Small Businesses Passing Health Cost Increases On To Workers; Employers Blame Health Law For Shrinking Benefits This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Businesses are still trying to sort out many of the issues that come with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.The Washington Post: As Rates Soar, Small Business Owners Pass Along More Health Care Costs To EmployeesHealth insurance costs for small business owners have been rising for more than a decade, and some are concerned the health care law will drive their premiums higher at an even faster clip. Many appear to be coping by passing some of the costs along to their employees (Harrison, 8/28).CNN Employers Play Obamacare Blame GameNo more health benefits for spouses. Higher deductibles for employees. More cost-sharing. Employers are citing increased costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act — as Obamacare is formally known — as part of the reason they are pulling back on benefits. … UPS and UVa said they are dropping coverage for employees’ spouses that have access to benefits elsewhere. Delta said in a letter to administration officials that it will have to pass along some of the rising costs to its employees. While there’s no doubt Obamacare comes with increased costs for employers, health reform can only be blamed for a piece of the price hike, experts say (Luhby, 8/29). CBS News Health Care Is A Priority For Employers In 2014Not only are companies concerned about health care plans, but they are concerned about actual employee health as well: 60 percent of HR executives cite “lowering overall healthcare costs” and “improving overall employee health” as top priorities for 2014. This shows a continuation of the trend for companies [to] develop and implement “wellness” programs. Thirty four percent of companies are looking to increase participation in already existing healthcare plans (Lucas, 8/28).San Jose Mercury News/Digital First Media: How 13 Major Companies Have Responded To ObamacareWhat effects will Obamacare have on business? With the health insurance exchanges set to launch on Oct. 1, the fight over whether the law is good or bad for business continues. There’s still not solid information on either side, but some big-name businesses have weighed in, either through words or actions (Beckwith, 8/28).
Go back to the e-newsletterFour Seasons continues to grow in Hawaii with the opening of its fifth location, the new Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina.Situated on a pristine stretch of coastline on Oahu’s rugged western coast in the community of Ko Olina, the island’s most luxurious multi-faceted resort experience is completely customised for each and every guest. Romantic getaways, active family vacations, cultural exploration and creative group gatherings all find a home at Four Seasons.“Ko olina literally means ‘place of joy,’ a sentiment that comes to life from the moment you arrive,” promises General Manager Sanjiv Hulugalle, who leads a team of handpicked staff from Hawaii and around the world. “We look forward to welcoming guests to our island ohana for the first time this summer, and then again and again.”Adjacent to the historic Lanikuhonua estate, the 17-story Edward Killingsworth-designed hotel rises from a landscape of sandy beaches and winding pathways through lush tropical gardens. Nearly all of the 371 spacious rooms and suites boast full ocean views that can be enjoyed from floor-to-ceiling windows and private lanai terraces. On site resort features include five dining and drinking options, an enormous spa and fitness complex including a five-court tennis facility, and myriad possibilities for business and social events of all sizes, indoors and out. There’s even a custom-built wedding chapel nestled in its gardens.Within the Ko Olina community, Four Seasons guests enjoy privileged access to the Ko Olina Golf Club and the Ko Olina Marina. But no visit to Hawaii is complete without a little exploration – a journey that begins at the concierge desk at Four Seasons, where Director of Guest Services and Concierge Kawai Yamashiro and her team are ready to devise all manner of amusements across the island, and beyond.“Even visitors who have been coming to Hawaii for years are surprised by the special experiences and hidden gems we can offer,” says Yamashiro, a Hawaiian native and current President of the Concierge Association of Hawaii. “We know where to find the best breaks on the North Shore, the coolest shrimp shacks, incredible hikes along the Waianae Range, epic ocean fishing expeditions, the most immersive cultural experiences and even the perfect place to pop the question, and we can’t wait to share them with our guests.”In celebration of its grand opening Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina is currently offering an Introductory – Fourth Night Free Package as well as attractive spa and golf packages.Hawaii 3.0, Four Seasons StyleRomanceThere are many good reasons why Hawaii has long been favoured as a honeymoon destination, and Four Seasons is now adding a few great ones. Active couples will love all the things to do à deux – from golfing to waterfall hikes and sunset snorkelling from the resort’s sleek yacht. The adults-only beach and pool ensures quiet relaxation (umbrella drinks optional), and for those who would rather cocoon together, Four Seasons takes the resort experience en suite with in-room massages, candlelit dinner on the private lanai, or even a bucket of popcorn and a bottle of champagne for snuggling up to an in-room movie.Insider Tip: Ask for a room with a private outdoor Jacuzzi to enjoy under the stars.AdventureSpending a week in a deck chair not your thing? For the active traveller, the adventures on land and water are endless. Nearby Kualoa Ranch – familiar to film buffs as the setting for the Jurassic Park series – offers horseback riding, mountain biking, ziplining and ATVing through jungle terrain. On the water, whether one prefers board (surf, paddle) or boat (outrigger canoe, fishing vessel), Four Seasons has it covered. Fancy a bit of cliff jumping? “We can arrange that too,” says Yamashiro.RelaxationWhen it’s time to chill out, Four Seasons Resort Oahu becomes an oasis of tranquillity and relaxation. Sunrise yoga puts stress to rest, while a day of indulgence at the Naupaka Spa restores mind and body. The 3250-square-metre facility includes 16 treatment rooms and extensive fitness facilities across four levels. Waterfront massages in secluded hales are also offered. Then, with multiple beaches and pools, there’s a spot in the sun for everyone, including those who want a quiet swim or a snooze on the sand.Insider Tip: Book a cabana package for the ultimate VIP experience.Local FlavourHungry for something different? Hawaii’s super hot food scene is out there to discover. The ocean’s bounty and abundance of home grown produce are the inspiration for a new generation of chefs who are bringing global cultural influences to an emerging and distinctly Hawaiian palate. The best place to start this feast of flavours is Noe, where Executive Chef Martin Knaubert and his team showcase a creative interpretation of Italian-meets-island cuisine. There’s also the Fish House for line-to-table dining; Lā Hiki, a modern take on the exotic pan-Asian restaurants of yesteryear; and the barefoot-casual Waterman Bar & Grill. When out exploring Oahu, the concierge team can recommend the best places to stop for a bite, from the ubiquitous island food trucks and beach shacks to Honolulu’s top restaurants.Insider Tip: “Don’t hesitate to ask our staff for their recommendations – we’re happy to share our favourite local places,” says Knaubert.CultureBeyond the lei and the luau, the rich culture of the Hawaiian people includes a welcoming spirit of sharing. Next door to Four Seasons is four-hectare Lanikuhonua – “where heaven meets the earth” – a place favoured by Hawaiian royalty for its natural rock formations and coastal ponds where today Four Seasons guests can learn about Hawaiian history and culture. The Resort has also welcomed surf legend and photographer Ha`a Keaulana to its ohana as the first of the Curators of Four Seasons program, sharing her unique heritage and art with guests.Family timeFor a family vacation with something to please absolutely everyone, the team at Four Seasons Resort Oahu has thought of everything. Of course there’s a safely sheltered sandy beach lagoon with all manner of water toys and games for endless hours of splashtime fun, and there’s a family pool too. Children’s menus are in the restaurants, and the Naupaka Spa with a series of treatments created especially for younger guests ages 10 and up. The fully-supervised Kids for All Seasons club is a place for ukulele lessons, hula shows and new friends ages five to 12, and the Young Adult Centre keeps teens connected in their own cyber café, and entertained with a private movie theatre and games galore.Insider Tip: Adults looking for a little alone time can drop kids off for the day at Kids for All Seasons, or book a professional babysitter and enjoy a night out.Go back to the e-newsletter