As employers explore the potential of a private exchange as part of their benefits strategy, they are also investigating and comparing the various funding options that are available. George Katsoudas and Stacy H. Barrow’s whitepaper Private Exchange Funding: Understanding the Rules of Engagement, examines funding methods for private exchanges, particularly HRAs, through the lens of related PPACA, Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service legislation.
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Last Wednesday, Janet Yellen appeared before the Joint Economic Committee of Congress to discuss her outlook on the U.S. economy and what risks might potentially undermine the economy. Although the overall tone of her testimony was upbeat, she cited three main risks facing the economic recovery, warranting further monitoring by the Federal Reserve.
People often associate accountability with negative consequences, but in our definition, there can be either positive or negative consequences that follow this type of action. It is important to notice that a great supervisor holds themselves accountable for results. They are constantly evaluating the impact of what they do on those around them - and on the organization. They also emphasize the “account” component of accountability and gathers all of the facts or reasons why the person’s actions made sense in the moment. They ask questions to evaluate each of the contextual components (self, others, surroundings, systems) that might have impacted the person’s actions or outcomes.
Recent changes to the rules regarding medical examination requirements for commercial vehicle drivers have made it necessary for the driver to continue to carry a copy of the medical examiners certificate (medical card) with them at all times when operating a commercial motor vehicle until January 30, 2015 The extension of this requirement will allow state licensing agencies to update and bring their programs into compliance with Federal standards. The next change will become effective May 21, 2014 and will require that all medical examiners be trained, tested and placed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. If the examiner you have been using is not registered, the medical exam and certificate will not be considered valid.
Last week investors were bombarded with a series of economic reports that pointed to two different paths for the economy. Both the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Index and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reports highlighted signs of concern over the tepid economic recovery that has been in place since 2008. Meanwhile consumer spending and statements from the Federal Reserve suggest that economic activity is picking up after hibernating during a winter that refused to end.
The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is becoming more prevalent throughout the U.S. While recreational use of marijuana is prohibited in most states, many states are passing legislation that permits its residents to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Confounding the issues, the use of marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the state laws that permit the use of medical marijuana currently do not provide employees protection against discipline by employers for using the drug. This whitepaper references some of the legal aspects and precautions to take in order to prevent employee safety and guest concerns.
President Obama recently issued three Executive Orders (“E. O.”) in response to the annexation of Crimea by Russia. These E.O.s can impose sanctions on named officials of the Russian government, any individual or entity that operates in the Russian arms industry - and any designated individual or entity that acts on behalf of, or that provides material or other support to, any senior Russian government official. We recommend that shipowners (U.S. Persons) consider monitoring the Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.
Preview this month’s installment of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.’s Pitfalls & Perils of 2014 focused on ten PPACA fees and the extra precautions employers can take to prepare for them.
Directions newsletter is a monthly publication of the Benefits & HR Consulting operations of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. The May 2014 issue includes healthcare reform updates, a technical bulletin, webinar information and a variety of benefits and HR news.
Nick Davies & Andrew Irving write, “It is a well-known premise that sequels are rarely as good as the original when it comes to blockbuster features films… generally, any redux is a bit of a disappointment. This brings us to the world of pensions…”