ARE YOU AUDIT READY???????
Most of you hear me talking about Cyber Liability and Technology E&O. It’s open enrollment time and I want to make sure everyone is aware of the IRS/DOL rulings that will have an effect on how they handle employee benefits in today:
Do you have a small technology business with 2-10 employees? Have you been reimbursing employees for purchasing their own health insurance plans through a defined contribution arrangement or an HRA? Are you aware that this is now ILLEGAL as of July 1, 2015? In summary:
- Employers cannot replace group plans with HRAs, tied to individual plans, without facing stiff penalties for violating the ACA.
- An employer cannot reimburse his/her own individual policy through the business if he/she has employees. They must purchase a group plan
- ERISA: The penalties for violating each market reform are generally $100 per day, per employee ARE YOU AUDIT READY?????
It’s simple to get into compliance. Set up a group health insurance plan, set up an amount you’ll pay towards the employee premium (50, 75 or 100%) and enroll.
Thinking of sending folks to the exchange for a subsidy? Employees do not want to APPLY for MEDICAID and get DENIED. Many technology employees make an income over the amount required to qualify and will have to pay a higher premium. They appreciate an employer who provides them a group plan. Most of the plans for individuals in the exchange are HMO. Many want PPO benefits. So you are helping them out by getting a group plan in place.
Many small technology businesses qualify for a 50% TAX credit if the wage base averages less than $50,000 a year and they always qualify for the regular tax deduction.
Examples of small businesses that have called to get switched:
- A church with two pastors and that were paying for two family policies through an HRA.
- A business consulting firm that was advised by their accountant that they needed to get moved to group so the three employees coverage would be in compliance.
- A technology firm with 4 developers, two who are founders/officers who were paying for individual/family policies through the company are now in compliance with a new plan
Are you a DIY person? Think twice about trying to do this yourself. It’s complicated this year. New plans, new networks. Companies that you have current coverage with dumping policies or leaving the market. You must have a broker to run group quotes and handle the enrollment, educate your employees and set up billing and tracking of apps, policies and ID cards at a time when ten times the number of applications are being submitted. And it COSTS you NOTHING. All group and individual rates are filed with the insurance department and brokers are paid by the insurance company.
Denver Tech Insurance will help you with compliance inside and outside Connect For Health Colorado and help select the best plan at the lowest cost for your group This will help you attract and retain top talent.
Thinking of letting a consolidator do this for you with the stroke of a pen? Beware, you lose control, are locked into a contract with a termination fee and/or a 90 day notice to terminate, you are charged thousands more per year for services most of you don’t use. Always choose “a la carte” and you will SAVE. Better yet, if you don’t like a plan or service, you aren’t stuck and it’s much easier to change! (savings example-important for boot strapped companies: We found a la carte saved a 14 employee IT firm enough to pay for part of a salary for next year!).
Please don’t wait. Deadlines for 1/1/16 for GROUP coverage inside SHOP and direct are 12/15/15 for the groups to be submitted to the insurance company. (this differs from the deadline for individual coverage).
Call Stacey Gilbert 303-471-9424 for the FREE copies of the IRS/DOL ruling on HRA’s, a Health Care Reform Checklist, the Annual Notice required by PPACA and ERISA that an employer must send out to employees regardless of the group size and to look at a quote and please visit with your accountant on these important tax items that affect your business in 2014.