eBRIEFS Masthead

April 2013


Featured Article

Will New Benefits-Eligible Workers Wreck Your Finances?

If you've got lots of low-paid employees, watch out. Starting next year, many of them are likely to opt into your group health-benefits plans, potentially triggering heavy new costs.  Click here to continue. 



In This Issue
Most Employers to Continue Offering Health Care Coverage
Payroll Data Needed to ACA
Emerging from the Economic Storm
Bollinger's Risk Management Newsletter
Safeguard Your Interests as a Landlord

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 Legislative/Regulatory Update

New Rules on 90-Day Waiting Period Limitation Announce End of "Certificates of Creditable Coverage"


Proposed Regulations published in the Federal Register on March 25, 2013 explain how the maximum 90-day limitation on waiting periods will operate under employer-sponsored group health and insured individual health plans, beginning January 1, 2014.   The rules, set forth in Section 2708 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA), apply to insured and self-funded group health plans, and to individual insured coverage, and apply equally to grandfathered and non-grandfathered plans. Click here to continue.  

Employees Could See Their SHOP Exchange Choices Delayed Until 2015  


Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), starting in 2014, small businesses in each state will have the option of purchasing coverage through a Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) exchange. Each SHOP exchange was supposed to include several health coverage options for employees of small businesses. However, in regulations issued on March 11, 2013, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided transitional relief that would permit SHOP exchanges the option of at first offering only one health insurance choice, delaying implementation of the original employee choice model as a requirement for SHOPs until 2015. Click here to continue.    

DOL Releases Third Annual Study on Self-Insured Plans as Required Under Health Care Reform


The report contains general information on self-insured plans (including plan type, number of participants, and benefits offered), as well as financial information on the employers that sponsor them. Click here to continue.


 Health Care Reform 

Most Employers to Continue Offering Health Care Coverage: Survey


The overwhelming majority of employers say they will keep offering health care coverage to their employees when key provisions of the health care reform law take effect in 2014, according to a new survey.  Sixty-nine percent of benefit professionals responding to an International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans survey said their employers "definitely will" continue coverage next year for full-time employees, while 25% said continuation of coverage was "very likely." Click here to continue.  

How to Claim the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit


One of the ways in which the Affordable Care Act helps bring down costs for small employers is through the tax credit available to eligible small businesses that provide health care insurance to their employees. Click here to continue. 


 Benefit Trends

On the Critical List?


The current health status of the adult 40+ population and the associated healthcare costs are on a rocky road. We have embraced chronic diseases as a part of 'getting older' and have focused on disease management and acute care versus taking steps as we age to prevent us from acquiring disease in the first place.  Click here to continue. 

Engaging Employees to Become Better Health Care Consumers

As employers grapple with rising health care costs, many are turning to high-deductible and consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs), which place more responsibility on the shoulders of their employees. In fact in recent years, CDHPs have seen significant growth, while enrollment in other plan types has remained flat or fallen. Click here to continue.

Retiree Health Benefits: Facing Extinction?


Employer-provided health insurance for retirees has been dwindling for decades now, but the trend is accelerating, experts say. Mounting costs have caused more employers to scale back or eliminate medical benefits for their former workers. Click here to continue.


 HR and Payroll Issues

Payroll Data Needed for ACA


Payroll information is critical as employers strive to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act, Treasury Department and IRS officials said at the American Payroll Association's annual Capital Summit March 11-12. Click here to continue.  
Navigating the Leave-Management Maze

When an employee requires a period of leave because of a medical issue or disability, the situation is not always straightforward, and the best way to manage it is not always clear. Adding to the confusion is that employers face an ever-changing alphabet soup of federal and state laws and regulations, starting with the Family and Medical Leave Act(FMLA).  Click here to continue.  

Top 10 Questions Asked by HR Professionals


The Employers Resource Association receives more than 8,000 calls each year to its human resources hotline. For the third consecutive year, ERA data show, the highest demand for phone-in expertise was not about health care reform or retirement plans, but HR "staples" like performance management, fair labor issues and immigration. Click here to continue. 


 Retirement Plans

401(k) Participants Who Use In-Plan Advice Have More Positive Retirement Outlooks    

Employees who say they use advisory services offered to them in their 401k plan have a distinctly more positive outlook about their future retirement versus those who do not, according to an analysis of data from the recent Mercer Workplace Survey. Click here to continue.    

Emerging from the Economic Storm: Retirement Plans in the U.S. 2007 - 2012


The past five years have brought a multitude of challenges to American workers, including high rates of unemployment and underemployment, dramatic declines in home values, volatility in the financial markets, and the double-edged sword of a low interest rate environment which provides for favorable lending rates, but nominal investment returns on savings accounts and other conservative investments. Click here to continue. 
What Happens If I Don't Update My Plan Document?


One of the benefits to establishing a qualified retirement plan is that they are subject to favorable tax treatment.  Did you know that failing to timely amend your plan document for changes in Federal tax laws can affect your plan's status as a tax-qualified plan?  Click here to continue.


 Financial Services 

Understanding Life Insurance: Your Earning Power


Did you know that an annuity can be used to systematically accumulate money for retirement purposes, as well as to guarantee a retirement income that you cannot outlive? Click here to continue.


 Risk Management

Bollinger's Risk Management Services Newsletter


Click here to read the most recent issue of our Risk Management newsletter.  

Top Risks Reflect Unsure Business Environment

The top two risks identified by executives send the message that they are more concerned with what they don't know regarding economic conditions and regulations than with what they do know, even about significant operational risks, according to an author of the study "Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2013." Click here to continue.    

Small Retail Businesses Find Themselves in Hackers' Crosshairs


Retail businesses are in the crosshairs of hackers, according to a recent report from Trustwave, a provider of on-demand data-security and payment-card compliance solutions to businesses. Click here to continue.  


 Personal Lines

Safeguard Your Interests as a Landlord


Many insured own property that they lease on a regular basis to tenants. Other insured occasionally lease their homes for special events, like the Super Bowl, Indianapolis 500, or other major events. In each case, proper risk management techniques are needed to safeguard the landlord's interest. Click here to continue.  

Review Hunting Exposures on Your Vacant Land 


Hunting accidents on vacant land can lead to a number of legal liability concerns. Clients with vacant land or farm land with exposures to third-party hunters should take a variety of measures to mitigate their exposure.  Click here to continue.