Yearly Archives: 2016

  • Regulations Regarding Short-Term Limited-Duration Insurance, Excepted Benefits, and Lifetime/Annual Limits | CA Benefit Advisors

    December 29, 2016

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    Recently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively the Departments) issued final regulations regarding the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance, standards for travel insurance and supplemental health insurance coverage to be considered excepted benefits, and an amendment relating to the prohibition on lifetime and annual dollar limits.

    Effective Date and Applicability Date

    These final regulations are effective on December 30, 2016. These final regulations apply beginning on the first day of the first plan or policy year beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

    Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance

    Short-term, limited-duration insurance is a type of health insurance coverage designed to fill temporary gaps in coverage when an individual is transitioning from one plan or coverage to another plan or coverage. Although short-term, limited-duration insurance is not an excepted benefit, it is exempt from Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) requirements because it is not individual health insurance coverage. The PHS Act provides that the term ‘‘individual health insurance coverage’’ means health insurance coverage offered to individuals in the individual market, but does not include short-term, limited-duration insurance.

    On June 10, 2016, the Departments proposed regulations to address the issue of short-term, limited-duration insurance being sold as a type of primary coverage.

    The Departments have finalized the proposed regulations without change. The final regulations define short-term, limited-duration insurance so that the coverage must be less than three months in duration, including any period for which the policy may be renewed. The permitted coverage period takes into account extensions made by the policyholder ‘‘with or without the issuer’s consent.’’ A notice must be prominently displayed in the contract and in any application materials provided in connection with enrollment in such coverage with the following language:

    THIS IS NOT QUALIFYING HEALTH COVERAGE (‘‘MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE’’) THAT SATISFIES THE HEALTH COVERAGE REQUIREMENT OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. IF YOU DON’T HAVE MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE, YOU MAY OWE AN ADDITIONAL PAYMENT WITH YOUR TAXES.

    The revised definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance applies for policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

    Because state regulators may have approved short-term, limited-duration insurance products for sale in 2017 that met the definition in effect prior to January 1, 2017, HHS will not take enforcement action against an issuer with respect to the issuer’s sale of a short-term, limited-duration insurance product before April 1, 2017, on the ground that the coverage period is three months or more, provided that the coverage ends on or before December 31, 2017, and otherwise complies with the definition of short-term, limited-duration insurance in effect under the regulations. States may also elect not to take enforcement actions against issuers with respect to such coverage sold before April 1, 2017.

     

    By Danielle Capilla, Originally published by United Benefit Advisors – Read More

  • New Law Allows Small Employers to Pay Premiums for Individual Policies | California Employee Benefits

    December 26, 2016

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    This week, the U.S. Senate passed the 21st Century Cures Act which includes a provision allowing small businesses to offer a new type of health reimbursement arrangement for their employees’ health care expenses, including individual insurance premiums. The act was previously passed by the House and President Obama is expected to sign it shortly. The provision for Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs), a new type of tax-free benefit, takes effect January 1, 2017. Further, the act retroactively relieves small employers from the threat of excise taxes under prior rules for plan years beginning before 2017.

    Background

    Employers of all sizes currently are prohibited from making or offering any form of payment to employees for individual health insurance, whether through premium reimbursement or direct payment. Employers also are prohibited from providing cash or compensation to employees if the money is conditioned on the purchase of individual health insurance. (Some exceptions apply; e.g., retiree-only plans, dental/vision insurance.) Violations can result in excise taxes of $100 per day per affected employee.

    The prohibition, implemented under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was intended to discourage employers from canceling their group plans and pushing workers into the individual insurance market. The rules have been particularly disruptive for small businesses, however, since previously it had been common practice for many small employers to subsidize the cost of individual policies instead of offering group coverage. The new law, passed this week with broad bipartisan support, responds to the concerns of small businesses.

    New Qualified Small Employer HRAs

    The new law does not repeal the ACA’s general prohibition against employer payment of individual insurance premiums. Rather, it provides an exception for a new type of arrangement — a Qualified Small Employer HRA or QSEHRA — provided that specific conditions are met.

    First, the employer must meet two conditions:

    • Employs on average no more than 50 full-time and full-time-equivalent employees. In other words, the employer cannot be an applicable large employer as defined under the ACA; and
    • Does not offer a group health plan to any of its employees.

    Next, the QSEHRA must meet all of the following conditions:

    • It is funded solely by the employer; employee contributions are not permitted;
    • It is offered to all full-time employees, although the employer may choose to include seasonal or part-time employees and/or may exclude employees with less than 90 days of service;
    • For tax-free QSEHRA benefits, the employee must have minimum essential coverage (e.g., medical insurance under an individual policy);
    • It pays or reimburses healthcare expenses (e.g., § 213(d) expenses) and premiums for individual policies;
    • It does not pay or reimburse contributions for any employer-sponsored group coverage;
    • The same benefits and terms apply to all eligible employees, except the benefit amount may vary by:
      • Single versus family coverage;
      • Prorated amounts for partial-year coverage (e.g., new hires); and
      • For premium reimbursements, variations consistent with the age- and family-size rating structure of a representative individual policy; and
    • Benefits do not exceed $4,950 if single coverage (or $10,000 if family coverage) per 12-month plan year. Amounts are prorated if covered for less than 12 months. Limits will be indexed for inflation.

    Coordination with Exchange Subsidies

    Coverage under a QSEHRA will affect the employee’s eligibility for a subsidized individual policy from an insurance Exchange (Marketplace). Any subsidy for which the employee would otherwise qualify will be reduced dollar-for-dollar by the QSEHRA.

    Benefit Laws

    Group health plans are subject to numerous federal laws, including SPD and other notice requirements under ERISA, coverage continuation requirements under COBRA, and benefit mandates under the ACA. The new law specifies that QSEHRAs are not group health plans, so COBRA and other requirements will not apply.

    QSEHRA Notices

    Small employers offering QSEHRAs will be required to provide a notice to each eligible employee that:

    • Informs the employee of the QSEHRA benefit amount;
    • Instructs the employee that he or she must give the QSEHRA information to the Exchange if applying for a subsidy for individual insurance; and
    • Explains the tax consequences of failing to maintain minimum essential coverage.

    QSEHRA notices should be provided at least 90 days before the start of the plan year.

    Employers also will be required to report the QSEHRA coverage on Form W-2, Box 12. The reporting is informational only and has no tax consequences. Although small employers usually are exempt from this type of W-2 informational reporting, apparently it will be required for QSEHRAs starting with the 2017 tax year.

    More Information

    To learn more about QSEHRAs starting in 2017, or for details about the relief from excise taxes for small employers before 2017, see the 21st Century Cures Act. The relevant provisions are found in Section 18001 beginning on page 306.

    Employers that are considering QSEHRAs are encouraged to work with legal counsel and tax advisors that offer expertise in this area. Starting in 2017, employer-funded QSEHRAs can offer valuable tax-free benefits to employees as long as they are designed and administered to meet all legal requirements.

     

    Originally published by ThinkHR – Read More

  • FAQs on Tobacco Cessation Coverage and Mental Health / Substance Use Disorder Parity | California Employee Benefits

    December 23, 2016

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    Recently, the Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (collectively, the Departments) issued FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 34 and Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Implementation.

    The Departments’ FAQs cover two primary topics: tobacco cessation coverage and mental health / substance use disorder parity.

    Tobacco Cessation Coverage

    The Departments seek public comment by January 3, 2017, on tobacco cessation coverage. The Departments intend to clarify the items and services that must be provided without cost sharing to comply with the United States Preventive Services Task Force’s updated tobacco cessation interventions recommendation applicable to plan years or policy years beginning on or after September 22, 2016.

    Mental Health / Substance Use Disorder Parity

    Generally, the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA) requires that the financial requirements and treatment limitations imposed on mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits cannot be more restrictive than the predominant financial requirements and treatment limitations that apply to substantially all medical and surgical benefits.

    A financial requirement (such as a copayment or coinsurance) or quantitative treatment limitation (such as a day or visit limit) is considered to apply to substantially all medical/surgical benefits in a classification if it applies to at least two-thirds of all medical/surgical benefits in the classification.

    If it does not apply to at least two-thirds of medical/surgical benefits, it cannot be applied to MH/SUD benefits in that classification.

    If it does apply to at least two-thirds of medical/surgical benefits, the level (such as 80 percent or 70 percent coinsurance) of the quantitative limit that may be applied to MH/SUD benefits in a classification may not be more restrictive than the predominant level that applies to medical/surgical benefits (defined as the level that applies to more than one-half of medical/surgical benefits subject to the limitation in the classification).

    In performing these calculations, the determination of the portion of medical/surgical benefits subject to the quantitative limit is based on the dollar amount of all plan payments for medical/surgical benefits in the classification expected to be paid under the plan for the plan year. The MHPAEA regulations provide that “any reasonable method” may be used to determine the dollar amount of all plan payments for the substantially all and predominant analyses.

    MHPAEA’s provisions and its regulations expressly provide that a plan or issuer must disclose the criteria for medical necessity determinations with respect to MH/SUD benefits to any current or potential participant, beneficiary, or contracting provider upon request and the reason for any denial of reimbursement or payment for services with respect to MH/SUD benefits to the participant or beneficiary.

    However, the Departments recognize that additional information regarding medical/surgical benefits is necessary to perform the required MHPAEA analyses. According to the FAQs, the Department have continued to receive questions regarding disclosures related to the processes, strategies, evidentiary standards, and other factors used to apply a nonquantitative treatment limitation (NQTL) with respect to medical/surgical benefits and MH/SUD benefits under a plan. Also, the Departments have received requests to explore ways to encourage uniformity among state reviews of issuers’ compliance with the NQTL standards, including the use of model forms to report NQTL information.

    To address these issues, the Departments seek public comment by January 3, 2017, on potential model forms that could be used by participants and their representatives to request information on various NQTLs. The Departments also seek public comment on the disclosure process for MH/SUD benefits and on steps that could improve state market conduct examinations or federal oversight of compliance by plans and issuers, or both.

     

    By Danielle Capilla, Originally published by United Benefit Advisors – Read More

  • Ask the Experts: Dealing With FSA Carryover Funds | California Benefit Advisors

    December 19, 2016

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    Question: If an employee has a small health flexible spending account (FSA) balance with a carryover to the next year, and the employee chooses not to participate in the new FSA year, can the employer force the employee to use those funds so as not to incur additional administrative fees in the next plan year?

    Answer: An employer can prevent “perpetual carryovers” by carefully drafting the cafeteria plan document with respect to carryover amounts. IRS guidance allows carryovers to be limited to individuals who have elected to participate in the health FSA in the next plan year. Health FSAs may also require that carryover amounts be forfeited if not used within a specified period of time, such as one year. Note that this plan design requires additional administration (to track the time limit for each carryover dollar, for instance) as well as ordering rules (e.g., will carryovers be used first?), so you will need to carefully review the cafeteria plan document. Under no circumstances are amounts returned to participants.

    According to IRS guidance, a health FSA may limit the availability of the carryover of unused amounts (subject to the $500 limit) to individuals who have elected to participate in the health FSA in the next year, even if the ability to participate in that next year requires a minimum salary reduction election to the health FSA for that next year. For example, an employer sponsors a cafeteria plan offering a health FSA that permits up to $500 of unused health FSA amounts to be carried over to the next year in compliance with Notice 2013-71, but only if the employee participates in the health FSA during that next year. To participate in the health FSA, an employee must contribute a minimum of $60 ($5 per calendar month). As of December 31, 2016, Employee A and Employee B each have $25 remaining in their health FSA. Employee A elects to participate in the health FSA for 2017, making a $600 salary reduction election. Employee B elects not to participate in the health FSA for 2017. Employee A has $25 carried over to the health FSA for 2017, resulting in $625 available in the health FSA. Employee B forfeits the $25 as of December 31, 2016 and has no funds available in the health FSA thereafter. This arrangement is a permissible health FSA carryover feature under Notice 2013171. The IRS also clarifies that a health FSA may limit the ability to carry over unused amounts to a maximum period (subject to the $500 limit). For example, a health FSA can limit the ability to carry over unused amounts to one year. Thus, if an individual carried over $30 and did not elect any additional amounts for the next year, the health FSA may require forfeiture of any amount remaining at the end of that next year.

    Originally published by ThinkHR – Read More

  • Employer Exchange Subsidy Notices: Should You Appeal? | California Employee Benefits

    December 16, 2016

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    Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), all public Exchanges are required to notify employers when an employee is receiving a subsidy (tax credits and cost-sharing reductions) for individual health insurance purchased through an Exchange. According to the final rules published in August 2013, employers have the right, but are not required, to engage in an appeal process through the IRS if they feel an employee should not be receiving a subsidy because the employer offers minimum value, affordable coverage.

    Some states began sending notices from public Exchanges indicating that one or more employees are currently receiving a subsidy in 2015, but the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that all federally-facilitated Exchanges will begin sending notices in 2016. Just because the employer receives a notice, it does not mean the employer will actually owe a penalty payment under Section 4980H.

    Dan Bond, Principal, Compliancedashboard, offers this important commentary: “I think it’s important for employers to remember that just because they may receive one of these notices from the IRS telling them that one of their employees is receiving a subsidy on the exchange, it does not necessarily mean the employer has exposure to a penalty. There are various reasons that someone might have received a subsidy so the employer can use this notice to determine exactly why and whether or not they have any exposure. In fact, small employers will also receive these notices and they are not even subject to the employer shared responsibility mandate so they will not be subject to penalties, regardless.”

    subsidy appeal chart

    Appeal Form and Process
    So long as the requirements in the final rules are met, each state Exchange is allowed to set up its own process and procedures. Information about how to file an appeal is usually included in the notice, but it may be necessary to check with the applicable Exchange to find out exactly how to handle the appeals process, the particulars of which are managed by each Exchange separately.

    The form currently used by federally-facilitated Exchanges, as well as by eight states, may be found on Healthcare.gov (approximately half of the states are currently using this form and process). The forms and processes for all other states may be found by visiting a state’s Exchange site. The process generally involves filing a paper appeal, providing documentation, and in some cases participating in a hearing.

    Conclusion
    The employer does not have to appeal to avoid a penalty under Section 4980H, and penalties will not apply until after the employer reporting (via Forms 1094-C and 1095-C) is reconciled. There is some speculation that it may be more beneficial to appeal with the Exchange rather than waiting to appeal later with the IRS. This is a fairly new process, so the best approach for employers may remain somewhat unclear until the first year of employer reporting is completed.

    Filing an appeal as soon as possible may help avoid hassles with the IRS and prevent the individual from receiving a subsidy for which they are ineligible. At the same time, although the appeals process does not appear to be a difficult one, it is possible that everything could be cleared up more quickly by simply communicating directly with the employee that they may be receiving the subsidy in error.

     

    By Vicki Randall, Originally published by United Benefit Advisors – Read More

  • The New HSA Under Trump’s Proposed Health Plan | California Benefit Advisors

    December 13, 2016

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    piggybankWith the election of a new President, health care plans and the fate of the Affordable Care Act are a hot topic of discussion. As part of his 7-tier health plan, President-Elect Donald Trump has proposed a shift in the way health savings accounts (HSAs) are offered to working Americans. Simply put, an HSA is a savings account for medical expenses. They are tax advantaged accounts an individual can open in addition to their current health plan to pay out-of-pocket expenses ranging from co-pays to surgery deductibles. Typically, HSAs have been offered to individuals with high deductible health plans (HDHPs). However, if the President-Elect’s new health plan strategy is enacted, an HDHP would no longer be an eligibility requirement, significantly impacting healthcare options for millions of Americans.

    HSA vs. FSA – Which one is right for you?

    When choosing a savings account for medical expenses there are two options: HSAs and FSAs. Each type of account is generally non-taxable for qualified medical expenses, except under certain circumstances in which a medical expense was incurred prior to opening an HSA, and each is accumulated by contributions from your paycheck. Some employers offer HSA and FSA matching contributions.

    In the past, there have been some prominent differences between health savings accounts and flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Traditionally, FSAs have been the option for those who choose health plans with low deductibles. The money you contribute from your paycheck into your FSA account must be spent within the year, and cannot be rolled over. Conversely, you must have an HDHP to open an HSA, and funds accumulated from paychecks can be rolled over into the next year if left unused.

    Accumulating tax advantages have made HSAs more popular and beneficial in comparison to FSAs. When it comes to changing jobs, HSAs typically are not affected, while FSAs are impacted due to restrictions in rollover of funds. However, FSAs do not have eligibility requirements, which have made them more widely available to individuals.

    What’s Next? How HSAs would change under Trump’s health plan

    Trump’s new health plan would make HSAs readily available to everyone by removing the HDHP eligibility requirements that are currently in place. In addition to this drastic barrier removal, Trump has said he will change policy to allow families to share the accounts between one another. Any contribution or interest-earned by an HSA is tax-deductible, and individuals with HSAs can withdrawal money tax-free for certain medical expenses ranging from transplants to acupuncture. The combination of these three tax-advantages creates an unmatched savings option for those who choose HSAs. While Trump has said he will change some factors of HSAs, he plans to keep these tax advantages.

    Who will benefit from the new HSA model?

    In the past, HSAs have been more attractive for retirees. Health care costs tend to rise in the retirement stage of life, which makes an HSA a more cost-efficient option for retirees. Since individuals are allowed to take out money for medical expenses without being taxed, retirees have the potential to save large amounts of money in the later stages of their life. However, under Trump’s proposed plan, HSAs will also become increasingly attractive for younger people. Because individuals will continue to be allowed to roll over money contributed to their HSA in a given year into the next, young and healthy people will be able to save sizable amounts for use later in life.

    While much remains to be seen about which aspects of President-Elect Trump’s health plan will be enacted when he takes office, take the time now to educate yourself on how an HSA can work for you.

     

    By Nicole Federico & Kate McGaughey, eTekhnos

  • IRS Delay in 6055 and 6056 Reporting for 2017 | California Employee Benefits

    December 8, 2016

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    1208Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals are required to have health insurance while applicable large employers (ALEs) are required to offer health benefits to their full-time employees. In order for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify that (1) individuals have the required minimum essential coverage, (2) individuals who request premium tax credits are entitled to them, and (3) ALEs are meeting their shared responsibility (play or pay) obligations, employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees and insurers will be required to report on the health coverage they offer. Final instructions for the 1094-B and 1095-B and the 1094-C and 1095-C forms were released in September 2016, as were the final forms for 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C. The reporting requirements are in Sections 6055 and 6056 of the ACA.

    Reporting was first due in 2016, based on coverage in 2015. Reporting in 2017 will be based on coverage in 2016. All reporting will be for the calendar year, even for non-calendar year plans.

    On November 18, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-70, delaying the reporting deadlines in 2017 for the 1095-B and 1095-C forms to individuals. There is no delay for the 1094-C and 1094-B forms, or for forms due to the IRS.

    Original Deadlines Delayed Deadlines
    DUE TO THE IRS
    The 1094-C, 1095-C, 1094-B, and 1085-B forms were originally due to the IRS by February 28, if filing on paper, or March 31, if filing electronically
    Deadline to the IRS for all forms remains the same.
    DUE TO EMPLOYEES
    The 1095-C form was due to employees by January 31 of the year following the year to which the Form 1095-C relates.
    DUE TO EMPLOYEES
    The 1095-C form is now due to employees by March 2, 2017.
    DUE TO INDIVIDUALS AND EMPLOYEES
    The 1095-B form was due to the individual identified as the “responsible individual” on the form by January 31.
    DUE TO INDIVIDUALS AND EMPLOYEES
    The 1095-B form is now due to the individual identified as the “responsible individual” on the form by March 2, 2017.

     

    For information on the extension process as well as the impact on individual taxpayers, view UBA’s ACA Advisor, “IRS Delay in 6055 and 6056 Reporting for 2017”.

     

    By Danielle Capilla, Originally published by United Benefit Advisors

  • California Dreamin – new laws affecting employer employee relationship

    December 6, 2016

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    arrowlogoAB 2337 – employers with 25 or more employees must provide written notice to employees of their rights to take protected time off for domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.  This is an expansion of existing law, now requiring that notice be provided.  Conformity with the law is required once the Labor Commissioner develops the proper notice.

    New Workers Compensation rules – which will be issued as a package from the Division of Workers Compensation over the course of 2017.  Also, the WCIRB (Workers Compensation Rating Bureau) has recommended a 4.3% drop in 2017 premiums as part of pure premium.

    SB 1167 – OSHA must provide, by January 1, 2019, a heat illness and injury prevention standard applicable to workers working in indoor places of employment.

    SB 1234 – establishes the Secure Choice Retirement program for all covered private sector employees.  Mandates the creation of savings accounts for covered workers whose employers do not offer a retirement savings option to be automatically enrolled.  The program will be phased in over a 36 month period and overseen by a new Secure Choice Retiremetn Savings Investment Board:

    • Groups of 100 or more employees – must implement within first 12 months
    • Groups of 50-99 employees – must implement within 24 months
    • Groups of 5 to 49 employees – must implement within 36 months

    Employees do have the right to opt out of the program.  The Board to set the initial employee contribution between 2 and 5% of their gross wages and employers always retain the right to provide their own employer sponsored retirement plans in lieu of the new program.

  • The Shift Away from Health Risk Assessments | California Employee Benefits

    December 2, 2016

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    1129Historically, employers have utilized health risk assessments (HRAs) as one measurement tool in wellness program design. The main goals of an HRA are to assess individual health status and risk and provide feedback to participants on how to manage risk. Employers have traditionally relied on this type of assessment to evaluate the overall health risk of their population in order to develop appropriate wellness strategies.

    Recently, there has been a shift away from the use of HRAs. According to the 2016 UBA Health Plan Survey, there has been a 4 percent decline in the percentage of employer wellness programs using HRAs. In contrast, the percentage of wellness programs offering biometric screens or physical exams remains unchanged – 68 percent of plans where employers provide wellness offer a physical exam or biometric screening.

    One explanation for this shift away from HRAs is an increased focus on helping employees improve or maintain their health status through outcome-based wellness programs, which often require quantifiable and objective data. The main issue with an HRA is that it relies on self-reported data, which may not give an accurate picture of individual or population health due to the fact that people tend to be more optimistic or biased when thinking about their own health risk. A biometric screening or physical exam, on the other hand, allows for the collection of real-time, objective data at both the individual and population level.

    Including a biometric screening or physical exam as part of a comprehensive wellness program can be beneficial for both the employer and employees. Through a biometric screening or physical exam, key health indicators related to chronic disease can be measured and tracked over time, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, blood sugar, hemoglobin, or body mass index (BMI). For employees, this type of data can provide real insight into current or potential health risks and provide motivation to engage in programs or resources available through the wellness program. Beyond that, aggregate data collected from these types of screenings can help employers make informed decisions about the type of wellness programs that will provide the greatest value to their company, both from a population health and financial perspective.

    One success story of including a physical exam as part of a wellness program comes from one of our small manufacturing clients. From the initial population health report, the company learned that there was a large percentage of its population with little to no health data, resulting in the inability to assign a risk score to those individuals. It is important to note that when a population is not utilizing health care, it can result in late-stage diagnoses, resulting in greater costs and a burden for both the employee and employer. In addition, there was low physical compliance and a high percentage of adults with no primary care provider. In order to capture more information on its population and better understand the current health risks, the company shifted its wellness plan to include annual physicals as a method for collecting biometric data for the 2016 benefit year. Employees and spouses covered on the plan were required to complete an annual physical and submit biometric data in order to earn additional incentive dollars.

    By including annual physicals in its wellness program, positive results were seen for employees and spouses and the company was able to make an informed decision about next steps for its wellness program. After the first physical collection period, the percentage of individuals with little to no information was reduced from 31 percent to 16 percent (Figure A). Annual physical compliance increased from 36 percent in 2015 to over 80 percent in 2016 (Figure B), which means more individuals were seeing a primary care provider. As a result of increased biometric data collection and one year of Vital Incite reporting, the company was able to determine next steps, which included addressing chronic condition management, specifically hypertension and diabetes, with health coaching or a disease management nurse.

    Figure A – RUB Distribution 2014 – 2016

    RUB Distribution 2014-2016

    Figure B – Preventive Screening Compliance

    Preventive Screening Compliance

    Employers that are still interested in collecting additional information from employees may consider including alternatives to the HRA, such as culture or satisfaction surveys. These tools can allow employers the opportunity to evaluate program engagement and further understand the needs and wants of their employee population.

     

    Originally published by United Benefit Advisors – Read More

  • BREAKING NEWS: Texas Court Issues Injunction Blocking New December 1st Overtime Regulations | California Benefit Advisors

    November 29, 2016

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    Ten o'clock on the white wall clocksOn November 22, 2016, a federal district court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its recently revised regulations on the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The regulations, which were released in May and scheduled to go into effect on December 1, would more than double the minimum salary requirement certain executive, administrative, and professional employees must receive in order to be exempt from overtime.

    Employers should note that this is only a temporary injunction, not a permanent one. The injunction applies nationwide and simply prevents the regulations from going into effect on December 1. There will be a decision issued at a later date on the actual merits of the case, so changes in the FLSA salary threshold for exemption may be back.

    Impact for Employers

    For many employers, this is good news for the time being. As a result, employers that have not made the necessary changes to their compensation plans have more time to plan for the changes in the event the regulations are upheld. Employers that have already made changes to their compensation plans will need to determine if they want to continue with the changes, suspend the changes, or roll back those changes pending any legal developments. These decisions should be made in accordance with any applicable state or local laws. Employers should consult their attorneys to determine what course of action is best for them.

     

    Originally published by ThinkHR – Read More

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