Archive for Employee Benefits’ Category

Shhhhhh! | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

16

2017

Shhhhhh! | Houston Benefit Advisors

There are places where you expect things to be noisy, such as a rock concert, and places where you expect it to be quiet, like an office. And while nobody likes being “shushed,” there are few things more annoying than trying to work when someone else is talking in the background. The ‘80s music group ‘Til Tuesday said it best: “Hush hush, keep it down…

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October 2017 Executive Order on Healthcare | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

13

2017

October 2017 Executive Order on Healthcare | Houston Benefit Advisors

On October 12, 2017, the White House released an Executive Order, signed by President Trump, titled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” It is important to note that the Executive Order (EO) does not implement any new laws or regulations, but instead directs various federal agencies to explore options relating to association health plans, short term limited-duration coverage (STLDI), and health reimbursement…

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Are you addressing your employee’s financial health? | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

6

2017

Are you addressing your employee’s financial health? | Houston Benefit Advisors

The importance of health and wellness in the workplace is more apparent than ever. It’s obvious why healthy individuals make better employees and the positive impact this has on your bottom line. When thinking about building a program to improve the well-being of your employees, don’t forget about the importance of their financial health. In recent years, studies show that employees have a wide range…

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IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

2

2017

IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors

In spite of the recent efforts by Congress to change or repeal the ACA, its provisions are still in effect. The IRS has issued continuing guidance on the affordability rate for coverage, the employer shared responsibility provisions and reporting, and the individual mandate provision. IRS Released the 2018 Affordability Rate The Internal Revenue Service released its Revenue Procedure 2017-36, which sets the affordability percentage at…

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Court Remands Wellness Regulations to EEOC for Reconsideration | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

22

2017

Court Remands Wellness Regulations to EEOC for Reconsideration | Houston Benefit Advisors

On August 22, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to adopt 30 percent incentive levels for employer-sponsored wellness programs under both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rules. The court declined to vacate the EEOC’s…

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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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Aug

17

2017

Strategic benefits communication: Five key steps to success this open enrollment season | Houston Benefit Advisors

In previous posts, I have talked about several aspects of strategic benefits communication. Now it’s time to put those strategies into action. As we approach enrollment season, let’s look at five key steps to ensuring this year’s open enrollment is successful for you and your employees. 1. Determine your key objectives What do employees need to know this enrollment season? As you review your benefit…

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