What Makes a Driver Distracted?

April is Distracted Driving Month. Did you know? In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in the United States. Understanding Driver Distraction: In this video from the American Psychological Association, we see how Cognitive neuroscientist David Strayer, PhD, studies how the brain processes information to … Continued

Q&A: Why Do I Need Renter’s Insurance?

“ I am in my early twenties and I live with a roommate in a small apartment. Everything I own is cheap or used and I don’t see the point in buying renter’s insurance. Between bills, rent, car insurance and going out, I don’t have much money so I am really concerned about making yet … Continued

ER vs. Urgent Care: Choosing the correct treatment option

After spending the weekend with their toddler nephew, Sarah and her sister, Allison, caught a bad case of the flu. Sarah and Allison are both enrolled in similar employer group health plans that have a deductible for services such as hospital stays, x-rays, and emergency room visits. Now both miserable and awake in the middle … Continued

Avoid Medical Billing Mistakes With An Explanation of Benefits

“I owe how much?” Recently, our customer, Julie, was surprised to learn that a simple procedure she had scheduled with her dermatologist cost her $930 out of pocket. “‘They had sent me some paperwork in the mail prior to the procedure that stated, according to my health care coverage and high deductible plan; I was … Continued

Q&A: Do I Need Car Insurance If I Don’t Need A Car?

  “I want to sell my car. I rent an apartment in the city close enough to my job to walk. I’ve figured out every angle to avoid using a car, and I dream of not dealing with the hassle or cost of one. One thing, though, is that I heard it’s a good idea … Continued

HRAs for Small Employers without Group Health Coverage

The 21st Century Cures Act, which was enacted on December 13th of this past year, includes provisions that permit small employers without group health coverage to reimburse employees for qualified health care expenses and individual health insurance premiums.  Small employers that want to provide tax favored reimbursements will be required to set up a “qualified … Continued

Fixed-Indemnity Benefits May be Taxable

By Shari Herrle, Director of Compliance A Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) memorandum issued by the IRS in January concludes that benefits provided under a Fixed Indemnity Plan may not be excluded from an employee’s gross income if premiums were pre-taxed through a Section 125 Cafeteria Plan or the premiums were paid by the employer.  Many … Continued

HHS Releases New Benefit Parameters

Health and Human Services (HHS) released its 2018 health benefit and payment parameters.  Employer plan sponsors planning for 2018 will want to take note of the new Annual Cost Sharing Limits for group health plan coverage: Health Plan Annual Cost-Sharing Limits: Limits 2017 2018 Individual Coverage $7,150 $7,350 Family Coverage $14,300 $14,700   We anticipate … Continued

DOL Announces Adjustments to Employee Benefit Plan Penalties

In January of this year the DOL issued its first annual adjustment of civil penalties for several benefit-related violations. The new penalties are effective for penalties assessed after January 13, 2017 for violations occurring after November 2, 2015.  We have included a chart below that summarizes the changes. If you have any questions regarding the … Continued

New Policy Brief – The House GOP Leadership ACA Repeal and Replace Plan

On February 16, 2017, House Speaker Paul Ryan presented a new Policy Brief that contains many of the key reform elements House Republicans believe are essential to repeal and replace the ACA and overhaul the Medicaid system.  The plan includes provisions to modernize Medicaid, utilize State Innovation Grants, enhance Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and provide … Continued