Life Insurance Does A Lot More Than You May Realize

Talking about life insurance can be an uncomfortable topic for most of us. We all go to bed each night and assume that we will wake up the next morning as we always have. We all plan for vacations months in advance with the assumption that we will be there. We live our lives almost as if we will live forever. At the same time, every night on the evening news we hear about tragic stories within our local communities such as car accidents and violent crimes. We also hear stories of chronic health related illnesses, many of which are on the rise. And yet, only 51% of Americans have life insurance. Here is a look at why so many Americans and, more specifically, their families are unprotected:   43 % say that life insurance is too expensive. 31 % say that coverage is a low priority compared to other expenses. 14 % say they never thought about life insurance and don’t know much about it. 12 % don’t know where to start. 8 % note they don’t have time to research/learn about/explore their options. 6 % say that life insurance is too complicated. 5 % say the product is too stressful.   What do these numbers tell us? Well, they tell us that most of the uninsured are uninsured simply due to lack of knowledge and/or confusion about life insurance. If they only knew that life insurance is so much simpler than the health insurance that they must deal with every week. Very few Americans look to life insurance to fund expenses beyond simply replacing the income of a departed...

ACA Reporting Requirements

Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) must report information to the IRS regarding the health care coverage offered to full-time employees and full-time equivalent employees (FT/FTE). Once you’ve collected all the necessary information from your workforce, you must complete the three documents required for ACA compliance: the 1094-C, 1095-C, and the Written Statement to each employee. Form 1094-C Employer Transmittal Accounts for each of the following, per 2015 calendar month: Full-time employees Total headcount Whether Minimum Essential Coverage was offered Whether an applicable 4980H “Safe Harbor” was used Deadline for documents to be mailed: February 29, 2016 Deadline for document to be transmitted digitally: March 21, 2016 Form 1095-C Employee Statement Accounts for each of the following, per 2015 calendar month: Proof of offer of coverage (with code) Employee’s share of the lowest cost monthly premium Whether an applicable 4980H “Safe Harbor” was used Deadline for documents to be mailed: February 29, 2016 Deadline for document to be transmitted digitally: March 21, 2016 Written Statement of Each Covered Employee The employer’s name, address, and contact information The information for the employee on the return being filed Deadline for Statement Sent to Employee: January 31,...

System changes are on the way for Blue Shield of CA Small Business clients

On March 1, Blue Shield of CA is moving Small Business clients with an April, May, and June 2014 renewal period onto our new membership and claims system. The system is now used by more than 70 other health plans across the country. What does this mean for Blue Shield of CA Small Business clients? Beginning on March 3, Small Business clients with medical, dental, vision, or life insurance* coverage with an April through June 2014 renewal period will see the following changes: A new March 2014 bill, including: A new account number for billing purposes. A new group number that replaces their current customer number. New subgroup number(s) that replace their existing billing unit. A new bill format now including medical and specialty products on a single bill. Your clients will no longer receive separate bills for any dental or vision coverage they obtain through Blue Shield. March 2014 bills for migrating groups will be delayed. We will mail them the last week of February and they should arrive the first week in March. Our standard 30-day grace period for payment will extend from the date we actually produce the March bill. New member ID cards for their medical plan and dental plan (if applicable). These ID cards include a new subscriber number and customer service number listed on the back. Newly enhanced Employer Connection Plus website: A newly enhanced Employer Connection Plus website to manage their account online for all their Blue Shield lines of coverage. Your clients who are currently using Employer Connection to access their account online will be able to access it using their existing...

In 2014, California Choice will change their plans and requirements in the 1-50 employee market

Below are the updates from the Northern CA California Choice Broker Meeting. These updates were provided by the President & CEO, Ron Goldstein and National Vice President, Kevin Timone: California Choice has been around for 17 years. California Choice will be the most competitive small group (1-50 employees) private medical exchange in California next year. Aetna HMO is being added as a carrier for January 1, 2014. Health Net and Anthem will offer PPO coverage as well. California Choice will offer broad network access; limited and full networks side by side.  This is a huge advantage over Covered CA since the CA state exchange is offering a limited network with Blue Shield. Covered CA will not have as many options as California Choice. Kaiser will have same network and same premium with CA Choice and Covered CA’s SHOP in every plan. Therefore, Kaiser direct groups will now be able to offer Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, Western Advantage and Sharp in 2014 at no additional cost. Minimum employer contributions will remain the same. The employer will pick a metal tier at a minimum contribution of 50% or fixed $100 or may offer a higher contribution. Kaiser HSA plans will be available. Risk Adjustment Factors (RAF’s) will be removed. Underwriting enhancements: if case is clean and received by 20th of the month then all employees will receive ID cards by the 1st of the following month. California Choice is partnered with Ovation payroll. When a new hire is added or employee terminated an email is sent to broker to contact the business to set up or terminate benefits. Some additional benefits...
Do you have a Summary Plan Description (SPD) in place?

Do you have a Summary Plan Description (SPD) in place?

Do you have a Summary Plan Description (SPD) in place when the Department of Labor comes knocking on your door? Over the past 6 months Bedrosian & Associates has been to multiple seminars where TASC and other administrative services keep bringing up how the Department of Labor is on a hiring frenzy. The main reason for the hiring increases is to go after businesses for non-compliance which in turn collects more dollars for our government. Whether your company is renewing early or at your next renewal it is more important than ever that you begin considering ERISA compliance. Under ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), any client offering health and welfare benefits and has at least 1 employee enrolled in any plan must provide an ERISA Compliant Summary Plan Description (SPD) to that employee for that plan. What is an ERISA Compliant Summary Plan Description? An ERISA Compliant Summary Plan Description is the primary document that gives information about the health and welfare plan or plans that the employee or employees are enrolled in. It indicates what benefits are available under the plan, the rights of the participant and beneficiaries under the plan, and how the plan works. Most companies with less than 100 employees are out of compliance nationwide. We would advise to take a proactive approach to getting in compliance rather than waiting for the audit email to arrive and then have to devote time and resources to respond to the DOL within 10 days. How will getting in compliance now effect your SPD if your group renews early? If your company has decided to...