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Author: Allie Snavely

SIMA Financial Group > Articles posted by Allie Snavely

2021 First Quarter Market Commentary by Ashley Vice, CFA, CFP®

As we enter the second quarter of the year, U.S. stock markets are at all-time highs, interest rates are historically low, and the economy is growing faster than it has in decades. We're now vaccinating over 3 million people per day, with over 165 million doses administered so far. Life is returning to normal and economic activity is akin to a post-war reconstruction period. The implications of COVID vaccines for the economy and markets are enormous. So is the scale of fiscal and monetary stimulus. In the U.S. alone, combined monetary and fiscal policy as a percent of GDP (the total...

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New Cobra Subsidy Under ARPA Effective April 1st

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Act Plan of 2021 (ARPA) into law. Subsidy Overview The sweeping $1.9 trillion package includes a range of policies to provide additional pandemic relief. Among the provisions of the most interest to employers, ARPA provides for a 100% COBRA subsidy for up to six months for anyone who lost health coverage because of an involuntary termination or involuntary reduction in hours. ARPA also provides a “second chance” election for those who did not initially elect COBRA or who let their COBRA coverage lapse. ARPA subsidies cover the full cost of COBRA or State Continuation premiums from April...

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Impact on Healthcare

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law on March 11, 2021. Along with providing financial relief for individuals, state and local governments, schools, businesses and for other purposes, the law contains the following measures of special interest to employers and their employees: A subsidy for COBRA premiums, funded through employer tax credits Expansion of subsidy for ACA premiums Increase in DCAP contribution limits Action Steps Employers should review the ARPA’s provisions to identify any requirements and opportunities that apply to them. Employers are also advised to watch for official guidance on the implementation of the...

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Benefits Payroll Deductions Best Practices

Benefits Payroll Deductions Best Practices SIMA proudly provides your company with comprehensive financial services allowing you to focus on your business. Below we have outlined some best practices related to maintaining your company’s employee benefit deductions. These practices are intended to support your existing company procedures and enable your team to find any discrepancies in a timely manner. As always, please feel free to reach out to your benefits team with any questions you may have at (804) 285-5700 or benefits@simafinancialgroup.com.   Manage & Update Payroll Deductions You are responsible for maintaining your payroll system and payroll deductions. It is important to develop processes to...

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President Biden Issues Executive Actions Addressing Health Care Access

President Biden Issues Executive Actions Addressing Health Care Access President Joe Biden has signed two executive actions to strengthen Americans’ access to affordable health care. Among the actions is an executive order aimed at expanding enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid, and a memorandum rescinding regulations on reproductive health access. Biden’s executive order on health care access is aimed to increase access to the Health Insurance Marketplace. It is expected that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will open a “Special Enrollment Period” in the Marketplace from Feb. 15 through May 15. According to the White House,...

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Market Commentary from Ashley Vice, CFA, CFP

Last year, Barron’s magazine asked ten top strategists to predict where the S&P 500 would end 2020. Their range was 3,000 to 3,700. The final number was 3,756 for a year-over-year return of 16.3%—much better than expected. Had the strategists possessed foreknowledge that a global pandemic would shut down the services economy and send unemployment numbers to the highest level since the Great Depression, I doubt we would’ve seen a single year-end target with a 3-handle. But as of this writing, most markets are at or near all-time highs. That’s because the worst pandemic in the last hundred years was met...

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