Tag Archives: Benefit

How Health Insurance Companies and Employers Are Dealing With The New Medical Loss Ratio Mandate

Human resources management  —  benefits healthcare and the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Small business need-to-know

Excerpt:  The Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) mandate, within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, requires insurance companies to spend 80 to 85 percent of premium dollars on medical care and health care quality improvement. This provision just started in August, but how will it impact the insurance industry and employers?

“The MLR Legislation has a perverse incentive; when utilization and costs increase, an insurance company makes more money,” says Mark Haegele, director, sales and account management, with HealthLink.

Smart Business spoke with Haegele about what MLR does and the ramifications for health insurance companies, brokers and, ultimately, employers.

Read full article via How health insurance companies and employers are dealing with the new Medical Loss Ratio mandate | Smart Business.

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Employee Health Insurance Safe Harbors Expanded

Small business need-to-know and news-to-watch human resources management benefits — healthcare.

Excerpt:  The safe harbors, described in Notice 2012-58 and previous notices, provide methods of determining the full-time status of seasonal employees and those with unpredictable work schedules for purposes of the “shared responsibility” requirements of Sec. 4980H, enacted in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, P.L. 111-148.

Generally, for months beginning after Dec. 31, 2013, the law requires employers with at least 50 full-time employees on average during the preceding calendar year to sponsor and offer full-time employees and their dependents health coverage meeting certain requirements or else pay an assessment. The law defines full time as working on average at least 30 hours per week, but Congress left it to the IRS, along with the U.S. Department of Labor, to prescribe how that average is computed and applied.

Read full article via Employee health insurance safe harbors expanded.  From Journal of Accountancy via IRS

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Don’t Get Hit With Fines Under Health Care Reform

Small business heads-up, news-to-watch and need-to-know.  Make sure you are within the law in offering insurance benefits.  Are you discriminating in offering better benefits to executives or …..   read full article.  Human resources management.

Excerpt: The Affordable Care Act requires businesses that offer health insurance to provide it to at least 70% of the employees. It also requires that company executives not discriminate by having better insurance plans for some of their employees. The IRS penalty for companies with 50 or more employees that are found to be discriminatory may be fined as much as $100 per day per person or 10% of the annual premiums whichever is less–up to a maximum of $500,000.

Brett Goldstein, director of retirement planning at American Investment Planners in Jericho, NY states, “Many businesses have health insurance or better benefits for owners and top employees. However under The Affordable Care Act, offering health insurance or different insurance to just a few key employees will be considered discriminatory.”

What constitutes discrimination under The Affordable Care Act? Goldstein says that offering the top employees health insurance with shorter waiting periods or lower premiums could be discriminatory and lead to fines.

Differences in health plans can exist between different classes of employees. For example, a company can have different benefits for salaried employees vs. hourly employees, but not for “executives” vs. other employees.

Read full article via Don’t Get Hit With Fines Under Health Care Reform | Fox Small Business Center.

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Supreme Court Upholds Individual Health Insurance Mandate

Small business need-to-know.   Healthcare benefits.  Human resources management.

Excerpt: The U.S. Supreme Court announced its much-anticipated decision on the Obama administration’s health care reform law at 10:07 a.m. on June 28, 2012, ruling 5-4 that the controversial individual mandate, which requires virtually all Americans to buy health insurance, is constitutional. Although much of the debate on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) centered on the reach of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, the court upheld the law as a permissible tax, concluding that the penalty that the law imposed for refusing to buy insurance was the kind of measure that Congress can impose under its taxing power.

Read full article via Supreme Court Upholds Individual Health Insurance Mandate.  From SHRM

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Fiduciary Duties to 401(k) Plans — The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance

Small business takeaways and heads-up.   Your administration of your 401(k)  plan and your responsibility are not to be taken lightly!  Human resources management and benefits

Excerpt: In Tussey v. ABB, Inc., [1] the District Court held that ABB, Inc. and its benefit and investment committees (collectively, “ABB”) violated their fiduciary duties to the plans when they failed to monitor record-keeping costs, failed to negotiate rebates from investment companies on the plans’ investment platform, selected mutual fund share classes that were more expensive than necessary, and replaced a mutual fund with a fund offered by an affiliate of the record keeper for the plans. In addition, the District Court found that the employer and its benefits committee violated their fiduciary duties to the plans by agreeing to pay the record keeper above market record-keeping fees in order to subsidize other corporate services provided to the employer by the record keeper, such as payroll and record keeping for other employee benefit plans.

Read full article via Fiduciary Duties to 401(k) Plans — The Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

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Behind the numbers: 2013 healthcare and medical cost trends report: PwC

This is not particularly good news………expected but not good.   Small business need-to-know and prepare.  Human resources management and healthcare benefit

Excerpt……..This PwC Health Research Institute (HRI) report looks at the projected increase in the cost of medical services for 2013. Medical cost trend is the primary factor in setting health insurance premiums. Commercial insurers and large employers use this information to estimate what the same health plan would cost in the following year.

Read key findings

Read introduction and download report……..via Behind the numbers: 2013 healthcare and medical cost trends report: PwC.

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Compensation & Benefits Bulletin | Grant Thornton LLP

Small business need-to-know human resources management.

Content Excerpt……..
IRS releases interim report on 401(k) compliance questionnaire responses
2012 trends in executive compensation
Final rules issued for summary of benefits coverage for health plans

via Grant Thornton LLP.

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Don’t Let Your Employees Be Surprised by New 401(k) Fees

Small business human resources management and benefit need-to-know.  Pensions benefit.

Excerpt……..As companies await the effective date of the U.S. Department of Labor’s new 401(k) fee disclosure rules, they need to give some serious thought to the best way to communicate with employees about these fees. We have covered these fee disclosures extensively in the past, but now it’s time to focus on telling the story behind those fees.

Read full article……via Don’t Let Your Employees Be Surprised by New 401(k) Fees | Business Finance.

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Employee Benefits: Can be Written Off

Human resources, tax and benefits management……… if and when you can, offer your employees benefits.

Excerpt……..Have you ever heard someone say, “My job doesn’t pay that well, but the benefits are great”? Usually this person is employed by a very smart entrepreneur.

Read full article……..via Employee Benefits: Can be Written Off | Fox Small Business Center.

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Filed under Entrepreneurs & Startups, Human Resources & Payroll, Taxes & Audit

The Future Role for Health Insurance Exchanges, Part 3

An update on the basics of the benefit health insurance……small business need-to-know and news to watch.   Human resources, benefits….. healthcare

Excerpt……..The state health insurance exchanges created by the health care reform law are slated to be up and running on January 1, 2014. Initially, the exchanges will be open only to small businesses and individuals purchasing health insurance. However, starting in 2017, these exchanges could be open to larger employers. In his article, “Large Employers See Scenarios Under Which They Could Move Workers and Retirees to Exchanges,” Kramer discusses near-term opportunities for leveraging the exchanges from 2014-2016 and longer-term opportunities starting in 2017:

Read full article….via The Future Role for Health Insurance Exchanges, Part 3 | Business Finance.

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Compensation & Benefits | Grant Thornton, LLP

Read two article content……  Human resources and management…….benefits.   Good need-to-know

Rise in fringe benefits threatens more employers with 401(k) operational failures
FASB adds new requirement for multiemployer financial statement disclosure

Grant Thornton LLP.

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How To Assemble Better 401(k) Plan Options : AMEX

Employers are no longer assuming all the risks for their pension plans but that does not mean you do not have responsibilities, not the least of which is fiduciary responsibilities.  Human resources and benefits

Excerpt…..Say sayonara to the carefree days of your parents’ pension plans, when employers assumed the risk of a tanking stock market. In this sputtering economy, employees are on the hook for making wise investment decisions, but it’s the employer’s job to exercise fiduciary responsibility and common sense. That means encouraging employees to sock away as much money as possible, and offering them the tools to select the proper asset allocation and manage a diversified portfolio that will post solid, long-term returns without incurring significant risk.

Read full artile……via How To Assemble Better 401(k) Plan Options : Money :: American Express OPEN Forum.

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IRS Announces Pension Plan Limitations for 2012

Read the changed and unchanged for 2012… Filed under human resources and benefit…..#tax

Excerpt…….The Internal Revenue Service today announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for Tax Year 2012. In general, many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2012 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. However, other limitations will remain unchanged. Highlights include

Read full article…….via IRS Announces Pension Plan Limitations for 2012.  From IRS

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The Ins and Outs Of HSAs, HRAs & FSAs

The article is written from the employee viewpoint on different plan offerings,  but within the information, there are takeaways for the small business owner of possible benefits.  Filed under human resources

Excerpt…….Call it November madness. Tens of millions of workers, rather than picking basketball brackets, select from a confusing lineup of health insurance plans and accounts during an annual ritual known as “open enrollment.”

Read full article…….via The Ins and Outs Of HSAs, HRAs & FSAs – Forbes.

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Filed under Human Resources & Payroll, Legal, Licenses & Insurance

7 Common Questions About Startup Employee Stock Options

You can view this article as an employee with or about to receive stock options or as a small business owner about to give stock options….  Good information.   Human resources

Excerpt……Stock options can be a nice benefit, but the value behind the offer can vary significantly. There are simply no guarantees. So, whether you’re considering a job offer that includes a stock grant, or you hold stock as part of your current compensation, it’s crucial to understand the basics.

Read full article…via 7 Common Questions About Startup Employee Stock Options.  From Mashable

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