Liz Rowell

About the Author

Liz Rowell joined Benz Communications as a senior writer and consultant after spending eight years at Hewitt Associates, where her work received an IABC award along with numerous other internal commendations. Contact her at liz@Benzcommunications.com .

Benefits Communication: Why It Matters Now More Than Ever

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It’s a wait-and-see year for employers, in part driven by the seemingly endless legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act. But health care is big this year, like it’s been every other year in recent memory. Whether or not you believe ACA successfully or unsuccessfully reformed the structure of health insurance in America,…

What New Federal Regulations Mean For Your Benefits Communications

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I’m all geeked out again. Yes, over regulations. The U.S. Department of Labor, in partnership with Health and Human Services, has provided new information about the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) regulations, building upon the previously issued final regulations and guidelines for the SBCs. Specifically, they’ve provided: A corrected SBC template; The…

On the Health Care Reform Horizon: New Info on How to Handle W-2s

Income Tax Form

With the slew of other new legal disclosures coming up this summer, adding the full cost of medical coverage on W-2s in January 2013 may have fallen off your radar. We agree that between 401(k) fee disclosures and the Summary of Benefits and Coverage notices, the new mandated information on W-2s is definitely…

What You Need to Start Disclosing to Employees About 401(k) Fees

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Hello new 401(k) notices! As if the new disclosures required under health care reform weren’t enough to juggle this summer, you need to wrap your head around sharing new data to your 401(k) participants. Yes, data about the fees they pay. You may remember our article last summer suggesting you gear up for…

3 Ways You Can Take the Pain Out of FMLA Rules

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Are you crystal clear on FMLA rules? According to Employers Resource Association, Family Medical and Leave Act rules are the top concern of HR and benefits professionals based on the 8,000 calls to its hotline in 2011. An HR professional, for instance, might struggle with answering, “Can a father with a newborn child…

Is Health Care Reform Comic Worthy?

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We love innovative ways to educate. Particularly around hairy concepts like health care reform. Check out these two we’ve recently discovered. New graphic novel. Whoever thought a comic book approach to explaining complex topics was a good idea? (This will age me, but … ) My mind jumps to this favorite School House…

Labor Dept. Delays Summary of Health Care Benefits and Requirements

Health Care Reform

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC) will not be required by March 23, 2012, as originally stated in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A new deadline has not yet been announced. And the DOL has not shared the target time frame for the final regulations….

Yes, We Really Do Need One, Single Definition of a Out-of-Pocket Limit

Illustration by DreamstimeIllustration by Dreamstime

Here’s the conversation that I really hate: “So, you work with benefits?” “Yes, health care and retirement benefits primarily.” “So, you can explain to me what an out-of-pocket maximum is?” (This totally happens, am I right?)

6 Tips for Getting Employees to Better Utilize Preventive Health Care

Health care communications

“I’m here because my father got cancer,” I said to the doctor at my first annual check up in almost four years. She was running about 40 minutes behind. “He didn’t get his regular check ups, so they caught his cancer at an advanced stage,” I continued with some conviction. She nodded and…

Are You and Your Employees Ready for the New 401 (k) Disclosures?

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New 401 (k) disclosures are coming; are your employees ready? According to a recent AARP study, it’s not likely. Some 71 percent of Americans who have a 401(k) don’t think they pay any fees. Is that true at your organization? What will your employees feel — about the value of their 401(k) plan,…