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Wrap Documents for Welfare Benefit Plans

As an employer, you may be asking yourself, “What is a wrap document, and why is it important?” Before we get into the full definition, let’s review the history behind wrap documents to better understand how they originated and why they’re important. The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 set minimum standards for employee benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers. Under ERISA, employer-sponsored welfare benefit plans, such as group health plans, must be described in a written plan document. In addition, employers must explain the plans’ terms to participants by providing them with a summary plan description. The insurance certificate or benefit booklet provided by an insurance carrier or other third party for a welfare benefit plan typically does not satisfy ERISA’s content requirements for plan documents and summary plan descriptions. However, employers may use wrap documents in conjunction with the insurance certificate or benefit booklet to satisfy E

The 2024 ACA pay or play penalty will increase: What to know

The IRS has updated penalty amounts for 2024 related to the employer shared responsibility (pay or play) rules under the Affordable Care Act. For calendar year 2024, the adjusted ACA pay or play penalty amounts increased as follows: $2,000 penalty amount is now $2,970; and $3,000 penalty amount is now $4,460. Pay or play penalty calculations Under ACA pay or play rules, an applicable large employer is only liable for a penalty if at least one full-time employee receives a subsidy for exchange coverage. Employees who are offered affordable, minimum value coverage are generally not eligible for these exchange subsidies. Depending on the circumstances, one of two penalties may apply under the pay or play rules: the 4980H(a) penalty or the 4980H(b) penalty . Under Section 4980H(a), an applicable large employer will be subject to a penalty if it does not offer coverage to “substantially all” (generally, at least 95%) of its full-time employees (and dependents) and any one of its full-time

5 Top reasons to offer employee mental health benefits

In fast-paced and demanding work environments, the importance of employee mental health benefits cannot be overstated. Employees who are mentally well are more productive, engaged and satisfied with their jobs. Mental health treatment, including therapy, medication and self-care, can help people who are experiencing mental illness. However, taking that first step toward recovery or seeking help can be challenging. The National Alliance on Mental Illness’ Mental Health By the Numbers finds that the average delay between the onset of mental health symptoms and treatment is 11 years. Factors such as cost, access and stigma can hold workers back from receiving the mental health support and treatment they need. However, there are employer solutions that can help employees overcome these barriers, understand available treatment options and start their recovery journey. This article explores barriers to mental healthcare and ways employers can help break them down to support employees holist

December 2023 Benefits Buzz: IRS employee benefit plan limits

IRS Announces Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2024 On Nov. 9, 2023, the 2024 IRS employee benefit plan limits were released. Employers should review the increase in annual dollar limits, as many employee benefits are subject to annual dollar limits that are updated for inflation before the beginning of each calendar year. Note that some benefit limits are not adjusted for inflation, such as the contribution limit for dependent care flexible spending accounts and the catch-up contribution limit for health savings accounts. Employers should confirm that payroll systems are updated for the 2024 limits and that the new limits are communicated to employees. The following benefit limits apply for 2024: HSA Contributions Single coverage: $4,150 (up $300 from 2023) Family coverage: $8,300 (up $550 from 2023) Catch-up contributions: $1,000 (not adjusted for inflation) Health FSA Limits Employee pre-tax contributions: $3,200 (up $150 from 2023) Carryover of unused funds: $640 (up $30 from 202

Will employer healthcare costs boom in 2024? 4 driving trends

With 2024 right around the corner, ongoing inflation will likely mean higher employer healthcare costs in the new year. A report released by Aon , a global professional services firm, predicted 2024 employer healthcare costs will grow by 8.5%, totaling more than $15,000 per employee. This figure nearly doubles what Aon reported in 2023. Meanwhile, the Business Group on Health’s 2024 Large Employer Health Care Strategy Survey predicted a 6% increase . While this is 2.5% less than Aon’s report, both predict a potentially sizable increase in healthcare costs. In this article, we’ll explore the four primary drivers of healthcare costs and ways that employers plan to manage them. Driver #1: Mental health challenges The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health continues. Many employees still have symptoms related to depression, anxiety and substance use disorders. This is echoed in the findings from the Business Group on Health survey: Three-quarters of employers (77%) reported an increa

Identity theft insurance coverage

Americans have reported nearly 560,000 cases of identity theft nationwide so far in 2023 according to the Federal Trade Commission. Identity theft victims can be impacted in various ways, including not being able to use their credit cards or obtain a new loan — or, in more severe cases, becoming subject to criminal investigations. ID theft is one of the fastest-growing crimes in America and it can cost a victim a significant amount of time and money to recover their information and repair their credit. As business increasingly moves toward e-commerce and away from face-to-face transactions, the risk of ID theft will only continue to grow. What is identity theft? ID theft occurs when personal information such as Social Security numbers, credit card or bank account information are obtained without permission. Once thieves have this information, they can use existing credit cards or open new ones to make purchases in the victim’s name, write bad checks or take out loans. If the theft is

Legal Plans: How Your Employees Could Benefit

Studies reveal that employees suffering from legal problems are typically absent from work five times more than average. These absences harm their productivity. Group legal plans can alleviate stress and reduce the time it takes for employees to resolve legal issues, enabling them to focus on their jobs. What are legal plan benefits? Group legal plans are voluntary benefits employers can offer to give their employees better access to legal services. Employees pay into the program through payroll deductions so that when they need legal assistance, they have access to an attorney to help them, without the usual high cost of legal fees. Legal plan benefits can help employees in a variety of situations, from phone consultations to courtroom appearances. Common service categories used by employees with group legal plans include: telephone advice and office consultations with an attorney; estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, living wills and powers of attorney; real estate ma