Electronic Notice Distribution Requirements — Challenging and in Need of Change

Employers and employees have embraced benefit portals to enroll in coverage and access benefit information. Despite the near ubiquity of electronic benefits media, rules that govern the electronic distribution of materials required to be disclosed by ERISA haven’t kept pace – having been written more than a decade ago. Today’s rules have an over-arching requirementContinue reading “Electronic Notice Distribution Requirements — Challenging and in Need of Change”

EAPs Pose Compliance Complications

Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) are popular employer-sponsored plans that help employees address personal and work related problems that impact their health or job performance. Benefits provided by EAPs are varied in both scope and breadth. Benefits may include: Mental health referral services Mental health counseling Financial counseling Drug or alcohol abuse counseling Assistance with addressingContinue reading “EAPs Pose Compliance Complications”

Counting Employees Not as Easy as 1…2…3

Most children can count to 10 in preschool. The average child can count to 200 at age six. But, employee benefit professionals know that counting – when counting employees — is anything but easy. The reason that counting employees isn’t easy is that it depends why they’re being counted. Different laws at the federal andContinue reading “Counting Employees Not as Easy as 1…2…3”

21st Century Cures Act Includes New HRA Provision for Small Employers

The 21st Century Cures Act passed the House and Senate on a bipartisan basis and  signed  by the President on December 13, 2016. This 1,000 page bill includes language that allows small employers to provide health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) funds for employees to purchase individual coverage. Key provisions of Section 18001 titled “Exception from GroupContinue reading “21st Century Cures Act Includes New HRA Provision for Small Employers”

Telemedicine — A Growing Benefit Offer

Employers and insurers are increasingly turning to telemedicine programs to save employees money and increase productivity. With a doctor visit only a phone call away, employees don’t have to take time off the job to sit in a doctor’s office when a remote visit will do the trick. Employers who wish to learn more aboutContinue reading “Telemedicine — A Growing Benefit Offer”

Employers Get Your ERISA House in Order

ERISA, the Employer Retirement Income Security Act, was enacted into law in 1974. While the focus of ERISA was retirement plans, the law also imposed requirements on health and welfare plans, including employer-sponsored group health plans. An overview of ERISA’s provisions and requirements is available through the US Department of Labor’s Employment Law Guide. ThisContinue reading “Employers Get Your ERISA House in Order”