BAS Blog


 

BAS' Private Health Care Exchange Technology Solutions

BAS’ MyEnroll.com insurance enrollment and billing system is perfectly suited as the base enrollment and billing system for forthcoming health care exchanges that desire a single, comprehensive ben/admin and billing solution.

Entire “Benefits Life Cycle”

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Daily Facility Sweeps

BAS maintains HIPAA compliant facilities. In keeping with BAS' focus on privacy and security of clients' sensitive information, BAS maintains a daily facility sweep protocol.

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New Guidance for Employers and Insurers on the Implementation of Health Care Reform

The government released three proposed rules last week providing additional guidance on health care reform. The rules address (1) preexisting condition limitations and insurance pricing, (2) standards for essential health benefits and actuarial value, and (3) employer wellness programs.

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At-Will Employment Policies in Employee Handbooks

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which acts as a quasi-judicial body in deciding cases in administrative proceedings for both unionized and non-unionized employees, recently issued a memo discussing at-will employment policies. The NLRB held that at-will employment clauses in two employee handbooks did not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Earlier in the year, the NLRB held that an at-will agreement would violate labor law if it prevented an employee from participating in concerted behavior questioning the employee's at-will status.

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Question of the Week

Q.- I am aware of the $2,500 maximum limit on health flexible spending account plans for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2013. Is this maximum imposed on limited purpose FSAs also?

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Understanding PHI Language

The HIPAA Privacy Rule applies to Protected Health Information (PHI) and the HIPAA Security Rule applies to Electronic Protected Health Information (EPHI). Employers may have other categories of employees personal information that deserve protections.

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Health Care Reform's Impact on Health Flexible Spending Account Plans

The Affordable Care Act sets a maximum limit on the pre-tax contributions that an employee may make to a health flexible spending account plan. Prior to health care reform, employees were not limited by the government on the amount that could be contributed to a health FSA. While many employer plans have always set maximum contribution limits, these limits were employer/plan imposed, and not set by the federal government. Now, all health FSAs must include contribution limitations. Plans should be amended for the new limitation, and the limit should be communicated to employees during this year's open enrollment period.

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Remember to Provide Employees Required Annual Notices

Each year, employers and health plans are required to send certain notices to employees. Calendar-year health plans that are preparing for open enrollment may find it a good time to review the annual notice requirements. Some notices must be stand-alone notices and others can be distributed as part of other plan materials. Use the following checklist as a guide during open enrollment.

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Question of the Week

Q.- Our company has a Board of Directors. We pay the Directors fees for their service. One of the Directors asked if he can participate in our Code section 125 cafeteria plan. Can we let him participate?

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Emergency Preparedness Plan Important for All Businesses

With companies still feeling the impact of last week's hurricane, many employers are reviewing and revising their emergency preparedness plans. Hurricane Sandy has re-emphasized the importance of all employers having plans in place to address emergencies. While employers with 10 or more employees covered under OSHA standards are required to have written emergency plans, all employers can benefit from employees knowing and understanding management's response to emergencies.

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COBRA Remittance Reports

Cobra Control Services, LLC makes administration of COBRA easy and efficient. One aspect of CCS' easy administration is the availability of various reports. CCS offers an online report of all remittance checks sent to employers.

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Federal Insurance Plan To Be Announced Soon

The Affordable Care Act requires the establishment of nation-wide health insurance plans operated by the federal government. With the Obama administration given a direction for another four years, these plans will likely be implemented soon. It has been reported that the national plans are in the final stages of development.

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Electronic Distribution of SPD

Many employers are aware of their responsibility to have and distribute a summary plan description (SPD) for their health and welfare plan. An SPD can be a lengthy document. Some employers would like to distribute the SPD electronically or post the SPD on a company intranet site. However, electronic communication of an SPD satisfies a plan sponsor's distribution responsibilities only if the communication satisfies Department of Labor regulations.

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee is turning 65. Do we have to give him or his wife a COBRA notice?

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COBRA Initial Rights Notice

An employer that sponsors a group health plan subject to COBRA must give each employee and each spouse of an employee who becomes covered under the plan a general notice describing COBRA rights. This "COBRA Initial Rights Notice" or "CIN" is required under federal law and must be provided within the first 90 days of coverage.

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Secure File Transfer for Protected Data Delivery

BAS makes it easy to send and receive information to and from administrators through its Secure File Transfer capabilities. The MyEnroll.com Secure File Transfer interface provides users the ability to send sensitive information and/or large files in a protected, secure manner. The data is saved directly in MyEnroll.com, which provides the data all of the robust security protections of MyEnroll.com.

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Remember the SBC As Part of Open Enrollment

As open enrollment approaches, employers should remember the new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) requirement under health care reform. Group health plans must provide information to participants through an SBC to allow them to better understand the plan coverage they have, and to give them the opportunity to compare their coverage against different plan options.

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IRS Provides New Tax Guidance for Same-Sex Couples

The IRS has revised its guidance for same-sex domestic partners, same-sex individuals in civil unions, and other same-sex couples with marriage recognized by state law. This guidance provides direction for same-sex couples on benefits and IRS tax filings.

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Question of the Week

Q.- Our business is located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hurricane Sandy affected our area. One of our hourly-paid employees showed up for work at his regularly scheduled time of 7:00am Monday morning. We told him that he had to go home because of the hurricane and he had to take a vacation day. Was this practice OK?

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