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Why you need an HRA

  What are HRAs? Health reimbursement arrangements are employer-funded programs that reimburse employees for certain medical expenses. Typically, an employer can only offer an HRA to employees with a group health plan, often a high-deductible health plan. Your employer determines the amount of money available in the HRA, which is typically an amount less than your annual health plan deductible. Why an HRA? HRAs provide a tax-free, employer-funded amount of money for healthcare expenses. These arrangements are a great way to pay for out-of-pocket qualified medical expenses while working to meet your plan deductible. There are many advantages to HRAs including: tax savings; out-of-pocket expense reduction; and accrued balance. How do HRAs work? You can use your HRA funds to get reimbursed for your own eligible medical expenses, as well as your spouse’s and dependents’ eligible medical expenses. Eligible medical expenses are unreimbursed medical care expenses, as defined under Section 213

Benefits Breakdown Newsletter - August 2022

Combating Rising Benefits Costs During Periods of High Inflation The U.S. inflation rate has increased by 9.1% over the last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This has led to significant price increases across various consumer goods and employee benefits such as health insurance. In fact, health insurance costs have already risen for one-third of U.S. employees in the last year, according to a report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. This increase in costs presents challenges for employers facing a difficult hiring market. Luckily, employers may be able to mitigate increasing benefits costs without shifting the burden to employees, thus remaining attractive to current and prospective employees. Consider the following strategies: Eliminate underutilized benefits and reallocate resources toward more expensive benefits. Offer a wellness program or similar benefits to promote and achieve a healthy workforce.  Encourage telemedicine benefits to help employees

HBS Q2 Market Recap: More inflation, more uncertainty

Asset prices faced substantial pressure in the second quarter as investors began to feel the pain of high inflation and hawkish monetary policy. Within the US, the S&P 500 fell 16.60% in Q2 and finished down 19.96% year to date. Inflation, which was previously expected to peak in the spring, unexpectedly rose in May. The Federal Reserve appears to be dedicated to its plan to lower inflation and restore price stability by raising interest rates to levels not seen in almost 30 years. Inflation continues to pressure global economies, leading to declines in asset prices worldwide. While the second quarter was undoubtedly difficult, investors must remember the importance of long-term investing and avoid making rash decisions, even amid extreme market volatility. Read the  Retirement Market Recap  to learn more about the Q2 market performance. If you have questions about  retirement plan services or would like to begin talking to a retirement plan advisor, please get in touch by  email

Q3 Attraction & 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. The third quarter edition explores: employee quits remain high while job growth continues; attracting and retaining employees during the great reshuffle; and developing an employee retention strategy. Current trends indicate that while workers are available, the demand for talent remains high and employers continue to face challenges retaining employees. Many factors influence the high quit rate, including the ongoing pandemic, inflation and a strong market for candidates. While the labor market remains competitive, experts largely expect talent challenges to continue. As such, employers should monitor employment trends to stay informed on the evolving market. Download your copy of the newsletter today to stay up to date. For more information about  employee benefits, our services and products , contact H

988: America’s first three-digit mental health crisis line

On July 16, the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline launched nationwide. This three-digit dialing code, similar to 911 for medical emergencies, is available for people in emotional distress or suicidal crisis to be connected immediately to trained counselors who will listen, provide support and connect them to resources if necessary. This new, easy-to-remember dialing code replaces the previous, 10-digit number known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among preteens and adults aged 25 to 34, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Lifeline is a direct connection to compassionate, accessible care for anyone experiencing mental health-related distress and could provide immediate support during someone’s darkest hour. Find out more about the new suicide and crisis lifeline, safety tips to beat the heat and immunization awareness in this month’s Live Well, Work Well Newsletter . For more information about  employee

Everything You Need to Know About Using Health Savings Accounts

A health savings account can help pay for eligible medical expenses not covered by an insurance plan, including the deductible, coinsurance and even health insurance premiums in some cases. HSAs can be funded with your tax-exempt dollars, by your employer, by a family member or by anyone else on your behalf. When it comes to using an HSA, many questions arise, such as: What expenses are eligible for tax-free reimbursement from my HSA? Are dental and vision care qualified medical expenses under an HSA? What medical expenses are not eligible for tax-free reimbursement from my HSA? Get the answers to these questions and more in two Know Your Benefits articles: Frequently Asked Questions About Using HSAs and Understanding a Health Savings Account .   For more information about  employee benefits, our services and products , contact HANYS Benefit Services by email  or call 800.388.1963. These Know Your Benefits articles are provided by HANYS Benefit Services and are to be used for inform

Benefits Breakdown Newsletter - July 2022

Containing Costs of Chronic Health Conditions Chronic conditions are health conditions that require ongoing management over an extended period of time. They are the leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs. Thus, they are significant sources of financial stress for employers and employees alike. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, employer health care coverage for an employee with a chronic condition is, on average, five times higher than coverage for those without a chronic disease. The most common chronic conditions affecting the workforce today include cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Fortunately, employers can help combat chronic conditions; this could, in turn, reduce your health care costs and yield a healthier workforce. Consider the following strategies: Focus on prevention by making preventive care affordable through medical benefits and encouraging the use of such critical care. Be accommodating and offer arrange