Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Posts Tagged "pfcompass"

Monthly Newsletter July 2019

By on Jul 1, 2019 in Newsletters | 0 comments

Dear Valued Clients and Associates, Wishing you a safe and enjoyable time celebrating our Country’s Independence this week. When was the last time you had someone other than your current Group Benefits Broker look at the Medical and Ancillary plans available for your organization? A second set of eyes is always a good business decision when it comes to one or your biggest Company expenses and staying compliant. Contact me now and I’d be happy to see if there are plans you haven’t been shown before, that would be a better fit for your goals. No obligation. Here is your July 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!     IRS Releases Inflation-adjusted Limits for HSAs and HDHPs for 2020 On May 28, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-25 to announce the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2020. These limits include: The maximum HSA contribution limit The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs These limits vary based on whether an individual has self-only or family coverage under an HDHP. HSA Contribution Limits for 2020 The IRS limits for HSA contributions increase for 2020. Eligible individuals with self-only HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $3,550 for 2020, while eligible individuals with family HDHP coverage will be able to contribute up to $7,100 for 2020. The $1,000 catch-up contribution limit that applies to HSA-eligible individuals who are age 55 or older will remain unchanged. HDHP Cost-sharing Limits for 2020 For self-only coverage in 2020, the HDHP minimum deductible will increase to $1,400 and the out-of-pocket maximum will increase to $6,900. For family coverage, these limits will increase to $2,800 and $13,800, respectively. Action Steps Because these limits change for 2020, employers that sponsor these plans may need to make plan design changes for plan years beginning in 2020.     1 In 6 Insured Hospital Patients Get A Surprise Bill For Out-Of-Network Care by Rachel Bluth – Kaiser Health News On average, 16% of inpatient stays and 18% of emergency visits left a patient with at least one out-of-network charge, most of those came...

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Medical Marijuana In The Workplace – Update For New Jersey Employers

By on Jun 5, 2019 in Human Resources | 0 comments

Medical Marijuana In The Workplace – Update for New Jersey Employers By Maggie Johnson     Recreational marijuana use is not yet legalized in New Jersey or New York despite recent attempts by each state’s legislators to do so. However, recreational marijuana use, if legalized, would not necessarily present a problem for employers. As a comparison, alcohol is legal, but employers have the right to prohibit its consumption during working hours and in the workplace. Surely, the same rule would apply to recreational marijuana. But what about medical marijuana? The New Jersey Compassionate Use of Medical Marijuana Act (“CUMMA”) authorizes patients and their primary caregivers who register with the New Jersey Department of Health to possess medical marijuana that has been dispensed by a New Jersey Alternate Treatment Center. Thus, employers may be concerned about employees’ usage of marijuana, prescribed by a physician, for medical purposes. If an employee has a prescription for medical marijuana and tests positive on the Company’s random drug test, for example, is that test result excused because the employee has a legal prescription for the drug? Would an employer be expected to provide a “reasonable accommodation” for the use of medical marijuana for an employee with a disability? The first thing to remember is that CUMMA is a state law. Under federal law, marijuana is still illegal. So let’s turn to a case from August 2018 for some guidance. In Cotto v Ardagh Glass Packing, Inc., et al, Mr. Cotto, an Ardagh Glass Packing employee was a forklift operator for the company. Mr. Cotto was injured on the job and took a medical leave of absence to recover. Mr. Cotto was prescribed and used medical marijuana for pain management for injuries he suffered several years ago (not associated with his on-the-job injury). When Mr. Cotto was ready to return to work after his medical leave of absence he was required to pass a drug test before he could recommence his job duties. Mr. Cotto could not pass that drug test because of his medical marijuana usage. Mr. Cotto produced his medical marijuana card and his prescription from his physician. Despite that Mr. Cotto used marijuana legally for his medical condition, his employer would not...

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Monthly Newsletter June 2019

By on Jun 1, 2019 in Newsletters | 0 comments

Dear Valued Clients and Associates, With so many hot topics to choose from, I’ve decided to use June to introduce a way for you to potentially put money back into your business with little efforts. “How is this possible?” you ask… Work Opportunity Tax Credits! To learn more, read the article below “How much did you overpay your taxes last year”. To all the Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, Brothers and Friends who nurture and love the children in their lives, I hope you have a wonderful FATHER’S DAY! Is your broker only around at renewal? Would you rather have service year-round? Give me a call or email me now to schedule a time to discuss your employee benefit goals and how we will work hard to ensure you and your employees are satisfied all year long. Here is your June 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy!     Medical Marijuana In The Workplace – Update for New Jersey Employers by Maggie Johnson Recreational marijuana use is not yet legalized in New Jersey or New York despite recent attempts by each state’s legislators to do so. However, recreational marijuana use, if legalized, would not necessarily present a problem for employers. As a comparison, alcohol is legal, but employers have the right to prohibit its consumption during working hours and in the workplace. Surely, the same rule would apply to recreational marijuana. But what about medical marijuana? To read more, visit the PF Compass Blog Here. NYC Employers Also Take Note: New York City Bans Pre-Employment Marijuana Screening The law contains additional exceptions for certain federal contracts and federal, state and local drug-testing requirements in the areas of transportation and safety and security. Click Here for more.     New Jersey’s Minimum Wage Increase Begins July 1, 2019 On February 4, 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy signed A-15, which sets New Jersey on the path to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. The new law raises the minimum wage in increments, increasing the wage to $10 per hour on July 1, 2019 and to $11 on January 1, 2020. To read more, click here.     Final Notice of Benefit and Payment...

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Monthly Newsletter May 2019

By on May 1, 2019 in Newsletters | 0 comments

Dear Valued Clients and Associates, Happy May! To all the Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunts, Sisters and Friends who nurture and love the children in their lives, whether they gave birth to them or not, I hope you had a wonderful MOTHER’S DAY! Please give me a call or contact me now to schedule a time to discuss your employee benefit goals and how we will work hard to ensure you and your employees are satisfied. Here is your May 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy! If you would like to make suggestions on how I can improve this newsletter, please email me!     Parts of AHP Final Rule Are Struck Down by Federal Court On March 28, 2019, a federal judge ruled that parts of the Trump administration’s 2018 final rule on association health plans (AHPs) were invalid. The court directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to reconsider how the remaining provisions of the final rule are affected. In its ruling, the court stated that the final rule was an “end-run” around the ACA and that the DOL exceeded its authority under ERISA. The court specifically struck down two parts of the rule: The provision defining “employer” to include associations of disparate employers The provision expanding membership in these associations to include working owners without employees Employers and business owners without employees that have joined an AHP, or are considering doing so, should review how their plans may be affected by the court’s ruling.     Why One Plant May Be Fueling the Spread of Lyme Disease ColonialPest.com According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the fastest growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the United States. Ever heard of a Japanese barberry plant? It’s a small shrub, common in home and commercial landscaping. It is also a non-native invasive species. We actually just removed the one we had in back yard. Acres of it grow wild in the tri-state woods. Deer avoid it. Ticks, however, do not. To read more, click here.     Creative and Compliant Ways to Check References SHM.org Make the candidate part of the process. Reference checking is a necessary evil of the hiring process, but it’s...

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Dress Code Policies—Time for Change?

By on Apr 11, 2019 in Human Resources | 0 comments

Dress Code Policies – Time for Change? By Maggie Johnson     In theory, a dress code policy for the workplace could simply consist of two words—Dress Appropriately! However, it seems that employers feel compelled to write policies containing long lists of what and what not to wear in the workplace. Since a vast number of companies have adopted business-casual guidelines for the workplace, isn’t it time to lighten up on rigid dress code policies? In March this year, as reported by the Washington Post (March 21, 2019), even Goldman Sachs, known for its immaculately business-clothed company representatives, officially changed its dress code policy to a “firm-wide flexible dress code.”   Tattoos, Facial Jewelry and Wild Hair   Some dress code policies state that tattoos must be covered, facial jewelry, such as nose, eyebrow and tongue piercings, are not permitted at work, and hair styles must be conservative. That just doesn’t seem to fit in today’s society with its mostly millennial workforce. In certain circumstances, the last restriction could be construed as discriminatory. In fact, the New York City Commission on Human Rights announced, “[G]rooming or appearance policies that ban, limit, or otherwise restrict natural hair or hairstyles associated with black people generally violate the New York City Human Rights Law’s anti-discrimination provisions.” The Commission identified protected hairstyles as “Natural hair or hairstyles that are closely associated with their racial, ethnic, or cultural identities.” These would include cornrows, twists, braids, Bantu knots and Afros. Even if your company isn’t operating in New York City, how long do you think a similar law might be enacted in your district? As for tattoos, a 2017 survey reported that more than 25% of the US population have at least one tattoo. That’s a lot of covering up by a lot of people before they enter their workplace in the morning! On October 2014, Starbucks changed its dress code policy to allow employees to openly display their tattoos at work, so long as tattoos are tasteful and not on the face or throat.   Unequal Punishment   Company dress code policies often stipulate that an employee who comes to work dressed in attire that management does not approve of must go home and...

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