When it comes to the cost of benefits, Jennifer Weinstein thinks employers could stand to be more transparent with their employees. She calls it the "benefits curtain" - when employees get their open enrollment packet every year and read that their plan design has changed or that the company is changing medical carriers but "nobody really explains why those things happen," she says. "They just say 'costs are increasing' or 'the Affordable Care Act is here now, so this is why we have to make changes.' But to an employee? They don't understand what that means."

Weinstein is the director of benefits, compensation and HRIS with Ensign Services, which provides back-office support to the company's nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, assisted living facilities and hospices in 138 locations across 11 states. Her efforts to increase transparency and communication with the company's 15,000 employees, as well as her work launching the organization's first-ever wellness program, have earned Weinstein EBN's 2013 Benefits Professional of the Year Award.

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