Category: Benefits

From 401(k) plans to vacation policy, this topic gives HR and Compensation professionals specific strategies on how to handle benefit plans. Articles also provide guidance to brokers, advisers and consultants.

EBSA Proposes Change to MEWA Form 5500 Reporting Requirements

Employers and plan administrators with multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) that had not been required to file a Form 5500 for their MEWA may have to if  a proposal by the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is adopted. EBSA on Dec. 6 published a proposed revision to Section 2520 of the […]

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Simple Chart System Tracks Stacked FMLA Leaves

Here is a suggested charting system for tracking multiple leaves, says Southard, who is the founder of leave management firm Work & Well, and is principal of Southard Consulting in Somerville, NJ. Her remarks came at SHRM’s Annual Conference & Exposition, held recently in Las Vegas. FMLA Tracking Scenario #1 The facts: A Wisconsin employee […]

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To Protect Small Business, DOL Expands Registration and Reporting for MEWAs

The quest to escape the upward premium spiral has hurt some small employers. Some have been hurt by fly-by-night Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) that ended up being unable to pay claims, says the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). In its quest to stop such MEWAs, DOL is proposing new enforcement and oversight rules. DOL […]

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Your Tracking Nightmare —Multiple Stacking Leaves

What’s Happened in Leave Land? The first challenge is the multiplicity of types of leave entitlements—workers’ compensation, short-term disability, FMLA, Military FMLA, state family leave, paid family leave, and the ADA. The result? Potential stacking of up to 5 or more types of leave, says Southard. The second big factor, she adds, is the explosion […]

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Medical Loss Ratio Rule: Employers that get rebates must divide them among employees

Employers that sponsor health plans might get rebates from their group health insurers thanks to health reform, but if they do, they are required to pass the proper amount of the rebate on to employees. Under the medical loss ratio (MLR) rule (mandated by the 2010 reform law), health insurers must spend a minimum percentage […]

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San Francisco Expands Employer Health Reimbursement Role

On Jan. 1, employers in San Francisco will have to make sure that employee health reimbursement accounts the city requires them to fund are available to employees for two years, not just one. Amendments to the  Health Care Security Ordinance (HCSO) add to the requirements the city already has in place to establish access to universal […]

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Big Government Teams Up With Small Business to Rein in Health Insurer Rate Inflation

Using a new power under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the first time, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) has now ordered an insurance company to lower its rates. Since September 2011, HHS has been flagging any insurer that raises premiums on small businesses and individuals by 10 percent or more. […]

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DOL Clarifies Mental Health Parity’s Effect on Pre-Authorization

The effect of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) on prior authorization practices and other “nonquantitative treatment limitations” was clarified Nov. 17 in guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The MHPAEA interim final rules issued in February 2010 imposed a detailed numerical formula for determining whether quantitative limits such as copayments […]

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The Top 5 Reasons Employers Should Offer an FSA

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are a common feature of employee benefit plans. But why would an employer offer an FSA plan to its employees? Well, it’s extra money in your workers’ pockets that you and your employees probably don’t want to leave lying on the IRS’ table. Karen Kirkpatrick, senior compliance adviser for Infinisource, explained […]

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Nifty HHS Site Enables Small Employers to Shop for Health Insurance

Are you shopping around for health insurance for your small company? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just unveiled a computerized search engine for health insurance policies, so you can search plans in much the same way the Medicare Part D program enables elderly folks to search prescription drug plans (or the way many […]

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