Submit your comments on draft legislation that would require employers to disclose the amount they pay toward an employee´s health benefits on the employee´s W-2.

According to a group of lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee, such a directive would "provide for greater disclosure of health insurance costs to workers. Better informing workers about what they pay for health care and how much costs are increasing year after year is a way to begin to help to control health care costs."

What do you think? I personally don't read my W-2 very closely, rather just pass it along to my accountant. So, I'm inclined to agree with a recent WorldatWork membership poll that finds (62%) favor total rewards statement as the best way to communicate the true cost of health benefits, compared to 8% for the W-2 tax form.

"While transparency of employer-provided health-care costs is always a good idea, the W-2 does not give a complete picture," said Rose Stanley, WorldatWork's benefits practice leader. "Our studies show that total reward statements are truly the best vehicle for communicating with employees as they include income from all compensation sources as well as the cash value of all benefits. However, reward statements are not provided with every paycheck, are not submitted to government and are not consistent in format. As an alternative, we encourage the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to explore creating a federal standard of total reward statements for tax-exempt benefit communications."

The committee is accepting comments until Dec. 31. E-mail disclosure@finance-rep.senate.gov.

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