The Rise of Account Based Health Plans (ABHP)

Momentum turning into a tidal wave is upon us with employers increasingly offering Account Based Health Plan options. This relatively new term in the wild world of benefits is a pragmatic “catch all” for: 1. Health Savings Accounts – HSAs 2. Health Reimbursement Arrangements – HRAs 3. Flexible Spending Accounts – FSAs Tax Advantages. Paying […]

Offering Health Insurance as a Small Employer

Small businesses and the people who own them are the backbone of their communities. In a larger, interwoven sense, when combined with similar-sized businesses across the United States they are the backbone of this country. While the intrinsic benefits of owning a small business are numerous, providing health insurance to employees is not necessarily one […]

Health Benefits Orientation Period for Adding New Employees Clarified

The IRS, Employee Benefits Security Administration, and Department of Health and Human Services have released a joint ruling aiming to clarify what’s been a big topic surrounding administering “waiting periods” for offering new employees coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The law states that any waiting period may not exceed 90 days from the first […]

Counting Full-Time Employees for Benefits – Pay or Play

If you employ 100 or more full time employees, the Affordable Care Act requires that they be counted beginning in 2015 to confirm if eligible for health benefits. The “30” hours per week standard that begins next year is delayed until 2016 for employers with 50 to 99 employees. Employers with fewer than 50 full-time […]

Employer Dumping Leads To New IRS Rules

In lieu of offering health insurance benefits, certain employers have been paying employees to purchase their own individual insurance through the Marketplace exchanges. The rub is that employers have deducted these amounts as a cost of doing business the same way they deducted funds used to pay premiums. The IRS has now moved to block […]

Self-Funding in the Age of the Affordable Care Act

To avoid rates based upon age, Federal and State premium taxes of up to 5% on every premium dollar, and flexibility in plan design, employers down to 10 employees in select parts of America will consider self funding. Per person deductibles of $25,000 or more will be accepted by employers with the hope and expectation […]

Private Health Care Exchanges

It is expected that 20% of employees will be informed by their employer that they have a bank of funds available to select from up to 30 benefit options for health insurance, dental, vision, life and disability benefits. Respect that the main driver of this approach is to establish a budget amount for benefits that […]

Benefits Plan Administration Tips

Benefits administration will continue to be less burdensome as more and more workers sign up for coverage electronically. The best advice is to align with a vibrant online system for enrollment and termination. The number of systems available is extensive. Even better, outsource the administration work to a competent consulting and brokerage company to free […]

Does Obamacare Kill the COBRA snake?

When access to individual insurance without pre-existing condition exclusions became law, many thought this would reduce COBRA continuation coverage post employment. Now that the facts are better known about the value of individual plans including multi-thousand dollar deductibles and annual out of pocket exposure exceeding $6,000 single and $12,000 with dependents, expect COBRA coverage to […]

Payroll Contributions & Age Band Rates

Many benefits professionals recognize that non-discrimination rules for benefits coverage merit an update. Government planners will have a heavy task ahead to develop rules that make sense due to ACA premium rates that increase with age. Basic thinking has always been that more highly compensated employees should be allowed financial benefits coverage no better than […]

Pay or Play? How Business Owners Can Navigate the Affordable Care Act

If you employ fewer than 50 full-time workers including part-time equivalents, there is no penalty for not offering health insurance as a benefit. Some project the “50” threshold will be reduced over time. If you’re a larger employer and do not offer health insurance, think of the $2,000 penalty as the cost of the government […]

Small Business and Obamacare

What are the best practices for small employers to follow with the Affordable Care Act? 1. Make certain everyone knows the real cost of premiums, both monthly and annual. 2. Offer at least two plan options so employees decide whether to spend more on premium or take more risk and spend less out of their […]

HSAs and Obamacare

Concerns were raised that the new health care law would eliminate HSAs. So far, the exact opposite has occurred. HSAs are more popular than ever and projected to more than double in number in the next three years. HSAs are tax advantaged, which call them into question by the IRS as a tax loophole. At […]

Comparing HSAs, FSAs and HRAs

1. HSAs are for long term SAVINGS. The required health insurance has an UPFRONT DEDUCTIBLE meaning there are no flat copays and you will be at out-of-pocket risk for potentially thousands of dollars. Your premium cost is likely thousands less than plans with copays and so do the math. It usually works out that you […]

7 Key Health Insurance Tips to Get the New Year Started Off Right

It’s the beginning of the New Year and the news and information about health care has never been more confusing for more people. Health care expert Jonathan P. Warner provides 7 important and timely health care insurance tips to give you a strong start to your new year. 1.If you have a Health Savings Account […]