Beyond the Numbers

PAY & BENEFITS   •  Feb 2015  •  Volume 4 / Number 4

Disability insurance plans: trends in employee access and employer costs

Disability insurance plans: trends in employee access and employer costs

Short- and long-term disability insurance programs replace some of the wages lost by people who cannot work because of a disabling injury or illness that is not work-related. This article examines trends in employer-provided disability insurance coverage over time, explains the basic terms of coverage for typical plans, and estimates the costs to private employers.

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PRICES & SPENDING

Producer inflation in 2014: energy prices drop but prices for services advance

The Producer Price Index (PPI) measures the average change over time in the selling prices received by domestic producers for their output. The PPI provides measures of final demand (price changes for goods, services, and construction sold to consumers, capital investment buyers, government, and export) and intermediate demand (price changes for goods, services, and construction sold to businesses, excluding capital investment goods, as inputs to production). This issue of Beyond the Numbers describes price changes in PPIs throughout 2014. Falling energy prices and rising services prices were some of the top movers in 2014.
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PAY & BENEFITS

Understanding health plan types: What’s in a name?

Every year, many employers conduct an open season to let employees select or change their medical plans. Several factors may affect their selection, including choice of care provider and shared cost. Employees can sort out some of these distinctions by identifying the type of plan, but some plan names are unclear, such as “standard medical,” “basic medical,” and “traditional medical plan.” Can employees guess plan types based on such names? Even more specific names like “preferred plan” and “point-of-service plan” might not tell how the plan works.
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PAY & BENEFITS

Access to dependent care reimbursement accounts and workplace-funded childcare

The U.S. labor force includes many working mothers and working fathers with dependents and children in their care. These families often enlist help, such as daycare or eldercare, to balance family and work responsibilities. But many families find it challenging to pay for the high costs of care for dependents and children. That’s where benefits such as dependent care reimbursement accounts and workplace-funded childcare can prove helpful to working families.
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