March 2016

Stay Current Newsletter
Article1 ACA Information Reporting Reminder: First Employee Statements Due by End of March 

As a reminder, employers subject to the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) information reporting requirements must furnish the first statements for the 2015 calendar year to employees on or before March 31, 2016.

Information Reporting Requirements
The ACA requires applicable large employers (ALEs)--generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents--to report information to the IRS and to their employees about their compliance with the "pay or play" provisions and the health care coverage they have offered, using Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

Self-insuring employers that are not considered ALEs, and other parties that provide minimum essential health coverage, also must report information on this coverage to the IRS and to covered individuals, using Forms 1094-B and 1095-B.

Compliance Deadlines
The deadlines for calendar year 2015 are as follows:
  • ALEs must furnish employee statements (Form 1095-C) to employees no later than March 31, 2016. The first IRS information returns (Forms 1094-C and 1095-C) must be filed no later than May 31, 2016 (or June 30, 2016 if filing electronically).
    • ALEs with fully insured plans must furnish the Form 1095-C to each employee who was a full-time employee for any month of the calendar year (and who was not in a limited non-penalty period).
    • ALEs with self-insured plans must furnish the Form 1095-C to any employee who enrolls in the health coverage, whether or not the employee was a full-time employee for any month of the calendar year.
  • Small self-insuring employers that are not considered ALEs must furnish statements (Form 1095-B) to covered individuals no later than March 31, 2016. The first IRS information returns (Forms 1094-B and 1095-B) must be filed no later than May 31, 2016 (or June 30, 2016 if filing electronically).
If you have questions, contact your account manager today.

Courtesy of Reprinted with permission.

Article24-Tier Prescription Drug Plans on the Rise

The UBA 2015 health plan survey finds that 66.1% of prescription drug plans use copays. Plans with four or more tiers grew 34%, with the intention of defraying the cost of more expensive drugs. Over the last two years, the number of 4-plus tier plans grew 58.1%, making this a rapidly growing cost-control strategy. Median copays are: $10/$30 (two tiers), $10/$35/$55 (three tiers), $10/$35/$60/$100 (four tiers).

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.
Article3Question of the Month

Q. If an employee of an applicable large employer takes an unpaid leave of absence (not FMLA), what happens to their benefit eligibility during that time?

A. The answer depends on whether the employer is using the measurement and lookback method of tracking employees or the monthly method.

Measurement and lookback: If the employee is on an unpaid leave of absence and in a stability period, the employee must be offered coverage through the stability period. When the employee's hours are calculated during the contemporaneous measurement period, the leave of absence will count as zero hours of service. If an employee declined coverage for a stability period, and then has a leave of absence that is less than 13 weeks, upon return the employer is not obligated to make a new offer of coverage to the employee.

Monthly: Employee would not be credited with hours of service. Once the employee drops below 30 hours per week for the month, the employer does not need to offer coverage.

Employers should note that unpaid FMLA is handled differently and special rules apply for educational institutions.

Article4California Issues Guidance on Transgender
Workers' Rights in the Workplace

Guidance Addresses Interviewing, Dress Codes, Restrooms, and More

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has released guidance for employers regarding transgender workers' protections under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA).

FEHA generally applies to employers with 5 or more employees; however, the provisions regarding harassment apply to all employers. Click here for full details on our HR Done Right blog.

Article5Wage and Hour Workshop: Going Beyond the
Exemption Discussion
April 7, 7:30am-12:30pm, Sacramento State Alumni Center

Join the Sacramento Employer Advisory Council's (SEAC) panel of experts for their April workshop to explore the wage and hour issues faced by employers - beyond the big questions of whether an individual is a contractor or employee, and whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt. Compensation for non-exempt employees presents several questions for employers and navigating through these issues can be very tricky and result in unanticipated financial liability for employers. SEAC's panel of wage and hour experts will address these questions and more at this informative half-day workshop and breakfast will be provided. The cost is for members is $90, $125 for non-members.

SEAC is a not-for-profit employer advocacy group that helps educate employers about relevant employment issues and related legal concerns. BDR CEO Laurie Rood serves on the Board and a number of our clients are members and find the workshops and seminars very valuable. For more details about SEAC and to register for this event, click the link below.

Article6Life's Simple 7

Lifestyle choices have a huge impact on your health. The American Heart Association is promoting heart and blood vessel health by tracking seven lifestyle factors that affect heart disease and stroke. They call these "Life's Simple 7". The key factors are:

1.    Not smoking
2.    Being physically active
3.    Eating a healthy diet
4.    Maintaining a healthy body weight
5.    Controlling cholesterol
6.    Controlling blood pressure
7.    Managing blood sugar

Focusing on these seven behaviors can add years to your life.
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