Employers view health insurance as an integral component of the overall compensation package that allows them to attract and retain qualified employees. As the cost of providing quality group health insurance continues to escalate every year, the importance of good advise regarding cost containment measures is critical for your company to continue offering coverage.
The use of Consumer Driven Health Plans such as HSA’s and HRA’s are part of the cost containment process along with establishing Sec. 125 plans. Partial self-funding is another option to consider. If you have a fairly healthy workforce, partial self-funding can produce considerable savings.
We have over 30 years experience guiding employers through the process of keeping their group health insurance costs under control.
Other benefits that are important to your work force include the following.
- Dental Insurance: Oral health affects the overall health of your employees. A good dental plan will help employees and their family members take care of their oral health on a regular basis.
- Vision Insurance: Regular eye exams are extremely important in catching the early onset of disease. Vision insurance will encourage frequent eye exams and regular eye wear adjustments when needed.
- Group Term Life Insurance: Most employees do not have enough liquid assets to provide for last expenses and provide income to their families in the event of a premature death. A robust group life offering promotes goodwill and exhibits a caring attitude toward your employees.
- Short and Long Term Disability Income Insurance: What happens when an employee cannot work for an extended period of time? Their income stops, but their living expenses do not stop. A good group disability plan that includes both short and long term disability will pay the employee a large percentage of their weekly or monthly income. Short term disability will start paying benefits in as little time as 1 week off of the job and continue paying up to 6 or 12 months. Long Term disability picks up the income payments to the employee after the short term disability plan stops payments and continues usually up to age 65.
- Long Term Care Insurance: Long term care insurance can be provided to key employees and their family members. And yes, the premiums are deductible up to certain amounts.
These insurance plans are totally voluntary and are usually paid for by the employee. These plans are designed to fill the gaps in group health insurance. Coverage’s such as critical illness (cancer, heart attack, strokes, etc.), accident coverage, and hospital confinement coverage pay lump sum benefits to the insured at time of claim. The money is usually used to pay for large group health deductibles, co-pays, and out of pocket costs that are not picked up by the group health insurance plan.
In order for the premiums that an employee pays for group benefits to be paid for with pre-tax dollars, you must have a sec. 125 plan in place. This requires a legal plan document and a certificate of adoption by the employer. This is called a premium only plan. You can also set up a sec. 125 plan with a flexible spending account (FSA). This allows additional expenditures by the employees and their family members to be pre-tax. These expenditures include estimated medical, dental, and vision expenses not picked up by the group plan, voluntary supplemental insurance premiums, and childcare expenses up to certain limits. All of these expenses reduce the employee’s gross income there by saving federal tax dollars and FICA taxes. The employer saves money on their matching FICA expenses. All of these plans should be administered by an experienced and competent 3rd party administrator.
Mistakes or improper processes regarding COBRA/HIPPA administration can be costly to your organization. Partnering with an experienced third party administrator can protect your company from costly fines, penalties, and lawsuits resulting from careless administration. An experienced third party administrator will assume full responsibility for the work that they do and provide financial protection to your organization. Group Health Plus can help facilitate your COBRA/HIPPA Administration through our third party administrator partnerships.
A Health Savings Account (HSA) combines a high deductible health insurance plan with a tax favored savings account. Money in the savings account can help pay for the deductible. Once the deductible is met, the insurance starts paying. Money left in the savings account earns interest and is yours to keep. Contributions to the HSA are tax deductible. When withdrawals are used to pay for qualified medical expenses including dental and vision, the withdrawals are tax free.
A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is an IRS approved, employer funded, tax advantaged employer health benefit plan that reimburses employees for out of pocket medical expenses. A health reimbursement arrangement is an excellent way to supplement health insurance benefits and allow employees to pay for a wide range of medical expenses not covered by insurance.
We have the expertise and experience to educate employers regarding the ACA. We can help determine whether your firm is subject to the Employer Mandate and show you how to calculate your full time equivalent employee numbers. Our partner ACA consultant attorney firm can relieve you from the burden of this tedious calculation, especially if you have a complicated workforce situation.
In addition to ACA employee tracking, our partner attorney firm focuses on HR and ERISA compliance. A common problem when it comes to health and welfare plans is that insurance companies will provide a certificate of coverage or a plan booklet. These certificates and booklets are rarely compliant with ERISA and are poor substitutes for the required (SPD) Summary Plan Document. Let our partner attorney firm review, revise, and update your SPD to ensure compliance.