United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

DOL Releases Updated COBRA Model Notices and FAQs

Posted by: Matthew Meidell    Jun 23, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The DOL released updated COBRA model notices and FAQs providing general information on the updated model notices. The FAQs note that the DOL provides a model general COBRA notice and model COBRA election notice that plans may use to satisfy the requirements to timely provide both of these notices to qualified beneficiaries.

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Topics: COBRA, DOL, FAQs

IRS Issues Notice 2020-29

Posted by: Matthew Meidell    Jun 12, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The IRS issued IRS Notice 2020-29 (Notice) that provides increased flexibility for making mid-year elections or changes under a Section 125 cafeteria plan during calendar year 2020 related to employer-sponsored health coverage, health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs).

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Topics: compliance, compliance recap, IRS Notice 2020-29

Long Term Care Insurance – A Personal Story

Posted by: Robyn Leonard    May 15, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Growing up in Alaska was definitely different than in other states in so many ways. One of the things you come to realize, as you age into adulthood, is how expensive things are there compared to other states. A trip to a local fast food restaurant will give you a good indication. A child’s meal pack at the local drive-thru can be as much as a $5 more compared to prices in “the states.” Everything is more expensive in Alaska.

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Topics: LTC Solutions, Inc., UBA Partners

Remaining ADA-Compliant Under COVID-19

Posted by: Bill Olson    May 5, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The coronavirus crisis has forced human resources teams to juggle more challenges than ever before, from employee benefits and sick leave to new teleworking policies. On top of this, the drastic change in the American workplace has spawned new laws and protocols, while raising questions about how these new regulations affect standing legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In order to remain fully compliant, HR departments need to keep abreast of the latest developments, especially regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which officially went into effect April 2. Here’s some guidance on how to remain ADA-compliant while your company implements new policies in response to COVID-19. 

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Topics: ADA, HR Elements, COVID-19

How To Communicate Effectively In An Isolated Workplace

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 29, 2020 11:17:10 AM

With the world in isolation and social distancing in full effect, the coronavirus pandemic has suddenly transformed the workplace, maybe irreparably. Almost overnight, businesses across the globe, many of which had no preexisting work-from-home policy, shifted all operations to remote work. The drastic change presented a wave of new challenges for these companies, on top of the strain inherent in working during an international pandemic. Chief of these challenges has been effective communication between coworkers, upper management, and even to clients.

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Topics: employee communication, HR Elements, Social Distancing

4 Self-Care Tips For Working From Home

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 16, 2020 3:15:00 PM

The shift from traditional office environments to telework hasn’t just put a strain on businesses unaccustomed to remote work—it’s a major adjustment for employees as well. Current circumstances aside, working from home already presents new challenges that typical commuters may find themselves unprepared for. When combined with the stress and anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic, workers’ mental health and performance can seriously suffer.

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Topics: work-life balance, health, Work From Home

IRS Releases an Opinion Letter on the Collection of Employer Shared Responsibility Penalties

Posted by: Matthew Meidell    Apr 7, 2020 1:30:00 PM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released an opinion letter addressing whether the employer shared responsibility penalties (ESRPs) under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are subject to a statute of limitations regarding IRS collection of the penalty amounts. In the opinion letter, the IRS states that ESRPs are not subject to a statute of limitations.

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Topics: compliance, ACA, IRS, ESRPs

How To Support Your Employees During A Global Pandemic

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 3, 2020 6:05:00 AM

As companies frantically try to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic, many HR teams find themselves with an alarmingly jam-packed workload. Employee interviews need to be postponed, telework policies implemented or adjusted, health and wellness protocols changed. And when everyone is in crisis mode, it’s easy to let a simple, but crucial, aspect of the job fall to the wayside: being there for your employees. 

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Topics: Work From Home, Coronavirus, Social Distancing, Pandemic, COVID-19

CMS Releases Proposed Rule on Civil Monetary Penalties for Medicare Secondary Payer Reporting Failures

Posted by: Matthew Meidell    Mar 26, 2020 6:15:00 AM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule and fact sheet on calculating and imposing civil monetary penalties (CMPs) when a group health plan fails to comply with Section 111 Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) reporting requirements.

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Topics: CMS, compliance recap

What The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Means For HR Teams

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 24, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Last week, the House of Representatives ended ongoing negotiations and reached a finalized agreement on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, another legislative response to the COVID-19 pandemic (an emergency spending bill was already rushed through Congress during the first week of March). After garnering the votes required for approval from the House, the bill will go to the Senate, where it is likely to pass with bipartisan support, and finally President Trump, who is expected to sign.

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Topics: HR Elements, Pandemic, COVID-19