Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Monthly Newsletter August 2019

Posted by on August 1, 2019 in Newsletters

Dear Valued Clients and Associates,

After a great day out this week, with a wonderful group of clients and associates, I realized summer is going by fast. What are your plans before school starts again and the warm days turn cool?

The winter hiring and benefits season is going to be here before we know it!

Offering a good employee benefits package can be a great tool for recruiting and retaining top talent. PF Compass works with all carriers and is a full-service benefits brokerage, advocating on behalf of employers and employees. We are committed to helping organizations, like yours, find creative solutions to their employee benefit goals while also helping to keep them in compliance with ever-changing regulations.

We’d love to come meet you, learn about what is important to you and your organization and help you reach your benefit goals.
Give me a call today 732-258-1032.

Here is your August 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!

All the best to your success,
Brandi Bowers



Onboarding – A Key to Retention

by Maggie Johnson, PF Compass

If you think onboarding consists of new employees completing documents such I-9 and W-4 forms, among others, on their first day of employment, you may be missing the value a robust onboarding process can bring to your organization. Onboarding can be the key to increased employee engagement, higher productivity and lower turnover.

To read more about the importance of smooth onboarding, visit our BLOG here.



Executive Order on Health Costs to Affect Employer Health Plans

President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order aimed at improving price and quality transparency in health care. The order is intended to increase availability of health care price and quality information and protect patients from surprise medical bills.

What’s in the Order?

Specifically, the order is aimed at:

  • Eliminating unnecessary barriers to price and quality transparency
  • Increasing the availability of meaningful price and quality information for patients
  • Enhancing patients’ control over their own health care resources, including through tax-preferred medical accounts
  • Protecting patients from surprise medical bills

Employer Impact

Within 120 days, the order directs the Treasury to issue guidance to expand access to high deductible health plans. Additionally, the order directs the Treasury to propose regulations within 180 days to:

  • Treat expenses related to certain types of arrangements—potentially including direct primary care arrangements and health care sharing ministries—as eligible medical expenses
  • Increase the amount of funds that can carry over without penalty at the end of the year for flexible spending accounts



Final Rule Expands Options for HRAs

Health officials issued a final rule that expands the usability of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

Effective in 2020, the final rule establishes two new types of HRAs:

Individual Coverage HRA:
Allows employers to offer an HRA to be used to reimburse the cost of individual market premiums on a tax-preferred basis, subject to certain conditions, as an alternative to traditional group health plan coverage.

Excepted Benefits HRA:
Allows employers that offer traditional group coverage to provide an HRA of up to $1,800 per year (as adjusted) to reimburse certain qualified medical expenses.



Free Employer Services and No-cost Employee Benefits?

How Your County’s TMA (Transportation Management Association) Can Help You Find Mobility And Sustainability Solutions

by Leanne McGowan, Business Development Manager at RideWise, Somerset County’s TMA

Most NJ employers and HR professionals don’t realize that their local TMA can be a valuable tool. RideWise TMA in Somerset County, for example, can provide resources, programming and best practice consults on a variety of transportation-related matters, and help your business meet transportation-related sustainability, safety and wellness goals, alleviate pressure on HR and other staff, as well as offer opportunities for employee engagement. Leanne McGowan, Business Development Manager at RideWise, suggests the following to her corporate, business, municipal and non-profit clients, “Think of us as a sustainability partner, transportation options resource and no-cost benefit for employees.

To read more about the value of working with your local TMA, visit out BLOG here.



Why You Should Be Encouraging Employees to Use PTO

Research consistently points to time away from work as improving productivity, lowering stress and reducing absenteeism.

Unfortunately, many employees still hold onto their paid time off (PTO) and end up losing much of it at the end of the year. Worse yet, many employees avoid taking time off because their workplace culture discourages it.

According to research group Project: Time Off, workers are much happier at companies that encourage time off versus those that don’t—68% to 42%, respectively. Couple that with the fact that 81% of employers agree PTO helps curb burnout and improves focus, and it seems obvious that you should be pushing workers to use their vacation time.

This summer, let employees know that it’s okay to use their PTO and that, in fact, they should! Doing so can actually help your organization.

Consider sending communication to help employees understand the benefits of taking time off. Moreover, make sure they know that using PTO is not only acceptable, it’s also encouraged.

Getting your workforce comfortable with taking PTO is the first step to improving aspects like productivity and stress levels.



New Jersey to Ban Salary History Inquiries


Starting Jan. 1, 2020, New Jersey employers won’t be allowed to screen job applicants using their salary history and can’t set minimum or maximum salary thresholds for applicants to be considered for a job. Employers that ask for or obtain applicants’ salary histories could face penalties of up to USD $1,000 for a first offense, increasing to USD $5,000 for a second offence and $10,000 for any subsequent violations.

To learn more click here.



Killer Heat Waves: What To Know To Stay Safe As Records Break Around The World


Record-setting heat waves around the globe have become deadly, and we have some safety tips to keep you cool when faced with high temperatures. The usual apply: stay safe, stay hydrated, stay indoors. But you should also learn the dangerous signs of heat stroke, and make sure that pets, children and the elderly are well taken care of.

To read more click here.



New Jersey Takes Another Step Towards State-Based Health Insurance Marketplace

Insurance Business Magazine

New Jersey is expediting its plans to switch over to a state-based health marketplace, with preparations for the upcoming enrollment period later this year. The state Department of Banking and Insurance (DBOI) has asked the federal government for permission to begin oversight of the exchange for the 2020 enrollment period this coming November 1.

To read more click here.



Retain Employees Through Training

With the daily demands of keeping a workplace productive and profitable, many managers may overlook one simple perk that has been proven to boost employee retention: professional training. Learn how to use training as a tool to retain your top employees by watching the video below.



Brandi Bowers

Brandi Bowers | Benefits Consultant
PF Compass Employer Guidance & Benefit Solutions

461 Somerset St. North Plainfield NJ 07060
Tel (732) 258-1032


  • Dedicated Client Service Rep
  • Free in-house claims adjudication for you and your employees
  • Free COBRA and HRA administration
  • Free Bene Admin technology
  • We work with all the Carriers to find the benefits package right for your organization
  • 3 Hours HR Consultation Free for new clients and HR tools to maintain compliance

Source Credits: Copyright © HR 360, Inc. All rights reserved., Forbes.com, Insurance Business Magazine, Mercer US Health, Leanne McGowan – RideWise, Maggie Johnson – HR Consultant

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This