Archive for the ‘Benefits’ Category

Health Care Reform Requires SBC’s

December 9th, 2013


Health Care Reform Requires SBC’sEffective January 1, 2014 the Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be implementing and enforcing the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

What is the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)?

The SBC is a 4 page overview of health plan benefits, cost sharing and limitations. Its goal is to more easily convey standard information so that employees can easily compare medical plans and make informed decisions regarding which plan they’d like to enroll for.

Additionally, the SBC must include a required set of coverage examples showcasing how the plan works, as well as phone numbers and internet addresses for obtaining copies of the plan’s corresponding documents.

Under the PPACA, each Summary of Benefits and Coverage must be accompanied by the Uniform Glossary too.  The Uniform Glossary is a list of commonly used health care terms and their definitions that was designed for use with the SBC.

What’s Important for Employers to Know?

For employers, it’s especially important that the SBC states whether the plan provides “minimum essential coverage” as required by the individual mandate and also whether or not the plan meets the “minimum value” requirement, meaning that the plan pays at least 60% of allowed charges for covered services as required by the employer mandate.

Health insurers and self-funded group health plans must provide the SBC to employees when they enroll in coverage for the first time, prior to the beginning of each new plan year, and/or within seven days of an employee requesting it.

The Benefit of Working with a PEO…

Although the DOL and HHS have provided a new template that incorporates all of the above, there’s no denying that this is a lot of administrative work on top of your already busy schedule. But there’s good news for those that work with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Liability is shared through the co-employment relationship which lightens the burden and limits the risk associated with the SBC non-compliance penalty (which is $1,000 per enrollee). And, HRIS technology made available by many PEOs makes current information (including SBC’s) available at the employee’s fingertips at any time through the employee self-service portal!

Is your business looking to ensure a compliant workplace in the upcoming year? In addition to reducing liability and risk surrounding health insurance, working with a PEO can also result in lower health care costs. Call 877-636-9525 or Get a Free Quote Online to find the best Professional Employer Organization for you.


Different Types of Salary Increases

November 12th, 2013

Different Types of Salary IncreasesEarlier in the year, PEO Advantage shared some tips for determining workplace salary grades (How Do I Determine What To Pay a New Employee?) But, once you’ve determined what to pay a new employee, that’s only half of the battle. Assuming you want to retain employees, you’ve got to provide them with something to look forward to or work towards – promotions and raises!

The following are standard types of increases and adjustments.

Merit Increase: A merit increase is a salary increase based on performance. Employees must meet or exceed preset business goals or performance criteria in order to receive an increase in pay.

Promotion: A promotion takes an existing employee and promotes them to a different position within the Company that often pays a higher salary and/or provides better benefits and perks.

Market Adjustments: Market adjustments do not have to do with performance but instead have to do with external conditions – market conditions to be precise. If an employer sees that Vice Presidents of Sales in similar companies make on average about $10,000 more each year than what they are paying their current employee, OR, the market is improving and the company is currently making more money than it has in the past, employers may increase the VP of Sales’ salary. This helps to strengthen employee satisfaction and retention.

One-time Incentive: A one-time incentive is a lump sum payment granted to recognize individual and/or department productivity. These can be given at any time and at any frequency over the course of a year.

Now, keep in mind that you can create a really competitive incentives program that combines two or more of the abovementioned salary increase opportunities. If you currently work with a PEO, be sure to run your ideas by them; PEOs are experts in attracting and retaining top talent – they help make sure the right talent is hired and stays put.

For more information on pay grades, payroll, or PEOs, contact PEO Advantage today.

Confused About Obamacare?

September 3rd, 2013

Friendly Male and Female Doctors Isolated on a White Background.Did you know that together with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, Obamacare represents the most significant regulatory overhaul of the country’s healthcare system since the passage of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965?

With the number of complexities and concerns on the rise for small to medium sized businesses, many are opting in for a co-employment relationship with a PEO.

Here’s why:

  • With health insurance rates on the rise and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, businesses are looking for ways to continue offering robust benefits to their employees, but also keep their expenses under control. PEOs bring purchasing power to the table alongside access to Fortune 500 quality health insurance packages and previously unavailable benefits such as 401(k), Section 125 plan and Flexible Spending.
  • Without even factoring in the rules and regulations associated with Obamacare, there are more than 60 employment-related governmental regulations; compliance alone is a full-time job. PEOs assume much of the liability associated with healthcare regulations and employee management.  Expert help with risk management and compliance protects business owners from costly fines and lawsuits.
  • A number of PEOs are now providing valuable online resources such as calculators to help evaluate the effects the Affordable Care Act will have on businesses. These calculators can help determine whether a business should pay the penalty or provide medical benefits. They outline the costs by company size and determine which variable hour employees must be offered benefits.
  • A PEO can help make sense of complex language. In addition to calculators, some PEOs also offer cliff note-like summaries of various healthcare acts in order to help business owners quickly navigate to the answers they need without getting overwhelmed.
  • With healthcare and compliance under control businesses can finally concentrate on their core competencies and put their growth plans in motion.

Is your business looking to cut healthcare costs and ensure a compliant workplace in the upcoming year? Call 877-636-9525 or Get a Free Quote Online to find the best Professional Employer Organization for you.

Healthcare Reform: What is “Pay or Play?”

March 25th, 2013

Healthcare Reform What is Pay or PlayWhile it’s only March now, 2014 will be here before you know it and proactive companies with more than 50 employees are already scrambling to create an effective health care reform strategy for their organization.

In 2014, companies will have to “Pay or Play,” but what does this actually mean? Effective 2014, the PPACA (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) will require companies that employ more than 50 full-time employees to provide health insurance coverage for their employees, or send employees to an Exchange and pay a penalty of $2000 per employee per year. This excludes the first 30 employees, but only if at least one employee goes to an Exchange and receives subsidized coverage.

An Exchange is a competitive marketplace for individuals and small businesses to purchase insurance. Exchanges will be operating in states by January 1, 2014 under the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Now, you may be thinking “why not just create a new hybrid health insurance plan for our organization that offers employees numerous options when it comes to health insurance and benefits?”

This is easier said than done, and PEO Advantage recommends that you calculate your Pay or Play options before making a decision. Employers who elect to provide health insurance for their employees could be penalized up to $3000 for any employee that finds their coverage unaffordable and receives an Exchange subsidiary in its place.   What’s considered “unaffordable?”  A premium that exceeds 9.5% of the employee’s wages.

Many companies are currently struggling to calculate Pay or Play options because there are still so many moving parts and unknowns – Will Exchange rates actually be lower than employer-sponsored plans? If I decide to send employees to an Exchange, will the Exchange offer comparable plans? How will my employees react to a change in benefits?

PEO Advantage reminds all companies of 50 or more employees that Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) have very robust and cost effective benefits.PEOs have access to Fortune 500 quality health insurance packages, which can be much more competitive than what you are currently offering employees. To discuss your healthcare reform strategy and the year ahead, contact PEO Advantage at 877-636-9525.

2013 Changes to 401(k) Retirement and Pension Plans

February 25th, 2013

2013 Changes to 401(k) Retirement and Pension Plan LimitsIs your company familiar with this year’s changes to the 401(k) retirement and pension plan limits that were made effective January 1, 2013 by the IRS?

If you missed the updates, here’s what you need to know:

1.    Your employees’ elective contribution limits (assuming they participate in a 401(k), 403(b) or a 457 plan) have increased from $17,000 to $17,500 per employee.  Catch-up Contributions, which are the additional amounts over basic Internal Revenue Code (IRC) limits that employee participants age 50 or older may contribute to, remain the same in 2013. The catch-up contribution limit for those 50 or older is still $5500, and includes any employee that will reach the age of 50 in 2013.

2.    Defined ContributionPlans (retirement plans in which the amount of the employer’s annual contribution is specified) increased its limits from $50,000 to $51,000 per participant.

Helping employees plan their retirement is not easy when you have multiple employees to manage. It’s especially difficult when you’re not a retirement specialist yourself. How will you address the numerous questions employees bring forth this year with the changes, when you need to be concerned about your own company’s contributions and limits?

The co-employment relationship presents robust benefits for both the employer and the employee. Most PEOs grantaccess to fortune 500 quality benefits such as 401(k), Section 125 Plans and Flexible Spending. And, contrary to common misapprehensions, you CAN easily begin a new PEO contract on March 1, or the first of any month for that matter, versus waiting until January of next year.

Your PEO benefits are waiting. Call 877-636-9525 or contact us today to find the best Professional Employer Organization and employee retirement options for your organization.