Health Care News

Your needs.....My Focus

Compliance - Does it matter to you?

With the constant changes in the Affordable Care Act(ACA), we may wonder how will they enforce these new laws. Don't be fooled that just because it isn't widely publicized, there aren't measures being taken. The truth is, there are systems in place to protect employees rights. A important factor to consider is who does the responsibility fall upon. In other words, when you are faced with showing proof of compliance, who is at risk of penalty? It all depends on the definition of a key term, Fiduciary. A Fiduciary is anyone who has discretionary authority within an employer. Most of the time that consists of the owners and some in upper management. Typically, your advisors like CPA's and Insurance Agents don't have discretionary authority, which relieves them of this liability. Is this news to you? Don't worry, many are unaware of this truth. Who is at risk? Any company that has 2 employees or more. Yes it's true, while many laws apply to larger employers, there are still other laws that small companies need to pay attention to. Departments like the Department of Labor(DOL), and the IRS are working to make sure employers are compliant. So, if you or someone you know is a fiduciary, take the time to research the specific compliance issues you face.

That was stressful, but....

Would I give you a problem without a solution?

Not a chance! While it typically may not be an Insurance Agents fiduciary responsibility, I ethically feel that I would like to help any and all that need it. Being in the business, I regularly receive emails, and magazines that address these concerns. Unfortunately there seems to be a trend that dismisses smaller employers as less important. We don't subscribe to this trend. In fact we are empathetic to small business concerns, being a small business ourself. I would like to encourage you to call me directly or email me with any questions you have, and see if there is a solution I can help you find.

In the News...

The IRS clarifies a penalty - The IRS has clarified that employers cannot use pre-tax dollars to reimburse their employees for individual market coverage - either on or off the exchanges - and if they do they could face penalties of $100 per day per employee, or $36,500 per employee annually. In other words, if an employer doesn't offer health coverage to employees but reimburses those employees with pre-tax dollars for premiums they pay for individual health insurance, those arrangements are considered employer payment plans and they cannot be integrated with the individual policies to satisfy the ACA's market reforms.


Rates - Currently all carriers that want to continue to offer Health Insurance to Kentucky residents, are submitting plan designs and rates to the Department of Insurance for approval. Agents hope to have detailed results soon, so we can begin reviewing the needs of our clients.


KYNECT - The Kentucky based exchange continues to work hard at making the enrollment process a smooth one. This includes both individuals and SHOP applicants. They are working to have a tool designed for Agents to use with the SHOP program. This will help Agents research how buying coverage with the SHOP may benefit a specific small employer.


Tips - When needing an absolute and final answer, double or even triple check. Sometimes you may get a response from a confident person, but it is the wrong answer. That may lead you down a path that is unproductive and wasteful. Take the time to double check an answer and it will help you become more efficient.

Let them brown up, then squash em'! Banana Bread....

INGREDIENTS


  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x5x3” loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

  • Bake until a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, 60–70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan to release the bread. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.

  • DO AHEAD: Banana bread can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.