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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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Reminder: PCORI Fees Due Soon

Affected Employers Must File IRS Form 720 Employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans—including some health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs)—are reminded that they are responsible for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees. Fees for self-insured plans with plan years that ended in 2017 are due July 31, 2018, and are required to be paid via IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Employer-sponsored self-insured plans with plan years that ended between January 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017 must pay a fee of $2.26 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan....

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Retirement Confidence Improves for Workers, Declines for Retirees in Critical Areas

In its 28th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) discovered that 64% of today's workers feel very or somewhat confident in having enough money to retire comfortably, up from 60% in 2017. And although far more retirees are very confident in their retirement prospects than workers (32% versus 17%, respectively), retiree confidence in their ability to meet basic expenses and medical expenses dropped from the previous year. Moreover, both workers and retirees question the role Social Security will play in future retiree income. Basic expenses and health-care costs a concern for many retirees Retiree confidence in meeting basic...

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Federal Workplace Poster Requirements–Download Available

Now you can download your required 2018 federal workplace posters from HR360's convenient Federal Workplace Poster Requirements guide. This simple tool provides guidelines on which employers must display the posters, and posters can be downloaded by simply clicking on the special links in the chart. Federal Workplace Poster Requirements--Download Here SIMA's partner, HR360, offers a convenient, easy-to-understand guide which includes: Minimum Wage Poster OSHA Poster FMLA Poster Workers with Disabilities Poster Polygraph Protection Poster You can also customize a PDF version of the Federal Workplace Poster Requirements by first logging into your HR360 Admin System and clicking on Admin Toolbar > Apps > PDF Checklists & Guides. If you have...

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Small Businesses May Be Able to Keep Existing Health Coverage Through 2019

Policies Renewed Under Extended Transitional Policy Must End by December 31, 2019 A previously extended transitional policy which allows health insurance issuers, at their option, to continue group coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled has been further extended to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2019, provided that all policies end by December 31, 2019. Health insurance issuers that renew coverage under the extended policy are required to provide standard notices to affected small businesses for each policy year. Policies subject to the transitional relief will not be considered to be out of compliance with key Affordable Care...

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How Summer Hires May Impact ALE Status

Employers May Apply a Reasonable, Good Faith Interpretation of the Term 'Seasonal Worker' Employers looking to hire seasonal workers this summer are reminded that there is an exception when measuring workforce size to determine whether they are an applicable large employer (ALE) subject to the Affordable Care Act's employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions. What Is 'Pay or Play'? The pay or play provisions require ALEs—generally those with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees (FTEs)—to offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to full-time employees (and their dependents) or pay a penalty tax if any...

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Employers: Don’t Forget to Pay PCORI Fees

Affected Employers Must File IRS Form 720 Employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans—including some health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs)—are reminded that they are responsible for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees. Fees for self-insured plans with plan years that ended in 2017 are due July 31, 2018, and are required to be paid via IRS Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. Employer-sponsored self-insured plans with plan years that ended between January 1, 2017 and September 30, 2017 must pay a fee of $2.26 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan....

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