NEW PENALTY FOR PAYMENT OF WAGES – UTAH LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

May 12, 2017

The 2017 Utah legislative session was a busy one, with over 500 bills being passed.  While only a few of these bills were employment-related, it’s important to know what was…

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NEW PENALTY FOR PAYMENT OF WAGES – UTAH LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

May 12, 2017

The 2017 Utah legislative session was a busy one, with over 500 bills being passed.  While only a few of these bills were employment-related, it’s important to know what was passed, as well as what didn’t pass, so you can implement required changes within your organization.  By learning what was presented by your local representatives, it will hopefully encourage you to stay in tune with what is happening on a state level that could potentially impact how you handle certain aspects of your business.

The only bill that passed this session which affects HR is an amendment to the currently in force Utah Payment of Wages Act.  All employers in Utah should know that if you terminate an employee, for whatever reason, you must pay out those wages within 24 hours of the termination.  In 2017, this act was amended to include a penalty of up to 60 days’ worth of additional wages for failure to pay any wages due, should the employee provide a demand in writing.  The take-away from this is that if you are haggling over whether or not to pay out that $200 final commission payment, you could be on the hook for two months’ worth of the terminated employee’s salary.  https://le.utah.gov/xcode/Title34/Chapter28/34-28-S3.html

H.B. 147 would’ve raised the minimum wage in Utah to $10.25/hour effective July 1st and included annual raises to reach $15.00/hour by July 2022.  This bill did not pass.  https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0147.html

H.B. 242 was introduced to extend benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employers in Utah with 30 or more employees.  The federal threshold is 50 or more employees.  This bill did not pass.  https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0242.html

A study by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce found that 49% of Utah employers use non-compete agreements.  H.B. 81 would have placed more restrictions on employers when using these agreements, making them harder to enforce.  While this bill was certainly a hot topic for this year’s session, it did not pass.  https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0081.html

H.B. 112 would have provided business owners who allow a concealed carry permit holder to carry a firearm onto the owner’s premises to not be liable, criminally or civilly, for damage or harm resulting from the discharge of that firearm.  This bill did not pass.  https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0112.html

“Ban the Box” is a national effort to remove questions about a job applicant’s criminal past.  H.B. 156 would’ve made it so that all Utah employers would be restricted on what they could ask a potential employee in regards to their criminal past.  This bill did not pass across the board for all employers, however, beginning May 1st, public employers will be required to follow the “Ban the Box” rules.  Even though this didn’t pass, employers would be well-served to take a second look at why and how they are using this information when filling job openings.  If you are not careful, you could be open to a lawsuit alleging discriminatory hiring practices.      https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0156.html

S.B. 210 included equal pay amendments for equal payment of wages; not just for those doing the same job, but for those doing a “comparable” job.  This did not pass.  https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/SB0210.html

H.B. 213 would have allowed for employees to sue in state court for discrimination issues.  It would have also allowed for compensatory and punitive damages on state discrimination claims (currently, these are only allowed under federal law).  This bill did not pass.  https://le.utah.gov/~2017/bills/static/HB0213.html

While there wasn’t any major impact to Utah employers as a result of this year’s legislative session, there could have been some big changes that would’ve affected how you do certain things within your business.  It’s important that employers speak up and be heard by their local representatives.  Who better to know what is good and what isn’t good for your business besides you as the business owner?

 

 

 

The contents of this article should not be construed as legal advice.  You should consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding any legislation, state or federal, that may affect your business.

Updated Health Insurance Exchange Notice

February 20, 2017

Model Notices Previously Expired on February 28, 2017 The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has extended the effective date of its model Health Insurance Exchange Notices…

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Updated Health Insurance Exchange Notice

February 20, 2017

Model Notices Previously Expired on February 28, 2017

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has extended the effective date of its model Health Insurance Exchange Notices through March 31, 2017. Previously, these model notices expired on February 28, 2017. No other changes have been made to these notices.

Click here to access the model notices with the new expiration date. Please note that there are separate notices for employers that do and do not offer a health plan.

New 2017 Form I-9 Compliance Tips

February 3, 2017

Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees hired to work in the United States.  All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of the…

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New 2017 Form I-9 Compliance Tips

February 3, 2017

Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all employees hired to work in the United States.  All U.S. employers must ensure proper completion of the form for both citizens and noncitizens alike.  The Department of Homeland Security has recently released its updated version of the Form I-9, with an expiration date of 8/31/2019.  Any previous versions of the form can no longer be used as of January 22, 2017.    The form contains two pages; one for the employee and one for the employer.  This new version can now be completed in PDF form.

We’ve already had some indication of the new President’s views on immigration issues so employers would be wise to ensure they would pass an I-9 audit, if necessary.  Non-compliance could result in both civil and criminal penalties.  Something as simple as not completing an I-9 for one employee could result in civil fines ranging from $216 per form up to $2,156 per form, on a first offense.  The fines increase for second and third offenses.  There are also fines for committing document fraud in order to complete the form or knowingly hiring someone unauthorized to work in the U.S.

Assistance with completing the Form I-9 can be found here:  https://www.uscis.gov/i-9.

Here are some helpful tips:

The employee MUST complete and sign page one of the I-9 on their first day of employment (just be sure a job offer has been extended and accepted).

The employer MUST complete and sign page three of the I-9, which includes verifying the employee’s acceptable identification, no later than the employee’s third day of employment.

The employer should only sign page three if they have viewed the employee’s original identification documents.

Employees should present one piece of identification from List A or one item from BOTH lists B and C.

An employer cannot tell an employee which document(s) to present for verification.

If you retain copies of one employee’s identification you must do so for all employees (there are special rules for identification used for E-Verify purposes).  If you choose to discontinue the practice of retaining identification, you should not destroy any previously retained copies.

Do not leave any sections on page one or three incomplete.  If any sections do not apply (such as the email box), be sure to enter “NA.”

If you have remote offices, an employer can designate an individual at that office to complete the employer section of the form.

Form I-9 should be retained separate from the rest of the employee’s file for quick access if an audit is necessary.

You do not need an I-9 on file for any employees hired prior to November 7, 1986.

If you discover that you do not have an I-9 on file for an employee or employees, quickly complete one with today’s date and include documentation of what occurred when storing the form.  The employee, nor the employer, should not back-date the form.

The Spanish version of the I-9 form cannot be used unless you are located in Puerto Rico.

As a reminder, employers in Utah who have more than 15 employees are required to use E-Verify as an additional step, after completing the I-9.  However, E-Verify does NOT replace the I-9 requirement.

 

The contents of this article should not be construed as legal advice.  You should consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding Form I-9.

Executive Order and the Affordable Care Act

January 26, 2017

ACA Requirements Remain In Effect Pending Further Guidance or Legislation President Trump has signed an executive order calling upon federal administrative agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable…

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Executive Order and the Affordable Care Act

January 26, 2017

ACA Requirements Remain In Effect Pending Further Guidance or Legislation

President Trump has signed an executive order calling upon federal administrative agencies to minimize the economic burden of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), pending repeal of the law. Until further guidance is issued or legislation is signed, however, all ACA requirements remain in effect, including penalties for noncompliance.

In addition to making it clear that the Trump administration seeks the prompt repeal of the ACA, the executive order specifically calls upon agencies to exercise authority and discretion to:

  • Waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any ACA provision or requirement that would impose a fiscal burden on states, individuals, health care providers, health insurers, and medical device and product producers (including fees, taxes, and penalties);
  • Provide greater flexibility to states, and cooperate with them in implementing health care programs; and
  • Encourage the development of a free and open market for the offering of health care services and health insurance.

The executive order must be implemented in a manner consistent with applicable law, including the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires extended review of and public comment on any federal rules which may be proposed as a result of the executive order.

Going forward, any deferrals, exemptions, delays, or changes made to any ACA requirements will be promptly reported.  Please contact your Benefit Advisor/Consultant if you have questions.

New Expiration Date for Employer CHIP, COBRA General, and COBRA Election Notices is December 31, 2019

January 11, 2017

Model Notices Previously Expired on December 31, 2016 The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the effective date of its model Employer CHIP Notice, General Notice of COBRA Rights,…

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New Expiration Date for Employer CHIP, COBRA General, and COBRA Election Notices is December 31, 2019

January 11, 2017

Model Notices Previously Expired on December 31, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the effective date of its model Employer CHIP Notice, General Notice of COBRA Rights, and COBRA Election Notice through December 31, 2019. Previously, these model notices expired on December 31, 2016. 

No other changes have been made to these notices beyond the expiration date. For the latest guidance regarding these notices, please visit the DOL’s Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act and COBRA Continuation Coverage webpages or contact the DOL directly at 1-866-487-2365.

New Form I-9

January 4, 2017

Employers Must Use New Version by January 22, 2017 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Background Federal law requires…

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New Form I-9

January 4, 2017

Employers Must Use New Version by January 22, 2017

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.

Background
Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States—either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authorization of each person they hire by completing and retaining Form I-9.

New Form I-9 Dates
The new Form I-9 is dated November 14, 2016 and has an expiration date of August 31, 2019. Employers may continue using a Form I-9 with a revision date of March 8, 2013 (or may use the new version) through January 21, 2017. By January 22, 2017, employers must use only the new version. Employers should also continue to follow existing storage and retention rules for all of their previously completed Forms I-9.

New Changes
Among the changes in the new version of Form I-9, Section 1 of the form asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals. Other changes include:

  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly;
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators;
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins; and
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.

Additionally, the instructions have been separated from the form (in line with other USCIS forms) and include specific instructions for completing each field.

According to USCIS, the new Form I-9 is easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When an employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

Click here to download the new Form I-9 and instructions.

For more information on complying with the employment eligibility verification requirements, please contact Ventris.

Preparing for Information Reporting

December 15, 2016

Information (1094/1095-C) reporting is used to determine compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate”. While the information reporting requirements are first effective for coverage offered in 2016, the initial…

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Preparing for Information Reporting

December 15, 2016

Information (1094/1095-C) reporting is used to determine compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s “individual mandate”. While the information reporting requirements are first effective for coverage offered in 2016, the initial deadlines for reporting entities are in 2017.

  1. Are you a reporting entity?
    • Employers with 50 or more full-time employees (including FTEs) are required to report information to the IRS and to their employees about their compliance with “pay or play” under Internal Revenue Code section 6056—even those that qualified for 2015 transition relief from the “pay or play” provisions.
    • Self-insuring (generally includes level funded or profit sharing agreements) employers that provide minimum essential health coverage are required to report information on this coverage to the IRS and to covered individuals under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code.

 

  1. Become familiar with information needed for reporting to ensure the necessary information is being captured. Under the general reporting method you will need to collect:
    • The name, address, and EIN of the large employer;
    • The name and telephone number of the large employer’s contact person (this can be any person, whether an employee of the large employer or an agent of the employer acting on the employer’s behalf for purposes of reporting);
    • The calendar year for which the information is reported;
    • A certification as to whether the large employer offered to its full-time employees (and their dependents) the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential coverage under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, by calendar month;
    • The months during the calendar year for which minimum essential coverage under the plan was available;
    • Each full-time employee’s share of the lowest cost monthly premium (self-only) for coverage providing minimum value offered to that full-time employee under an eligible employer-sponsored plan, by calendar month;
    • The number of full-time employees for each month during the calendar year;
    • The name, address, and taxpayer identification number of each full-time employee during the calendar year and the months, if any, during which the employee was covered under the plan; and
    • Any other information specified in forms, instructions, or published guidance.
    • Please note that Ventris clients using the online enrollment system have access to many reporting tools to assist in gathering necessary information. Month to month payroll information is not included.

 

  1. Review the IRS Forms and Instructions to prepare for compliance:

 

  1. Determine which reporting method you will use. The first year you may be eligible for the simplified alternative method, or you will you use the general method of reporting to satisfy the reporting requirements.

 

  1. Consider your options. If you use a third party or payroll company for W2 reporting, check to see if they may have the capability of handling your 1095-C reporting. If you handle payroll in house or your vendor doesn’t support 1095-C reporting Ventris can assist you with other alternatives.

 

  1. Remember to comply with the information reporting deadlines for calendar year 2016.

Section 6055 Deadlines:

    • First information returns must be filed no later than February 28, 2017 (or March 31, 2016, if filed electronically).
    • First employee statements must be furnished on or March 2, 2017 for 2016 only.

Section 6056 Deadlines:

    • First information returns must be filed no later than February 28, 2017 (or March 31, 2016, if filed electronically).
    • First employee statements must be furnished on or March 2, 2017 for 2016 only.

(Note: Forms 1095-B and 1095-C must be electronically filed if the employer is required to file at least 250 of the specific form.)

 

Contact one of our Benefit Advisors or Consultants for assistance and answers.

HRAs Now Exempt From ACA Market Reforms for Small Employers

December 13, 2016

Law Generally Effective for Years After December 31, 2016 President Obama has signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which, among other things, allows small employers to offer new…

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HRAs Now Exempt From ACA Market Reforms for Small Employers

December 13, 2016

Law Generally Effective for Years After December 31, 2016

President Obama has signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act, which, among other things, allows small employers to offer new “qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements” to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses, including individual health insurance premiums, for years after December 31, 2016. Small employers are defined as those with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees who do not offer a group health plan. 

Background
Under
prior agency guidance, stand-alone HRAs (except for retiree-only HRAs and HRAs consisting solely of excepted benefits) and HRAs used to purchase coverage on the individual market are considered group health plans that do not comply with certain market reforms of the Affordable Care Act. As a result, these HRAs may be subject to a $100 per day excise tax per applicable employee under the federal tax code.

New Law Creates Qualified Small Employer HRAs
The 21st Century Cures Act exempts so-called qualified small employer HRAs from the ACA’s market reforms. To be a qualified small employer HRA, the arrangement generally must:

  • Be funded solely by an eligible employer without salary reduction contributions;
  • Provide, after an eligible employee provides proof of coverage, payment or reimbursement of qualified medical expenses (which generally includes individual health insurance premiums) incurred by the employee or his or her family members;
  • Limit annual payments and reimbursements to $4,950 per employee or $10,000 per family (which are prorated where coverage is less than the entire year); and
  • Be provided on the same terms to all eligible employees.

Definitions of ‘Eligible Employer’ and ‘Eligible Employee’
Under the law, the term ‘eligible employer’ means an employer that has fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees and does not offer a group health plan to any of its employees. Thus, large employers and employers who offer a group health plan must still comply with the prior agency guidance.

The law defines an ‘eligible employee’ as any employee of an eligible employer. Employers may, however, exclude employees who:

  • Have not completed 90 days of service; 
  • Have not attained age 25; 
  • Are part-time or seasonal; 
  • Are covered by certain collective bargaining agreements; or 
  • Are nonresident aliens whose income did not come from a U.S. source.  

Employer Notice & Reporting Requirements
An employer funding a qualified small employer HRA for any year must provide a written notice to each eligible employee that includes the following information:

  • A statement regarding the maximum dollar amount of payments and reimbursements that may be made for the year with respect to the employee (the “permitted benefit“);
  • A statement that the employee should provide information regarding his or her permitted benefit to any Health Insurance Marketplace to which the employee applies for advance payment of the premium tax credit; and 
  • A statement that if the employee is not covered under minimum essential coverage for any month, the employee may be subject to the individual mandate penalty for such month and reimbursements under the HRA may be includible in gross income.

Effective for years beginning after December 31, 2016, the notice generally must be provided no later than 90 days before the beginning of the year in which the HRA is funded—or, if an employee is not eligible to participate in the arrangement as of the beginning of such year, the date on which the employee is first eligible. While failure to provide the notice may generally result in a penalty of $50 per employee (with the total penalty not to exceed $2,500 in a calendar year), penalty relief is available with respect to years beginning after December 31, 2016 as long as the notice is provided no later than 90 days after December 13, 2016.

In addition, effective for years beginning after December 31, 2016, an employee’s total permitted benefit for the year must be reported on his or her Form W-2.

Prior Transition Relief Also Extended
Previously, IRS
Notice 2015-17 provided transition relief from the assessment of excise taxes to small employers who reimbursed, or directly paid, the premium for an employee’s individual health insurance policy (these arrangements are referred to as “employer payment plans”). The 21st Century Cures Act has extended this relief, which previously expired on June 30, 2015, to any plan year beginning on or before December 31, 2016. Click here for further guidance on this transition relief extension.

To read the 21st Century Cures Act in its entirety, please click here.

For individualized guidance on funding a qualified small employer HRA, contact a Ventris Advisor or Consultant.

The Overtime Rule Has Been Blocked

November 24, 2016

Further Legal Developments Expected The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor, has filed a notice to appeal the nationwide preliminary injunction previously granted against…

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The Overtime Rule Has Been Blocked

November 24, 2016

Further Legal Developments Expected

The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Department of Labor, has filed a notice to appeal the nationwide preliminary injunction previously granted against implementation and enforcement of the new federal overtime rule, which was set to become effective on December 1, 2016. The appeal will be heard by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Further legal developments are expected and will be reported on promptly. Employers with questions regarding the case’s impact on workplace overtime requirements should contact a knowledgeable employment law attorney.

2016 Employer Benefits Survey Released

September 22, 2016

This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and employer opinions. The 2016 survey included almost 1,900…

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2016 Employer Benefits Survey Released

September 22, 2016

This annual survey of employers provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and employer opinions. The 2016 survey included almost 1,900 interviews with non-federal public and private firms.

Click Here for the summary

Proposed Form 5500 Changes

July 26, 2016

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) brought to light a long awaited promise – the Form 5500 is to be renovated and modernized, starting with the 2019…

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Proposed Form 5500 Changes

July 26, 2016

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) brought to light a long awaited promise – the Form 5500 is to be renovated and modernized, starting with the 2019 Form 5500. The mandated changes are significant. Most notably – all group health plans including those with less than 100 enrolled participants are to file a Form 5500.  The changes were necessary from the DOL’s perspective.  Currently the proposed changes are subject to a 75 day comment period, and further direction will be provided.

 

Form 5500 Background

The Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, is the form used to file an employee benefit plan’s annual information return with the Department of Labor (“DOL”). How often does the Form 5500 have to be filed? If a plan is subject to ERISA, this form must be filed every year.

 

Are there penalties for failure to file a return with the DOL?

The DOL and IRS may impose penalties or fines if the plan sponsor fails, or refuses, to file a complete return or if the form is rejected for insufficient information. Additional penalties may be incurred for willful violations, which include making false statements. Filings will be rejected by the DOL if required questions are left unanswered.

 

Employers Receiving 2016 “Health Insurance Marketplace” Notices

July 1, 2016

If you are an employer that has received a notice titled, “health insurance marketplace” from Department of Health and Human Services don’t ignore it. Employer Receipt of “Health Insurance Marketplace”…

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Employers Receiving 2016 “Health Insurance Marketplace” Notices

July 1, 2016

If you are an employer that has received a notice titled, “health insurance marketplace” from Department of Health and Human Services don’t ignore it.

Employer Receipt of “Health Insurance Marketplace” Notices
Under the HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, Marketplaces must notify employers within a reasonable timeframe following any month of the employee’s eligibility determination and enrollment. Previously released FAQs indicated that the Marketplaces would begin sending out employer notices in spring 2016, with additional notices to follow throughout the year.

While the Marketplaces are permitted to send employer notices either on an employee-by-employee basis or in groups of employees, for 2016 the Marketplaces intend to send notices in groups of employees.

Employer Appeals Process
Appeal of an employer notice generally must be made within 90 days. In the appeal, the employer may assert that it provides its employee access to affordable, minimum value employer-sponsored coverage or that its employee is enrolled in employer coverage, and therefore that the employee is ineligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit. For more on the appeals process, click here.

 

 

Free Compliance Seminar: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

June 7, 2016

Is your company at risk for wage and hour law violations or penalties?  Do you have questions about the upcoming FLSA changes imposed by the Department of Labor (DOL) effective…

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Free Compliance Seminar: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

June 7, 2016

Is your company at risk for wage and hour law violations or penalties?  Do you have questions about the upcoming FLSA changes imposed by the Department of Labor (DOL) effective December 1, 2016?

On Wednesday, June 29th, at 9:00 AM, William R. Knowlton, ESQ., employment law attorney, from Invictus Law will share his FLSA knowledge with you as you ensure your organization is in compliance.

You will learn what will change in regards to the classification of employees who are exempt, how to classify your employees correctly between exempt and non-exempt, what to do if you have an exempt employee who will not meet the new qualifications, as well as be able to ask specific questions pertaining to your organization’s structure.

Plan to join us for this free and informative one-hour seminar. Please invite any colleagues or associates who you feel may benefit from this important information. Refreshments will be served.

William R. Knowlton, ESQ.

Mr. Knowlton devotes the majority of his practice to federal and state regulatory compliance, corporate governance, government relations, employment law.

*We may change to a different location if we anticipate having a large number of attendees.

 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER NOW

 

When Wednesday, June 29, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM (MDT) – Add to Calendar

Where 10913 S River Front Pkwy #100 – South Jordan, UT 84095 – View Map

Is your employee handbook up to date?

May 4, 2016

An employee handbook is an important document that all employers should have, regardless of size.  It is the one document that explains your workplace policies, as well as states your…

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Is your employee handbook up to date?

May 4, 2016

An employee handbook is an important document that all employers should have, regardless of size.  It is the one document that explains your workplace policies, as well as states your organization’s culture.  Employees need to know what’s expected of them and how to handle issues that arise during their employment.  With laws constantly changing, employers must be sure to keep their handbook up to date annually so that they do not face legal action.

 

There are several items that should go in to your employee handbook (this list is by no means all inclusive):

 Introduction:  Include a brief company history and your mission statement or vision.

Compliance:  Clearly state that your company complies with EEOC and ADA guidelines and what an employee should do if they feel they have been discriminated against in these areas. 

Employee benefits:  Items such as your PTO policy, your company’s medical, dental, etc. plans, paid holidays and bereavement leave should be listed in your handbook.  If you offer FMLA, list this in there as well.   

Payroll:  Tell your employees when they will get paid, what dates the pay periods encompass and the workweek (for over-time purposes).  If applicable, include the normal working hours that an employee is expected to be at work, as well as any breaks or lunch periods. 

Drug and alcohol abuse:  If you have a policy regarding drug and alcohol abuse, include this so employees will know that these types of behaviors are prohibited in the workplace and what disciplinary actions will be taken if they fail to follow this policy. 

Electronic communications policy:  This includes use of the company email system, phone system, internet, social networking.  Be sure to mention that any personal use of the company’s systems are not private.

Dress code:  Let your employees know what is expected of them in regards to dress; be sure to include what it not acceptable. 

Problem resolution:  Employees need to know what procedures to follow when they have an issue. 

Employee acknowledgement:  You will want your employees to acknowledge that they have read your handbook and are expected to follow the policies contained in it.  Keep in mind that an employee’s refusal to sign the acknowledgement will not get them off the hook for disobeying the policies. 

Here are a few helpful tips:

                Be sure to include a disclaimer that states that the handbook is not a contract of employment. 

Allow for flexibility and keep things as generic as possible so that you don’t have to continually make updates.  Being somewhat general can also protect the employer from lawsuits.   

Tailor your handbook for your employees in regards to language that is clear and not difficult to interpret. 

If you have a significant number of employees who speak another language, you should consider translating the handbook into their language. 

Don’t make your handbook so long and boring that employees won’t want to read it.  Keep it professional but add a little bit of fun. 

 

The contents of this article should not be construed as legal advice.  You should consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding your company handbook.     

Employer Receipt of 2016 Marketplace Notices Expected This Spring

Marketplace Notices Include Information on Employee Premium Tax Credit Eligibility A final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides clarification…

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Employer Receipt of 2016 Marketplace Notices Expected This Spring

May 4, 2016

Marketplace Notices Include Information on Employee Premium Tax Credit Eligibility

A final Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides clarification regarding the employer notice program, which generally requires the Health Insurance Marketplaces (Exchanges) to notify any employer whose employee has been determined eligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions (which may trigger penalties under the Affordable Care Act’s “pay or play” provisions).

Receipt of Notices
Under the final rule, Marketplaces must notify employers within a reasonable timeframe following any month of the employee’s eligibility determination and enrollment. Previously released FAQs indicated that the Marketplaces would begin sending out employer notices in spring 2016, with additional notices to follow throughout the year.

While the Marketplaces are permitted to send employer notices either on an employee-by-employee basis or in groups of employees, for 2016 the Marketplaces intend to send notices in groups of employees.

Employer Appeals Process
Appeal of an employer notice generally must be made within 90 days. In the appeal, the employer may assert that it provides its employee access to affordable, minimum value employer-sponsored coverage or that its employee is enrolled in employer coverage, and therefore that the employee is ineligible for advance payments of the premium tax credit. For more on the appeals process, click here.

IRS Releases 2017 Health Savings Account Limits

May 1, 2016

HSA Contribution Limits and Minimum Deductibles Announced for 2017 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the 2017 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as determined under the Internal…

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IRS Releases 2017 Health Savings Account Limits

May 1, 2016

HSA Contribution Limits and Minimum Deductibles Announced for 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the 2017 inflation-adjusted amounts for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) as determined under the Internal Revenue Code.

Annual Contribution Limitation
For calendar year 2017, the annual limitation on deductions for an individual with self-only coverage under a high deductible health plan is $3,400 (up from $3,350 for 2016). The annual limitation on HSA deductions for an individual with family coverage under a high deductible health plan is $6,750 (unchanged from 2016).

High Deductible Health Plan (Amounts Unchanged From 2016)
For calendar year 2017, a “high deductible health plan” is defined as a health plan with an annual deductible that is not less than $1,300 for self-only coverage or $2,600 for family coverage, and the annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) do not exceed $6,550 for self-only coverage or $13,100 for family coverage.

You may view the IRS Revenue Procedure announcing the 2017 amounts by clicking here.

Sample Letter for Applicable Large Employers Sending Employees 1095-C

February 10, 2016

Communicating with your employees about form 1095-C can be simplified.  The attached sample letter includes: -Explanation of why the form is being received -Descriptions of why employees may be receiving…

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Sample Letter for Applicable Large Employers Sending Employees 1095-C

February 10, 2016

Communicating with your employees about form 1095-C can be simplified.  The attached sample letter includes:

-Explanation of why the form is being received

-Descriptions of why employees may be receiving multiple forms

-Information included in the form

You can access a copy of the sample document from Ventris.com or using the link below.

Form_1095-C_Employee_Communication_50_Fully_Insured_Plan

Why you should use an offer of employment letter with new hires

February 5, 2016

  Once you’ve completed the long process of advertising for a new position within your organization, combing through dozens of resumes and conducting several rounds of interviews, the next important…

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Why you should use an offer of employment letter with new hires

February 5, 2016

 

Once you’ve completed the long process of advertising for a new position within your organization, combing through dozens of resumes and conducting several rounds of interviews, the next important step is the offer letter to your preferred candidate.  You may wonder why an offer letter is important, but having this step in your new hire process will protect both you and the employee.

 

A good suggestion is for you to give a brief, verbal offer of employment via phone or in-person and then follow-up with your letter.  Most candidates would like to hear from you in-person before receiving a letter or email.

 

There are eight items that should be included in an offer letter:

Introduction:  Be sure to convey excitement in your opening statement.  “We are pleased to offer you a position within our organization.” or “We are excited to have someone with your talent/experience join our team.”

Job title, reporting structure, start date, location (if applicable):  State the position that the candidate is being offered, who they will be reporting to, the date you wish them to begin working for your organization and the office location, if you have more than one location.

Responsibilities:  Briefly convey the responsibilities that will be given to the employee.  A great idea would be to reference an attached job description.

Compensation:  Here is where you’ll include the pay structure (salary/hourly/commission, etc.).  Be sure to clearly state how the compensation will be paid.  You need to also state whether or not the position is exempt or non-exempt and then proceed to explain what that means.

Benefits:  Briefly explain the benefits that will be offered (medical, dental, 401(k), etc.).  If you have a Benefit Guide, attached it to the letter for the candidate to review.  You should also list any PTO that will be available to them.

At Will:  Probably the most important thing to include in your letter is a statement of “At Will”.  You do not want the employee to believe that your offer letter is a contract for employment.  Use a statement such as “We recognize that you retain the option, as does XYZ Company, of ending your employment at any time, with or without notice and with or without cause.  Your employment with XYZ Employer is at-will and neither this letter, or any other oral or written representations, may be considered a contract for any specific period of time.”

Conditions/Contingencies:  If your company performs any drug or background checks be sure to indicate that employment is contingent upon the results of these checks.

Conclusion:  Let the candidate know what to do next.  You’ll want to list a specific expiration date or indicate that the offer will expire so many days after the date of the letter.  Provide them with instructions on where to return the signed letter and any next steps.

Creating an offer letter doesn’t need to be a daunting task.  Simply create a template so that each time you want to make an offer of employment you can easily fill in the specific/unique pieces for the candidate.  By using an offer letter, you can convey to your new employee that they are joining a professional organization.

The content of this article should not be construed as legal advice.  You should consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding the offer letter(s) that you use within your organization.

 

IRS Extends Due Dates for ACA Information Reporting

December 29, 2015

Employers subject to the Affordable Care Act’s 2015 information reporting requirements now have extra time to give forms to employees and to file them with the government. In Notice 2016-4,…

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IRS Extends Due Dates for ACA Information Reporting

December 29, 2015

Employers subject to the Affordable Care Act’s 2015 information reporting requirements now have extra time to give forms to employees and to file them with the government.

In Notice 2016-4, issued by the IRS on Dec. 28, the agency extended these reporting deadlines:

 

2015 Deadline Extensions
Specifically, the notice extends the due date:

For furnishing to individuals the 2015 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C, from February 1, 2016, to March 31, 2016, and

For filing with the IRS the 2015 Forms 1094-B, 1095-B, 1094-C, and 1095-C, from February 29, 2016, to May 31, 2016 (if not filing electronically) and from March 31, 2016, to June 30, 2016 (if filing electronically).

 

Click here for more information about preparing for ACA information reporting.

 

Cadillac/Excise Tax Delayed

December 21, 2015

  Today, President Obama signed legislation that will delay the Cadillac/excise tax for two more years until 2020.  Additionally the recent signed Omnibus bill suspends a “heath insurance tax” for insurers,…

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Cadillac/Excise Tax Delayed

December 21, 2015

 

Today, President Obama signed legislation that will delay the Cadillac/excise tax for two more years until 2020.  Additionally the recent signed Omnibus bill suspends a “heath insurance tax” for insurers, defunds the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), and a tax on medical devices will be suspended for two years.

 

The Cadillac tax is 40 percent of the value of employer-sponsored plans that exceed certain thresholds: $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. In its first year, 2018, it would have affected 26 percent of all employers and nearly half of larger companies, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation. Since the tax is indexed to general inflation, which rises more slowly than health insurance premiums, it would have affected a growing share of health plans over time.

 

Additional Cadillac Tax Changes  The Omnibus bill also makes the following changes:

Since the tax threshold amounts are indexed based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), delaying the effective date will result in a higher threshold above which the tax applies. For 2018 the tax thresholds would have been $10,200 for single coverage and $27,500 for other-than-single coverage.

The Cadillac tax will be fully deductible for any entity to which it applies (e.g., employers and insurers). As initially written, it would not have been deductible.

The Omnibus bill also directs the comptroller to undertake a study (in consultation with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) on ways to adjust the threshold to take into account the age and gender makeup of an employer’s workforce.

HIT Tax Suspended and IPAB Defunded The Omnibus bill affects several other Affordable Care Act provisions, including:

It suspends the health insurance industry fee for 2017. This is often referred to as the “HIT” tax or health insurance tax. This tax applies to insured plans only, so has provided an incentive for insured employers to change to self funding to avoid this additional tax.

It defunds the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a 15-member panel of health care experts created by the ACA (sections 3403 and 10320) and tasked with making annual cost-cutting recommendations for Medicare if Medicare spending exceeds a specified growth rate.

Change in Small Employer Group Definition

October 2, 2015

On Oct. 1, 2015, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act was passed by both the House and the Senate and sent to the president to sign. This bill…

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Change in Small Employer Group Definition

October 2, 2015

On Oct. 1, 2015, the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act was passed by both the House and the Senate and sent to the president to sign.

This bill would amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to include employers with 51 to 100 employees as large employers for purposes of health insurance markets. States have the option to treat these employers as small employers. Currently under the ACA, employers with 51 to 100 employees are defined as small employers, but before Jan. 1, 2016, states have the option to treat them as large employers.

Under the ACA, health insurance offered in the small group market must meet certain requirements that do not apply to the large group market. This includes adjusted community rating, no medical underwriting and the requirement to cover all ten categories of essential health benefits.

If this bill becomes law, each state will have to determine whether it wants to default to the revised Federal definition of Small Business (1 to 50) or move to a 1 to 100 definition. The outcome should be known this month.

We are monitoring the process and once we know the outcome of this bill, we will quickly communicate options for groups impacted by this change.

For more information, please contact your Ventris Benefit Advisor or Consultant.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

August 12, 2015

When an employee or their family member experiences a serious health condition that requires the employee to take an extended amount of time off from work, they may qualify for…

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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

August 12, 2015

When an employee or their family member experiences a serious health condition that requires the employee to take an extended amount of time off from work, they may qualify for FMLA to protect their job and benefits while they are away. As an employer, you need to understand how FMLA works in order to protect both you and your employees. Here are some basic things you should know about FMLA to insure that you are in compliance.

 

-Employers with 50 or more employees for the majority of the prior calendar year must offer FMLA to their qualifying employees. If you have different work-site locations and 50 employees are not located within 75 miles of where the employee works, FMLA does not apply.

-Employees must have been employed for the past 12 months and during those 12 months worked at least 1,250 hours.

-The employee, or a qualifying family member, must have a serious health condition that makes them unable to work for more than three consecutive days. On-going medical treatments that require shorter periods of time off may also qualify. The birth or adoption of a child also allows for leave.

-The Department of Labor (DOL) defines a family member as a spouse, child or parent. Be aware that due to the Supreme Court ruling on June 26, 2015, spouse now includes same-sex marriages. Siblings, grandparents and other extended family members do not qualify.

-The leave can be up to 12 weeks. It does not have to be a paid leave; however, it is suggested that you require the employee to use any accrued sick, vacation or PTO time while out on the leave.

-The employee’s job must be protected while on leave. This means that if the employee is able to return to work before or at the end of the leave, they must be reinstated to either the same position or one nearly identical to it in regards to pay, duties, leave, etc.

-The employer is required to continue the employee’s health insurance as if they were not on leave. However, the employee can be required to pay their normal portion of the premiums as they become due while on leave.

-You can’t make FMLA retroactive so as soon as you believe an employee might be out for more than three days, it is wise to begin the FMLA process. You don’t want to have an employee off work for a period of time and then have to grant them an additional 12 weeks of leave.

-The employee is required to provide notice of leave at least 30 days in advance, if possible. If the leave is unexpected, employees must inform their employer as soon as reasonably possible. Employees are required to provide sufficient information to their employer that proves the leave is qualified.

-Employers are required to notify an employee seeking leave whether or not they qualify for the leave within five days of the employee’s request.

 

There is much more to FMLA than what is contained in this article. The DOL has some great resources under the Wage & Hour division that you can reference in regards to forms, etc. There is also a guide book that will walk you through the entire FMLA process. (http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/2013rule/militaryForms.htm)

2015 IRS Draft Forms for Large Employer and Minimum Essential Coverage Reporting Now Available

June 19, 2015

On June 17, 2015 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posted draft forms for 2015 reporting, due in January, 2016. The forms will be used to report health insurance coverage offered…

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2015 IRS Draft Forms for Large Employer and Minimum Essential Coverage Reporting Now Available

June 19, 2015

On June 17, 2015 the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) posted draft forms for 2015 reporting, due in January, 2016. The forms will be used to report health insurance coverage offered by applicable large employers, and minimum essential coverage (MEC) provided by insurers and employers of self-insured plans. The IRS has posted the draft forms without instructions. The 2015 draft Forms are posted at IRS.gov/draftforms as information only. Final forms will be posted for actual filing at a later date.

 

These 2015 draft forms are generally unchanged from the 2014 forms.

 

However, the 1095-C form included an appendix that highlights changes specific to this form. These changes include:

A new field in Part II, “Plan Start Month,” that will provide plan year information; this reporting is voluntary for 2015, but will be required for 2016 and beyond

A continuation sheet for reporting coverage on more than six individuals

A note that indicator codes used in Part II, line 14 are unchanged for 2015 reporting; however, there will be two new codes required for 2016 and beyond that will provide information on   conditional offers to employees’ spouses

 

Instructions or additional guidance is needed to further understand and interpret these and any other changes for 2015 reporting.

For more information on the final rules on this IRS information reporting, please contact one of our Benefit Advisors or Consultants.

Employee or Independent Contractor?

May 13, 2015

Using an independent contractor (IC) is a good way for employers to save money when dealing with a specialized or one-time project. Taxes such as Social Security and Medicare, which…

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Employee or Independent Contractor?

May 13, 2015

Using an independent contractor (IC) is a good way for employers to save money when dealing with a specialized or one-time project. Taxes such as Social Security and Medicare, which total 7.65% of compensation, state unemployment and worker’s compensation can be avoided when using an independent contractor. Employers are also not responsible to provide their ICs with benefits, nor do they typically have to provide them with office space and working materials to complete the job.

As tempting as this arrangement sounds, employers often misclassify workers, either intentionally or unintentionally, as ICs to avoid the extra expenses of having a regular employee. Even if you have an agreement with your IC that they will be classified as such, it doesn’t matter in the eyes of the Department of Labor (DOL) if they don’t fit the requirements to be classified as an IC. Addressing misclassification of employees is a top priority for the DOL these days, as it affects the economy in many different ways. The IRS, in particular, wants to see as many workers as possible classified as employees instead of ICs for obvious financial reasons. All it takes is one unemployment claim filed against your company by a former independent contractor to have the DOL knocking on your door. Not only will an employer be liable for unpaid taxes, but they could be levied severe penalties, depending upon the intent.

In order to determine whether or not an individual you are considering employing should be an employee or if they can truly be classified as an IC, it comes down to the employer’s right to “control” and “direct” the worker. Employers should ask themselves these questions if they want to classify someone as an IC:

Who sets the hours of work? (Worker)

Who sets the pay rate? (Worker)

Who pays for the equipment necessary to do the job? (Worker)

Is the worker in business for themselves? (Yes)

Does the worker have other customers? (Yes)

Does the worker have an office or business site separate from the employers? (Yes)

Does the worker perform high-level, skilled tasks which require little or no training from the employer? (Yes)

Is the relationship between the company and the worker permanent or temporary? (Yes)

It is very important that employers carefully assess a worker to determine if they can be classified as an independent contractor instead of an employee. In the long run, an employer may not save any money if they have misclassified their workers, as they could find themselves the target of an investigation by numerous different federal and state agencies.

The content of this article should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding the classification of your employees and independent contractors.

New Utah Law Addresses Payment of Wages on Termination

April 20, 2015

A new law, effective May 11, 2015, addresses the methods by which an employer may pay an employee after the employer separates him or her from payroll. Background When an…

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New Utah Law Addresses Payment of Wages on Termination

April 20, 2015

A new law, effective May 11, 2015, addresses the methods by which an employer may pay an employee after the employer separates him or her from payroll.

Background
When an employer separates an employee from the employer’s payroll (i.e., terminates employment), the employer must pay unpaid final wages to the employee within 24 hours of the time of separation at the specified place of payment.

 

Note: Different rules may apply to certain commissioned salespersons.

 

New Law
The new law provides how an employer may satisfy the 24-hour time requirement. An employer satisfies such requirement if:

-The employer mails the wages to the employee, and the envelope that contains the wages is postmarked with a date that is no more than one day after the day on which the employer separates the employee from payroll; or

-Within 24 hours after the employer separates the employee from payroll, the employer:

-Initiates a direct deposit of the wages into the employee’s account; or

-Hand delivers the wages to the employee.

 

Note: The law does not change the final pay requirements when an employee resigns (quits) from employment. In such case, absent a written contract for a definite period, final wages become due and payable on the next regular payday.

 

Click here to read the text of the law.

Form I-9 and the E-Verify Program

March 31, 2015

Did you know that in the State of Utah if you have more than 15 employees you are required to use the E-Verify program administered by the Department of Homeland…

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Form I-9 and the E-Verify Program

March 31, 2015

Did you know that in the State of Utah if you have more than 15 employees you are required to use the E-Verify program administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for every new employee that you hire? SB 0251, passed in 2010, mandated that employers in Utah with 15 or more employees had to begin using the E-Verify program as of July 1, 2011. Utah is only one of five states (the others are Alabama, Arizona, Mississippi and South Carolina) that requires the use of E-Verify by its employers.

E-verify is a free online program that electronically verifies the employment eligibility of a newly hired employee. All new employees are required, upon hire, to complete Form I-9 to verify both their identity and employment eligibility. By using E-Verify, employers can compare the information taken from the Form I-9 and compare it to the records in the DHS and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases. The SSA verifies that the employee’s name, social security number and date of birth are a match to what was supplied on the Form I-9. If you have an employee who is not a U.S. citizen, the E-Verify site verifies their employment-authorization status.

It’s easy to register your company on the E-Verify site (http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify/e-verify-enrollment-page). Results are instant and there is no waiting to determine if your new employee is authorized to work in the U.S. Employers with less than 15 employees are encouraged to use the E-Verify system, even though their participation in the program is not required.

E-Verify will help you maintain a legal workforce and protect you from hiring unauthorized workers. And, here in Utah, it’s the law.

The content of this article should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding the Form I-9 or E-Verify process.

 

New Utah Law Applies to Employers with 15 or More Employees

March 19, 2015

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Be Prohibited Bases for Discrimination in Employment A new law, effective May 11, 2015, includes sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases for…

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New Utah Law Applies to Employers with 15 or More Employees

March 19, 2015

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to Be Prohibited Bases for Discrimination in Employment

A new law, effective May 11, 2015, includes sexual orientation and gender identity as prohibited bases for discrimination under the state’s employment nondiscrimination law (generally applicable to employers with 15 or more employees). The law also addresses employees’ free speech rights, both inside and outside of the workplace.

Because of sexual orientation or gender identity, a covered employer generally may not take any of the following actions against an otherwise qualified employee or applicant:

  1. Refuse to hire, promote, discharge, demote, terminate;
  2. Retaliate against; or
  3. Discriminate in matters of compensation; or in terms, privileges, and conditions of employment.

 

The law does not prohibit an employer from:

  1. Adopting reasonable dress and grooming standards (not prohibited by other federal or state laws) and reasonable rules/policies that designate sex-specific facilities (e.g., restrooms, shower facilities, and dressing facilities)—provided that such standards, rules, and policies afford reasonable accommodations based on gender identity to all employees.

 

The law also addresses employees’ free speech—inside and outside of the workplace—as follows:

  • An employee may express his or her religious or moral beliefs and commitments in the workplace in a reasonable, non-disruptive, and non-harassing way on equal terms with similar types of expression of beliefs or commitments allowed by the employer in the workplace, unless the expression is in direct conflict with the employer’s essential business-related interests.

 

  • An employer may not discharge, demote, terminate, or refuse to hire any person, or retaliate against, harass, or discriminate in matters of compensation or in terms, privileges, and  conditions of employment against any person otherwise qualified, for lawful expression or expressive activity outside of the workplace regarding his or her religious, political, or personal convictions (including convictions about marriage, family, or sexuality), unless the expression or expressive activity is in direct conflict with the employer’s essential business-related interests.

 

Click here to read the text of the law.

Preparing for Large Employer Information Reporting

February 25, 2015

Because information reporting was voluntary for calendar year 2014, large employers are required to report health coverage information for the first time in early 2016 for calendar year 2015. Internal…

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Preparing for Large Employer Information Reporting

February 25, 2015

Because information reporting was voluntary for calendar year 2014, large employers are required to report health coverage information for the first time in early 2016 for calendar year 2015.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Publication 5196 provides guidance regarding the requirement under Health Care Reform that large employers (generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents) report information to the IRS and to their employees about their compliance with the employer shared responsibility provisions (“pay or play”) and the health care coverage they have offered, using new IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (referred to as “section 6056 reporting”).

 

Publication 5196 provides a list of information that large employers will need to begin compiling to fill out the forms:

Form 1094-C
Large employers will need the following information to fill out this form:

  • Identifying information for the organization.
  • Information about whether the employer offered coverage to 70% of its full-time employees and their dependents in 2015. (After 2015, this threshold changes to 95%.)
  • Information for the “authoritative transmittal.”* This information includes:
    • The total number of Forms 1095-C the employer issued to employees.
    • Information about members of the aggregated large employer group, if any.
    • Full-time employee counts by month.
    • Total employee counts by month.
    • Whether the employer is eligible for certain transition relief.

*Because an employer may choose to file multiple Forms 1094-C, one of the Forms 1094-C must be designated as the “authoritative transmittal” that reports aggregate employer-level data for the employer. There must be only one authoritative transmittal filed for each employer.

Form 1095-C
Large employers will need the following information to fill out this form:

  • Which employees are considered full-time employees for each month.
  • Identifying information for the employer and its employees, such as names and addresses.
  • Information about the health coverage offered by month, if any.
  • The employee’s share of the monthly premium for lowest-cost self-only minimum value coverage.
  • The months the employee was enrolled in the employer’s coverage.
  • The months the employer met an affordability safe harbor with respect to an employee and whether other transition relief applies for an employee for a month.
  • If the employer offers a self-insured plan, information about the covered individuals enrolled in the plan, by month.

 

The guidance also includes a glossary of terms, an explanation of the new Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, and a list of certain information that large employers need to track for each month in 2015.

For additional questions or information contact a benefit specialist or consultant with Ventris.  We have the resources to help you prepare.

How much do you know about FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act)?

February 18, 2015

The FLSA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor. It sets standards for the basic minimum wage and over-time pay. It also regulates…

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How much do you know about FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act)?

February 18, 2015

The FLSA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division within the U.S. Department of Labor. It sets standards for the basic minimum wage and over-time pay. It also regulates the number of hours children under 18 can work. It does not require employers to provide severance, holiday, sick leave or vacation pay to their employees.

All employers covered under the FLSA must pay their employees at least the set federal minimum wage (keep in mind that some states, counties, and cities set their minimum wage at a higher rate than that of the federal rate). Non-exempt employees, which we’ll define in a moment, must be paid one and a half times their base wage for any hours over 40 worked during the work week. It is important that an employer define their work week in the company’s handbook for purposes of tracking over-time for their non-exempt employees.  

The biggest mistake employers make is classifying their employees incorrectly when it comes to exempt versus non-exempt. There are strict requirements when it comes to classifying an employee for over-time purposes and the DOL does not look kindly upon employers who misclassify their employees (either intentionally or unintentionally) in order to avoid paying them over-time wages.

An employee must meet one of the following four tests in order to be classified as exempt and not eligible for over-time pay:

Executive Exemption (must meet all of the following):

  • The employee’s weekly salary can be no less than $455;
  • Their primary duty must be managing the company as a whole or a recognized department within the company;
  • Must direct the work of at least two full-time employees; and,
  • Have the authority to hire and fire other employees or provide recommendations and suggestions to higher management as to whom should be hired or fired.

Administrative Exemption (must meet all of the following):

  • The employee’s weekly salary can be no less than $455;
  • Their primary duty must be non-manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer and/or its customers; and,
  • Be able to exercise discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance.

Professional Exemption (must meet all of the following):

  • The employee’s weekly salary can be no less than $455;
  • Their primary duty must involve work where advanced knowledge is required (defined as work which is intellectual in character);
  • The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning; and,
  • The advanced knowledge must have been acquired through a course of specialized intellectual instruction.

Outside Sales Exemption (must meet both of the following):

  • The employee’s primary duty must be making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for services; and,
  • The employee must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employers’ place of business.

“Blue collar” workers, those whose primary duties include manual work involving repetitive operations with their hands should never be classified as non-exempt employees.  

Keep in mind that you can pay a non-exempt a salary; however, you must pay them over-time for any hours worked over 40 during the company’s defined work-week.

A good starting point for determining exempt versus non-exempt status is the employee’s job description. A good job description should help you determine the main job duties that define the employee’s daily workload.

Employers are also required to have a poster displayed in a prominent place, where all employees can see, that defines the employee’s rights under the FLSA. You can download a poster for free at www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/flsa.htm.

Through the Ventris Employee Navigator system you have access to hr360, a powerful tool that can provide you with resources to help you navigate the FLSA. We encourage you to take advantage of this resource to help your organization correctly classify its employees under FLSA.

The content of this article should not be construed as legal advice. You will need to consult your legal counsel should you have questions regarding the status of an employee as defined under the FLSA.

A New Generation of Employees

January 30, 2015

There is a lot of information out there about the challenges that employers face as they approach hiring, motivating and retaining the generation of “Millennials” (individuals born between 1980 and…

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A New Generation of Employees

January 30, 2015

There is a lot of information out there about the challenges that employers face as they approach hiring, motivating and retaining the generation of “Millennials” (individuals born between 1980 and 2000) in the current employee market. This group of employees will outnumber Baby Boomers at their peak and will shape the workplace for the next 50 years. Millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce in just 10 short years.

 

Millennials have grown up with technologies that previous generations could not imagine. They expect access to information and transparency that many employers have not been either willing or capable of giving. They also expect the same innovations and perks in the workplace that they are exposed to via the internet and social media.

 

As the number one expense for most employers, payroll has and will continue to undergo a transition in order to manage this new group of employees moving forward.   As the second highest operating cost of employers, the typical employee benefit package will need to incur that same type of overall remodeling.

 

A study from MetLife shows that Millennials are most likely to join a company based on their benefit offerings. And, they are more inclined to stay based on their employer’s benefit package. If you are competing for these employees, how do you make your company stand out from your competitors?

 

Millennials demand a comprehensive benefits package that maximizes protection and minimizes uncertainty. They place a premium value on health insurance benefits. A report from the 2014 Consumer Health Mindset shows that Millennials, more than other generations in the workforce, are the most likely to want their employer to play an active role in supporting their overall health and wellbeing. Employers have a unique opportunity to engage and motivate the Millennial generation when it comes to their health care. Millennials are motivated to stay healthy and are willing to participate in health and wellness programs that are convenient and easy. Most Millennials would be willing to participate in a lifestyle management wellness program, one that addresses fitness and overall health. These types of programs provide a company culture that Millennials crave. Employers need to realize that these types of programs do not produce results in the short-term and do not produce the same return on investment as disease management program would.

 

Employers would be wise to listen to their Millennial workers to determine what specific benefits hold value for them. Many employers will be surprised to find that financial planning tools are appreciated, as well as being able to customize their own benefits package when it comes to voluntary benefit offerings.

 

Contact a Ventris benefits advisor to see how to maximize your benefits budget to help you hire, motivate and retain the best employees that the Millennial generation has to offer.

Employer ACA Affordability Percentages Increasing for Applicable Employers

December 9, 2014

An employer-sponsored plan is affordable when the portion of the annual premium an employee pays for self-only coverage does not exceed 9.5% of his/her household income. Under the recent ACA…

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Employer ACA Affordability Percentages Increasing for Applicable Employers

December 9, 2014

An employer-sponsored plan is affordable when the portion of the annual premium an employee pays for self-only coverage does not exceed 9.5% of his/her household income. Under the recent ACA (Affordable Care Act) law, this percentage must be adjusted annually to reflect the rate of premium growth over the rate of income growth for the preceding calendar year.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has increased the required contribution percentage for 2016 that is used to determine whether individuals are eligible for a premium tax credit.  An individual may be eligible for a premium tax credit to purchase health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange) if, among other things, he or she is not able to get affordable coverage through an eligible employer plan that provides minimum value.

According to the new IRS guidance, the required contribution percentage will increase as follows:

  • For plan years beginning in 2015, this percentage increases to 9.56%.
  • For plan years beginning in 2016, this percentage increases to 9.66%

New Guidance about Individual Mandate and the Affordability Exception

December 3, 2014

The “individual mandate” (also known as individual shared responsibility) generally requires every individual to have minimum essential health coverage for each month, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment…

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New Guidance about Individual Mandate and the Affordability Exception

December 3, 2014

The “individual mandate” (also known as individual shared responsibility) generally requires every individual to have minimum essential health coverage for each month, qualify for an exemption, or make a payment when filing his or her federal income tax return. An affordability exemption exists for individuals who cannot afford coverage because the minimum they must pay for premiums is more than a specified amount.

The IRS recently released final regulations explaining acceptable exemptions are available on the IRS website.

 

 

Employers Subject to ACA Transitional Reinsurance Program Now Have Until December 5, 2014 to Submit Annual Enrollment Counts

November 19, 2014

CMS Announces Annual Enrollment & Contributions Submission Form Filing Extension The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the deadline for employers sponsoring certain self-insured plans (“contributing…

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Employers Subject to ACA Transitional Reinsurance Program Now Have Until December 5, 2014 to Submit Annual Enrollment Counts

November 19, 2014

CMS Announces Annual Enrollment & Contributions Submission Form Filing Extension

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the deadline for employers sponsoring certain self-insured plans (“contributing entities”) to submit their 2014 enrollment counts for transitional reinsurance contributions has been extended until 11:59 p.m. on December 5, 2014. (The previous deadline was November 15, 2014.)

Reinsurance Contribution Process

To successfully complete the reinsurance contribution process, contributing entities (or third-party administrators or administrative services-only contractors on their behalf) must register on www.pay.gov and submit their annual enrollment count of the number of covered lives of reinsurance contribution enrollees for the applicable benefit year.

After contributing entities complete the ACA Transitional Reinsurance Program Annual Enrollment and Contributions Submission Form, their annual contribution amounts to be remitted will be auto-calculated. Contributing entities will then enter their payment information and will be given a chance to review and submit the calculated reinsurance contributions. The payment deadlines for the 2014 benefit year (January 15, 2015 and November 15, 2015) remain the same.

For More Information

Additional resources for completing the reinsurance contribution process, including user manuals, are available from CMS.

FAQs on Certain Employer Reimbursement Arrangements

November 12, 2014

The Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed that if an employer offers employees cash to reimburse the purchase of individual health insurance, such an arrangement will violate applicable rules under the…

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FAQs on Certain Employer Reimbursement Arrangements

November 12, 2014

The Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed that if an employer offers employees cash to reimburse the purchase of individual health insurance, such an arrangement will violate applicable rules under the the Affordable Care Act (ACA).    Click here to view the FAQs in their entirety.

 

The DOL guidance also addresses:

  • Employers offering employees with high claims risk a choice between enrollment in its standard group health plan or cash. These arrangements will violate the nondiscrimination provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), regardless of whether:
    1. The cash payment is treated by the employer as pre-tax or post-tax to the employee;
    2. The employer is involved in the selection or purchase of any individual market product; or
    3. The employee obtains any individual health insurance.
  • The marketing of products claiming that employers can cancel their group policies, set up an Internal Revenue Code Section 105 Reimbursement Plan that works with brokers or agents to help employees select individual insurance policies, and allow eligible employees to access premium tax credits for Health Insurance Marketplace coverage. These arrangements are problematic for two reasons:
    1. The arrangements described are themselves group health plans and, therefore, employees participating in such arrangements are ineligible for premium tax credits for Marketplace coverage.
    2. Such arrangements will violate the ACA’s market reforms, including the annual dollar limit prohibition and preventive services requirements.

 

Top five ACA questions and answers for employers to consider

June 12, 2014

Recently issued final rules provide important guidance for large employers who are subject to the shared responsibility (“pay or play”) requirements under Health Care Reform. These employers may be subject to a penalty…

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Top five ACA questions and answers for employers to consider

June 12, 2014

Recently issued final rules provide important guidance for large employers who are subject to the shared responsibility (“pay or play”) requirements under Health Care Reform. These employers may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to full-time employees (and their dependents), and any full-time employee receives a premium tax credit for purchasing individual coverage on the Health Insurance Marketplace (Exchange).

 

Below are five common questions and answers regarding the “pay or play” requirements:

 

1. Which employers are subject to “pay or play”?

Employers with 100 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalents or FTEs) are subject to the “pay or play” requirements starting in 2015. The rules will not apply until 2016 for employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees (including FTEs) who certify that they meet certain eligibility criteria related to workforce size and maintenance of workforce, hours of service, and previously offered health coverage.

 

2.Are employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees (including full-time
equivalents) subject to “pay or play”?

No. Employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees (including FTEs) are not penalized for not providing health coverage to employees.

 

3.How does an employer know whether the coverage offered is affordable?

If an employee’s share of the premium for employer-provided coverage would cost the employee more than 9.5% of his or her annual household income, the coverage is not considered affordable for that employee. Because employers generally will not know their employees’ household incomes, employers can take advantage of one or more affordability safe harbors included in the final rules. If an employer meets the requirements of any of these safe harbors, the offer of coverage will be deemed affordable for purposes of “pay or play.”

 

4.How does an employer know whether the coverage offered provides minimum value?

A plan provides minimum value if it covers at least 60% of the total allowed cost of benefits that are expected to be incurred under the plan. Information regarding other methods available to determine minimum value is contained in proposed regulations.

 

5.How does an employer identify its full-time employees for purposes of “pay or play”?

An employee is considered full-time for a calendar month if he or she averages at least 30 hours of service per week (or 130 hours of service in a calendar month). The final rules provide two methods employers may use to determine whether an employee has sufficient hours of service to be a full-time employee:

 

  • One method is the monthly measurement method under which an employer determines each employee’s status by counting the employee’s hours of service for each month.
  • The second method is the look-back measurement method, under which an employer may determine the status of an employee during a future “stability period” based upon the hours of service of the employee in a prior “measurement period.” (This method may be used only for purposes of determining and computing liability, and not for determining whether the employer is subject to the “pay or play” requirements.)

 

The final rules describe approaches that can be used for various circumstances, such as for employees who work variable hour schedules, seasonal employees, and employees of educational organizations.

 

Additional questions and answers regarding the “pay or play” rules (and the transition
relief provided under the rules) are available from the Internal Revenue Service.

 

Updated COBRA and CHIP Notices

June 10, 2014

Revised Notices Inform Individuals of Marketplace Coverage & Special Enrollment Rights The U.S. Department of Labor has updated its Model General Notice of COBRA Rights, Model COBRA Election Notice, and Model CHIP Notice to reflect…

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Updated COBRA and CHIP Notices

June 10, 2014

Revised Notices Inform Individuals of Marketplace Coverage & Special Enrollment Rights

The U.S. Department of Labor has updated its Model General Notice of COBRA Rights, Model COBRA Election Notice, and Model CHIP Notice to reflect that coverage is now available in the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as the Exchange) and provide information on special enrollment rights in the Marketplace.

COBRA Notice Requirements

COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) generally applies to group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or more employees (including both full- and part-time employees) on more than 50% of their typical business days in the previous calendar year.

Plan administrators are required to provide each covered employee and spouse with a written notice of COBRA rights within 90 days after the date group health plan coverage begins (general notice). Upon the occurrence of a qualifying event which results in loss of coverage under the group health plan, the plan administrator must provide “qualified beneficiaries” with an election notice, generally within 14 days after the administrator receives notice of the qualifying event.

 

CHIP Notice Requirement

Employers that provide coverage in states with premium assistance through Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must inform employees of potential opportunities for assistance in obtaining health coverage annually before the start of each plan year.

FAQs related to the revised notices are available, along with agency guidanceregarding the Marketplace special enrollment period for individuals already enrolled in COBRA continuation coverage.

 

Employer Reporting Rules Released

March 7, 2014

On March 5, 2014, the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final rules on two provisions: reporting health insurance coverage by large employers, and reporting minimum…

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Employer Reporting Rules Released

March 7, 2014

On March 5, 2014, the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final rules on two provisions: reporting health insurance coverage by large employers, and reporting minimum essential coverage by insurers and employers of self-insured plans. The guidance provides a streamlined process for reporting duplicate information required by both provisions – to both the IRS and respective employees.

While the first reporting will not be required until early 2016 for the 2015 calendar year, employers are encouraged to voluntarily report coverage information in 2015 for the 2014 calendar year.

Who must report to whom?

Employers with 50 or more full-time (including full-time equivalent) employees need to report all of the employees offered coverage throughout the calendar year to the IRS. Respectively, all employees named in this report must also be provided with a statement, and can simply be given a copy of the IRS form.

Minimum essential coverage must also be reported annually to both the IRS and any individual named in the report as having such coverage.

What information must be reported?

The final rules provide for a single, consolidated form to streamline the information being reported. Employers and insurers can complete their respective portions of the form and submit them separately. Large self-funded employers can complete both parts of the combined form for information reporting. This form can be used for reporting to both the IRS and employees.

The forms have not yet been provided by the IRS, but will require information to help determine eligibility for the premium tax credit, such as:

    • Employer information, including contact information and the number of full-time employees
    • The lowest cost employee monthly premium for self-only coverage for minimum value coverage offered to the employee
    • Information on each full-time employee to whom coverage was offered and identifying information, such as Social Security Number

 

The bottom half of the form includes information for insurers or self-insured employers to report, which will help administer compliance of the individual mandate and eligibility of premium tax credits:

  • Information about the insurer or entity providing    coverage, including contact and other business information
  • Which individuals are enrolled, identifying information    of those individuals, and the months in which they are enrolled

Special rules to further simplify

Special rules have been provided to further simplify reporting and offer transitional relief for employers that provide a “qualifying offer” to any of their full-time employees. A qualifying offer is two-fold: 1) offering an employee self-only coverage that meets minimum value (60% of costs) and provides self-only coverage at a cost of no more than 9.5% of the Federal Poverty Level, and 2) offering coverage for the employee’s family, including spouses and children.

    • Large employers can take advantage of simplified reporting obligations when they extend qualifying offers to employees for all 12 months of the year. They can report basic employee identification data and the fact that they received a full-year qualifying offer. These employers can also give the named employees a copy of that notice or a  standard statement confirming the full-year qualifying offer.
    • Large employers who extend a qualifying offer to employees for fewer than 12 months of the year can use a code to report to both the IRS and the named employees. This code indicates that the qualifying offer was made for each of those months.
    • A phased-in option for 2015 is available for large employer who can certify they have made a “qualifying offer” to at least 95 percent of their full-time employees and their families (spouses and children). These employers will have simplified reporting method for their entire employee population, and can provide employees a standard statement regarding the coverage offered and potential eligibility for premium tax credits.
    • Large employers that can certify they have offered affordable minimum value coverage to at least 98% of the employees named in the report do not have to identify full-time status.

 

Can employee statements be provided electronically?

The regulations do allow for statements to be provided electronically, but only if an employee agrees in writing to receive them electronically. The electronic statement and consent must satisfy strict requirements and an employee must be permitted to withdraw consent.

When are the first reports and employee statements due?

The first reports to the IRS will be required no later than March 1, 2016 for 2015 calendar-year coverage (February 28 is a Sunday). However, if the report is filed electronically, it will be due no later than March 31, 2016.

The first statements to employees will be required no later than January 31, 2016 for the 2015 calendar year.

For more information, review the Treasury Fact Sheet.

Updated Employer Mandate Regulations Issued

February 13, 2014

Phasing in of the Employer Mandate by Employer Size Employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees will not face penalties for not offering coverage to full-time employees and their dependents…

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Updated Employer Mandate Regulations Issued

February 13, 2014

Phasing in of the Employer Mandate by Employer Size

Employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees will not face penalties for not offering coverage to full-time employees and their dependents up to age 26 until the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2016. These employers will need to certify that they are not reducing the size of their workforce to stay below 100 employees.

Employers with 100 or more full-time employees and their dependents up to age 26 will not face penalties if they offer coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015. They will need to offer coverage to 95% of full-time employees beginning in 2016.

The full-time employee definition remains at 30 hours or more per week. The definition of dependent has been revised to exclude stepchildren and foster children. It continues to exclude spouses.

Extension of Transition Relief for 2015

The final regulations extend transitional relief in several ways, including:

  • Employers with non-calendar-year plans must comply with the employer mandate as of the beginning of the first plan year commencing after January 1, 2015.
  • The requirement to offer dependent coverage will not apply in 2015 to employers that are taking steps to offer dependent coverage by 2016.
  • Employers can use a six-month “look back” period to determine whether they had at least 100 full-time or full-time equivalent employees in the previous year, which aligns with the phasing in of the penalties.
  • In 2014, employers may use a six-month measurement period to determine the stability period during which employees with variable hours must be offered coverage.

However, there was also relief for 2014 allowing employer plans to recognize the individual mandate and the availability of coverage through the Marketplaces as an allowable Section 125 life status event. This particular relief has not been extended into 2015.

Determining Full-Time and Part-Time Employees

The regulations clarify the methods employers can use to determine whether employees are full-time. They also address these specific situations:

  • Bona fide volunteer workers for government and tax-exempt entities, such as firefighters and emergency responders, are not considered full-time employees.
  • Teachers and other education employees are considered full-time employees even if they don’t work full-time year-round.
  • Seasonal employees who typically work six months or less are not considered full-time employees; this includes retail workers employed exclusively during holiday seasons.
  • Schools with adjunct faculty may credit 2¼ hours of service per week for each hour of teaching or classroom time.
  • Work done by students in federal or state-sponsored work-study programs will not be counted in determining if they are full-time employees.

Safe Harbors for Determining if Coverage is Affordable

The regulations confirm that employers can use W-2 wages, hourly rates or the federal poverty level to determine whether the coverage they offer is “affordable.” If using the W-2 safe harbor, full W-2 wages must be used and cannot be reduced for salary reduction elections under a 401(k) plan or a cafeteria plan.

New Businesses and New Employees

If an employer didn’t exist in the prior calendar year, the employer should determine whether it is a large employer based on the average number of employees it reasonably expects to employ on business days in the current year.

For new employees, the employer is not subject to a penalty for the first three months of employment if coverage is offered no later than the first day of the fourth month of employment.

Read the fact sheet

Review the regulations                                         

Healthcare.gov and Employers? November 13, 2013 Seminar

October 23, 2013

What employers need to know about healthcare.gov or the federal marketplace? Do you and your employees have unanswered questions?  The mandatory requirement to send out the October 1, 2013 employee…

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Healthcare.gov and Employers? November 13, 2013 Seminar

October 23, 2013

What employers need to know about healthcare.gov or the federal marketplace?

Do you and your employees have unanswered questions?  The mandatory requirement to send out the October 1, 2013 employee notice titled, “New Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage Options and Your Health Coverage” to ALL employees, has triggered many questions. Intermountain Business Insurance is providing a FREE one hour seminar to explain the impact on employers and address questions:

  • How does the new Federal Marketplace work?
  • Does healthcare.gov (Federal Marketplace) impact employer health insurance coverage?
  • How will the cost of health insurance be impacted by the new Marketplace?
  • Making sense of the recent DOL guidance on HRA, FSA, and HSA accounts, including employer arrangements to pay for individual policy premiums.
  • Low cost or “Skinny” health plans to avoid employer penalties.
  • “Essential Health Benefits” and required plan adjustments for 2014 health plans.

Limited Space will be available on November 13, 2013 at 1:30 pm.

Please RSVP to Audri at 801.304.9949 or by email at rsvp@ibiagency.com

Large Employer Penalty Delayed for One Year

July 3, 2013

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that it will delay enforcement of the “pay or play” requirements for one year. As a result, any penalties (also known as employer shared…

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Large Employer Penalty Delayed for One Year

July 3, 2013

The U.S. Treasury Department has announced that it will delay enforcement of the “pay or play” requirements for one year. As a result, any penalties (also known as employer shared responsibility payments) will not apply until 2015. The requirements were originally to become effective on January 1, 2014.

According to the announcement, the law requires that certain information be reported by insurers, self-insuring employers, and other parties that provide health coverage. It also requires information reporting by certain employers with respect to the health coverage offered to their full-time employees. In order to ensure a smooth transition and allow for real-world testing of reporting systems, the agency is providing transition relief with respect to these reporting requirements which will make it impractical to determine which employers owe shared responsibility payments for 2014.

Accordingly, the transition relief is being extended to the “pay or play” penalties and any such penalties will not apply until 2015. Employer shared responsibility payments will not apply for 2014. The agency encourages employers to maintain or expand their health coverage during the 2014 transition period.

The PCORI tax, the tax on plans to fund a temporary reinsurance program, the 90-day limitation on waiting periods, the prohibition on preexisting condition exclusions, the Exchange Notice, as well as other health insurance reforms have NOT been given a one-year delay in this announcement. The individual mandate was not delayed.

Formal agency guidance is expected to be published in the near future describing this transition relief.