10 Things

Every Executive Should Know about ACA with Benefit Offerings

  • 1No Premium Discrimination

    Under ACA, an employer that sponsors an insured plan that discriminates in favor of highly compensated individuals is subject at least to a $100 per day penalty multiplied by the number of those individuals “discriminated against.”

  • 2Employee premium participation cannot exceed 9.5% of gross wages

    This can be checked two different ways:
    a. Employee’s W-2 income Box 1
    b. Hourly rate of pay x 130 hours or monthly salary

  • 3Eligibility may not exceed 30 hours a week

    The maximum number of hours used to calculate full time status of an employee is 30 hours a week. However, an employer can elect fewer hours based upon the insurance contract, i.e. Full time status is 24 hours a week.

  • 4Eligibility may not exceed 90 days

    Under ACA, an employee's eligibility period cannot exceed 90 days. To be compliant, plans must have no more than a “First of the Month following 60 days” policy to never exceed the 90 day limit.

  • 5Employer must offer and document offering to all eligible employees at least annually and upon eligibility, including the SBC

    For compliance, all employers must document their offer to all eligible employees upon hire and during open enrollment. This can be done with a waiver or enrollment, and it must be given with the SBC, which is the government mandated "Summary of Benefits and Coverage."

  • 6Employer must provide employees notice of available exchange opportunities

    For compliance, all employers must document their offer to all eligible employees upon hire and during open enrollment. This can be done with a waiver or enrollment, and it must be given with the SBC, which is the government mandated "Summary of Benefits and Coverage."

  • 7Regulatory reporting and tracking/W-2 Reporting

    In 2015, employers will have annual reporting responsibilities concerning whether they offered health insurance and what insurance was offered to their full time employees. There will be both reporting for employees on their W-2’s and reporting required for employers as well.

  • 8Actuarial value must potentially limit deductibles or cost sharing (Out of pocket max limits)

    Health and Human Services has said that an employee will now have an out of pocket maximum of $6350 for an individual and twice that for a family. That will be the most any employee or family will pay for all services and coverage combined.

  • 9Must provide coverage for same sex married couples if offered to opposite sex married couples

    For coverage starting in 2015, an insurance company that offers health coverage to opposite-sex spouses must do the same for same-sex spouses. This is true regardless where the couple lives, the insurance company is located and where the plan is issued, sold, renewed or in effect.

  • 10Plans provide "free" preventative services

    For ACA plans to be compliant, they must offer preventative services without a co-pay or a satisfaction of a deductible event. This includes women’s services, well-check’s, and physicals.

10 Elements

10 Elements Every Employee Handbook should have…

One of the most important features of any successful business is a trusting but professional relationship between the employer and the employed — and one of the best ways to establish this is through employee handbooks. So to start you off, here are the 10 items essential to every employee handbook:

  • 1The Disclaimer/Acknowledgement

    The disclaimer is what defines the nature of the employee handbook. It should clearly state that the handbook is not a contract of employment. Also, an acknowledgement that the employee received the handbook and agree to comply with the policies that are listed in the handbook.

  • 2Company Goals and Mission Statement

    Lay out the company goals and mission statement at the beginning. A mission statement should be brief and focus on the organization’s sense of purpose and duty. The goals are a way to motivate employees to a mutual purpose and a great way to bring employees together as a team.

  • 3Employee Definition

    It’s important to clearly establish what kind of employees are employed at your organization. Exempt, non-exempt, full time, or part time should be included along with contractors, vendors, and temporary employees.

  • 4Clearly Defined Work Schedule

    Declare the work week as the seven-day period during which your organization calculates overtime.

  • 5General Policies and Procedures

    This is where you can take care of all the basics. This clears up any confusion employees might have and allows them to focus on their work. Cover dress codes, pay periods, time sheets, telephone use, computer and email use, texting, and anything else that is pertinent to your business.

  • 6Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Policies

    You must be clear here that your company has absolutely no tolerance for harassment or discrimination of any kind. Also, include multiple ways for employees to voice complaints and different individuals who workers can turn to with concerns.

  • 7Leave Policies

    Include policies on all types of leave that your company permits, such as vacations, sabbaticals, sick days, jury duty,maternal and funeral leaves. If only some employees are eligible for a certain type of leave, say so. Include restrictions to leaves, such as when employment can be terminated for excessive time off or when employee benefits could be affected. Also, make sure you establish that employees must approve vacations ahead of time with you.

  • 8Employee Benefits

    It is a good idea to highlight benefits. Employees want to know what is available to them by working for your organization. Having this short explanation can enhance employee comprehension, and provides a bit of relief from the rest of the handbook by highlighting some perks of the job.

  • 9Disciplinary Policies

    Define employee misconduct and explain the consequences of such actions, but do not lock yourself into a plan of action by using absolute statements. Declare the right to judge events on a case-by-case basis to determine appropriate behavior, but make sure to choose your words carefully so employees aren't in constant fear of being disproportionately punished. Also, do not limit misconduct to only what is included in the employee handbook, or you could find yourself unable to fire an employee who has seriously damaged the company in a way not explicitly covered in the written policies. Include a disclaimer or make sure you add a statement like "or any other behavior proven to be detrimental to the company" to the policies.

  • 10Problem-Resolution Procedure

    You should spell out the standard procedures for any employee with work-related grievances. This will resolve issues quickly, allowing employees to work more productively. It also sends a good message to employees, letting them know that you care about the comfort and satisfaction of their jobs.

10 Essential Elements

10 Essential Elements Of Employee Retention & Risk Management for Every Workplace

  • 1Manage with a Clear, Defined Level of Accountability

    Understanding risk in the workplace should start at the top and filter through the entire organization. Managers, supervisors, trainers, and department heads should all be trained and acknowledge their involvement in each risk situation.

  • 2Communicate and Manage Clear Policies and Standards

    Create an employee handbook to include all policies and standards that might affect risk management. Update the handbook continually as a moving target when policies and procedures change. Update the employees as you update the handbook.

  • 3Engage and Provide a Clear Orientation Procedure

    Upon hire, new employees or employees that transfer departments should be trained and guided through all policies and procedures in the employee handbook. Engage in training with all employees, and establish a clear protocol to follow when they are faced with a risk situation.

  • 4Establish a Physically and Emotionally Safe Workplace

    Promoting an environment where everyone is free of fear and full of respect for one another is attainable. While you cannot control other’s actions, you can train, teach, and engage employees in creating a safe environment with one another. Ongoing training and identifying potential risk situations with co-workers can help them know what to look for, and what to avoid.

  • 5Establish an Investigation Policy for Complaints, Incidents, and Accidents

    An investigation policy should be laid out specifically in your employee handbook. Reference various types of situations so your employees understand what constitutes a risk. Create an environment where employees feel comfortable reporting an incident and do not fear retaliation. In addition, train and teach supervisors on what to look for with complaints, incidents, and accidents.

  • 6Review Best Practices for Orientations and Workplace

    The job isn’t done after you train and orient all your employees. Risk is an on-going process and there are many different areas to consider for risk. Allow key personnel to identify various risks and review the policies for dealing with those risks on an ongoing basis. As laws, rules, and regulations change, so will best practices. Learning from past incidents can also create better procedures going forward.

  • 7Culture, Culture, Culture

    A positive corporate culture boosts employee morale, engagement, job satisfaction, engagement, and work productivity. Executives should foster this trend of a positive corporate culture – employee recognition and gratitude will go farther than you might think. Supervisors can also find tools that employees can use to motivate one another and share the growth of a positive corporate culture.

  • 8Genuine Concern for Employee Well-Being and Safety

    As an organization looks to lower risk and create a positive culture, they should look directly to their employees and the status of their well-being both at work and at home. A manager or co-worker that shows genuine care for their peers beyond work can help an employee feel valued, reduce stress, and bring a sense of togetherness to a group. Those feelings in return foster dedication, higher employee morale, and productivity.

  • 9Accountability for Standards and Discipline

    It’s not enough to just have a policy in place. Organizations must follow through on all policies and procedures, regardless of position of authority. Supervisors need to be truthful and forth-coming (read transparent here) to all employees about how discipline is decided. Again, the employee handbook should have a clear outline for how the organization follows discipline

  • 10Establish Organizational and Employee Evaluations

    Once policies and procedures are in place, they should be reviewed frequently. Employees should know what to expect during an evaluation done by either their peers or by a supervisor. Get a pulse on the feelings of your employees by allowing them to also evaluate their workplace without repercussions

10 Reasons

10 Reasons Every Office Administrator Should Consider Outsourcing

  • 1Outsourcing Saves Time and Money

    Your organization can save salary and benefits expenses by hiring an expert who is not on your payroll. Outsourcing functions like HR, benefits administration, and so on converts fixed costs into variable costs, releasing capital for other important aspects of the business.

  • 2Improved Efficiency and Performance

    As experts in their field, outsourced professionals will know the ins and outs of the task that comes with years of training and experience in handling job specific matters. Experts get the job done, and they get it done fast. Outsourcing also reduces the risk of costly errors.

  • 3Reduces Overhead

    Outsourcing allows companies to reduce financial risks by utilizing internal resources more efficiently. By the time an organization factors in recruiting, screening, hiring, training, outfitting, and managing multiple positions, they have far exceeded the time and cost for what one outsourcing firm can accomplish. Think: office space, computer, phone, software license, internet use, taxes, etc…

  • 4Focus of Efforts to Core Competency and Strategy

    Along with efficiency and expertise, you gain a partner that allows you to focus solely on your core business and the new partnercan aid with strategic planning. Utilizing partners that don’t sit in your office and work side by side with you gives your business a unique, different point of view.

  • 5Additional Resources, Technology, and Expertise

    An organization can cast a larger net of accessibility when they engage in an outsourcing partnership. When you gain a team of experts, rather than a singular employee, you also gain team resources, team knowledge, and their ability to tap into the latest and greatest advances; which comes as a benefit to you. You now leverage a global knowledge base not limited to your organization.

  • 6No Scheduling Conflicts

    Companies involved in outsourcing don’t take time off or take vacations from your business. They are available even when your own employees aren’t.

  • 7Controls Legal Risks and Improves Compliance

    Outsourcing places liability and work onto someone else. Rather than facing the legal risk alone, you have a team of experts working alongside your organization to minimize legal risks before they occur, and improve compliance as you plan for business ahead.

  • 8Expanded Resource Offering

    Organizations that find an outsource partner allow internal resources to open up and can be used for other purposes. Deadlines and time crunches can be avoided when the responsibility is placed outside your organization. Small businesses can now compete on a larger scale with an outsourced team.

  • 9Confidentiality and Data Security

    Every organization must keep certain business items confidential. Office gossip and the spreading of confidential information is avoided when you engage in an outsourced relationship. In addition, your employee data, paperwork, and confidential information is stored offsite in case of an emergency and available at all times for audits, comparisons, and recall of information.

  • 10Risk Management Plans in Place

    An outsourced risk management professional will help you draw up a crisis prevention plan that is tailor fit for the unique needs of your company. While the best scenario is to never have to resort to using a crisis prevention plan, having one in place will give you the peace of mind of knowing you’re prepared should the unforeseen happen. Getting professional advice and having a backup plan are invaluable resources that will protect your business’s future by reducing downtime.