Blog - Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

     

     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Retirement Plan Corrections

    9/22/2022

    The complexity of managing a retirement plan can be worrisome for business owners and plan administrators and is a common reason that owners opt not to offer them. Retirement plans are governed by complicated rules and regulations, so there is a definite possibility for plan administrators to make errors in managing the plan. Luckily, the IRS has enacted and recently expanded programs to correct certain errors with reduced or no penalties. If you are a BFG retirement plan client, we will help you review your plan, identify errors and correct any administrative oversights. In the article below, we’ll cover common plan errors, how to discover them, and what to do if you find an error has been made.  Read more...


    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Employee Benefits: Fiduciary Duties, Enrollment Systems, & Employer Risks

    8/2/2022

    In May, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court’s decision in the case of Skelton v. Radisson Hotel Bloomington that an employer failed in its role as Plan Administrator of a supplemental life insurance program and the insurer failed its fiduciary duty in determining an employee’s eligibility for the same program. This case highlights the exposure that employers have regarding the way in which they provide and maintain benefits for their employees. It also underscores the vital need for an operative, effective benefits enrollment system as well as clear, intentional communication among those charged with managing it.  Read more...


    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Two Retirement Plan Options with Potential Benefits for Owners & Key Employees

    7/28/2022

    Safe Harbor 401(k) and Cash Balance Plans are two options that may allow company owners and key employees to save more for retirement.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & PayrollGroup Insurance & Retirement Plans

    HR Year-end Checklist & Compliance Reminders

    11/10/2021

    We’re already in the fourth quarter of 2021! Now is a great time to check on your employee programs and make sure you’ve completed all required tasks based on today’s regulations.  To help facilitate this process, we've compiled the following checklist of common year-end compliance tasks, reminders, and deadlines, plus information to share with (like updated contribution limits) or request from (name and address changes) your employees.  We've organized this checklist into three sections: payroll, retirement, and benefits.  If you are a BFG client in any of these areas, we will have discussed these items with you and, in some cases as marked on the checklist, we will facilitate them.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    The SECURE Act 2.0: What it Means for Retirement Planning

    8/4/2021

    A bill that comprehensively reshapes the realm of employer-sponsored retirement plans for employers and employees alike has been passed into law and additional legislation may be passed soon. The bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act—originally introduced in April 2019—was signed into law on December 20, 2019.  Shortly after that, COVID-19 became a primary focus for everyone, so the changes brought by the SECURE Act were not covered as extensively as they might have been in different circumstances.  Below is a look at what the new proposed legislation (known as the SECURE Act 2.0) may contain along with a summary of the provisions of the SECURE Act.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    No Surprises Act: New Law Targets Surprise Balance Billing on National Level

    4/23/2021

    In addition to stimulus relief and the 2021 federal budget, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, passed in December of 2020, included the No Surprises Act, which targets the practice of surprise balance billing.  Surprise balance billing occurs when a patient receives an unexpected bill from a medical provider.  Typically, these bills are connected to emergency or hospital-based services wherein the costs of services or the fact that a provider is out of network was not disclosed in advance.  In addition to being totally unexpected, these bills can also be incredibly expensive, leaving patients with a nasty surprise.  The No Surprises Act is designed to remove the patient from negotiations between medical providers and insurers; in addition, it also requires that some information about estimated costs be provided to patients in advance of scheduled medical services.  The law goes into effect for plan or policy years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & PayrollGroup Insurance & Retirement Plans

    HR Year-end Checklist & Compliance Reminders

    12/16/2020

    2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, during which adapting to life with COVID-19 has been a primary focus.  Because of the unusual year, now is great time to check on your employee programs and make sure you’ve completed all required tasks based on today’s regulations.  To help facilitate this process, we've compiled the following checklist of common year-end compliance tasks, reminders, and deadlines, plus information to share with (like updated contribution limits) or request from (name and address changes) your employees.  We've organized this checklist into three sections: payroll, retirement, and benefits.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    The SECURE Act: What it Means for Retirement Planning

    2/13/2020

    A bill that comprehensively reshapes the realm of employer-sponsored retirement plans for employers and employees alike has been passed into law. The bipartisan Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act—originally introduced in April 2019—was signed into law by President Trump on December 20, 2019.  We are still expecting additional guidance to be provided on several of the provisions of the SECURE Act, but below is a summary of what we know today.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    New Texas Laws: Targeting Surprise Medical Billing and Deceptive Practices

    6/20/2019

    The Texas Legislative session brought three new laws related to payments for medical care.  One bill, Senate Bill 1264, is intended to curb a practice called “surprise” or “balance” billing.  The other two bills—House Bills 2041 and 1941—target deceptive advertising used and high prices charged by some freestanding ERs.  This article contains a descriptive of these bills, which are newly signed into law and will go into effect September 1, 2019.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Legislative Update: New Federal Action on Retirement Plans

    6/13/2019

    In order to encourage retirement savings, members of the US Senate and House of Representatives have drafted legislation aimed at reforming some aspects of current retirement plan regulations.  This article contains a description of bills that are currently being evaluated.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Geo-Based AHP "Pause": DOL Files Appeal of AHP Ruling

    5/20/2019

    The Department of Labor has filed an appeal of a March 28 ruling by US District Judge John D. Bates.  In a lawsuit brought by 11 states and the District of Columbia, Judge Bates had ruled that two elements of the DOL’s rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs) were invalid.  Rather than file a stay, the DOL decided to appeal the decision and has requested an expedited hearing.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Biometric Screening as part of Humana's Go365 Program

    5/1/2019

    Humana has announced several free biometric screening events, occurring from May to August, for their Go365 Wellness and Rewards Program members.  As an employer who may be eligible for premium discounts through Humana’s Go365 program, you may want to encourage your employees to take advantage of this quick and easy way to earn points and proactively manage their health.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    We Can Help! New SA Chamber Association Health Plan

    2/6/2019

    The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce has announced they are now offering an Association Health Plan (AHP) with United HealthCare (UHC).  Although there has been some confusion, the plans are open to all members of the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) through any licensed agent or broker.  Read more...


     

    Human Resources & PayrollGroup Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Yearend Checklist

    12/4/2018

    This year may feel like a blur, and it is quickly coming to a close.  The holiday season is upon us, and many of us are beginning to plan for next year.  Now is a great time to think about the goals we will be working on in 2019, from our sales and activity goals to our goals for our employee programs.  To help facilitate this process, we’re providing a list of reminders and common yearend tasks based on today’s regulations.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Apple Watch Now Syncs with UHC Motion

    11/15/2018

    After November 15th, UnitedHealthcare Motion customers will be able to track their FIT goals using the Apple Watch.  UnitedHealthcare Motion is a wellness program offered through UHC.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    AHPs Arrive in Texas

    10/19/2018

    They weren’t born in Texas, but they got here as fast as they could!  UnitedHealthcare (UHC) has introduced three geographically-based Association Health Plans (AHPs) that are now available in Texas.  UHC is offering some of their most popular plans to associations that would like to set up AHPs, and they anticipate premium savings for certain groups compared to the ACA’s adjusted community rating structure.  If we are your benefits consultant, we will review all of your options, including involvement in an AHP, as part of your renewal.  If you have recently renewed, we are also comparing your recent renewal against the new geographical-based AHPs available with UHC and will let you know if it is worthy of your consideration.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Creditable Coverage Notice for Medicare-eligible Individuals

    10/4/2018

    Employers who sponsor group health plans should be aware that the annual deadline to provide notice of Creditable Coverage to Medicare-eligible employees is October 15Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    New Rules: Trump's DOL Releases Rules on Association Health Plans

    6/20/2018

    On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor released their final rule on Association Health Plans (AHPs).  This action is in response to an executive order that President Trump issued in October of 2017, which directed the Secretary of Labor to consider proposing regulations or revising guidance on AHPs.  The rule is 198 pages.  Today, we’d like to provide a high-level overview and begin to answer how this change may affect you.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    2019 HSA Contribution Limits

    6/13/2018

    The Internal Revenue Service has announced new contribution limits for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in 2019.  An HSA is a bank account that can be used in conjunction with a high deductible health plan to save pre-tax funds for medical expenses.  Both employers and employees can contribute to the account, but the account and all monies contained within are owned by the employee.  HSAs can provide a significant way to save for current and future medical expenses free of tax.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    New Comparabilty Plans: Add-on Feature Can Help You Save More

    4/19/2018

    With changes due to Tax Reform, business owners may find that their overall taxes are going down, providing an opportunity to take that windfall and strategically evaluate creative retirement plan designs with tax benefits for saving.  A New Comparability Plan is one potential option to consider.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    IRS Reduces 2018 Family HSA Contribution Limit

    3/16/2018

    On March 5, the IRS announced a change to the 2018 Family Health Savings Account (HSA) Contribution Limit: a $50 reduction to the amount they announced last year.  People with family coverage will need to adjust their withholding amount if they were attempting to make the maximum allowable contribution to their HSA.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    IRS Sends Penalty Letters

    2/16/2018

    The IRS is currently sending letters to inform employers of penalties due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This letter, called 226J, is being sent to groups that did not offer coverage that was affordable and met the minimum essential requirements as specified by the ACA. These groups are therefore required to make an Employer Shared Responsibility Payment (ESRP). These penalties can be severe. The illustration below, taken from a real letter, shows a penalty amount of $213,026.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Budget Deal Includes Medicare Provisions

    2/9/2018

    Congress has just passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, a bill that will continue to fund the government through March 23, 2018. It also includes key Medicare provisions intended to help seniors by providing better and more coordinated healthcare services. The bill will arrive on President Trump's desk today and he is expected to sign it.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    IRS Announces ACA Reporting Extension

    12/29/2017

    The IRS has extended the deadline for providing 1095 forms to employees from January 31 to March 2, 2018.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    Trump's Executive Order on Healthcare

    10/13/2017

    Yesterday, President Trump signed an executive order (EO), which he said will “promote healthcare and competition.”  The EO is intended to make lower premiums and greater access more widely available.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: Workplace Financial Wellness

    9/8/2017

    Does it ever feel like you're hiring an employee's family when you hire the employee?  Like you're getting their positive attributes but sometimes along with their stress?  The fact is that you are.  When you hire an employee, you get everything that comes along with them.  In general, people are stressed, and so that means our employees are stressed regardless of how professionally they act when we see them on the job.  The reality is that there's a cost to ignoring this challenge.  Then what's the alternative?  Employers have the option to provide a very significant opportunity for employees to address their financial lives.  Workplace Financial Wellness is a growing type of benefit that is specifically designed to help employees learn to manage their financial lives and thus reduce their stress and anxiety.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: How Texas Trucking Companies are Designing 401(k) Plans to Maximize Participation

    9/1/2017

    A company retirement plan is designed to be part of the overall compensation strategy.  We can view weekly pay as current pay and retirement contributions as future pay.  Offering a retirement plan is probably the greatest opportunity to help employees with preparing for the future.  Employers do have a number of available options to encourage participation in their retirement plan.  For today, we will focus on the most common type of retirement plan, a 401(k) plan.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: Insured Options: High Deductible Health Plans

    8/30/2017

    Where is health care headed?  That would be anyone's guess at this point.  What we know is that efforts to modify the Affordable Care Act (ACA) so far have failed.  It is a massive law, and there has been no consensus on an overall fix.  Currently, there is some work under way to try to fix certain provisions both sides can agree on, but we're likely going to have the results of the ACA with us for a long time to come.  Read more...


     

    Group Insurance & Retirement Plans

    TXTA Conference Recap: Employee Stress & Financial Health

    8/23/2017

    Your employees are stressed, very likely due to concerns about their financial health.  A study by the American Psychological Association found that money is a top source of stress for Americans: "Nearly three-quarters (72%) of adults report feeling stressed about money at least some of the time and nearly one-quarter say that they experience extreme stress about money (22% rate their stress about money during the past month as an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale)."  Read more...


     

     

     

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