BAS Blog


 

Tripwire Security Protection and Monitoring at BAS

In our ongoing effort to protect and be good stewards of our clients’ data, BAS employs Tripwire IT software security for file change and server log monitoring.

Today, it is not sufficient to simply install security controls to protect the perimeter against hackers; in fact, the concept of a perimeter is close to fully dissipated. Therefore, BAS has taken additional steps in its data protection efforts. Toward this end, BAS has implemented Tripwire® VIA™ which is an integrated, controls-based platform for data protection, providing a best-practices, data-centric approach to managing modern security requirements.

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Supreme Court to Hear Oral Arguments on Health Care Reform

March will be a pivotal month for health care reform. The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments March 26 through 28 addressing the legality of the Affordable Care Act. Just last week, the Supreme Court increased the time allotted to arguments to a total of 6 hours throughout the three days.

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Consumer Driven Health Care Alternatives

Over the years, employers have been rethinking their approach to providing health benefits to employees. In a typical health plan, an employer pays for covered expenses incurred by its employees and their dependents directly through self-funding or through the purchase of insurance. This typical health plan structure does not provide any incentive for participants to control their health plan usage, and the employer has little control over the amount an employee spends on medical care.

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BAS Offers Identity Fraud and Death Records Matching Services

Benefit Allocation Systems, Inc. has expanded its Employee & Retiree Verification (“ERV”) service that helps employers prevent identity fraud in their group health plans.

BAS’ ERV service provides employers a vehicle for confirming that employees, retirees and dependents covered under the employer's group health plans are not identified by the government as deceased. One purpose of the service is to identify group health plan participants who are unlawfully using a Social Security number belonging to a deceased United States citizen. Another purpose is to identify retirees who have passed away but continue to have active records in the group health plan because no one notified the plan on behalf of the deceased.

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Government Launches www.BusinessUSA.gov

Last week, the federal government launched www.BusinessUSA.gov, a self-proclaimed "one-stop shop for everything related to business in the USA."

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Question of the Week

Q- My company is changing the number of work hours required for benefits eligibility. Previously, employees had to work 20 hours a week to be eligible for benefits. The requirement is being increased to 35 hours a week for benefits eligibility. Will individuals working between 20 and 35 hours who lose health coverage be entitled to elect COBRA continuation coverage?

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Send and Receive Secure Files

As part of its ongoing effort to afford the highest level of privacy and security to information in MyEnroll.com, BAS provides an easy and secure method to transmit employee data files or any document that needs to be shared. MyEnroll users can upload information in the MyEnroll system to BAS Administrators, Employer Administrators, Insurance Brokers and other third parties who have access to MyEnroll.com's Secure File menu item.

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Easy Access Centralized Reference Library

MyEnroll.com provides a centralized location for an employer's Human Resources documents, forms and links while providing easy access for employees through the online Reference Library. An employer may customize the Reference Library to grant access to all employees, or to restrict access to specific Benefit Classes. This unique feature gives an employer the tools it needs to customize information provided to employees on a class-by-class basis.

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Question of the Week

Q- My parents live with me. May I submit my parents' expenses for reimbursement from my Flexible Spending Accounts?

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Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

Small employers providing employee health coverage may be eligible to claim a tax credit under federal law. To be eligible for the credit, an employer must employ fewer than 25 full-time employees (or fewer than a combination of 25 full-time and part-time employees) with average wages of less than $50,000 a year. An employer must pay at least 50 percent of the cost of single (not family) health care coverage for each employee. Small businesses who do not owe tax during the year may be able to carry the credit back or forward to other years. In some instances, the credit may be claimed in addition to the business expense deduction for premiums in excess of the credit.

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Coverage for Preventive Health Services under Health Care Reform

One highly lauded provision of the Affordable Care Act is the requirement that non-grandfathered health plans offer certain types of preventive health care services without cost-sharing in the first plan year beginning on or after August 1, 2012. The prohibition on cost-sharing includes a ban on charging participants any deductible, co-payment or similar cost-sharing amount. Co-payments may still be charged for office visits when the preventive care service is billed separately (or tracked as separate encounter data) or when the office visit does not primarily pertain to the preventive care service. Co-payments may also be charged for out-of-network care.

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BREAKING NEWS: Government Issues SBC and Uniform Glossary Template to Describe Health Coverage

The three government agencies responsible for the implementation of health care reform (Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and Department of Treasury) today issued new rules expanding upon the requirement under the Affordable Care Act that health insurers and group health plans provide clear, consistent and comparable information about health plan benefits and coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers and group health plans are required to provide a four page Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) along with a Uniform Glossary explaining terms commonly used in health plans. Proposed guidance issued in August 2011 provided a template for plans to use to create an SBC and Uniform Glossary and set a March 23, 2011 effective date. Guidance issued in November 2011 pushed off the timeline for compliance.

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