Archive for Employee Benefits’ Category

New Year, New Penalties | Houston Benefit Advisors
Jan

5

2018

New Year, New Penalties | Houston Benefit Advisors

Department of Labor Publishes Updated Penalties for OSHA Violations On January 2, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published updated, inflation-adjusted penalties for violations of various laws regulated by the DOL and its internal components or divisions, including the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The DOL is required to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties for inflation by January 15 each year…

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IRS Extends Deadline for Employers to Furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B | Houston Benefit Advisors
Jan

3

2018

IRS Extends Deadline for Employers to Furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B | Houston Benefit Advisors

On December 22, 2017, the IRS released Notice 2018-06 to extend the due date for employers to furnish 2017 Form 1095-C or 1095-B under the Affordable Care Act’s employer reporting requirement. Employers will have an extra 30 days to prepare and distribute the 2017 form to individuals. The due dates for filing forms with the IRS are not extended. Background Applicable large employers (ALEs), who…

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Dec

27

2017

2017 UBA Healthplan Survey | Houston Benefit Advisors

It was recently unveiled the latest findings from our 2017 Health Plan Survey. With data on 20,099 health plans sponsored by 11,221 employers, the UBA survey is nearly three times larger than the next two of the nation’s largest health plan benchmarking surveys combined.To learn more, watch this short video below.
Utilize FSA Monies with Key Year–End Strategies | Houston Benefit Advisors
Dec

19

2017

Utilize FSA Monies with Key Year–End Strategies | Houston Benefit Advisors

‘Tis the Season’. Like most, you‘re probably in the midst of the “hussle and bussle” of this holiday season with dinners, parties, and activities; Christmas shopping; and spending those remaining FSA dollars you have allocated this year. Wait, what? Yes, you read right. Chances are, if you’ve opted to utilize an employer-sponsored FSA account in 2017, you may have remaining funds you’ll need to spend….

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With Below Average Cost, Increasing Enrollment, CDHPs Have Big Impact | Houston Benefit Advisors
Dec

11

2017

With Below Average Cost, Increasing Enrollment, CDHPs Have Big Impact | Houston Benefit Advisors

When most experts think of group healthcare plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans largely come to mind—though higher cost, they dominate the market in terms of plan distribution and employee enrollment. But Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) have made surprising gains. Despite slight cost increases, CDHP costs are still below average and prevalence and enrollment in these plans continues to grow in most regions—a main reason…

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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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Ask the Experts: Can a well qualified older candidate fit on a much younger team? | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

27

2017

Ask the Experts: Can a well qualified older candidate fit on a much younger team? | Houston Benefit Advisors

Question: We recently interviewed an older candidate for a position. She’s well qualified, but the team she would be working with is made up of people who are much younger, and we are worried about how she will fit in. Can the criteria to hire for cultural fit outweigh potential age discrimination concerns? Answer: Your obligations under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act that protects…

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Latest IRS ACA Round Up (Including 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments) | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

20

2017

Latest IRS ACA Round Up (Including 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments) | Houston Benefit Advisors

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the instructions for Forms 1094/1095 for the 2017 tax year, announced PCORI fees for 2017-18, and announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2018. The IRS provided additional guidance on leave-based donation programs’ tax treatment and released an information letter on COBRA and Medicare. Here’s a recap of these actions for your reference. IRS Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustments for 2018 The IRS…

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How to Make the Most Out of Your FSA at Year-End | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

13

2017

How to Make the Most Out of Your FSA at Year-End | Houston Benefit Advisors

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to act on the money sitting in your Flexible Spending/Savings Account (FSA). Unlike a Health Savings Account or HSA, pre-taxed funds contributed to an FSA are lost at the end of the year if an employee doesn’t use them, and an employer doesn’t adopt a carryover policy.  It’s to your advantage to review the various ways you…

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PPOs Dominate Despite Savings with HMOs and CDHPs | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

10

2017

PPOs Dominate Despite Savings with HMOs and CDHPs | Houston Benefit Advisors

  The findings of our 2017 Health Plan Survey show a continuation of steady trends and some surprises. It’s no surprise, however, that costs continue to rise. The average annual health plan cost per employee for all plan types is $9,934, an increase from 2016, when the average cost was $9,727. There are significant cost differences when you look at the data by plan type….

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