This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses updated penalties under the ACA’s pay or play rules, as well as the health reforms that are included in the Inflation Reduction Act.
On Aug. 16, 2022, the IRS updated its FAQs on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility (pay or play) rules to include updated penalty amounts for 2023. The adjusted $2,000 penalty amount is $2,880 and the adjusted $3,000 penalty amount is $4,320.
Whether you suffer a concussion falling off a ladder or dislocate your shoulder moving the couch, injuries can lead to costly medical care, loss of work time and various other related expenses. If you don’t want to be caught financially unprepared to handle an accident, consider accident insurance.
Regular medical insurance won’t cover all the expenses that result from an injury. At the very least, you will likely owe a deductible and copays. Accident insurance acts as a safety net to help you pay out-of-pocket medical and nonmedical costs resulting from an accident or injury. Accident insurance might cover the following occurrences:
Injuries, such as fractures, burns, concussions, cuts, eye injuries,
broken teeth and paralysis
Medical services and treatments, such as ambulance rides,
emergency care, nonemergency care, hospital stays, physician
follow-ups, therapy services, surgery and medical testing
Family lodging and travel needs related to an accident and follow-up
careCall the Allen Insurance and Financial benefits division today for more information.
The American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law on March 11, 2021, contains a 100% subsidy for COBRA premiums during the period April 1 – Sept. 30, 2021. This Compliance Bulletin provides information about the subsidy, including eligibility, coverage, notice requirements and funding. Read more now.
This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the temporary COVID-19 relief for Section 125 plans and the withdrawal of proposed regulations regarding wellness program incentives. Our benefits division is happy to share this valuable resource. Click here for the PDF.
Benefit plans are sometimes confusing and employees might be struggling to understand what an employer offers them. This Know Your Benefits flyer lists common terms used in the health insurance industry and explains each in detail. Click for a PDF to download and share with your employees today!
While we don’t have a Magic 8 ball, with a new Executive Administration, all signs point to changes to how you approach your human resources. Our seasoned prognosticators have some insight for you.
Each presidential transition brings changes to the HR landscape. And the more prepared an HR team is, the easier it will be for them to succeed amid these changes. To that end, this article discusses potential changes employers can expect during a Biden presidency.
To read more, click the image at right to view the article (PDF) in a new window.
The Department of Labor final overtime rule became effective Jan. 1, 2020. Among other things, the final rule also allows employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10% of the salary level if these payments are made at least on an annual basis. To enable compliance with the nondiscretionary bonus option, the final rule allows employers to make a “catch-up” payment at the end of each 52-week period. Read more now.
Bravo to the businesses continuing uninterrupted, but changed, right now.
As you may be struggling to maintain your footing in business, your employees need some assurances and an understanding of what might happen with their oh-so-important-now health benefits in the event of a reduction in their work hours, a temporary layoff, a furlough, or if a termination of employment becomes necessary.
• Maine Insurance Code Update. By order of Governor Mills, an employer may continue to insure employees during an interruption to their employment. If an employer chooses this option, this offer must be made to “all affected employees on a non-discriminatory basis.”
• COBRA/mini-COBRA. Federal law requires companies with 20 or more employees to offer continuous group health plan coverage to qualified beneficiaries for a certain period of time, depending on the qualifying event. In Maine, employees working for a company with fewer than 20 employees also have a continuation of coverage opportunity in the event of a temporary layoff. This mini-COBRA protection can extend for up to 12 months and can be paid by the employee or company. The insurance company should be notified of this status change, but the employee’s coverage will be maintained on your group bill. It is important to note that if your company is officially out of business, these options are no longer available.
• Healthcare.gov Special Enrollment Opportunity. Employees should be encouraged to review this chance to enroll on the Federal Healthcare Exchange in a timely manner. The loss of group health insurance is considered a qualifying event (unless for non-payment of premiums). This is the time to enroll and apply for subsidies. It must be done at the termination of the group health coverage or at the end of a COBRA election period. They cannot elect COBRA for a few months and then try to switch to the Exchange.
• MaineCare. Due to the expansion of MaineCare eligibility, many of your employees may find themselves eligible for this program. They may apply for coverage or check eligibility at www.maine.gov/mymaineconnection.
If you have questions about this topic, or other federal requirements for continuation of coverage during a medical leave, I encourage you to reach out to your insurance benefits professional.
Wishing you all the best for your health and success.
Sherree L. Craig, CEBS, Senior Account Executive in the Benefits Division at Allen Insurance and Financial, is now a licensed insurance consultant in Maine.
“Sherree’s efforts demonstrate her deep commitment to continuing professional development,” said Mike Pierce, company president. “This commitment is important to all of our insurance divisions but it is especially so in the always-changing field of employee benefits.”
Craig holds Fellowship standing in the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists through the Wharton School of Business, and an advanced certification in self-funding from the National Association of Health Underwriters.