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Combining Wellness & Risk Management

Combine your workplace wellness program with your risk management and safety program and you could see big savings on your workers’ compensation costs.

Workers’ compensation is one of a business’ largest operational expenses—and costs are on the rise. According to the Insurance Information Institute, medical costs will account for up to 67 percent of total costs of workers’ compensation claims by 2019. (more…)

Filed under: Health,Workers' Compensation — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 5:16 pm July 28, 2016


IRS Penalty Assessments Coming this Fall

For those employers who have 50 or more equivalent employees: Now that you wrapped up the required 1095 and 1094 forms (showing that you did or didn’t offer coverage to your full time employees) and sent them to the IRS earlier this year, you may be wondering what is coming next…

Some of your employees may start receiving an IRS penalty assessment this fall. This notice would be issued if they or a member of their family accessed advanced premium tax credits from Covered California or Healthcare.gov when they were offered affordable coverage through your company (the affordable coverage clarification is confirmed through the 1095 and 1094 forms). As you may know, when you offer affordable coverage, your employees who are eligible for your plan, as well as their dependents, are not eligible for advanced premium tax credits.

Unfortunately, Covered California and Healthcare.gov don’t always make it crystal clear what an “affordable” plan is. So, you may find that many of your eligible employees will be receiving this IRS penalty notice for accepting advanced premium tax credits that they didn’t qualify for. If they receive it in error, there will be the option for them to appeal the IRS penalty in the late fall and early winter. Some of these penalties will be substantial, so it is good to have a basic understanding if you hear from your employees about this. Feel free to contact Warren G. Bender Co. if you need further clarification.

Filed under: Employee Benefits — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 2:32 pm July 27, 2016


Understanding a Health Savings Account

What is a health savings account?

Otherwise known as an HSA, a health savings account can be funded with your tax-exempt dollars, by your employer, by a family member or by anyone else on your behalf. Dollars from the account can help pay for eligible medical expenses not covered by an insurance plan, including the deductible, coinsurance, and even health insurance premiums, in some cases.

Who is eligible for an HSA?
Anyone who is:
• Covered by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP);
• Not covered under another medical plan that is not an HDHP;
• Not entitled to (eligible for AND enrolled in) Medicare benefits; or
• Not eligible to be claimed on another person’s tax return.

What is a high deductible health plan (HDHP)?
A high-deductible health plan is a plan with a minimum annual deductible and a maximum out-of-pocket limit as listed in the following table. These minimums and maximums are determined annually by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are subject to change. (more…)

Filed under: Employee Benefits — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 2:17 pm July 21, 2016


DOL Increases Penalties for Health Plan Violations

penalty, 3D rendering, rough street sign collection HIGHLIGHTS
• The 2015 Bipartisan Budget Act directed the DOL to increase civil penalty amounts under ERISA to account for inflation.
• The increased penalty amounts reflect an initial catch-up adjustment.
• The DOL will adjust civil penalty amounts for inflation every year, beginning in January 2017.

IMPORTANT DATES
July 1, 2016: The DOL published new penalty amounts in the Federal Register.
August 1, 2016: New penalty amounts for ERISA violations become effective.

OVERVIEW
On July 1, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an interim final rule that increases the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed under various federal laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The interim final rule increases the civil penalty amounts associated with:
– Failing to file an annual Form 5500 (as applicable);
– Failing to provide the annual notice regarding premium assistance under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and
– Failing to provide the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), as required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The increased amounts apply to civil penalties that are assessed after Aug. 1, 2016, for violations that occurred after Nov. 2, 2015. (more…)

Filed under: Employee Benefits,Recent Headlines — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 2:44 pm July 15, 2016