May is Disability Awareness Month….Who’s Buying DI Coverage?

Check out the great info-graphic below put together by Assurity Life.


Five myths about the ACA’s impact on small businesses

Owners of small and midsized businesses are striving to understand and comply with the broad set of new rules and changes required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or health care reform law). This article dispels five common myths about the ACA for businesses with 51 to 100 employees. The Anthem blog is a very helpful resource for businesses of all sizes. Learning is good, right?

We wanted to share this particular blog article with you, the consummate professional wanting to stay updated.  The blog dispels many misconceptions employers may have about the ACA. We’ll also share this information with employers in our employer newsletter. But here are five common myths* some of your midsize group clients (51 to 100 employees) may need your help with to understand:

  • Myth #1: Our business is exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate
    Companies with more than 100 full-time employees must provide health insurance to full-time workers starting this year. In 2016, your employer clients with 51 to 100 full-time workers also will have to provide coverage.
  • Myth #2: Most businesses of our size don’t provide health insurance today
    The ACA requires your midsize employer groups to change their existing coverage. But only a small percentage will be offering coverage for the first time. Read the blog for some statistics that prove this.
  • Myth #3: Even if we are penalized for not providing coverage, we can deduct the penalty on our income taxes
    Companies that fail to comply with the employer mandate are subject to a penalty. But the mandate is set up as ashared responsibility fee. This makes the penalty a tax that cannot be deducted for federal income tax purposes.
  • Myth #4: We can continue to offer a limited benefit or mini-med plan
    Limited benefit plans do not meet ACA rules, so any midsize group clients currently offering these types of plans will need to upgrade their coverage to meet the employer mandate.
  • Myth #5: We will have to buy our insurance from a government website
    The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is the online health insurance marketplace, or exchange, for businesses. But let your clients know that using the exchange is optional. Employers can come to you at no extra cost and buy directly from an insurance company.

This article is excerpted from the Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield blog for companies in Colorado. It’s a great resource and I would like to recommend you check out their site http://blog.makinghealthcarereformwork.com/ for more details about these common myths and more.


Updates for 2015…

Important HSA Info…
Are you enrolled on an HSA-qualified medical plan? Find out your contribution limits for 2015 here. When used properly, it’s a tremendous tax savings and a smart way to fund any eligible medical expenses. Check out the Top 20 Reasons to Open an HSA in 2015.

Qualifying Event questions…
What is a Qualifying “Life Change” Event related to employee benefit plans? It’s “simple”….just about anytime someone losses access to coverage or has one of these “Life Change” events from this list happen. In that scenario, the individual has generally 30 days to take action and enroll during that window of time. Here’s a great article from United Healthcare on qualifying life events.

Compliance Corner…
Is your health & wellness plan ready for a DOL audit? Department of Labor audits of employee benefit plans are on the rise and experts all recommend employers to get their compliance house in order prior to that impending knock on the door. Very exciting, right? Is that something you might want guidance with?