Kainos Blog

April 2018
Notifying Participants of a Plan Change | Houston Employee Benefits
in Benefits Administration, Blog, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, Employer Mandates, Employer News, health, Health Care Plans, Health Plans, human resources, Kainos Blog, UBA

Notifying Participants of a Plan Change | Houston Employee Benefits

by admin

Curious about when you should notify a participant about a change to their health care plan?  The answer is that it depends!  Notification must happen within one of three time frames: 60 days prior to the change, no later than 60 days after the change, or within 210 days after the end of the plan year. For modifications to the summary plan description (SPD) that...

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23

Apr
2018
Prescription Drug Discount Programs | Texas Employee Benefits Brokers
in Blog, Employee Benefits, Health Plans, Insurance, Kainos Blog, Prescription Drug Coverage, Resources

Prescription Drug Discount Programs | Texas Employee Benefits Brokers

by admin

Did you know that you can save time and money on your prescription drugs by simply signing up for a discount card online? With savings as much as 80% off, these discount cards keep your health care costs down even when the prices of prescriptions are sharply rising.  At no cost to the patient, discount drug programs negotiate the price of medicines with pharmacies and...

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17

Apr
2018
Happy Workiversary to Hina Patel, our Senior Benefits Analyst!
in Blog, Employee Communication, employees, Employer News, Kainos Blog, Kainos News

Happy Workiversary to Hina Patel, our Senior Benefits Analyst!

by admin

For the last three years she has been a company-wide resource, available to answer questions and support new initiatives with her precision, focus, and attention to detail.  She is tenacious and seeks clarity in all that she does here at Kainos Partners.  Her favorite part of the job is working with clients to effectively communicate the intricacies and benefits of their coverage.  “Hina has contributed...

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16

Apr
2018
Grandmothers Can Visit A Little Longer | Houston Employee Benefits
in ACA, Affordable Care Act, Benefits Administration, Blog, Employee Benefits, Employer Mandates, Employer News, group benefits, Group Health Coverage, Health and Human Services, Health Care Plans, Health Plans, Insurance, Kainos Blog, small employer, Uncategorized

Grandmothers Can Visit A Little Longer | Houston Employee Benefits

by admin

States that permit carriers to renew medical policies without adopting various Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements may continue to do so through 2019, according to a bulletin released April 9, 2018, by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The bulletin extends transitional relief for non-ACA-compliant policies for another year. The affected category of non-ACA-compliant policies, available in some individual and small group insurance...

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13

Apr
2018
Higher Satisfaction Through Higher Education | TX Benefit Advisors
in Blog, education assistance, Employee Benefits, Health Plans, Kainos Blog, Plan Development, supplementary benefits, UBA, UBA Partner News

Higher Satisfaction Through Higher Education | TX Benefit Advisors

by admin

When evaluating employee benefits, essentials such as health and dental plans, vacation time and 401(k) contributions quickly come to mind. Another benefit employers should consider involves subsidizing learning as well as ambitions. Grants and reimbursements toward advanced degrees and continuing education can be a smart investment for both employers and employees. Educational benefits are strongly linked to worker satisfaction. A survey by the Society for Human...

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10

Apr
2018
Price Shopping Healthcare | Houston Employee Benefits Brokers
in Benefits Administration, Blog, Emergency Care Clinics, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employee wellness, employees, financial health, Financial Planning, health, Health Care Plans, health insurance premiums, Health Plans, health reimbursement arrangements, Insurance, Kainos Blog, Resources, Uncategorized, Urgent Care Clinics, Wellness

Price Shopping Healthcare | Houston Employee Benefits Brokers

by admin

As the costs of health care soar, many consumers are looking for ways to control their medical spending. Also, with the rise of enrollment in high deductible health plans, consumers are paying for more health care out-of-pocket. From medical savings accounts to discount plans for prescriptions, patients are growing increasingly conscious of prices for their healthcare needs. Price shopping procedures and providers allows you to...

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5

Apr
2018
March 2018
DOL Fiduciary Rule Overturned | TX Benefits Broker
in department of labor, DOL, employees, Employer News, ERISA, fiduciary duty rule, human resources, Kainos Blog, Uncategorized

DOL Fiduciary Rule Overturned | TX Benefits Broker

by admin

In its March 15, 2018, decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit overturned the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule that expanded the definition of an investment advice fiduciary under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Under the Fiduciary Rule, investment brokers were going to be required to put the interest of their clients before their own when advising...

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29

Mar
2018
Electronic Delivery of ERISA Notices | Houston Employee Benefits Advisors
in Blog, COBRA, Compliance News, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, Employer Mandates, Employer News, ERISA, Health Plans, human resources, Kainos Blog, Reporting, Reporting Requirements, UBA, Uncategorized

Electronic Delivery of ERISA Notices | Houston Employee Benefits Advisors

by admin

Q. Can we provide summary plan descriptions (SPDs) electronically? A. Yes. However, just sending them is not enough to meet ERISA requirements; you must ensure the intended recipients are actually getting them. Specifically, ERISA requires SPDs to be furnished using “measures reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt of the material” via “methods likely to result in full distribution.” Electronic delivery is one way to meet...

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27

Mar
2018
Here’s Where #FOMO Is Doing You a Disservice | Texas Benefit Advisors
in Blog, Disability Insurance, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, health, Health Care Plans, Health Plans, Insurance, Kainos Blog, Life Insurance, Millennials

Here’s Where #FOMO Is Doing You a Disservice | Texas Benefit Advisors

by admin

Fear of missing out—is more than just a hashtag. Many Millennials admit that #FOMO drives a lot of their decisions on what they wear, what they do, even what they eat and drink. We live in a world of social influence. But one area where #FOMO really does you a disservice? No one is afraid of missing out on the benefits of life insurance. And...

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19

Mar
2018
All About Medical Savings Accounts | TX Benefit Advisors
in ACA, Affordable Care Act, Benefits Administration, Blog, Contribution Limits, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, Employer News, FSA, Health Care Plans, health insurance premiums, Health Plans, health reimbursement arrangements, HRAs, HSA, human resources, Insurance, IRS, Kainos Blog, UBA

All About Medical Savings Accounts | TX Benefit Advisors

by admin

Taking control of health care expenses is on the top of most people’s to-do list for 2018.  The average premium increase for 2018 is 18% for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans.  So, how do you save money on health care when the costs seems to keep increasing faster than wage increases?  One way is through health savings accounts. Health savings accounts are used in conjunction...

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13

Mar
2018

in Blog, Employee Communication, employees, Employer News, IRS, IRS reporting, Kainos Blog, Reporting, Reporting Requirements, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, tax law, Uncategorized, W-4, Withholding Calculator

IRS Releases New Form W-4 and Updates Withholding Calculator | TX Benefit Advisors

by admin

Our February 7, 2018 blog post reported on the late February release of the Form W-4 and guidance on the income withholding rules that changed under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. On February 28, 2018, the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the new 2018 Form W-4 and an updated withholding calculator. Why a Withholding Calculator? The IRS encourages the use of the withholding...

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8

Mar
2018
6 Ways to Keep the Flu from Sidelining Your Workplace | Houston Employee Benefits
in ADA, Blog, CDC, department of labor, DOL, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employee wellness, employees, Flex Work, FMLA, health, Health Care Plans, Health Plans, health reimbursement arrangements, human resources, Kainos Blog, Paid Leave, PPO, Preventative Care, Resources, teamwork, Technology, Telecommuting, UBA, Urgent Care Clinics, Well-being, Wellness, Work from home, Workplace

6 Ways to Keep the Flu from Sidelining Your Workplace | Houston Employee Benefits

by admin

  This year’s flu season is a rough one. Although the predominant strains of this year’s influenza viruses were represented in the vaccine, they mutated, which decreased the effectiveness of the immunization. The flu then spread widely and quickly, and in addition, the symptoms were severe and deadly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the 2017 – 2018 flu season...

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5

Mar
2018
February 2018
Benefits of an Annual Physical | Texas Benefits Advisors
in Blog, Employee Communication, employee wellness, employees, Employer News, health, Kainos Blog, Motivation, Well-being, wellness, Wellness, Wellness Programs

Benefits of an Annual Physical | Texas Benefits Advisors

by admin

Have you ever heard the proverb “Knowledge is power?” It means that knowledge is more powerful than just physical strength and with knowledge people can produce powerful results. This applies to your annual medical physical as well! The #1 goal of your annual exam is to GAIN KNOWLEDGE. Annual exams offer you and your doctor a baseline for your health as well as being key to detecting early signs of diseases...

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22

Feb
2018
Employee Spotlight:  Nancy Alvarado, PHR, Account Manager | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Blog, Employee Communication, employees, Employer News, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, Leadership, Uncategorized

Employee Spotlight: Nancy Alvarado, PHR, Account Manager | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Meet Nancy Alvarado- hailing from Pasadena, Nancy is a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (B.B.A.) and a Professional in Human Resources Certification (PHR). “We appreciate what Nancy brings to the team and look forward to a brighter 2018 with her here,” says Amanda Chan, Director of Operations. Previously working in Human Resources as a Benefits Specialist, Nancy didn’t always...

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20

Feb
2018
Deadline Approaching: Post Form 300A | TX Benefit Advisors
in Benefits Administration, Blog, Compliance News, critical illness, department of labor, DOL, Emergency Care Clinics, Emergency Room, Employer News, health, human resources, Kainos Blog, OSHA, Reporting Requirements, UBA, Uncategorized, Well-being

Deadline Approaching: Post Form 300A | TX Benefit Advisors

by admin

This is a reminder that from February 1 through April 30, 2018, impacted employers are required to post a copy of their 2017 Form 300A (Summary of Work-Related Illnesses and Injuries) in a common area where employee notices are usually available. This annual requirement may not apply to certain employers that are partially exempt from routinely keeping Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) injury and...

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19

Feb
2018

in 21st Century Cures Act, Benefits Administration, Blog, Compliance News, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, Employer Mandates, Employer News, Group Health Coverage, health, Health and Human Services, Health Care Plans, Health Care Reform, Health Plans, human resources, Insurance, IRS, IRS reporting, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, Long term care, Reporting, return to work plan, Trending, UBA, W-4

Federal Employment Law Update – February 2018 | Houston Employee Benefits

by admin

IRS Releases Publication 15 and W-4 Withholding Guidance for 2018 On January 31, 2018, the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Publication 15 — Introductory Material, which includes the following: 2018 federal income tax withholding tables. Exempt Form W-4 New information on: Withholding allowance. Withholding on supplemental wages. Backup withholding. Moving expense reimbursement. Social Security and Medicare tax for 2018. Disaster tax relief. Read Publication...

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15

Feb
2018
2018 W-4 Forms Won’t Be Released Until Late February | Texas Benefit Advisors
in Blog, Employee Benefits, employees, Employer News, Financial Planning, human resources, IRS, IRS reporting, Kainos Blog, tax law, Uncategorized, W-4

2018 W-4 Forms Won’t Be Released Until Late February | Texas Benefit Advisors

by admin

If you’ve been getting questions from your employees about completing new 2018 W-4 forms to take advantage of the tax reform rules, we’ve finally received some answers. You can continue to rely on the current W-4 forms for now until the new 2018 form is released in late February. The January 29th Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 2018-14 provides additional guidance on the income withholding...

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7

Feb
2018
January 2018
Benefits Easy: Intro to Self-Funding | Texas Benefits Advisors
in Benefits Administration, Blog, Employee Benefits, employees, group benefits, health, Health Care Plans, Health Plans, Insurance, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, Plan Development, small employer, Uncategorized, Wellness, Wellness Programs

Benefits Easy: Intro to Self-Funding | Texas Benefits Advisors

by admin

As the first month of 2018 wraps up, companies have already begun the arduous task of submitting budgets and finding ways to cut costs for the new year. One of the most effective ways to combat increasing health care costs for companies is to move to a Self-Funded insurance plan. By paying for claims out-of-pocket instead of paying a premium to an insurance carrier, companies...

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30

Jan
2018

in DOL, FLSA, IRS, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, OSHA, Uncategorized

Federal Employment Law Update – January 2018 | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

WHD Revises Test for Unpaid Internships On January 5, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) released a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB No. 2018-2) establishing that the primary beneficiary test, rather than the six-point test, will determine whether interns at for-profit employers are employees under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The primary beneficiary test requires an examination of the...

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25

Jan
2018
Do I Still Need Life Insurance Once I Retire? Your Questions Answered | Houston Employee Benefits
in Baby Boomers, Blog, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, financial health, Financial Planning, health, Life Insurance

Do I Still Need Life Insurance Once I Retire? Your Questions Answered | Houston Employee Benefits

by admin

Do I need life insurance once I retire? Just because you’re retired doesn’t necessarily mean you’re financially sound. Think of all the different scenarios that may still be applicable: You may have been required to retire early; you may have had investments that have gone sour and haven’t had time to rebuild your nest egg. Additionally, there may be a need to cover final expenses,...

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18

Jan
2018
Nothing Is Certain, But Death and LESS Taxes… | Texas Benefit Consultants
in Blog, child tax credit, Employee Benefits, employees, Employer News, IRS, IRS reporting, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, legislation, tax law, tax reform, Treasury, W-4

Nothing Is Certain, But Death and LESS Taxes… | Texas Benefit Consultants

by admin

On January 11, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service released its income tax withholding tables for 2018 reflecting changes made by the December 2017 tax reform legislation. The updated withholding information provides the new rates for employers to use during 2018. Employers are encouraged to use these tables as soon as possible but must use them by no later than February 15, 2018. Employers should continue to...

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16

Jan
2018
Oral Health = Overall Health | TX Benefit Advisors
in Blog, dental, dental health, financial health, Financial Planning, Financial Wellness, health, Health Plans, Insurance, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, Resources, Safety, Well-being, wellness, Wellness

Oral Health = Overall Health | TX Benefit Advisors

by admin

Have you heard the saying “the eyes are the window to your soul”? Well, did you know that your mouth is the window into what is going on with the rest of your body? Poor dental health contributes to major systemic health problems. Conversely, good dental hygiene can help improve your overall health. As a bonus, maintaining good oral health can even REDUCE your healthcare...

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10

Jan
2018
New Year, New Penalties | Houston Benefit Advisors
in Blog, department of labor, DOL, Employee Benefits, Employer News, Financial Planning, Financial Wellness, Kainos Blog, Kainos News, OSH Act, OSHA, Reporting

New Year, New Penalties | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

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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5

Jan
2018
January 2018