Congress Eliminates the ‘Cadillac’ and Other ACA Taxes

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Congress has passed legislation repealing the so-called “Cadillac tax” on generous group health plans, as well as two other taxes, finally putting to bed an issue that has plagued the Affordable Care Act since its inception. Although it had not yet been implemented, employers didn’t like the Cadillac and labor unions came out against it as well. It was so unpopular that Congress voted twice to delay implementation, which was originally set to start in 2018. The latest start date had been pushed until 2022. The Cadillac tax, an enacted but not yet implemented part of the ACA, is a…
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Employer Guide for Dealing with the Coronavirus

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the outbreak of the 2019 novel coronavirus gains momentum and potentially begins to spread in North America, employers will have to start considering what steps they can take to protect their workers while fulfilling their legal obligations. Employers are in a difficult position because it is likely that the workplace would be a significant source of transmission among people. And if you have employees in occupations that may be of higher risk of contracting the virus, you could be required to take certain measures to comply with OSHA’s General Duty Clause. On top of that, if you have workers…
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Trends Shaping Health Insurance and Health Care in 2020

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As a new decade begins, the health insurance industry is on the cusp of making a leap towards improved, higher-tech management of health plan participants. A recent paper by Capgemini, an insurance technology and consulting firm, predicts the following health insurance trends will be taking shape in the industry and how they may affect businesses that are paying for their employees’ coverage. Health Insurance Trends 1. Realigned relationships Insurers are trying to shift risk between themselves and pharmaceutical companies in an effort to reduce drug outlays. The report says insurers are also working more closely with health care providers for early intervention…
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Coverage Gap Concerns as Cyber Threat Grows

| posted in Blog, Uncategorized

Small and mid-sized businesses are increasingly bearing the burden of cyber threats, as criminals consider them low-hanging fruits that often do not have the resources in place to mount a strong defense. Having a solid cyber insurance policy in place is key, along with understanding what exactly your policy covers. A severe attack on a small company can incapacitate its ability to do business, and the expenses of getting operations back on track ― coupled with loss of goodwill ― can easily force many firms into bankruptcy. That’s why it’s important to not only have safeguards in place to avoid…
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Top 10 Laws and Regulations for 2020

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The new decade is starting off with a massive swell of important new laws and regulations that will affect California businesses. There are so many new laws and regulations that companies have to be on their toes especially at the start of 2020 to get their bearings. If you are operating a business in California, here’s what you need to know coming into the new year. 1. AB 5 Probably the most earth-shattering new law to hit the books in California is the highly controversial AB 5, which creates a new and more stringent test for determining who is an…
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Generic Drug Makers Sued over Pricing Practices

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

One of the country’s largest health insurers has sued a number of pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of running a price-fixing cartel of common generic drugs. Humana Inc. has accused the companies of colluding on the prices of generics to the detriment of health insurers that have to pay for these drugs. Humana said in its lawsuit that this collusion prevented fair competition among insurers that could have reduced the cost of many of these drugs. The Background The lawsuit comes after 45 states signed onto a suit last year over an alleged scheme among generic drug manufacturers to fix the…
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New Booklet Helps Employers Set Up Safe Driving Programs

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

OSHA has published a set of guidelines to help employers reduce accidents among their driving employees. The document is not a set of new regulations or a new standard. It is only advisory ― the federal agency describes it as “informational in content” ― and is intended to assist employers in providing a safe and healthful workplace.”  Nonetheless, the guidelines are an excellent way to establish a system that can reduce the likelihood of crashes involving your driving workers. What should your safe driving program include? OSHA recommends implementing a safe driving program that includes the following: Management commitment and employee…
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Full Compliance with Electronic Logging for Truckers Nears

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The full-compliance deadline for motor carriers and drivers to comply with the U.S. Department of Transportation regulations to install electronic logging devices (ELDs) in their vehicles on or before Dec. 16, 2019 is fast approaching. The rule covers motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to maintain records of duty status. It applies to commercial buses as well as trucks, and to Canada and Mexico-domiciled drivers. To maintain records of duty status, many fleets and drivers have been using automatic onboard recording devices (AOBRDs), but those will have to be phased out in favor of the more advanced ELDs….
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New Rules Aim for Hospital, Insurer Transparency

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The Trump administration on Nov. 15 announced two rules that would require more transparency in hospital pricing and health insurance out-of-pocket costs for enrollees. The final rule on hospital pricing will require hospitals to publish their standard fees both on-demand and online starting Jan. 1, 2021, as well as the rates they negotiate with insurers. The administration also proposed rules that would require health insurers to provide their enrollees instant, online access to an estimate of their out-of-pocket costs for various services. The latter are just proposed rules and will have to go through a comment period before final rules…
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New Experience Rating, Physical Audit Levels Set

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Starting in 2020, California has established a number of new changes to X-Mod calculations, physical audit levels, and dual-wage class thresholds. X-Mod Calculations and Audits The threshold for California employers to be eligible for experience rating (X-Mod) has been reduced by order of the state insurance commissioner. Commissioner Ricardo Lara in September approved the recommendations by the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau to lower thresholds for determining eligibility for experience rating and when a carrier needs to perform a physical audit of an employer’s payroll records. The threshold for physical audits that takes effect for policies incepting on or after…
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