Category

Benefits & Insurance

Year-End “Punch List” Items – Are You on Track?

By | Benefits & Insurance, Best Practices, Employment Law, Payroll, Policies and Procedures, Record-keeping

The end of any year is always challenging, between juggling personnel holiday vacation schedules, preparing year-end paperwork, and making adjustments for the upcoming year. From Affordable Care Act compliance and reporting to adjusting compensation strategies, there is no shortage of things to do. In case you are overloaded or running behind this year, here’s a handy list of items to review and determine if you have outstanding work for any of them. To simplify things,…

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If You Don’t Provide Group Insurance to All Workers, Read This!

By | Affordable Care Act, Benefits & Insurance

Have you reminded your self-insured employees to sign up for a 2019 Marketplace plan, yet? This year, the enrollment period is shorter than in previous years—it runs through Saturday, December 15, 2018. (Workers in hurricane-affected areas may have until December 31, 2018.) After that, workers cannot get 2019 coverage unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. On the plus side for the uninsured, the individual mandate, which requires those not enrolled in an approved plan…

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Year-End Reporting of Company-Paid Health Insurance—and an S-Corp Reminder

By | Benefits & Insurance, Payroll, Record-keeping

As the year draws to a close, company personnel charged with record-keeping should collect their corporate health insurance information in preparation for W-2 and other tax form reporting. (MarathonHR clients should send this information to us as soon as possible.) For S-Corporations (S-Corps), this information should be segregated by payments made to employees, and their spouses and dependents (which are not wages and are therefore not subject to withholding), and payments made on behalf of…

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Employer Planning Strategies for the 2018 Healthcare Laws

By | Affordable Care Act, Benefits & Insurance, Employee Retention

With the ACA very much alive as we head towards the start of 2018, many employers may be adjusting their health insurance strategies. Applicable large employers—those with 50 or more FTEs—full time equivalent employees; a blended combination of full-time (30 hours per week) and part-time personnel—must provide “affordable” health insurance or face stiff penalties that are increasing again in 2018. For employers of fewer than 50 FTEs—small and midsized businesses (SMBs)—the mandate does not apply….

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Dealing with a Drug-Addicted Employee: Dismissal or Treatment?

By | Benefits & Insurance, Drugs in the Workplace, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety

With drug addiction rates continuing to rise—especially for prescription drugs—employers are increasingly dealing with substance-abusing employees. Statistics* indicate approximately 70 percent of drug abusers are employed—some 10 million people. Traditionally, many companies have dismissed personnel who exhibited signs of substance abuse, especially if it happened on the job. Now, the problem has become so rampant—even among trusted personnel at the highest level—that many employers are asking themselves, “Should I dismiss people with substance abuse problems,…

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Big Jump Predicted for Group Health Plans in 2018

By | Affordable Care Act, Benefits & Insurance, Employment News

Group health plan costs will nearly double the increase businesses experienced in 2017, according to surveys conducted by varied business advocacy groups. Plan costs are expected to rise 4.3 percent, even after plan changes and other measures to reduce costs. Without changes, the rise would be closer to 6 percent. That figure is far below the rises business owners experienced around the turn of the millennium, when they rose as much as 14 percent in…

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Employee Benefits—Managing Them for Everyone

By | Benefits & Insurance, Best Practices, Employee Retention, Hiring, Sick Leave

Employee benefits have become increasingly complicated for business owners as they struggle to address them for very different generations of workers. Baby boomers may want time off for elder care, while millennials may want extra paid vacation or flex time. Compounding the issue, workers have become increasingly willing to turn down a job offer—or even leave one company for another—to acquire the benefits package they desire. Organizations can address these concerns without negatively affecting the…

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Make Technology Work for You

By | Benefits & Insurance, Best Practices, Employee Engagement, Technology in the Workplace, Uncategorized

In our last article, we offered strategies for managing personal technology use at work. Employee use (or abuse) of technology in the workplace, while detrimental, is not the only concern for business leaders. Firms must also help workers better manage their time using technology for valid business purposes, both inside and outside the office. Here’s a bit more practical advice. Help Workers Help Themselves: Many office workers report that the volume of business email and…

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Why Don’t We Labor on Labor Day?

By | Benefits & Insurance, Employment News, News, Uncategorized

Our news usually deals with business topics, but today, we thought it would be interesting to look at the history and origination of our beloved “end of summer” holiday: Labor Day. This day might better be called “Workers’ Day,” because that is who it celebrates—the American worker and the trade and labor groups that support them. Encouraged by the labor movement, Labor Day’s first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886,…

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Health Insurance Options May Expand for Small Businesses

By | Benefits & Insurance, Employment Law, News

The U.S. House of Representatives recently took action to make it easier for small businesses to offer employee health coverage through association health plans (AHPs). These plans, which offer businesses and other association members access to more affordable insurance plans than they can procure individually, have long been appealing but not widely available. If this bill passes the Senate and the President signs it into law, all that may change for the better. On March…

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