Kainos Blog

June 2017
What Employers Need to Know about the Senate Proposed Healthcare Bill | Houston Benefit Advisors
in ACA, ACA Repeal, Affordable Care Act, Health Care Plans, Health Care Reform, Kainos Blog, UBA Partner News

What Employers Need to Know about the Senate Proposed Healthcare Bill | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

On June 22, 2017, the United States Senate released a “Discussion Draft” of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (BCRA), which would substitute the House’s House Resolution 1628, a reconciliation bill aimed at “repealing and replacing” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The House bill was titled the “American Health Care Act of 2017” (AHCA). Employers with group health plans should continue...

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28

Jun
2017

in ACA, ACA Repeal, Affordable Care Act, Blog, Kainos Blog

Senate Releases Health Care Proposal | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

This morning, Senate Republicans released their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), the Senate proposal adopts H.R. 1628, the bill narrowly passed last month by the House of Representatives, but replaces all the text. The Senate proposal was released without going through committee review or being scored by the Congressional Budget Office...

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22

Jun
2017

in Employer News, Kainos Blog, Preexisting Conditions

AHCA and the Preexisting Conditions Debate—What Employers Can Do During Uncertainty | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Preexisting conditions. While it’s no doubt this term has been a hot topic in recent months—and notably misconstrued—one thing has not changed; insurers cannot deny coverage to anyone with a preexisting condition.  Now that House Resolution 1628 has moved to the Senate floor, what can employers and individuals alike expect? If passed by the Senate as is and signed into law; some provisions will take...

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20

Jun
2017

in Employee Benefits, HSA, Kainos Blog, small employer, UBA Surveys

Small Employers Lead the Way in Funding HSAs | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

The average employer contribution to an HSA is $474 for a single employee (down 3.5 percent from 2015 and 17.6 percent from five years ago) and $801 for a family (down 9.2 percent from last year and 13.7 percent from five years ago). There was a 26 percent increase in the number of individuals enrolled in HSAs, likely due to the increase in CDHP enrollment...

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16

Jun
2017

in ACA, Affordable Care Act, Blog, Cafeteria Plans, UBA Partner News

What Happens to Coverage When Employees Reduce Their Hours? | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

The Section 125 cafeteria plan regulations and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) require employers to take certain actions when an employee reduces hours. Consider this scenario: An employer has an employee who is reducing hours below 30 hours per week. The employee is performing the same job and duties. The employee was determined to be full-time during the most recent measurement period....

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13

Jun
2017

in Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, HSA, UBA Partner News

2018 Amounts for HSAs; Retroactive Medicare Coverage Effect on Contributions | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

IRS Releases 2018 Amounts for HSAs The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2017-37 that sets the dollar limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2018. For calendar year 2018, the annual contribution limit for an individual with self-only coverage under an HDHP is $3,450, and the annual contribution limit for an individual with family coverage under an HDHP is $6,900. How...

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9

Jun
2017
Answers to the Top 4 Questions about Section 105(h) Nondiscrimination Testing | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Employee Benefits, nondiscrimination testing, Section (105)h, UBA Partner News

Answers to the Top 4 Questions about Section 105(h) Nondiscrimination Testing | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Under Internal Revenue Code Section 105(h), a self-insured medical reimbursement plan must pass two nondiscrimination tests. Failure to pass either test means that the favorable tax treatment for highly compensated individuals who participate in the plan will be lost. The Section 105(h) rules only affect whether reimbursement (including payments to health care providers) under a self-insured plan is taxable. When Section 105(h) was enacted, its...

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6

Jun
2017

in Blog, ERISA, HRAs, Kainos Blog, small employer

Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements and ERISA | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Certain small employers have the option to reimburse individual health coverage premiums up to a dollar limit through Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSE HRAs) under the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). The Cures Act amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to exclude QSE HRAs from the ERISA definition of group health plan; however, the Cures Act does not...

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1

Jun
2017
May 2017
Well-Being Strategies for a Diverse Workforce, Building Value at an Individual Level | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, UBA Surveys, Well-being, wellness, Wellness Programs

Well-Being Strategies for a Diverse Workforce, Building Value at an Individual Level | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Your organization has 312 employees, which means you have 312 different needs for well-being support. Well-being strategies should not be a one-size-fits-all approach. Developing a set of flexible and responsive well-being strategies that meet changing individual needs throughout an employee’s tenure is a critical way to both attract and retain talent. A few case studies to illustrate: Jordan is serving in an entry-level position. This...

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30

May
2017
Factor Emerging Trends, Generational Needs Into Wellness Programs | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Blog, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, wellness, Wellness Programs

Factor Emerging Trends, Generational Needs Into Wellness Programs | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Your wellness program seems to have it all – biometric screenings, lunch and learns, and weight loss challenges. So, why do you struggle with engagement, or to see any real results? While traditional wellness components are still a large part of plans today, emerging trends, coupled with generational differences, make for challenges when designing an impactful program. As wellness programs begin to be viewed as...

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26

May
2017
3 Questions to Ask When It Comes to Life Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Blog, Insurance, Life Insurance

3 Questions to Ask When It Comes to Life Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Your life insurance needs will ebb and flow throughout your lifetime. Buying a term policy early in your career or taking a basic employer-issued life insurance policy is a common course of action. However, deciding how much and what type of life insurance you need at each stage of your life will serve you and your loved ones much better. One simple thing to keep...

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23

May
2017
Why some companies offer an HRA | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, HRAs, UBA Partner News

Why some companies offer an HRA | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

In a world of insurance and acronyms, the term “HRA” is thrown around a lot, but it has a variety of meanings. HRA can mean health reimbursement account, heath reimbursement arrangement, or health risk assessment, and all of those mean something different. I want to be clear that in the following article I am going to be discussing the use of health reimbursement accounts with...

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19

May
2017

in Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, financial debt, Financial Wellness, Kainos Blog, Uncategorized

FINANCIAL WELLNESS BENEFITS – ADAPTING THEM IN THE NEW WORKFORCE | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Over the past few years, we’ve seen tremendous growth in Financial Wellness Programs. Actually, as indicated in a recent report by Aon Hewitt, 77% of mid- to large-size companies will provide at least one financial wellness service in 2017; with 52% of employers providing services in more than 3 financial categories. So what are the advantages of these programs and how can the current workforce...

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16

May
2017
Is Your Wellness Program Compliant with the ACA, GINA and EEOC? | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Employee Benefits, Uncategorized, Well-being, Wellness, Wellness Programs, Workplace

Is Your Wellness Program Compliant with the ACA, GINA and EEOC? | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Workplace wellness programs have increased popularity through the years. According to the most recent UBA Health Plan Survey, 49 percent of firms with 200+ employees offering health benefits in 2016 offered wellness programs. Workplace wellness programs’ popularity also brought controversy and hefty discussions about what works to improve population health and which programs comply with the complex legal standards of multiple institutions that have not...

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12

May
2017

in Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, Exchange, Health Care Plans, Health Plans, Kainos Blog, Private Exchange, UBA Partner News

Why Private Exchanges Haven’t Taken Off As Predicted | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

While the health care affordability crisis has become so significant, questions still linger—will private exchanges become a viable solution for employers and payers, and will they will continue to grow? Back in 2015, Accenture estimated that 40 million people would be enrolled in private exchange programs by 2018; the way we see this model’s growth today doesn’t speak to that. So, what is preventing them...

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3

May
2017

in ACA, ACA Repeal, Affordable Care Act, Health Care Reform, Insurance, Kainos Blog

ACA Market Stabilization Final Rule | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

On April 18, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule regarding Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) market stabilization. The rule amends standards relating to special enrollment periods, guaranteed availability, and the timing of the annual open enrollment period in the individual market for the 2018 plan year, standards related to...

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1

May
2017
April 2017
The DOL’s Final Overtime Rule Saga Continues | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Benefits Administration, DOL, Employee Benefits, Employer News, Kainos Blog, Overtime Rule, small employer, Workplace

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

by admin

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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26

Apr
2017
Discovery for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans: Required ERISA Reporting—Form 5500 | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Benefits Administration, DOL, Employee Benefits, Employer News, ERISA, Form 5500, IRS, Kainos Blog

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

by admin

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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24

Apr
2017
Flex Work: Advantages in the New Workforce | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Benefits Administration, Consulting, Employee Benefits, Employer News, Flex Work, HR Elements News, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, small employer, Study/Research, Trending, Work from home, Workplace

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

by admin

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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19

Apr
2017
An Employer’s Guide to Navigating the ACA’s Strong Headwinds | Houston Benefit Advisors
in ACA, ACA Repeal, Benefits Administration, Employer News, Health Care Reform, IRS, Kainos Blog, small employer, Trending, UBA Partner News

An Employer’s Guide to Navigating the ACA’s Strong Headwinds | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

One might describe the series of events leading to the death of the American Health Care Act (Congress’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act) as something like a ballistic missile exploding at launch. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal debate began nearly a decade ago with former President Barack Obama’s first day in office and reemerged as a serious...

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17

Apr
2017
Getting the Most Out of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Benefits Administration, EAP, EAPs, Employee Assistance Program, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, Employer News, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, Resources, small employer, UBA Partner News

Getting the Most Out of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Many employers understand the value of having an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) since the heart and soul of organizations are employees. Employees who are physically and mentally healthy, highly productive, engaged in their work, and loyal to their employer contribute positively to their employer’s bottom line. Fortunately, most employees are positive contributors, yet even the best of employees can occasionally have issues or circumstances arise...

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13

Apr
2017
April 2017