Archive for Benefits Administration’ Category

Employee Benefit Plans and the House Republican Tax Reform Bill | Houston Benefit Advisors
Dec

1

2017

Employee Benefit Plans and the House Republican Tax Reform Bill | Houston Benefit Advisors

On November 2, 2017, House Republicans introduced a tax reform bill (H.R.1-115th Congress) called the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” that, if passed, would impact multiple aspects of the tax code. Many of these changes relate to employee benefit plans, particularly in relation to certain fringe benefits. Dependent Care Accounts A dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA) is a pre-tax benefit account used to pay…

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Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA
Sep

15

2017

Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA

We recently revealed how competitive small business health plans are when compared to national averages—and even how they are doing a better job of containing costs. But the UBA Health Plan Survey also uncovers two challenges these groups face in its new special report: “Small Businesses Keeping Pace with Nationwide Health Trends”. 1. Small businesses are passing nearly 6.6 percent more of the costs for…

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Understanding EAP Confidentiality | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

9

2017

Understanding EAP Confidentiality | Houston Benefit Advisors

When it comes to Employee Assistance Programs, confidentiality is a concern for both employers and employees. As an employer, it is helpful to understand the terms and processes your EAP uses to keep information confidential and ensure that your employees and your workplace are safe. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules apply to EAPs and their affiliate providers. All information that is…

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What You Need to Know about Health Flexible Spending Accounts | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

6

2017

What You Need to Know about Health Flexible Spending Accounts | Houston Benefit Advisors

A health flexible spending account (FSA) is a pre-tax account used to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs for a participant as well as a participant’s spouse and eligible dependents. Health FSAs are employer-established benefit plans and may be offered with other employer-provided benefits as part of a cafeteria plan. Self-employed individuals are not eligible for FSAs. Even though a health FSA may be extended…

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The COBRA Payment Process | Houston Benefit Advisors
Aug

29

2017

The COBRA Payment Process | Houston Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) allows qualified beneficiaries who lose health benefits due to a qualifying event to continue group health benefits. The COBRA payment process is subject to various rules in terms of grace periods, notification, premium payment methods, and treatment of insignificant shortfalls. Grace Periods The initial premium payment is due 45 days after the qualified beneficiary elects COBRA….

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Separating Fact From Fiction When It Comes to Long-Term Care Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors
Aug

23

2017

Separating Fact From Fiction When It Comes to Long-Term Care Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors

Few people are prepared to handle the financial burden of long-term health care. In fact, many people have a false sense of security when it comes to long-term care. Let’s separate fact from fiction: “Medicare and my Medicare supplement policy will cover it.” FACTS: Medicare and “Medigap” insurance was never intended to pay for ongoing, long-term care. Only about 12% of nursing home costs are…

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How Long do Employers Need to Keep Payroll Records? | Houston Benefit Advisors
Jul

18

2017

How Long do Employers Need to Keep Payroll Records? | Houston Benefit Advisors

Under U.S. federal law, employers must keep the payroll records of their employees or former employees for a certain length of time. The amount of time, however, varies according to which statute you refer to, which can make knowing how long to keep employee records confusing. By keeping in mind the required time limits under each statute as well as what payroll-related records the statute…

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The DOL’s Final Overtime Rule Saga Continues | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

26

2017

The DOL’s Final Overtime Rule Saga Continues | Houston Benefit Advisors

The change in the regulations that would increase the salary threshold for overtime exemption that was all over the news for the last several months may now be decided by the end of June. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) another 60-day extension of time to file its final reply brief in the in the pending appeal…

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Discovery for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans: Required ERISA Reporting—Form 5500 | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

24

2017

Discovery for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans: Required ERISA Reporting—Form 5500 | Houston Benefit Advisors

Most companies are fully aware of Form 5500 reporting requirements related to their 401(k) plans, but are less familiar with the Form 5500 reporting requirements for their health and welfare benefit plans. Requirements: Most employer-sponsored health and welfare benefit plans, including, but not limited to, group health, dental, vision, life insurance, disability insurance, voluntary worksite benefits (typically, but not always), and health flexible spending account…

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Flex Work: Advantages in the New Workforce | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

19

2017

Flex Work: Advantages in the New Workforce | Houston Benefit Advisors

Flex Work.   No doubt you’ve heard this term (or some variation) floating around the last decade or so, but what exactly does it mean? Flexible work can vary by definition depending on who you ask, but one thing is for sure, it’s here to stay and changing the way we view the workforce. According to a recent study by Randstad, employer commitment to increase the…

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