BAS Blog


 

Health Care Wizard Helps Employers Analyze Insurance Costs

Small business owners have a new tool to analyze health care reform and explore different health insurance options available to them.

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New Jersey Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault

Beginning October 1, 2013, New Jersey employers with 25 or more employees will be required to offer 20 days of job-protected leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and their family members. Employers are also prohibited from taking adverse employment action against an employee who takes the leave.

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Question of the Week

Q.- We have an employee who was not enrolled in our health coverage, but we are now terminating his employment. Does he need to receive a COBRA notice?

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Department of Labor Offers Webcast Addressing Health Care Reform

Years after the passing of the Affordable Care Act, there is still confusion over the application of health care reform. The Department of Labor has been attempting to make health care reform understandable through its new website, www.healthcare.gov.

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IRS Issues Final Regulations on Reimbursements for Meals and Entertainment Expenses

The IRS released final regulations addressing the tax implications of work related expense reimbursements. Proposed regulations were issued last year, and the final regulations adopt the proposed rules without substantive changes. The final regulations apply to expenses paid or incurred in taxable years beginning after August 1, 2013.

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Question of the Week

Q.- I ordered Nexium over the Internet and it was shipped to me from France. It was much less expensive to buy the drug abroad. May I get reimbursed for the cost of my purchase through my health flexible spending account plan?

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HHS Provides Online Training for Brokers and Agents

The Department of Health and Human Services has announced that agents and brokers who want to operate within the Health Insurance Exchanges (Marketplaces) may now participate in online training. To participate in the Exchanges, brokers and agents must complete a training course and agree to comply with applicable laws.

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Obesity Claimed as a Disability

In June of this year, the American Medical Association (AMA) officially classified obesity as a disease. The decision was not clear-cut, as opponents argued that obesity is only a risk factor that leads to disease, and not a disease itself. The debate notwithstanding, the AMA’s classification gives support to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s position that obesity is a disability under the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), which would prevent discrimination based on obese status. The ADA itself does not enumerate obesity as a protected class.

A recent lawsuit brings the issue to debate. In Whittaker v. America’s Car-Mart, Inc., Joseph Whittaker claimed that his employer violated the ADA when it fired him because of his weight. Mr. Whittaker alleged that he met the definition of disability under the ADA since he was substantially limited in one or more major life activities, namely walking.

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee received a COBRA Initial Rights Notice when he first enrolled in our health plan. He is now adding his 15 year old son to coverage. Do we have to send the son a COBRA Initial Rights Notice?

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Number of Employees for Health Care Reform Requirements

Even with the delay in the application of the shared responsibility/pay or play penalty under health care reform, employers should begin to take stock of their workforce. Part of the analysis will include counting the number of full time employees, as defined under the Affordable Care Act.

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Employers Should Pay Attention to Offer Letters and Noncompetes

Many employers attempt to place restrictions on employees as to their ability to compete during and after employment. The validity of noncompetition agreements is often litigated, as is the timing of the noncompete- whether it is part of an offer letter, presented before an offer letter, or given after employment commences.

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Question of the Week

Q.- My wife is not covered under my health plan because she has her own coverage through her employer. May I submit her medical expenses for reimbursement through my health FSA?

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COBRA Election Frequently Asked Questions

BAS’ Cobra Control Services, LLC (CCS) strives to make the COBRA administration process easy for both administrators and COBRA continuants.

The following Frequently Asked Questions identify 26 COBRA questions that employees or former employees repeatedly ask BAS’ call center agents. Some questions address COBRA rules, and some address CCS’ administrative processes. The Q&As follow. While tailored to continuants, the following Q&As provide useful information about CCS’ COBRA administration processes.

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PHI May Be Disclosed as Part of Exchange Coverage Determination

According to a report from the Ways and Means Committee of the United States House of Representatives, state, federal and local agencies, along with insurers, will exchange protected personal health information of individuals seeking coverage through a state-based Marketplace, or Exchange.

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Updated Guidance from the EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued revised documents explaining how the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to four disabilities:

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Question of the Week

Q.- I hear that health plans have to pay a new fee each year called the PCORI research fee. Does that fee apply to our health plan or our health FSA?

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