Kainos Blog

June 2018
9 HR Policies are Legal Again, Says NLRB General Counsel | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors
in Blog, EEOC, Employee Communication, employees, Employer News, HR News, human resources, Kainos Blog, Leadership, NLRB, Resources, UBA, Workplace

9 HR Policies are Legal Again, Says NLRB General Counsel | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors

by admin

Workplace rules are back, baby! Peter Robb, General Counsel for the National Labor Relations Board (and my new hero), issued a memorandum on Wednesday that employers should love. Mr. Robb has declared that nine standard employer policies will now be presumed lawful under the National Labor Relations Act. The memorandum was based on the Board’s decision in The Boeing Company, issued in December 2017. Before Boeing, the NLRB under the Obama Administration...

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19

Jun
2018
Is Fortnite Interfering With Your Workplace? | Houston Benefit Consultants
in Blog, employees, Kainos Blog, Motivation, Resources, Social Media, Uncategorized, Wellness, Workplace

Is Fortnite Interfering With Your Workplace? | Houston Benefit Consultants

by admin

If you haven’t heard, the latest video game craze is Fortnite Battle Royale. This free multiplayer game can be played on both PC & Mac computers, Xbox, Playstation, and iOS devices. Fortnite is set on an island where a floating bus drops 100 players to gather materials to build fortresses and collect weapons in order to battle each other until the last player is left...

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12

Jun
2018
ACA Play or Pay: Affordability Percentage for 2019 | Houston Benefits Consultants
in ACA, Affordable Care Act, Benefits Administration, Blog, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, Employer News, Health Plans, human resources, IRS, Kainos Blog, Resources, small employer, UBA

ACA Play or Pay: Affordability Percentage for 2019 | Houston Benefits Consultants

by admin

On May 21, 2018, the IRS announced that the affordability percentage under the Affordable Care Act’s play or pay rules will increase to 9.86% for 2019 plan years. This is an increase from 9.56% for 2018 plan years. By way of background, the ACA’s employer shared responsibility provision – often called the employer mandate or “play or pay” – requires large employers to offer health...

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7

Jun
2018
Understanding the Opioid Crisis | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors
in Blog, EAP, Employee Assistance Program, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employee wellness, employees, Employer News, human resources, Kainos Blog, Resources, Substance Abuse, UBA, Wellness

Understanding the Opioid Crisis | Houston Employee Benefit Advisors

by admin

Lately, there’s been a big focus on America’s opioid addiction in the news. Whether it’s news on the abuse of the drug or it’s information sharing on how the drug works, Americans are talking about this subject regularly. We want to help educate you on this hot topic. Opioids are made from the opium poppy plant. Opium has been around since 3,400 BC and it...

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5

Jun
2018
May 2018
Health Plan PCORI Fees Are Due July 31 | Houston Benefit Advisors
in ACA, Affordable Care Act, Blog, COBRA, Compliance News, Employer Mandates, Employer News, ERISA, Health Care Plans, Health Plans, HRAs, HSA, human resources, Insurance, IRS, IRS reporting, Kainos Blog, PCORI, Self-insured, small employer

Health Plan PCORI Fees Are Due July 31 | Houston Benefit Advisors

by admin

Do you offer coverage to your employees through a self-insured group health plan? Do you sponsor a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)? If so, do you know whether your plan or HRA is subject to the annual Patient-Centered Research Outcomes Institute (PCORI) fee? This article answers frequently-asked questions about the PCORI fee, which plans are affected, and what you need to do as the employer sponsor....

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29

May
2018
Disability Insurance | Houston Benefit Consultants
in Blog, department of labor, Disability Insurance, DOL, Employee Benefits, employees, Health Plans, human resources, Insurance, Kainos Blog

Disability Insurance | Houston Benefit Consultants

by admin

  “Your most valued asset isn’t your house, car, or retirement account. It’s the ability to make a living.” No one foresees needing disability benefits.  But, should a problem arise, the educated and informed employee can plan for the future by purchasing disability insurance to help cover expenses when needed. When you ask people what is the number one reason disability insurance is needed, most...

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25

May
2018
Inclusive Workplaces Benefit Everyone | Texas Employee Benefit Consultants
in Benefits Administration, Blog, corporate culture, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employee wellness, employees, human resources, Kainos Blog, Leadership, Millennials, Motivation, Organizational Motivation, Resources, teamwork, UBA, Well-being, Wellness, Workplace

Inclusive Workplaces Benefit Everyone | Texas Employee Benefit Consultants

by admin

While there’s plenty of talk about work/life balance, many employees want to feel human while at work, too. Being able to bring their whole selves, according to “3 Ways to Create a More Human Workplace,” from Workforce, is an essential piece of a welcoming, inclusive workplace environment. Putting employees first as a defined company value means helping team members feel connected, valued, and like their...

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22

May
2018
5 Employee Handbook Mistakes to Avoid | TX Benefits Brokers
in Blog, Employee Communication, employee leave management, employees, Employer News, FMLA, human resources, Kainos Blog, leave-based donation program, Paid Leave, Resources, return to work plan, teamwork, Workplace

5 Employee Handbook Mistakes to Avoid | TX Benefits Brokers

by admin

It’s too long, inconsistent, or redundant. Like with your house, when you live with an employee handbook for a while, you collect things and it gets cluttered. Your handbook gets longer and runs the risk of having internal inconsistencies. Once or twice a year, it’s a good idea to give it a thorough review to remove inconsistent or redundant policies, plus make it shorter and...

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16

May
2018
Top 5 Social Media Tips That Can Benefit Every Agency | Houston Benefits Consultants
in Blog, Kainos Blog, Leadership, Organizational Motivation, Resources, Social Media, Uncategorized

Top 5 Social Media Tips That Can Benefit Every Agency | Houston Benefits Consultants

by admin

  The world is connected nowadays through our screens. Whether it be email, texting, websites, Facetime, or social media; we all use technology to connect us to others. According to Hubspot, an online marketing and sales software provider, consumers are on social networks more than ever before. They wrote:   “In our survey of 1,091 global internet users, we’ve found people have dramatically increased content...

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8

May
2018

in Blog, Employer News, human resources, Internships, Kainos Blog, Paid Internships

It’s Intern Season | Texas Employee Benefits

by admin

Summer internships offer students opportunities to gain real-world experience and hands-on career development. Conversely, internship programs give employers access to highly motivated and educated young workers and give junior managers more experience training and supervising. There are benefits for everyone involved. However, there are some potential legal and administrative pitfalls that many employers overlook. One of the largest issues is determining what interns should be...

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3

May
2018
IRS Changes Course (Again) and Restores 2018 HSA Family Limit to $6,900 | Texas Benefit Advisors
in Benefits Administration, Blog, Contribution Limits, Employee Benefits, Employee Communication, employees, Health Care Plans, health insurance premiums, Health Plans, health reimbursement arrangements, HSA, Insurance, Kainos Blog

IRS Changes Course (Again) and Restores 2018 HSA Family Limit to $6,900 | Texas Benefit Advisors

by admin

Friday, April 27, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the 2018 annual contribution limit to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) for persons with family coverage under a qualifying High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) is restored to $6,900. The single-coverage limit of $3,450 is not affected. This is the final word on what has been an unusual back-and-forth saga. The 2018 family limit of $6,900 had...

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1

May
2018
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
March 2018