News and Analysis
New, bipartisan legislation (House Bill 469) in the Ohio House seeks to reduce out-of-pocket prescription costs by preventing insurers from prohibiting the use of co-pay assistance programs to cover a patients’ share of the bill for brand-name drugs.
According to a press release, HB 469 — offered by Reps. Susan Manchester (R-Lakeview) and Thomas West (D-Canton) — would allow aid from co-pay assistance programs to count towards deductibles. Co-pay assistance can include manufacturers’ coupons or donations from a church or charity.
Due to the implications for drugmakers, as well as employers and their employees, the OMA is closely following this issue. 1/27/2020
Generation X — with its members having been born between 1965 and 1980 — is notably smaller than the generations that come before and after. Still, there are roughly 65 million Gen Xers in the U.S. workforce — and a large majority of them apparently want employers to play an active role in their health. According to HR Dive, a new survey shows employers can reinforce loyalty among Gen X employees by offering benefits that “meet their personal health and well-being needs.” 1/29/2020
With the coronavirus dominating national and international news, OhioHealth is providing guidance for employers. People at the greatest risk of infection are those in Wuhan, China, or those who have traveled to Wuhan or other parts of China. If you were in China within the past 14 days and feel sick with fever, cough or have difficulty breathing, you should seek medical attention. For more tips, including how to reduce exposure to all viruses at your workplace, click here. 1/30/2020
Under a proposed constitutional amendment filed last week, Ohio’s minimum wage would increase nearly 50% to $13 by 2025. The proposed amendment was filed by Ohio’s two largest public labor unions. Attorney General Dave Yost has until Monday, Jan. 27, to determine if a summary of the amendment is a fair and truthful statement.
The state’s minimum wage is currently $8.70, compared to the federal standard of $7.25. Ohio is one of just seven states in which the minimum wage is tied to inflation. Under the proposed amendment, Ohio’s minimum wage would still be subject to inflation increases. 1/22/2020
Union membership among America’s wage and salary private-sector workers fell to a record low 6.2% last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Meanwhile, the union membership rate for taxpayer-funded public workers was 33.6%.
When public- and private-sector employee data were combined, union membership in the U.S. was still at a record low of 10.3%.
In 2019, 11.9% of Ohio workers belonged to labor unions, down 0.7% from the year before. Ohio remained among the states with the highest number of union members. 1/23/2020
OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has issued a reminder that on Jan. 1, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) rule that makes 1.3 million more workers eligible for overtime pay took effect. Here’s what DOL says you need to know about the changes and where to find compliance assistance resources. 1/22/2020
In a new report, OMA Connections Partner Calfee says the new federal SECURE Act increases small employers’ access to retirement plans. By allowing “Pooled Employer Plans” (PEPs), the new law enables small employers to offer their employees a tax-qualified savings plan with reduced costs, while providing employers with easier set-up, as well as improved administration and fiduciary oversight. 1/22/2020
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published a slideshow that examines workers’ access to — and use of — paid leave benefits. The BLS data show that 66% of wage and salary workers had access to paid leave in 2017-18, up from 60% in 2011. In production-based industries, more than 70% of employees had access to paid leave. 1/22/2020
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that total employee compensation costs — across all private sector industries — averaged $34.77 an hour as of September 2019. Total compensation costs for U.S. manufacturers were considerably higher, averaging $40.01 per hour. That includes $26.19 for wages and salaries, and $13.81 for benefits. 1/14/2020
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced its final rule regarding joint employer liability under the Fair Labor Standards Act. See the analysis by Roetzel, an OMA Connections Partner.
On its Twitter feed, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said the new rule “is a win for manufacturers.” 1/13/2020