Healthcare in America is extremely overpriced & these 11 charts prove it.

I would not want to be caught on the wrong end of the bill.

Ask any U.S. healthcare expert and they will tell you, today’s healthcare costs are increasing in at an alarming rate. Compared to the rest of world, the costs for healthcare in America are as comparable as the price to filet mignon to a happy meal. Why is that? Why was I forced to pay such a high bill after going in for a simple, 45-minute procedure? Why did one stitch on my finger result in a bill a week later for $13,000? Thankfully I was covered and don’t have a deductible, but most people do have deductibles and we all feel the effects of these charges in the rising amounts we pay out of our paychecks for insurance coverage.

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Topics: american health care, american healthcare, Ashton Benefits, cost-effective insurance, health care, health insurance, healthcare, high deductible, HR, hris, IFHP, insurance, insurance broker, overpriced health care, overpriced healthcare, procedure costs

How to make employee benefits a true recruiting & retention tool



In many organizations I come across, employee benefits has become an area that employees view as something that gets eroded each year due to cost increases and benefits changes.  Too many HR departments are in a pattern of the “here we go again” mentality when open enrollment comes around.

As the economy improves and the job market begins to come back to life, employee benefits must once again serve as a recruiting and retention tool.

Here are some small, easy changes you can make to your employee benefits program to attract and retain the best talent.

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Topics: benefits technology, employee benefits, health advocate, hris

The Four HR Portal “Must Haves”


How much time do you spend managing your company’s employee benefits?  Imagine an HR System where everything you need is at your fingertips in one beautiful dashboard. But the system is also robust, able to handle complex plan designs and rate structures.  HR Systems are changing the way companies work.

When vetting a new HR Portal there are four main features we consider “Must Haves.”  Check them out below or download our free E-Book, “Reinventing the Enrollment Experience”

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Topics: benefits technology, employee benefits, HR, HR Portal, hris

5 Reasons Your Group Medical Plan Needs a Health Advocate


A Health Advocate can be a godsend for anyone dealing with a huge bureaucratic insurance company. No matter what insurance company your group uses to provide medical insurance as part of your employee benefits program, someone is destined to run into an issue with a denied claim, confusing medical bill or trouble understanding what the plan covers. We’ve heard it time and time again, “you need a masters degree in insurance just to understand this stuff!” Well, then why not provide each employee with an expert who can help navigate the complexities of the insurance market? Here are the top 5 reasons your group medical plans needs a health advocate:

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Topics: employee benefits, health advocate, hris

Comply with the ACA’s Employer Shared Responsibility Rules

Is your business prepared to handle the Affordable Care Act’s biggest requirement for business’?

The employer shared responsibility provision went into effect this 2015 calendar year. Constant coordination and communication between HR managers and payroll is needed in order to ensure accuracy in reporting requirements and payroll data.Here are five ways to ensure accuracy in order to avoid penalties:

  1. Keep track of reporting time periods
    • Choose a look-back period of three months to one year
  1. Coordinate with HR for accurate reporting
    • Complete Forms 1094C and 1095C for end of the year reporting for the 2015 tax year. Get information for employer status, coverage affordability, and eligible employees.
  2. Provide correct information for hours worked
    • Employee service hours are used to determine the full time status for the stability period, and ensure data provided covers the time period. Determine employer status and full time employees. Take note of personnel changes that affect employee’s full time status.
  3. Offer the right health care coverage
    • Make sure affordable coverage is offered to full time employees and dependents in order to avoid penalties.
  4. Determine affordability
    • Affordable health care under employer shared responsibility is coverage that does not cost over 9.5% of employee’s annual household income. Determine affordability through Form W-2, employee salary, or hourly rate information.


With Ashton Benefits’ free online platform, gathering accurate data for reporting requirements can be made easy. Ashton clients receive our system that tracks the correct information. Manually tracking information about your employees without it would be a nightmare. Your company can easily access and update data from your payroll, health insurance, and HR systems all online, in one place. Ashton Benefits is here to help you to remain compliant.

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Topics: aca, aca compliance, employer shared responsibility, healthcare reform, HR, hris, payroll, Technology

Employer Reporting Guide for Large Employers



Beginning with calendar year 2015, an applicable large employer (ALE or “large employer,” as referenced in this summary) must use Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to report the information required under Internal Revenue Code sections 6055 and 6056 about offers of health coverage to full-time employees’ (FTEs) and individuals’ enrollment in health coverage.

Ashton Benefits’ free software includes the data and reports that you need to make these new requirements a breeze.

The most difficult part of the entire process is compiling the data!  Once you have the data, the rest is simply transposing it to the proper form!  But what will you do if there is no system in place to track your employee demographics, month by month coverage, and eligibility dates?  The free Ashton portal takes care of all of this!

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Topics: aca, benefits technology, compliance, employee benefits, healthcare reform, hris

Top 5 ways to take your company out of the Stone Age with HRIS


In today’s day and age, companies are looking to implement new technology in every area from sales and marketing to recruiting and even customer service.  So why is it that SO many HR Departments still run their employee benefits programs like its 1980?

I mean come on, half of your employees weren’t even alive when some of the forms you’re using to on-board them were developed!

The truth is there are some really easy and FREE things you can do to take your company’s HR department out of the stone age.

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Topics: benefits technology, employee benefits, hris, Technology