Benefit Basics

Learn the intricacies of company benefits packages.

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Course details

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Registration details

Benefit Basics

Learn the intricacies of company benefits packages.

What you’ll be able to do — competencies

  • Identify key terminology that applies to the world of benefits 
  • Recognize the types of benefits plans, and distinguish between mandatory and optional benefit programs 
  • Understand the key components of state and federally regulated programs such as COBRA, ERISA, FMLA and HIPAA 
  • Introduce future trends in benefit planning and the potential impact on benefit costs 
  • Review the key benefit families and the benefit options available in each category 
  • Use research skills to identify benefits in the news, and to expand knowledge in benefits outside the classroom 

Course description

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Variety is the spice of life, so the saying goes. This applies well to company benefits, since the benefits that one worker finds attractive may be unattractive to another. Benefits are an important facet of human resources and can be complicated. Gain an overview and essential building blocks to understanding benefits packages, including knowledge of mandatory benefits and the difference between voluntary and regulated benefit plans. 


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Session 1   

  • 13-1 Benefits and HR Strategy 
  • 13-1a Benefits as a Competitive Advantage 
  • 13-1b Tax-Favored Status of Benefits 
  • 13-1c Global Benefits 
  • 13-1d Public-Sector Benefits 
  • 13-2 Managing Benefits 
  • 13-2a Benefits Design 

Session 2  

  • 13-3 Benefits Administration, Technology, and Communication 
  • 13-3a Benefits Measurement 
  • 13-3b Benefits Cost Control 
  • 13-3c Benefits Communication 
  • 13-3d Types of Benefits 
  • 13-4 Legally Required Benefits 
  • 13-4a Social Security and Medicare 
  • 13-4b Workers’ Compensation 
  • 13-4c Unemployment Compensation 
  • 13-4d Additional Legally Required Benefits 
  • 13-5 Retirement Benefits 
  • 13-5a Retirement Plan Concepts 
  • 13-5b Retirement Plans 
  • 13-6 Legal Regulation of Retirement Benefits 
  • 13-6a Employee Retirement Income Security Act 
  • 13-6b Retirement Benefits and Age Discrimination 

Session 3  

  • 13-7 Health Care Benefits 
  • 13-7a Increases in Health Benefits Costs 
  • 13-7b Health Care Reform Legislation 
  • 13-7c Employer-Sponsored Plans 
  • 13-7d Controlling Health Care Benefit Costs 
  • 13-7e Increasing Employee Contributions 

Session 4  

  • 13-7f Consumer-Driven Health Plans 
  • 13-7g Dental and Vision Coverage 
  • 13-7h Improving Health through Wellness Initiatives 
  • 13-7i Health Care Legislation 
  • 13-9 Family Oriented Benefits 
  • 13-9a Family and Medical Leave Act 
  • 13-9b Family-Care Benefits 

Session 5  

  • 13-10 Paid Time-Off Benefits 
  • 13-10a Vacation Pay 
  • 13-10b Holiday Pay 
  • 13-10c Leaves of Absence 
  • 13-10d Paid-Time-Off Plans 
  • 13-10e Employee-Paid Group Benefits

Next available start dates

Online — Evenings

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Benefit Basics
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Total classroom hours

15 hours

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Evenings, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM, 5 M W - 9/29/2021 - 10/13/2021

Quarter: Fall

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Total cost


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Instructor: Mary Summers, SPHR

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Online courses require an internet connection and the ability to interact both through audio and video using either a web cam/microphone, speakers/headset using a computer or via a mobile phone connection. Any costs associated with connectivity or equipment are the responsibility of the student. Recommended textbook: This class utilizes Human Resource Management, 15th ed. by RL Mathis and JH Jackson. In order to access the course materials, students must have a Bellevue College NetID.

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