Kainos Blog

December 2018

in ACA, ALEs, Self-insured

IRS Extends Deadline for Employers to Furnish Forms 1095-C and 1095-B | Houston Benefits Brokers

by admin

On November 29, 2018, the IRS released Notice 2018-94 to extend the due date for employers to furnish 2018 Form 1095-C or 1095-B under the Affordable Care Act’s employer reporting requirement. Employers will have an extra month to prepare and distribute the 2018 form to individuals. The due dates for filing forms with the IRS are not extended. Background Applicable large employers (ALEs), who generally...

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4

Dec
2018
November 2018

in Blog, employees, human resources, Workplace

Happier Holidays, the HR Way | Houston Benefits Brokers

by admin

Most people, according to a new survey featured in HR Dive, have the greatest sense of belonging in their own homes. That may not be surprising news, but what is interesting is that one third of respondents felt the greatest sense of belonging in their workplace. A significant percentage, 40 percent, attribute that feeling to actions their colleagues and managers take to check in on...

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29

Nov
2018

in CDC, Employee Benefits, Workplace

It’s Flu Season…Again | TX Benefits Agency

by admin

When flu season hits, absenteeism skyrockets and productivity drops. In a recent article, Employee Benefit News points out that the first step is the “ounce of prevention,” the flu vaccine. Providing for vaccination can be a smart benefit to offer employees, and it requires navigating misinformation about the vaccine, motivating employees to act, and contending with supply issues. For employers who want to increase vaccination...

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20

Nov
2018
PCORI Fee Increase for Health Plans | Houston Benefits Consultants
in ACA, HRAs, HSA, IRS, Kainos Blog, QSEHRA, Self-insured

PCORI Fee Increase for Health Plans | Houston Benefits Consultants

by admin

On November 5, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2018-85 to announce that the health plan Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee for plan years ending between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019 will be $2.45 per plan participant. This is an increase from the prior year’s fee of $2.39 due to an inflation adjustment. Background The Affordable Care Act created the...

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7

Nov
2018
Be the Boss You Want to See in the World | Houston Benefits Advisors
in Blog, employees, human resources, Kainos Blog, Leadership, UBA, Workplace

Be the Boss You Want to See in the World | Houston Benefits Advisors

by admin

An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that the traits that make someone become a leader aren’t always the ones that make someone an effective leader. Instead, efficacy can be traced to ethicality. Here are a few tips to be an ethical leader. Humility tops charisma A little charisma goes a long way. Too much and a leader risks being seen as self-absorbed. Instead,...

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2

Nov
2018
October 2018

in Benefits Administration, Blog, Dependent Care, Employee Benefits, FSA, HDHP, Health Care Plans, HMO, HRAs, HSA, human resources

Choosing the Right Flexible Benefit for Employees | TX Benefits Agency

by admin

Trying to decide which of the many employer-sponsored benefits out there to offer employees can leave an employer feeling lost in a confusing bowl of alphabet soup—HSA? FSA? DCAP? HRA? What does it mean if a benefit is “limited” or “post-deductible”? Which one is use-it-or-lose-it? Which one has a rollover? What are the limits on each benefit?—and so on. While there are many details to...

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31

Oct
2018
Ask the Experts: Mandatory Flu Shots | Houston Employee Benefits Agency
in ADA, EEOC, health, Kainos Blog, Wellness, Workplace

Ask the Experts: Mandatory Flu Shots | Houston Employee Benefits Agency

by admin

Question: Can we require our employees to get flu shots? Answer: While there is no law that prohibits employers from mandating flu shots — and in some states, the law requires all healthcare workers to get flu shots — you should carefully determine if the benefits to your business outweigh the risks. There has been a rise in litigation brought by employees who object to...

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24

Oct
2018
Looking Backward to Plan Forward | Houston Benefits Firm
in Blog, Employee Benefits, employees, Health Plans, Insurance, Kainos Blog

Looking Backward to Plan Forward | Houston Benefits Firm

by admin

We have entered Open Enrollment season and that means you and everyone in your office are probably reading through enrollment guides and trying to decipher it all. As you begin your research into which plan to choose or even how much to contribute to your Health Savings Account (HSA), consider evaluating how you used your health plan last year. Looking backward can actually help you...

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17

Oct
2018

in Employer News, HR News, human resources, NLRB, Workplace

The 80s Are Back, According to the NLRB | Houston Benefits Advisors

by admin

On September 14, 2018, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) announced in the Federal Register a proposed rule to return its joint-employer standard to its 1984 standard — a standard that stood until 2017. It’s returning to the days of Footloose dancing, Sixteen Candles high school sweethearts, Karate Kid champions, and the principle that a joint-employer of another’s employees applies only if: The employer possesses...

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13

Oct
2018

in CMS, Employer News, HDHP, HMO, HR News, human resources, Insurance, Kainos Blog, Medicare, Medicare Part D, Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare Part D Notices Due Oct. 15 | Houston Employee Benefits

by admin

Are you an employer that offers or provides group health coverage to your workers? Does your health plan cover outpatient prescription drugs — either as a medical claim or through a card system? If so, be sure to distribute your plan’s Medicare Part D notice before October 15. Purpose Medicare began offering “Part D” plans — optional prescription drug benefit plans sold by private insurance...

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10

Oct
2018

in employees, Employer News, human resources, IRS, IRS reporting, legislation, W-4, Withholding Calculator

Redesigned W-4 Form to Launch in 2020 | Houston Benefits Partners

by admin

When will the new Form W-4 be released? In 2020, according to a press release published by the Treasury Department on September 20, 2018. The department announced that the IRS will implement a redesigned W-4 form for tax year 2020, a timeline that will allow for continued work to refine the new approach for the form. As a result of the enactment of the 2017...

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2

Oct
2018
September 2018
Leveraging Generational Factors for Overall Success | TX Employee Benefits
in corporate culture, Employee Communication, human resources, Leadership, UBA, Workplace

Leveraging Generational Factors for Overall Success | TX Employee Benefits

by admin

No matter what your office looks like—in a gig economy or a more traditional one, with or without AI—interviews will be a part of the culture. Learning about best practices benefits everyone, whether you are the interviewer or the interviewee. Especially at busy times, it can be easy to forget that an interview isn’t simply to learn about potential coworkers. In fact, a solid interview...

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13

Sep
2018
Wealthy vs Financial Fit. Here’s the Difference and Why It Matters | Houston Employee Benefit Consultants
in financial health, Financial Planning, Financial Wellness, Insurance, Kainos Blog, Life Insurance

Wealthy vs Financial Fit. Here’s the Difference and Why It Matters | Houston Employee Benefit Consultants

by admin

People can be wealthy without being financially fit, meaning they can have a lot of assets or money tied up in assets, but those assets aren’t “liquid.” Let me explain. Say you have a house that has escalated in value in the real estate market. You may have this large asset, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re financially comfortable from an income standpoint. You aren’t...

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7

Sep
2018
Addressing Mental Health Care at Work | Houston Benefits Firm
in Blog, EAP, EAPs, Employee Assistance Program, Employee Benefits, mental health, UBA

Addressing Mental Health Care at Work | Houston Benefits Firm

by admin

Nancy Spangler, senior consultant at the Center for Workplace Mental Health of the American Psychiatric Foundation, says that one in five adults has a mental health disorder, and one in 10 has a substance abuse problem. In addition, major depression and its associated conditions cost the U.S. over $210 billion every year. Clearly, mental health is an issue we need to investigate both in our...

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4

Sep
2018
August 2018
Final Rule on Short-Term Limited-Duration Insurance | Houston Employee Benefits Agency
in Benefits Administration, department of labor, Health Care Plans, human resources, Insurance, Kainos Blog, UBA

Final Rule on Short-Term Limited-Duration Insurance | Houston Employee Benefits Agency

by admin

On August 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Labor (collectively, the Departments) released a final rule that amends the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance. HHS also released a fact sheet on the final rule. According to the Departments, the final rule will provide consumers with more affordable options for health coverage because they...

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31

Aug
2018
6 Reasons Self-Funded Plans Are Gaining Popularity | Houston Benefits Advisors
in ACA, Affordable Care Act, Insurance, Self-Funded Plans

6 Reasons Self-Funded Plans Are Gaining Popularity | Houston Benefits Advisors

by admin

Since the ACA was enacted eight years ago, many employers are re-examining employee benefits in an effort to manage costs, navigate changing regulations, and expand their plan options. Self-funded plans are one way that’s happening. In 2017, the UBA Health Plan survey revealed that self-funded plans have increased by 12.8% in the past year overall, and just less than two-thirds of all large employers’ plans...

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28

Aug
2018
Affordable Care Act Update | Jersey Village Benefit Advisors
in ACA, ACA Repeal, Affordable Care Act, Exchange, Insurance, Kainos Blog

Affordable Care Act Update | Jersey Village Benefit Advisors

by admin

Recently, the President signed a bill repealing the Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate (the tax penalty imposed on individuals who are not enrolled in health insurance). While some are praising this action, there are others who are concerned with its aftermath. So how does this affect you and why should you pay attention to this change? First, as an individual, if you do not carry...

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21

Aug
2018
Trust Equation | Houston Benefits Partners
in Blog, corporate culture, Employee Communication, employees, Kainos Blog, Leadership, Motivation, teamwork, Workplace

Trust Equation | Houston Benefits Partners

by admin

We are currently living in a low-trust society as a whole — we keep hearing that news is fake, science is fake, and so on. That makes it hard for us to trust anyone and is why we need to work on building trust in the workplace more than ever. Human resources professionals and business leaders have an imperative to instill a culture of trust...

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14

Aug
2018
DOL Updates the Employer CHIP Notice | Houston Employee Benefits
in Blog, department of labor, Dependent Care, DOL, Employee Communication, employees, Employer Mandates, Employer News, Insurance, Kainos Blog

DOL Updates the Employer CHIP Notice | Houston Employee Benefits

by admin

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated the model notice for employers to use to inform employees about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). All employers with group health plans are required to distribute a CHIP notice at least once a year to employees living in certain states. There is no need to send another notice to workers who received the prior version in...

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9

Aug
2018
Ask the Experts: Marijuana and the ADA | Houston Benefits Brokers
in ADA, Blog, Compliance News, Employee Communication, employees, Employer Mandates, Employer News, HR News, human resources, Kainos Blog

Ask the Experts: Marijuana and the ADA | Houston Benefits Brokers

by admin

Question: Is medical marijuana use protected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? If so, what accommodations would be considered reasonable? Answer: You are not required to accommodate medical marijuana use under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Even though medical marijuana is legal in many states, under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), marijuana is still illegal. The ADA expressly excludes people who use...

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7

Aug
2018
July 2018
Preparation Aids Prevention | Houston Benefits Firm
in Blog, Employer News, HR News, human resources, Kainos Blog, Leadership, OSHA, Resources, Safety, Wellness, Workplace

Preparation Aids Prevention | Houston Benefits Firm

by admin

  Incidences of workplace violence are becoming more common and are all over the news. It’s not just high-profile headline cases that are a concern—it’s happening on a smaller scale in all kinds of businesses. Threats to workplaces can take many forms, from cyberbullying and workplace harassment to physical altercations and targeted violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that every year nearly...

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31

Jul
2018
July 2018