

Oral health problems — ranging from cavities to cancer — are painful and costly, affecting millions of people each year. This is alarming because almost all oral diseases can be avoided with proper oral hygiene. Tooth decay Cavities are a common problem for children. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infection, which can lead to difficulty eating, speaking, playing and learning. Tooth decay is also a problem for adults, especially for the increasing number who retain most of their teeth throughout their lives. Tooth loss can become an issue as adults get older — affecting self-esteem and contributing to nutrition problems by limiting the types of food that someone can eat. In addition, poor oral hygiene can lead to a number of diseases and conditions, including gum disease and oral cancer. Prevention Keep your oral health in good shape by practicing the following: Drink fluoridated water and use fluoride toothpaste. Take care of your teeth and gums. Thoroughly brushing and flossin

Report: Employers aren’t improving healthcare literacy

“Employees still are not getting the information they need to make informed choices about their healthcare coverage or how to use that coverage effectively.” - Optavise's 2023 Healthcare Literacy Report. In 2023, fewer employees were confident they understood how their healthcare plans work compared to last year, according to Optavise’s 2023 Healthcare Literacy Report . This is a concerning statistic for employers who strive to improve healthcare literacy. Notably, understanding of healthcare plans is linked to satisfaction. The 90% of employees who said they were extremely confident in understanding their plan reported more plan satisfaction. This is in comparison to the 13%-14% of employees who weren’t confident at all. These findings illustrate that investing in employees’ benefits education can reduce healthcare costs for employers and employees and increase employee satisfaction and engagement. Additional healthcare literacy survey observations   Of more than 1,000 surveyed U.

The importance of dental care: Oral health and wellness

Did you know that poor oral health can lead to many seemingly unrelated medical conditions? In fact, oral bacteria and oral disease have been linked to a variety of serious illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy complications. That’s why it’s essential for employers to understand the importance of dental care and how it relates to their employees’ benefits. The importance of oral health The following examples illustrate the relationship between your oral health and general health. Tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs affect both your overall and oral health. Dry mouth, or a lack of saliva increases your risk of tooth decay. Oral pain resulting in an inability to eat properly prevents you from getting the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy. Periodontal disease Oral health can often be used to diagnose underlying health issues. For example, the advanced form of gum disease, called periodontitis , causes tooth loss and is also sometimes associated with

Main difference between pre-tax and Roth contributions [Bonus SECURE 2.0 Act update inside]

As more employers offer a Roth 401(k) , it’s important that you know the main difference between pre-tax and Roth contributions. In this post, we’ll explain what each contribution is and how to decide the best option. We’ve even included the most recent SECURE 2.0 Act update, so you can stay up-to-date on Roth deferrals. What is the difference between pre-tax and Roth contributions? It can be tricky to choose between a pre-tax contribution vs. Roth 401(k). Roth and pre-tax contributions are two different ways to save for retirement in an employer-sponsored retirement account (401(k), 403(b), etc.). Each has its own tax implications and considerations. Pre-tax contributions  Pre-tax contributions allow individuals to contribute to retirement savings before taxes are taken out of their paycheck. Since taxes are deferred up front, the contributions and earnings in the account are taxed as ordinary income when the individual withdraws them during retirement. Roth contributions On the other

October 2023 Benefits Buzz: Medicare Part D & more!

Deadline for Medicare Part D notices is Oct. 15 Each year, Medicare Part D requires group health plan sponsors to disclose whether the health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable to eligible individuals. Plan sponsors must provide the annual disclosure notice to Medicare-eligible individuals before Oct. 15 — the start date of the annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has provided model disclosure notices for employers to use. Notice requirement Medicare beneficiaries will likely pay higher premiums if they enroll at a later date if they: do not have creditable prescription drug coverage; and do not enroll in Medicare Part D when first eligible. Although no specific penalties are associated with the notice requirement, failing to provide the notice may be detrimental to employees. Employers should confirm whether their health plans’ prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable and prepare to send their Medi

The importance of employer dental benefits: FAQ

As the Great Resignation continues, the importance of employer dental benefits has skyrocketed. A  Forbes study  found that 8% of respondents with health insurance left a job they liked because they wanted better health coverage. To help you prevent turnover and reinforce the importance of offering robust  employee benefits , we’ve put together answers to frequently asked questions. Consider it a quick refresher on the importance of employer dental benefits. Why should I offer employer dental benefits? It is relatively inexpensive to include dental benefits in an employer’s benefits plan, and it may help the employer attract and retain highly skilled employees. According to the  Employee Benefit Research Institute , employees made dental or vision insurance the third most important benefit in making a job decision.  Because dental hygiene is associated with overall health, employees with dental plans are often healthier. Employees without dental benefits may postpone or forgo dentist v