HR & Compliance

Add SBAM offers a full spectrum of human resources services to keep you compliant and help your business run more efficiently and profitably....


Human Resources Solutions

ASE LogoLooking for help with tough HR issues? 

SBAM partner ASE has the answers about hiring, firing, FMLA, ADA and more! Get access to a FREE HR hotline, affordable and cost-effective research consultation services, discounted employee handbooks and workplace posters, and more.


Section 125 Plan, FSA, HSA & HRA Administration

 

KUSHNER & COMPANY LogoLooking for ways to contain health care costs?
With the cost of health insurance continuing to rise, most employers require their employees to contribute to the cost of health insurance premiums. SBAM partner Kushner & Co. can help you put a tax-favored, consumer-directed plan in place that benefits you and your employees.

 


COBRA Administration

Personalized, affordable administration for your business. 

If you have 20 or more employees, your company is required by federal law to offer continued health insurance coverage via COBRA and will face huge fines if it's not administered correctly.  Let SBAM help you stay compliant for only $30 per month. 

How you can create a productive, "leaderful" small business. Today at 10 a.m. on the Business Next free audio seminar

Program guest Dr. Joe Raelin talks with Michael Rogers about the key aspects of creating a "leaderful" small business operation. Raelin will conduct a March 14 program in Lansing sponsored by Capital Quality and Innovation (click here for details.) 

Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Michigan Business Network. Listen to archived programs anytime at your convenience on your PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL

Congress Passes Payroll Tax Cut Extension

From SBAM's national affiliate, NSBA:

On Feb. 17, 2012, both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved a bipartisan deal to extend the payroll tax cut, federal unemployment benefits and prevention of a reimbursement cut for Medicare doctors through the end of the year.

The House voted 293-132 to pass the bill (H.R. 3630), and the Senate followed soon after to approve the bill in a 60-36 vote. The measure is now set to go to the White House for President Obama's signature, which he indicated will sign later this week. 

The deal was actually agreed to mid-week and finalized and endorsed by the conference committee on Thursday, ending months of battle as lawmakers faced expiration of a temporary extension of the three items at the end of the month.

Critical to the success of the victory, was the concession by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House Republican leaders that they would not insist the $94 billion payroll extension part of the deal be paid for. Under the agreement, the legislation will extend the current 4.2 percent employee payroll tax rate through the end of 2012; Congress late last year extended the reduction from the prior 6.2 percent rate through the end of February. 

The package also puts off a 27.4 percent cut in payments to Medicare doctors, costing $17.9 billion over 10 years. It is funded in part by a $5 billion cut to a preventive medicine health fund in the health care law, and a $6.9 billion cut to Medicare hospitals for non-payment on premiums and co-pays. 

The legislation includes a three-tiered reduction in overall federal unemployment benefits that relies heavily on the unemployment rates in individual states. The agreement would provide a maximum of between 89 and 99 weeks of coverage from March through May of this year, in June the maximum would go to 79 weeks, and by September, it would fall to 73.

The extensions to the unemployment benefits and the so-called “doc fix” were paid for through spending cuts and the bill did not include any extensions of other popular expired tax breaks, such as the 100 percent bonus depreciation provision from 2011 or an increase in mass transit tax subsidies. It is possible that deliberation on the expired tax extenders could be delayed until after the November elections. Congress—at that time—will be facing the another critical tax issues: the Dec. 31, 2012 expiration of the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2001 and 2003. 

Summary of Benefit Coverage Final Rule Released

Just this past week, after almost a year of delays, the Final Rules for the Summary of Benefit Coverage were released. As you may recall, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) required that the SBC be ready on March 23, 2012, but the law also required that the final rule be in place by March 23, 2011.  As a result of this delay, the new requirements will begin on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after September 23, 2012. 

The SBC requirements apply to all health plans and insurers, not just fully insured plans. Generally, PPACA requires that a Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC) be provided to all “applicants and enrollees.” The regulations interpret this to mean that an SBC must be provided to all participants and beneficiaries.  Further the regulations require that if a participant and beneficiaries reside at the same address, a plan administrator may send a single SBC to that address.  The final rule does remove a requirement that the benefit summaries include premium information, which was a change made in response to concerns voiced by many employer and insurer groups, including the Small Business Association of Michigan and our Washington affiliate, National Small Business Association, that it would be very difficult for insurers to put a single figure on a coverage package that might be offered in the small-group and individual market, for example, or not reflect employer premium contributions in the group market. It also reduces the number of coverage examples that must be provided in each SBC from three to two. Under the final rule, insurers will have to illustrate what the plan would cover, and what the patient would pay, under two scenarios—having a baby and managing diabetes.

The rule also specifies that it is only providing guidance on what the SBC must contain for the first year and that; additional guidance will be provided before January 1, 2014 about how to communicate whether the plan provides minimum essential coverage. 

The regulations require that group health plans and health insurance issuers are required to provide an SBC to participants and beneficiaries without charge at the following times: 

Initial Enrollment. An SBC for each benefit package option for which the participant is eligible must be included with any distribution of enrollment materials. If written enrollment materials are not distributed, the SBC must be furnished no later than the first date the individual is eligible to enroll in coverage. 

Open Enrollment. An SBC for the benefit package option in which the participant is enrolled must be included with other open enrollment materials. If reenrollment is automatic, the SBC must be provided no later than 30 days before the beginning of the next plan year. 

HIPAA Special Enrollment. An SBC must be provided within 7 days of a request for special enrollment. 

Upon Request. An SBC must be provided as soon as practical (but no more than 7 days) after a request. 

Over the last year of debate, there were some changes made.  The SBC no longer has to be a standalone document, and it may be provided in color or grayscale. The new materials also create a special rule for cases in which a plan's terms "cannot reasonably be described in a manner consistent with the template and instructions." In those cases, plans must make an effort to describe coverage in a consistent manner.
For more information, please follow the links below...

http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/nahuw/downloads/instructions-group-final.pdf

http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/nahuw/downloads/SCB%20Final%20Guidance.pdf

Secrets of world class customer service! Today at 10 a.m. on the Business Next free audio seminar

Customer service expert John DiJulius talks with Michael Rogers about implementing world class customer service and using it as a springboard to small business success. Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Michigan Business Network. Listen to archived programs anytime at your convenience on your PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe  in iTunes using this URL

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremybrooks/

What are your secrets of customer service success? Leave a comment below.

NSBA Registers Opposition to New EEOC Policy

From SBAM's national affiliate, NSBA:

As NSBA reported last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has come out with a new policy that any employer requiring high school diplomas would be unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act unless the employer can demonstrate that the diploma requirement is job related and consistent with business necessity. This new policy was informally discussed starting in November 2011, but more recently was adopted in January 2012 under the radar and with little- to no notification to employers.

NSBA has submitted a detailed letter opposing this move as it will lead to needless, expensive and damaging litigation, have an adverse impact on small businesses and employment levels as well as discourage young people from pursing educational attainment. In the letter, NSBA questions the evidence prompting the policy change and states the policy would stymie job growth and employment.

Please click here to view the full letter.
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