Employee Benefit Guidance & Compliance Solutions

Posts Tagged "pfcompass"

Monthly Newsletter October 2019

By on Oct 10, 2019 in Newsletters | 0 comments

Dear Valued Clients and Associates, I just wrapped up 2.5 days at the Garden State SHRM conference in Atlantic City. I visited with some great vendors and attended some interesting break out sessions. The highlight for me was the closing Keynote speech by Dr. Richard Pimentel… and to think I considered leaving early… I’m so glad I stayed! Dr. Pimentel was inspiring. He told his story and shared gems of wisdom on leadership, character, the power of having someone believe in you, response-ability and chasing your dreams… all with an incredible sense of humor that had the crowd in stitches. His words struck a chord and have provoked a lot of thought. Don’t change your dreams to fit your circumstances, change your circumstances to fit your dreams, he advised… and that is just what I did when I chose to join PF Compass. I wanted to have a bigger positive impact on organizations with a client support team in which I have complete faith. Mission accomplished. We’d love to learn about what is important to you and your organization and help you reach your benefit goals. If you’re open to a chat, give me a call today 732-258-1032. Here is your October 2019 Newsletter with a combination of HR and Health related news. I hope you enjoy! All the best to your success, Brandi Bowers     Planning for Open Enrollment By: Maggie Johnson, PF Compass in-house HR Consultant As we go into the fall, most companies will begin the process for Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment for many employers will be held in November and sometimes into December of 2019 for the 2020 plan year. To ensure your Open Enrollment goes smoothly, here are some suggested tips… To read more, visit our BLOG here     Deadline Approaching: Medicare Part D Notices Are Due Before Oct. 15 Each year, Medicare Part D requires group health plan sponsors to disclose to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable. Plan sponsors must provide the annual disclosure notice to Medicare-eligible individuals before Oct. 15, 2019. What is this notice? This notice is...

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Planning for Open Enrollment

By on Oct 1, 2019 in Human Resources | 0 comments

Planning for Open Enrollment By Maggie Johnson     As we go into the fall, most companies will begin the process for Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment for many employers will be held in November and sometimes into December of 2019 for the 2020 plan year. To ensure your Open Enrollment goes smoothly, here are some suggested tips. Employee’s Share of Premium Most employees share the cost of the premium for health insurance coverage with their employer. For 2020, it is predicted by the Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans that the total health benefits costs per employee will increase by 3.9%. According to AON Consultancy’s 2020 Global Medical Trend Rates Report, healthcare benefit cost is expected to rise by 6.5% in the US. However, whether a health insurance plan is self-insured or fully-insured, the company’s claims experience is normally reflected in that company’s healthcare premium rates, and may be less or greater than the aforementioned predicted 2020 healthcare cost increases. Therefore, if your employees are facing a considerable increase in their healthcare premium contribution, you might consider mitigating that increase by taking on more of the premium cost share by your company, or implementing a salary-banded contribution system, so that lower-paid employees pay less than managers and highly-compensated executives. One of the biggest complaints made by employees is that their annual wage increase is not in alignment with the premium contribution cost increase for healthcare coverage, and they fall further behind financially each year. Regardless of your decision, it is always best to communicate to your employees about any upcoming premium increase early, preferably before Open Enrollment begins, and the reasons for the cost increase. Help Your Employees to Make Informed Choices Many employees are inclined to make the same benefit election as they made in the previous year. However, this may not be the best current choice for themselves and their families. It is important to provide them with education about each of your benefit plan offerings, so they can choose the best one for their particular situation. Education may be provided in Open Enrollment in-person meetings with representatives from your insurance carrier and/or your insurance broker, or through online education tools. In your written materials, such...

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Monthly Newsletter August 2019

By on Aug 1, 2019 in Newsletters | 0 comments

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...

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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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