Archive for Employee Benefits’ Category

Cafeteria Plans: Qualifying Events and Changing Employee Elections | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

18

2017

Cafeteria Plans: Qualifying Events and Changing Employee Elections | Houston Benefit Advisors

Cafeteria plans, or plans governed by IRS Code Section 125, allow employers to help employees pay for expenses such as health insurance with pre-tax dollars. Employees are given a choice between a taxable benefit (cash) and two or more specified pre-tax qualified benefits, for example, health insurance. Employees are given the opportunity to select the benefits they want, just like an individual standing in the…

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The IRS Clarifies Tax Treatment of Fixed-Indemnity Health Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

15

2017

The IRS Clarifies Tax Treatment of Fixed-Indemnity Health Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors

While many Americans will remember January 20, 2017 as the day the 45th President of the United States was sworn into office, employee benefits experts will also remember it as the day the IRS Office of Chief Counsel (OCC) released this memorandum that clarifies, among other things, the tax treatment of benefits paid by fixed-indemnity plans. Fixed indemnity plans are generally voluntary benefits employers offer…

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Feb

10

2017

UBA Health Plan Survey – 2016 | Houston Benefit Advisors

Employer-sponsored health insurance is greatly affected by geographic region, industry, and employer size. While some cost trends have been fairly consistent since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was put in place, United Benefit Advisors (UBA) finds several surprises in their 2016 Health Plan Survey. Based on responses from more than 11,000 employers, UBA announces the top five best and worst states for…

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Feb

3

2017

Who Are You Benchmarking Your Health Plan Against? | Houston Benefit Advisors

Many employers benchmark their health plan against carrier provided national data. While that is a good place to start, regional cost averages vary, making it essential to benchmark both nationally and regionally—as well as state by state. For example, a significant difference exists between the cost to insure an employee in the Northeast versus the Central U.S.—plans in the Northeast continue to cost the most…

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President Trump Makes First Moves Towards ACA Repeal – What Employers and Plan Sponsors Should Know Now | Houston Benefit Advisors
Feb

1

2017

President Trump Makes First Moves Towards ACA Repeal – What Employers and Plan Sponsors Should Know Now | Houston Benefit Advisors

Last Friday, one of President Donald Trump’s first actions in office was to make good on a campaign promise to move quickly to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He issued Executive Order 13765, Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal. The one-page executive order (EO) is effective immediately and very light on details, with the goal to…

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Difference Between Basic Insurance & Major Medical Insurance
Jan

25

2017

Difference Between Basic Insurance & Major Medical Insurance

Choosing a health care plan often comes down to cost, but don’t forget to compare the monthly premium with the amount of coverage you get. Major medical insurance is designed to cover you during everything from routine check-ups to major catastrophic events. Basic health insurance, by contrast, is a cash reimbursement service that can help you pay for some—but not all—types of medical services. Basic…

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DOL Increases Penalty Amounts to Adjust for Inflation
Jan

24

2017

DOL Increases Penalty Amounts to Adjust for Inflation

For the second time in less than a year the Department of Labor (DOL) has increased the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the DOL. The increases were announced in a final rule issued by the DOL on January 18, 2017. The increases were made pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which requires federal agencies to annually…

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Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers
Jan

20

2017

Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers

Proposed regulations for revising and greatly expanding the Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 reporting are set to take effect in 2019. Currently, the non-retirement plan reporting is limited to those employers that have more than 100 employees enrolled on their benefit plans, or those in a self-funded trust. The filings must be completed on the DOL EFAST2 system within 210 days following the end…

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Written 2017 With Fireworks In The Night Sky
Jan

18

2017

2017: What HR Can Do to Prepare for a Big Year of Change

Employers saw unprecedented changes to human resources management in 2016, including Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations, parental leave laws and a push for equal pay. With a new year and a new president taking office, 2017 is sure to usher in some major changes and HR challenges that could have significant impact on businesses large and small. Here…

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Making Sense of Form 1095 Minimum Essential Coverage Reporting
Jan

13

2017

Making Sense of Form 1095 Minimum Essential Coverage Reporting

In a few weeks, a second season of shared responsibility reporting will begin. For some of you, last year’s inaugural year of reporting may have felt eerily similar to Lewis Carroll’s famous book. You know the one. It included a little girl falling down a dark hole, a rabbit frantically checking his watch and a lot of other crazy characters. Now that you have the…

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