Keeping You Current
 June 2015 Monthly Newsletter
Summer is here! After a beautiful and mild Spring, the heat is here! We have a number of clients whose work takes their employees out into the hot sun. Be sure to catch the latest Heat Illness Prevention Standards that are summarized below.

Thank you to our partners at Silvers HR for an excellent webinar on the Paid Sick Leave Law. It was a very well attended event, evidence that this is indeed a top of mind item for many clients. Silvers HR continues to be a valued partner for BDR and our clients. Contact your Account Manger to get connected to Silvers HR and their resource library.

Please take a few minutes to get up to speed on this month's updates:     
  1. Welcome Brittany Flores - Account Management Support Specialist
  2. IRS: ACA Tips for Employers With Fewer Than 50 Employees
  3. IRS Releases 2016 HSA Contribution Limits
  4. New ACA FAQs on Coverage of Preventive Services
  5. New Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standards
  6. Save the Date: SEAC August Workshop
Welcome Brittany Flores - Account Management Support Specialist    
Meet a New Member of our Team          

Brittany Flores joined the Benefits Done Right team in May as an Account Management Support Specialist. As a critical part of our internal team, Brittany works behind-the-scenes alongside Tricia with account management, assisting with benefit quoting, preparing proposals, and creating employee enrollment packets. Brittany especially enjoys preparing enrollment packets to ensure employees have accurate information and clearly understand their benefits. Prior to joining BDR, Brittany worked for more than five years at Sutter Physician Services in their internal administration department. We are excited to have her as a member of our team. 
IRS: ACA Tips for Employers With Fewer Than 50 Employees*    
Certain ACA Provisions Do Not Apply to Small Employers          

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released tips for employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees on how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects their businesses.

Pay or Play Not Applicable
If an employer has fewer than 50 full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) on average during the prior year, the employer is generally NOT subject to the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions or the large employer information reporting requirements for the current year.

Calculating the number of employees is especially important for employers that have close to 50 employees or whose workforce fluctuates throughout the year. To determine its workforce size for a year, an employer adds its total number of full-time employees for each month of the prior calendar year to the total number of full-time equivalent employees for each calendar month of the prior calendar year, and divides that total number by 12. For more information, visit the IRS page on Determining if an Employer is an Applicable Large Employer.

Other Tips
Employers with 50 or fewer employees can purchase health insurance coverage for their employees through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP Marketplace).

Employers that have fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees with average annual wages of less than $50,000 (adjusted for inflation) may be eligible for the small business health care tax credit if they cover at least 50% of the premium cost of employee-only insurance coverage. (For tax years beginning in 2014 or later, generally only premiums paid for qualified health plans offered through a SHOP count for the credit.)

All employers (regardless of size) that provide self-insured health coverage must file an annual information return reporting certain information for individuals they cover. The first returns are due to be filed in 2016 for coverage provided during 2015.

Click here to read the IRS tips.


I RS Releases 2016 HSA Contribution Limits  

The Internal Revenue Service has announced limits for 2016 contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs).

Annual Contribution Limitation

For calendar year 2016, the annual limitation on deductions for an individual with self-only coverage under a high deductible health plan remains at $3,350. The annual limitation on HSA deductions for an individual with family coverage under a high deductible health plan increased slightly to $6,750. The higher rate reflects a cost-of-living adjustment and rounding rules under IRS Section 223.

High Deductible Health Plan

For calendar year 2016, a qualified HDHP's annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) are set at $6,550 for self-only coverage or $13,100 for family coverage. Both limits are slightly higher than 2015 rates.


View the full IRS Revenue Procedure clicking here.

New FAQs on Coverage of Preventive Services*   
FAQs Clarify Scope of Required Contraceptive Coverage & "Reasonable Medical Management Techniques"         

New ACA Implementation FAQs provide further guidance on, among other things, the scope of the Affordable Care Act's requirement that non-grandfathered group health plans provide certain contraceptive coverage without cost-sharing.

Key Highlights
Specifically, the FAQs:
  • Require plans and issuers to cover, without-cost sharing, at least one form of contraception in each of the 18 contraceptive methods approved by
    the FDA
  • Within each method, plans and issuers may utilize "reasonable medical management techniques" to control costs and promote efficient delivery of care.
  • If utilizing reasonable medical management techniques within a specified method of contraception, plans and issuers must have an easily accessible, transparent, and sufficiently expedient exceptions process that is not unduly burdensome on the individual or a provider (or other individual acting as a patient's authorized representative).

The FAQs also address coverage of BRCA genetic testing, coverage of sex-specific recommended preventive services, coverage of well-woman preventive care for dependents, and coverage of colonoscopies pursuant to agency recommendations. 

Click here to view all seven FAQs.


CA: New Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standards Effective as of May 1, 2015*            
Certain Industries Must Take Steps to Prevent Heat Illness Contractors  

Cal/OSHA has released new heat illness prevention regulations, which are effective as of May 1, 2015. Key points from the new regulations are presented below:


The new standards apply to all outdoor places of employment. In addition, the following industries are subject to additional requirements in high heat (over 95°F or above):

  • Agriculture;
  • Construction;
  • Landscaping;
  • Oil and gas extraction; and
  • Transportation and delivery of agricultural products and of construction or other heavy materials (e.g., furniture, lumber, freight, cargo, cabinets, industrial or commercial materials).


  • Employees must have access to potable drinking water meeting certain requirements, including (but not limited to) the requirements that it be fresh, pure, suitably cool, and provided to employees free of charge.
  • When unlimited drinking water is not immediately available from a plumbed system or otherwise continuously supplied, the employer must provide enough water for every employee to be able to drink one quart of water (or four eight-ounce cups) per hour.
  • The standard requires not only that water be provided, but that employers encourage employees to drink it frequently.


  • When temperatures exceed 80°F, shade structures must be erected if no other shade is readily available. Even if temperatures do not exceed 80°F, shade must still be available, and it is helpful to have the shade erected if the weather is hot enough that the shade can help employees cool off.
  • Employers should monitor predicted weather temperatures in advance (on television, radio, or the Internet) to know when the temperature is likely to exceed 80°F. Employers are expected to know if the temperature is in fact exceeding 80°F at the work site.

High-heat and Emergency Response Procedures

  • Covered employers must implement high-heat procedures when the temperature equals or exceeds 95°F. These procedures must include certain standards.
  • When temperatures reach 95°F or above, the employer must ensure that the employee takes a minimum ten minute net preventative cool-down rest period every two hours.
  • Employers must implement effective emergency response procedures, including (among other things) ensuring that effective communication by voice, observation, or electronic means is maintained so that employees at the work site can contact a supervisor or emergency medical services when necessary.


  • All employees must be closely observed by a supervisor or designee during a heat wave (any day in which the predicted high temperature for the day will be at least 80°F and at least 10°F higher than the average high daily temperature in the preceding 5 days).
  • An employee who has been newly assigned to a high heat area must be closely observed by a supervisor or designee for the first 14 days of his or her employment.

Training and Heat Illness Prevention Plan

  • Effective training in certain topics must be provided to each supervisory and non-supervisory employee before he or she begins work that should reasonably be anticipated to result in exposure to the risk of heat illness.
    • Note: Cal/OSHA offers training materials in PDF and PowerPoint formats.
  • The employer must establish, implement, and maintain an effective heat illness prevention plan. The plan must be in writing in both English and the language understood by the majority of the employees and must be made available at the worksite to employees and to Cal/OSHA representatives upon request. The plan must contain certain requirements.

Affected employers should review the regulations in their entirety for additional standards and requirements. Cal/OSHA's  heat illness prevention website features several resources for employers, including guidance, Q&As, training materials, and sample procedures.




When an Employee Complains: Strategies for Avoiding and Responding to Retaliation and Wrongful Termination Claims

On Wednesday, August 19, the Sacramento Employer Advisory Council will be hosting a half-day workshop,

"When an Employee Complains: Strategies for Avoiding

and Responding to Retaliation and Wrongful Termination Claims." This informative workshop will cover topics including: prevention of complaints through policies and practices; responding to employee complaints; discipline and termination issues post-complaint; and preparing for and responding to legal actions.


The workshop will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sac State Alumni Center in Sacramento. Stay tuned for additional details and registration information.

*Source HR360 - Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a 'covered opinion' or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose. 

Benefits Done Right Insurance Agency, Inc.
601 University Avenue, Suite 250 / Sacramento, CA  95825
800-482-1817 / 916-568-2345 / fax: 916-564-9228

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