Keeping You Current
January 2016 Newsletter
We are very grateful for your business and we thank you for your support, confidence and patience through this final transition into new ACA plans and compliance complexities. And may I say "WOW and YIKES" to all our clients who have traveled through the December and January renewals with us. It has been the most arduous season yet. Statistics vary but I have heard as many as 90% of the companies with 100 or less eligible employees, changed health plans or carriers. The insurance companies once again were somehow "caught off guard" with the changes leaving a huge lag time for your insured employees to show up in the "system"...urrrrr.

With all of that, you, our clients have been truly amazing. In all cases I can say we have the best clients ever! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!  

We have been in business over 20 years and the last 5 years have been the most challenging. For insurance brokers the complexities of the new law, including the emotional impact, have caused many agencies to sell, merge or shut down. Early on, we made the decision to stay the course; to flourish and grow. So this year, we partnered with 140 other large locally owned agencies throughout the United States and Canada.  As a United Benefit Advisors Partner Firm, we now have combined the collective power and coordinated resources to obtain the most competitive rates and enhanced employer services through a sea of insurance carriers and technology providers. By collaborating with more than 2,200 experienced benefits professionals, UBA Partner Firms deliver ideas, expertise and best-in-class solutions that positively impact employers and make a real difference in the lives of their employees and families.

But that is not all! We welcomed new team members to our Executive, Account Management and Client Services teams. We also received certification as a Women's Business Enterprise.

And as they say, the best is yet to come! In 2016 online enrollment will be the norm as technology with upgraded capabilities is introduced. We are launching a new HR consulting company called HR Done Right and we are adding a VIP Concierge division to Benefits Done Right, Inc. which will topple your competition for top talent.

Again, thank you and here is to a successful 2016!

Until next time - may your best round be your next round.

Laurie Rood
Benefits Done Right, Inc. 

IRS Provides Major Delay in 6055 and 6056 Reporting    

Congratulations to all of you who have been working in advance to comply with the reporting requirements of the ACA. To those of you who have been struggling to meet the January 31 filing deadline, this latest reprieve from the IRS will come as welcomed news.

Please take a few minutes to read our latest blog post for details and a summary of other important clarifications that have been received over the last several weeks.  

Workplace Wellness Programs are Not Going Away!     

Among the UBA 2015 health plan survey's findings: wellness program adoption is up, but program design is changing. A number of lawsuits are pending against large employers with particularly robust wellness programs and the regulatory environment is becoming increasingly restrictive. As a result, employers are continuing to pursue wellness programs, but they are being very cautious with program design, avoiding implementing high penalty/incentive programs.

Among employers offering wellness programs, 75% included health risk assessments, 68% offered employee incentives for participation, 68% offered biometric screening or physical exams, 51% included on-site or telephone coaching for high-risk employees, and 42% included seminars or workshops. Compared to 2014, the use of health risk assessments is down 6%, while biometric screenings and physical exams are up almost 7% and seminars are up 5%. Some employers concerned about the costs of biometric screenings are starting to provide incentives for employees to get their physical exam, which is often covered at 100% as part of their medical benefits. Connecting employees with their primary care physicians is a leading strategy for providing preventive care and setting employees on the road to good health.

Long a champion of workplace wellness, BDR encourages its clients to look beyond immediate return on investment when considering wellness strategies. When designed correctly and communicated properly, wellness programs ultimately lead to healthier employees, higher productivity, reduced absenteeism and a positive impact on overall corporate culture.

For more details on trends revealed by the survey, download a complimentary copy of the executive summary here. Contact your BDR account team to benchmark your plan against others in your region, industry or size bracket.   

2016 Standard Mileage Rates    

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes will be:
  • 54 cents per mile for business miles driven (down from 57.5 cents for 2015);
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down from 23 cents for 2015); and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (unchanged from 2015).
SEAC January Webinar
AB 1513: The Broad Reach of California's New Piece-Rate Law
Wednesday, January 13, 2016 12-1pm

AB 1513 California's new law regulating employees who are paid on a "piece-rate" rate basis impacts employers and employees beyond those who are traditionally thought of as "piece-rate" workers. This new law and recent case law also addresses piece-rate pay, nonproductive time and the new boundaries of what is means to pay employees for all hours worked. For anyone who has paid on piece-rate or something similar, there is a limited time period to comply and take advantage of a safe harbor provision that could avoid a class action lawsuit. Please join SEAC for an enlightening webinar regarding the broad reach of AB 1513, how to elect the safe harbor provision, exemptions from the requirements, and what employers must do in order to comply with the requirements of this new legislation. Cost: Members: $20, Non-members: $35

Click here to register for the event.

Benefits Done Right Insurance Agency, Inc.
601 University Avenue, Suite 250 / Sacramento, CA  95825
800-482-1817 / Fax: 916-564-9228

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