Kainos Blog

November 2019
What Diversity Looks Like in the Workplace | Houston Employee Benefits Group
in Company Culture, Human Resources

What Diversity Looks Like in the Workplace | Houston Employee Benefits Group

by admin

Diversity isn’t just a moral issue.  There is a business case that can be made for promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  From recruitment to mentoring, human resources has a main role in the strategy. Defining Diversity What is diversity?  That’s a two pronged answer.  There is inherent diversity.  It involves traits a person is born with… gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation for instance.  Then there...

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13

Nov
2019
Diabetes Education and Prevention | Texas Benefits Team
in health, wellness

Diabetes Education and Prevention | Texas Benefits Team

by admin

Diabetes is a long-lasting health condition that affects how your body converts food to energy. Diabetes patients are unable to make enough of the hormone called insulin or cannot use the insulin that is made in their body efficiently.  When this happens, your body can respond in some serious ways that include liver damage, heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease. There are two types...

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6

Nov
2019
October 2019
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Life Insurance | Houston Benefits Agency
in Financial Planning, Life Insurance

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Life Insurance | Houston Benefits Agency

by admin

Life insurance blah blah blah. Is that what you hear when someone mentions it as part of your new job’s employee benefits round-up or when you see something about it on TV or social media? Not to worry: we’ve got the low-down on what you need to know. And it’s really not as overwhelming (or underwhelming) as you might think. 1. It’s part of a...

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31

Oct
2019
How to be an Open Enrollment Rockstar | Texas Benefits Consultants
in Custom Content, Employee Benefits, open enrollment

How to be an Open Enrollment Rockstar | Texas Benefits Consultants

by admin

 It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, it’s not Christmas—it’s Open Enrollment!! When the autumn leaves fall and the weather turns cooler, we know it’s time to start thinking of open enrollment hype and meetings and meetings and meetings. So how do you change normal and ordinary communication about employee benefits and change them into rockstar communication? We have some tips that may...

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22

Oct
2019
Don’t Leave Your FSA Money on the Table This Year! | Houston Benefits Team
in Custom Content, FSA, Health Care

Don’t Leave Your FSA Money on the Table This Year! | Houston Benefits Team

by admin

As 2019 is nearing an end, many people are looking at this year’s medical expenses to plan for how much they should set back for next year. In investigating these expenditures, you may notice that you still have money in your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for 2019. FSAs are unique in that any unused money from this plan year is forfeited once the new year...

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15

Oct
2019
AI in HR | Houston Benefits Advisors
in Human Resources, Technology

AI in HR | Houston Benefits Advisors

by admin

Artificial intelligence is pushing humans and machines closer together.  It’s exciting!  AI’s influences are being felt across the HR space… being used to automate business processes, enhance efficiency, and reduce bias among other things.  In fact, McKinsey’s latest forecast of AI’s impact on the global economy is that it will generate $13 trillion in economic activity across the globe by 2030. But, there is room...

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2

Oct
2019
September 2019
Nutrition Tips for Busy Families | Texas Employee Benefits Agency
in Custom Content, Nutrition

Nutrition Tips for Busy Families | Texas Employee Benefits Agency

by admin

The typical family in the US looks quite different today than it did 30 years ago. School, sports, church, clubs and activities, and longer work hours have changed the way we allocate our time as well as how we eat. With families getting busier and busier, how do you make healthy eating a priority? It’s actually pretty easy! New Look/Old Concept Do you remember the...

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25

Sep
2019
How to Implement an Employee Training Program | Houston Employee Benefits Group
in Human Resources, Training

How to Implement an Employee Training Program | Houston Employee Benefits Group

by admin

Employee training programs are beneficial to organizations of varying sizes. Even small companies can improve customer service skills. Large organizations often need training programs specifically targeted to employee development and changing technologies. The Society for Human Resource Management says that offering training programs to employees helps the employee feel more engaged and committed to the organization. Implement an employee training program in your organization to...

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19

Sep
2019
Volunteering Time Off, Part Two | Texas Employee Benefits Consultants
in Custom Content, Employee Benefits, Volunteer

Volunteering Time Off, Part Two | Texas Employee Benefits Consultants

by admin

Right now our national unemployment rate is 3.7%–edging towards a 50-year low. With this low rate, companies are actually finding it increasingly harder to hire and retain great talent. One way to combat this issue is by increasing employee engagement through volunteering. In survey after survey, employees state that they want to work for companies who care for others.  In fact, “71% of employees surveyed...

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9

Sep
2019
Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room | Houston Benefits Agency
in Custom Content, Health Care Cost

Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room | Houston Benefits Agency

by admin

Let’s say you are getting ready to make your favorite breakfast—avocado toast. You’ve toasted the bread, cut the avocado in half, and are ready to remove the dreaded pit. Of course, your knife slips and you end up slicing your hand—making you the latest victim of “avocado hand.” It seems you cannot stop the bleeding with a simple bandage so now you need to make...

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5

Sep
2019
August 2019
10 Tips to Excellent Company Culture | TX Benefits Advisors
in corporate culture, Human Resources

10 Tips to Excellent Company Culture | TX Benefits Advisors

by admin

When it comes to culture, companies have to walk the walk and talk the talk. HR professionals have all been there.  A potential new employee comes in for an interview.  Company representatives question the prospect and then ask if the candidate has any questions.  With surety, the first question uttered will be about the company’s culture.  The response has to be real and backed-up with...

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28

Aug
2019
Top 5 Learning Metrics to Watch | Texas Benefits Team
in Education, Human Resources, Training

Top 5 Learning Metrics to Watch | Texas Benefits Team

by admin

How much job training equates to time wasted:  About 20%, according to one LinkedIn study.  That’s the percentage of learners who never apply their training to their job.  That same study says 67% of learners apply the lessons learned, but in the end, revert to previous habits.  Another study found 45% of training content is never applied. For HR professionals designing or monitoring the Return...

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14

Aug
2019
Volunteering Time Off | Texas Employee Benefits Consultants
in Custom Content, Employee Benefits, Volunteer

Volunteering Time Off | Texas Employee Benefits Consultants

by admin

Volunteering Time Off, or VTO, has become a buzz topic for many companies as of late. It involves encouraging employees to take time off from their job to plug in to their community and the nonprofits that support it. Let’s delve in deeper to understand what VTO looks like. Typical VTO policies allot for 8 hours of paid time off to volunteer each year. Just...

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6

Aug
2019
July 2019
CMS Publishes 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Final Rule | Houston Benefits Agency
in Health Care Plans, Medicaid, Medicare, UBA

CMS Publishes 2020 Benefit Payment and Parameters Final Rule | Houston Benefits Agency

by admin

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published its final rule and fact sheet for benefit payment and parameters for 2020. Although the final rule primarily affects the individual market and the Exchanges, the final rule addresses the following topics that may impact employer-sponsored group health plans: The 2020 maximum annual limitation on cost sharing is $8,150 for self-only coverage and $16,300 for other-than-self-only coverage. For fully-insured plans,...

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31

Jul
2019
Kids and Body Image | Texas Benefits Advisors
in UBA, Wellness

Kids and Body Image | Texas Benefits Advisors

by admin

Growing up can be tough. The challenges of school, relationships with friends, sports and other activities can be stressful for children. Peer pressure, along with what they see and hear daily via social media, TV, movies and video games, can cause them to stress out about how they look. Comparing themselves with their friends—or, worse, with supermodels, movie stars, or pro athletes—can then lead to...

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24

Jul
2019
REMINDER: HEALTH PLAN PCORI FEES ARE DUE JULY 31 | Texas Benefits Team
in Health Insurance, PCORI

REMINDER: HEALTH PLAN PCORI FEES ARE DUE JULY 31 | Texas Benefits Team

by admin

Employers that self-insured any group health plans in 2018, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), are responsible for determining whether the annual PCORI fee applies to their plan. If so, use Form 720 to calculate, report, and pay the fee by July 31, 2019. PCORI stands for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Federal law imposes a small annual fee on most health plans that include medical benefits in order to raise...

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22

Jul
2019
Ask the Experts: Overtime and Paid Time Off | Houston Employee Benefits Advisors
in Human Resources, Overtime, Payroll, PTO

Ask the Experts: Overtime and Paid Time Off | Houston Employee Benefits Advisors

by admin

Question: Should we include holidays, PTO, vacation, or other leave taken during the workweek in calculating overtime premium pay under FLSA rules? Answer: No. Because holiday, PTO, and vacation hours are not actually hours worked they do not count towards overtime pay. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), an employer who requires or permits an employee to work overtime is generally required to pay...

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17

Jul
2019
Identity Theft | Texas Benefits Consultants
in Custom Content, Identity Theft

Identity Theft | Texas Benefits Consultants

by admin

Recently, the “Happiest Place on Earth” wasn’t living up to its name for many families. For almost a full year, malicious software had been installed on point-of-sale systems at several Earl Enterprises restaurants. This software then captured debit and credit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names of users purchasing food at these venues. Identity theft has become too commonplace in our day and age...

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8

Jul
2019
Gig Economy 101 | Houston Employee Benefits Team
in Custom Content, Economy, Human Resources

Gig Economy 101 | Houston Employee Benefits Team

by admin

By now you’ve heard of the term “gig economy” but you may not know what it means. Is it describing the economy of musicians as they work gigs? Does it mean something about computers and the measurement of space allotted for their programs? Does it have something to do with fishing? Well, not exactly. But, have no fear! We will break this term down into...

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2

Jul
2019
June 2019
Ask the Experts: Executive-Only Medical Plans | Texas Benefits Advisors
in Health Plans, Human Resources

Ask the Experts: Executive-Only Medical Plans | Texas Benefits Advisors

by admin

Question: Our company offers group medical and dental plans for all employees. We also have an executive-only medical plan that covers out-of-pocket expenses that the regular group plan does not pay. Does COBRA apply to the executive-only plan? Do we have to include it in our summary plan description (SPD)? Answer: The coverage continuation requirements of the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) pertain to...

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26

Jun
2019
Exercise and Health: The Mind-Body Connection | Houston Benefits Agency
in health, UBA, Wellness

Exercise and Health: The Mind-Body Connection | Houston Benefits Agency

by admin

Ever notice how you can get an overall feeling of well-being after taking a long walk, shoveling snow, dancing, or playing Frisbee with the kids? It’s not just because you can check “get some physical activity” off your to-do list. Turns out, there are physiological reasons why you get that feeling. And for people who suffer from a mental health condition like depression, anxiety or...

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24

Jun
2019
Connecting Agility, Culture and Change Management | Texas Benefits Agency
in Human Resources

Connecting Agility, Culture and Change Management | Texas Benefits Agency

by admin

Every company wants to lead their industry, and doing so means remaining competitive. With the rate of speed the world experiences change in this age that is a very difficult proposition. For an HR professional, it is increasingly more difficult to stay ahead of the curve. So, what are the critical pieces to the strategy? • Agility • Change Management • Culture Knowing that, how...

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20

Jun
2019

in Taxes

Ask the Experts: Taxability of Reimbursements for Mileage | Houston Benefits Team

by admin

Question: Are amounts an employer reimburses employees for mileage taxable? Answer: They may be; the type of reimbursement plan will dictate whether reimbursement for business travel is or is not taxable. Both accountable plans and non-accountable plans allow an employer to reimburse employees for their business expenses. With an accountable plan, the reimbursement is not taxable to your employee. Amounts paid under an accountable plan...

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13

Jun
2019

in Contribution Limits, IRS

IRS Announces HSA Limits for 2020 | Houston Benefit Advisory Firm

by admin

On May 28, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2019-25 announcing the annual inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) for calendar year 2020. An HSA is a tax-exempt savings account that employees can use to pay for qualified health expenses. To be eligible for an HSA, an employee: Must be covered by a qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP); Must not...

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4

Jun
2019
June 2019