BAS Blog


 

COBRA Rate Renewal Communication

Cobra Control Services provides easy COBRA administration at low per-use costs. One often-overlooked feature of COBRA administration is informing COBRA participants about changes in the premium rates for plans. CCS takes a proactive approach to this issue by reaching out to each client at rate renewal time.

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Mobile Device Policies Important in the Workplace

As the workplace grows increasingly global, many employees access employer email and other data through personal mobile devices. Employers find that allowing employees to "bring your own device" increases productivity. Employees appreciate the opportunity to be tuned- in to the job at all times.

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Religious Exemption to Providing Contraceptive Coverage

Under health care reform, group health plans must offer preventive health services to women without cost-sharing. Those preventive services include contraceptive coverage.

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Paid Sick Leave Requirements

Many employers offer various categories of Paid Time Off (PTO) to eligible employees. Interestingly, there is no federal legal requirements for PTO, including paid sick leave. Companies with 50 or more employees subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) must provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain medical situations for either the eligible employee or a member of the eligible employee's immediate family. To be eligible for FMLA leave, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months.

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Question of the Week

Q.- I was terminated from employment and offered 18 months of COBRA continuation coverage. Someone told me that I could extend the coverage past the 18 month period. Is this true?

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HIPAA Omnibus Rule Requires Action

The government issued comprehensive, final Omnibus Regulations addressing HIPAA's privacy and Security Standards. These rules require covered entities to assess security concerns.

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Guidance Describes Essential Health Benefits and Coverage Offerings

Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule describing standards related to essential health benefits. Health care reform requires all non-grandfathered health insurance coverage in the individual and small group markets (both in a health care Exchange and outside an Exchange) to cover what the government deems essential health benefits beginning January 1, 2014.

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Changes to FMLA Require Employer Attention for Documentation Changes

The Department of Labor issued a final rule amending the Family and Medical Leave Act. Specifically, the final rule revises the FMLA rules on the coverage of military caregiver and exigency leaves and changes the eligibility requirements for airline industry employees. The final rule will require modifications to FMLA policies, forms and postings.

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Question of the Week

Q.- Our Flexible Spending Account Plan Year begins March 1. We are changing payroll schedules, and it might be difficult to take the FSA contribution out of all of the 27 payrolls for the 2013 plan year. Can we take deductions for only 26 of the 27 payrolls?

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New Breach Notification Standard under HIPAA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Omnibus Final rule made many changes to the HIPAA Security Rule and Privacy Rule. One of those changes relates to notification of a security breach under HIPAA.

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Minimum Essential Coverage and Individual Exemptions

The Departments of Health and Human Services (HHC) and Treasury issued a proposed rule describing what will be considered "minimum essential coverage" for purposes of health care reform. Beginning January 1, 2014, health care reform requires a non-exempt individual to have and maintain minimum essential health coverage or pay a penalty on their income tax returns. Limited classes of individuals, such as those with certain religious beliefs or those who do not have an affordable health option available, are exempt from the requirement. All other individuals must have health coverage that meets the minimum essential requirements.

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Valentines Day Harassment Claims

On this February 14, employers should be mindful of employee behavior at work. The workplace is generally not an appropriate place for Valentines Day celebrations, as they could potentially lead to sexual harassment claims.

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Question of the Week

Q.- We are going to implement domestic partner benefits. Should we extend domestic partner benefits to FSA participants?

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COBRA Reseller and Qualifying Event Notice Trainings

Benefit Allocation Systems, Inc. provides easy and automated COBRA billing and notice administration through Cobra Control Services, LLC (CCS). CCS provides various complementary training opportunities for both employers and resellers of CCS' services (i.e., brokers).

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BAS Does Not Accept Compressed Files

Benefit Allocation Systems takes the security of data very seriously. Toward that end, BAS has security controls in place to protect all client data. One of those controls is that BAS does not accept incoming email messages that contain compressed files, such as files ending with .zip , .exe or .qt.

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Guidance on Appealing Decisions on Employee Credits for Exchange

The Department of Health and Human Services issued proposed regulations on the implementation of health insurance exchanges, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The lengthy regulations include helpful guidance for employers, with respect to (1) employer verification of an individual's eligibility for employer-sponsored health coverage, and (2) procedures for disputing an individual's eligibility for coverage in an Exchange. These two items will be important for an employer in disputing liability for the employer pay-or-play penalty.

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Social Network Sites Used As Documentation for FMLA

Employees should be aware that posts on social network sites can be used against them in limited circumstances, as evidenced by a a recent court case, Jaszczyszyn v. Advantage Health Physician Network (6th Cir., 2012). In that case, a former employee sued her employer for retaliation and interference in a FMLA claim.

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee's child aged out of the dental plan. We offered COBRA continuation coverage for the child and the child elected COBRA. Can the employee pay the cost of COBRA continuation coverage on a pre-tax basis through salary reduction contributions?

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