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Medical Loss Ratio Rebates Coming Soon to Plan Sponsors

Overview of Employer Responsibilities for Handling Rebates The Affordable Care Act's medical loss ratio (MLR) rules require group health insurance issuers to provide rebates if their MLR—the amount of health insurance premiums spent on health care and activities to improve health care quality—falls short of the applicable standard during a reporting year. Each year's rebates must be issued to plan sponsors by September 30 of the following year. As a result, plan sponsors should be looking for these rebates to arrive in the coming weeks. Employer Distribution The MLR rules provide that issuers must pay any rebates owed to persons covered under a...

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Short-Term Health Insurance Soon Available For Up to 36 Months

New Rule Loosens Current Restrictions Effective October 3, 2018, a new rule will allow individuals to purchase short-term, limited-duration health insurance coverage for a period of less than 12 months, and renew such coverage for up to 36 months. Under current law, the maximum coverage period for short-term, limited-duration health insurance is less than 3 months, and these policies cannot be renewed. Notably, short-term, limited-duration health insurance is: Not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act's ban on pre-existing condition exclusions and lifetime and annual dollar limits. Not required to comply with the Affordable Care Act's essential health benefits requirement, which requires individual...

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IRS issues guidance on small business accounting method changes under Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

R-2018-160, Aug. 3, 2018 WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service issued guidance today on new tax law changes that allow small business taxpayers with average annual gross earnings of $25 million or less in the prior three-year period to use the cash method of accounting. The Revenue Procedure outlines the process that eligible small business taxpayers may obtain automatic consent to change accounting methods that are now permitted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA. The TCJA, enacted in December 2017, expands the number of small business taxpayers eligible to use the cash method of accounting and exempts these small businesses...

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Keeping Your Employees Motivated This Summer

Workplace Flexibility and Changes to Daily Routines May Help Keep Employees Focused The warm weather and eagerly anticipated outdoor activities of summer may take a toll on your workers' concentration. If you're noticing a lack of focus among your employees during this time of year, consider the following ideas to help keep them motivated: Encourage your employees to step outside for at least 15 minutes each day. Exposure to natural sunlight can prevent workers from feeling confined to the office during the warm summer months. Holding business meetings outside may also help to boost workers' morale. Change things up! Employees may become more...

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Finding a 401(k) that’s Right for your Business

By and large, today’s employees expect employers to offer a tax-advantaged retirement plan. A 401(k) is an obvious choice to consider, but you may not be aware that there are a variety of types to choose from. Let’s check out some of the most popular options: Traditional. Employees contribute on a pretax basis, with the employer matching all or a percentage of their contributions if it so chooses. Traditional 401(k)s are subject to rigorous testing requirements to ensure the plan is offered equitably to all employees and doesn’t favor highly compensated employees (HCEs). In 2018, employees can defer a total amount of...

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Suicide Education and Prevention

Suicide is a leading cause of death for Americans, but much like mental health in general, the topic rarely gets the attention it deserves. There is a stigma against discussing suicide and mental health in the United States that hinders meaningful conversation about the topic. Open dialogue is an important part of preventing these tragic deaths and establishing safety outlets for those in need. This HR Insights examines the rise of suicide in the U.S., provides general facts surrounding it and explains how employers can help curb this growing epidemic. Background Suicide is not a new issue. It has been among the...

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DOL Finalizes Rule to Expand Association Health Plans

HIGHLIGHTS The final rule makes it easier for small employers to join together to purchase health insurance. According to the DOL, the changes expand access to affordable, high-quality health insurance coverage. Critics are concerned about potential risks to consumers and market stability. IMPORTANT DATES September 1, 2018 : Final rule applies to fully insured AHPs. April 1, 2019: Final rule applies to new self-insured AHPs.   On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule that gives small businesses more freedom to join together as a single group to purchase health insurance in the large group market or to self-insure. These benefit arrangements are...

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Detecting and Preventing Accounts Payable Fraud

To a criminal exploring ways to steal from a business, the accounts payable department often looks like the equivalent of a poorly guarded cashbox. Any time money exits a business, it flows through accounts payable. At most companies, that makes this function the most vulnerable and attractive opportunity for thieves both inside and outside the business. The frauds involving accounts payable are numerous, but perhaps the most common occurs when accounts payable employees write checks to fictitious suppliers, then have them mailed to a post office box to be picked up and cashed later. If detected, this crime is simple to...

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New Expiration Date for Certain FMLA Notices is July 31, 2018

Model Notices Previously Expired on June 30, 2018 The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has extended the effective date of the following model FMLA notices through July 31, 2018: Notice of Eligibility and Rights & Responsibilities FMLA Designation Notice Certification of Employee's Serious Health Condition Certification of Family Member's Serious Health Condition Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of a Current Servicemember for Military Family Leave Certification of Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave Previously, these model notices expired on June 30, 2018. No other changes have been made to these notices...

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Employees Terminated for Gross Misconduct Not Eligible for Mini Cobra

Law Effective July 1, 2018 Virginia has amended its mini-COBRA law to exclude covered employees terminated for gross misconduct. Additional details are presented below. Amended Law Effective July 1, 2018, mini-COBRA is not available to an individual whose eligibility for coverage under the group policy ceased because the individual was discharged for gross misconduct. Gross misconduct means any conduct connected with the individual's work that would constitute misconduct under Virginia unemployment law, including deliberately and willfully engaging in conduct that demonstrates a complete disregard for the employer's workplace standards and policies. Click here for more. Background Virginia generally requires employers to provide the right...

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