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Three Advantages of offering a Health Savings Account

Three Advantages of offering a Health Savings Account As an Employer, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices when it comes to Health Insurance.  Complexities between plan designs, funding options, and various accounts (Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Reimbursement Accounts, Health Savings Accounts etc.,) make it difficult for Organizations to know if their Benefit Plan is competitive & effective. While there is never a “one size fits all solution,” there are many great benefits to incorporating a Health Savings Account (HSA) as an option for employees. For starters, an HSA allows your employees to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to...

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Your 2021-2022 Tax Planning Guide

Once again, it’s time to start thinking ahead to tax season! The last couple months of the year are a great time to make the most of your tax planning opportunities. Our 2021-2022 Tax Planning Guide is designed to support our clients and assist you with the many potential questions you may have as it relates to your business and your family. To view it simply click on the link to learn more about important tax law changes and ways to minimize your income tax liability. As you look through the guide, please note the strategies and tax law provisions that...

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6 Questions About Alternative-Funding to Ask Your Benefits Consultant by Chris Sill

As a CFO or HR Director, you likely get pummeled with marketing material about alternative-funding on a weekly basis. Most employers are accustomed to traditional fully-insured health plans, but alternative-funding (also known as self-funding) solutions for small to medium sized employers have expanded rapidly over the last decade. When researching alternative-funding, you will hear about arrangements like “Level-Funding,” “Captives,” “Consortiums,” “Reference-Based Pricing,” among other terms. All of these have been a great fit for many clients, but there is not a one-size-fits-all approach. These arrangements give financial protection from high-cost claims, but also provide financial savings in years with good claims experience....

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

As we enter the third quarter of the year, the stock market is at new highs, Treasury rates are historically low and the economy is running hot. Shortages, long delivery times, a glut of service workers, and booming demand for nearly everything will make for an interesting summer. True to form, stocks are at all-time highs because earnings are at all-time highs. When businesses cut back last year, it wasn’t like in a normal recession; they were trying to survive a pandemic of unknown length and severity. They cut workers and reduced inventories at the fastest pace ever. Government stimulus kept...

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Virginia Short-Term Disability Maternity Changes

The 2020 General Assembly Session passed Senate Bill 567 resulting in maternity benefit changes for Short-Term Disability plans in Virginia During the 2020 General Assembly Session, Senate Bill 567 - Disability Insurance: coverage for disability arising out of child-birth (SB567) was passed. The Commonwealth of Virginia established a new 12-week maximum benefit period for Short-Term Disability benefits for eligible insured women post childbirth. SB567 impacts all fully insured Short-Term Disability (STD & DisFlex) plans issued in Virginia with an effective date of July 1, 2021 or later.   In-force customers will have the option to add the 12-week maximum benefit duration during their July...

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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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