Q.- I thought health care reform required children to be covered under our plans until age 26. Why won’t our dental carrier allow this?
The fall is a good time for employers to review the annual notices that must be distributed to employees. Some notices are distributed at open enrollment, and others are distributed at set times during the year. Each individual employer may have different notice distribution requirements depending on several factors, including size of organization and types of plans offered. Some common notices are described below.
Health care reform requires health insurance issuers and self-insured group health plans to pay a transitional reinsurance fee in 2014, 2015 and 2016. For 2015, the fee will be $44 per covered life. Insurers will pay the fee for fully-insured plans, but plan sponsors will have to pay the fee for self-funded plans.
Q.- Our plan year starts 7/1. We are planning to use the lookback method to determine our full-time employees for the 2015 filing. Our measurement period run 5/1-4/30. Our stability period runs 7/1-6/30. Since first we started collecting hours 5/1/2014, how do we designate FTEs for the first six months of 2015?
Last week, the Social Security Administration announced that there will be no annual cost-of living adjustment on Social Security payments for 2016. Retirees saw a 1.7 percent adjustment to Social Security in 2015. This is only the third time in 40 years that Social Security payments have not been increased.
The IRS issued the adjusted dollar amount that will be charged for the annual PCOR fee charged to insured and self-funded plans.
Q. An employee is terminating employment at the end of the month. She wants her COBRA qualifying event notice now. Do we have to give it to her?
Employer health plans allow changes mid-year on the account of certain life events. These events include marriage, birth of a child/adoption/placement for adoption, divorce, and losing dependent status.
Last week, President Obama signed the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act. PACE changes the definition of a small employer for purposes of purchasing health coverage (not for other ACA purposes).
Q. - We just hired our 20th employee last week. Does that mean we have to start offering COBRA right away?
An employee handbook is important for both employers and employees. The handbook is a vehicle for employers to communicate policies and procedures and set expectations for the work environment. Employees look to the handbook for important information about work place rules.
Health Care Reform requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees to provide minimum essential coverage that provides minimum value to its full-time employees and their dependents or be subject to a tax penalty. The coverage provided must be affordable.
As a kickoff to the launch of Benefit Allocation System’s focus on Community Service program, BAS participated in the Valley Youth House Backpack Challenge. From August 12th to September 10th BAS employees selected SwissGear Laptop backpacks and filled them with scientific calculators, journals, calendars, gift cards, highlighters, binders, folders, water bottles, index cards, pens/pencils and other items for foster care youths, ages 16-21 entering high school and college. BAS employees also added notes to the backpacks, encouraging students to achieve success in school.
Q.- Can I get reimbursed for my teeth whitening from my health flexible spending account plan?
Employers with calendar year Flexible Spending Account Plans may wish to remind their employees to use up their account balances. FSA amounts that are not used during the plan year are must be forfeited, subject to certain exceptions.
The IRS issued the following News Release which they suggest be read by all employers: