May 2017
Stay Current Newsletter
art1House Passes New Health Care Act...What's Next?

Our latest blog post highlighted the American Health Care Act, the replacement plan for the ACA, which passed the House on May 4, 2017. Now the bill moves to the Senate. For now, it remains business as usual for employer sponsored and individual health plans. We will continue to monitor events, keeping you current along the way.

Missed our post? Read it here.

Art2New Expiration Date for Employer Notices*

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has extended the effective date of its model Employer CHIP Notice, General Notice of COBRA Rights, and COBRA Election Notice through December 31, 2019. Previously, these model notices expired on December 31, 2016. 

No other changes have been made to these notices beyond the expiration date. For the latest guidance regarding these notices, please visit the DOL's Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act and COBRA Continuation Coverage webpages or contact the DOL directly at 1-866-487-2365.

The effective dates for the model Health Insurance Exchange Notices have been extended through May 31, 2017. Previously, these model notices expired on April 30, 2017. No other changes have been made to these notices.

Click here to access the model notices with the new expiration date. Please note that there are two separate notices--one for employers that offer a health plan to some or all employees, and another for employers that do not offer a health plan.

These model notices are the most current versions provided by the EBSA. 
For further guidance regarding these notices, please contact the EBSA directly at 1-866-444-3272.
art3Disability Awareness Month-
 Is Your Most Important Asset Protected?

Think about it. What would happen if suddenly, due to an illness or injury, you were unable to work?

What about your employees? Without their income, how long would they be able to make their mortgage or rent payment, buy groceries or pay credit card bills without feeling the pinch? Half of working Americans couldn't make it a month before financial difficulties would set in, and almost one in four would have problems immediately, according to a Life Happens survey.¹

That's where disability insurance comes in. Think of it as insurance for your paycheck. It ensures that if you are unable to work because of illness or injury, you will continue to receive an income and make ends meet until you're able to return to work. You don't hesitate to insure your home, car and other valuable possessions, so why wouldn't you also protect what pays for all those things-your paycheck.

An employer can provide short-term and/or long-term disability coverage to their eligible employees for less than what it would cost a few employees to purchase individual plans for themselves. One of the best features of employer-provided coverage is that there is no underwriting, enabling employees to automatically qualify for coverage. Even if made available on a voluntary basis, there are several advantages to buying disability insurance this way. Voluntary plans help workers get coverage more easily than if they were to purchase an individual policy outside of the workplace. Premiums are typically paid through an automatic payroll deduction and can be as much as 10% or 20% less because of efficiencies in enrollment and billing procedures.

Contact your Benefits Done Right account manager to learn more about the different sources of disability income protection.

¹The Disability Survey conducted by Kelton Research on behalf of Life Happens, April 2012

Disability Insurance, LifeHappens.Org, 2017,
Getting Coverage Through Your Employer, LifeHappens.Org, 2017,
Key Person Disability Insurance, Petersen International Underwriters, 2017,
Art4IRS 'Pay or Play' Penalty Letters Expected*

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that it expects the letters informing applicable large employers (ALEs) that filed Forms 1094-C and 1095-C of their potential liability for a "pay or play" payment for the 2015 calendar year (with reporting in 2016) to be issued in 2017. Going forward, the agency intends to issue letters informing ALEs that filed Forms 1094-C and 1095-C of their potential liability, if any, in the latter part of each calendar year in which reporting was due (for example, in late 2018 for reporting in 2018 for coverage in 2017).

While the Health Insurance Marketplaces have begun sending letters to notify certain employers that one or more of their employees has been determined eligible for advance premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions and has enrolled in a Marketplace plan, these letters do not indicate whether an employer is required to make a pay or play payment, as only the IRS can make such determinations.

For the latest guidance on pay or play payments, please see IRS Q&As #55-58.

Art5New Individual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period Dates Announced*

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a final rule which, among other things, amends the timing of the annual Health Insurance Marketplace ("Marketplace") open enrollment period for the 2018 plan year and modifies the rules for Marketplace special enrollment periods.

New Individual Marketplace Open Enrollment Period
The final rule changes the dates for open enrollment in the individual Marketplace for the 2018 plan year to November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017 (consistent with the open enrollment period dates previously established for plan years starting in 2019 and beyond). The previously established open enrollment period for the 2018 plan year was scheduled to run from November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018. Accordingly, this change will require individuals to enroll in coverage prior to the beginning of the year, unless they are eligible for a special enrollment period. 

Modifications to Individual Marketplace Special Enrollment Periods

The final rule also makes the following modifications to Marketplace special enrollment period rules:
  • Starting in June 2017, HHS will conduct pre-enrollment verification of eligibility for Marketplace coverage for all categories of special enrollment periods for all new consumers in all states served by the platform.
  • The ability of existing Marketplace enrollees to change plan metal levels during the coverage year will be limited.
  • Issuers will be permitted to deny Marketplace special enrollment due to loss of minimum essential coverage where the issuer has a record of termination due to non-payment of premiums by the individual, unless obligations for premiums due for previous coverage are fulfilled.
Click here to read the final rule in its entirety.

art6HR Done Right Blog: Interns- Should you or Shouldn't You?

School is almost out and graduates are looking for internships in order to gain valuable work experience. Employers may assume interns are unpaid employees. However, this may not be the case. 

Click here to read the HR Done Right blog.

art7Benefits Done Right & HR Done Right Office Closure

Benefits Done Right and HR Done Right will be closed Monday, May 29, 2017 in observance of Memorial Day. We will process and respond to all email, faxes and voicemails promptly when normal business hours resume at 7:30 AM on Tuesday, May 30, 2017.

*Articles reprinted with permission from
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