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Breaking PPACA News

Employer Mandate Delayed Again

HR Strategies is here to keep clients up to date and informed about everything that goes on in the world of HR. Employers: If you have less than 100 employees, now you won’t have to provide health insurance until the year 2016 under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Read more about this breaking news by clicking here to read the article.

employer mandate delayed to 2016

Contact HR Strategies Today to Learn More about How We Can Help You Navigate Health Care Reform!

Call 770-339-0000 or Click the Picture!

Voluntary Benefits Open Enrollment: What is it? What do I need to know in regards to PPACA?

health care reformOpen Enrollment is the period of time when worksite employees and client companies can make changes to their elected voluntary benefits; these include Flexible Spending Accounts, Disability Insurance, and Life Insurance. While the PPACA has changed health/medical insurance, in ways that many are still trying to figure out, most companies and individuals are just now beginning to realize that the new health care law will have an impact on voluntary benefits as well.

Flexible Spending Accounts offer employees a way to save on payroll taxes by setting aside a portion of their earnings through a cafeteria plan into an account for qualified medical expenses.  According to a recent article by NAPEO, “The new guidance (on PPACA) make clear that a health FSA that does not qualify as “excepted benefits” is subject to the PPACA market reforms, including the prohibition on essential health benefits and the preventive care rules. However, the new guidance provides that a health FSA that provides only excepted benefits is not subject to the PPACA market reforms.” So what does this mean for PEO/HRO/ASO clients and worksite employees? And what are excepted benefits? To be an excepted benefit, a health FSA must satisfy two conditions: The maximum benefit payable to any participant for the year cannot exceed two times the salary reduction election under the health FSA for the year (or, if greater, the amount of the employee’s salary reduction for the health FSA for the year, plus $500); and other non-excepted group health coverage (e.g., major medical) must be made available for the year to the participants by reason of their employment.(Troutman Sanders, LLP) If your company is outsourcing their employee benefits, it is imperative that you review what is being offered, and know whether or not your FSA is an excepted benefit. If your FSA does not qualify as an excepted benefit, you could be in for some penalties under PPACA.

On the other hand, Health Savings Accounts are a type of savings account offered to those participating in high-deductible major-medical plans. The latest guidance, mentioned in relation to FSA’s, does not address HSA’s. This does not mean that HSA’s are not in play when it comes to PPACA, as the IRS has stated that the preventative health services can be paid for by a high-deductible plan without the deductible being applied. This is good news for those participating in high-deductible plans. Additionally, “some employers are pushing employees to high-deductible plans combined with health savings accounts. That approach is designed to give employees more of a financial stake when getting health care.”

As PPACA continues to shape the way benefits, not only major-medical but also voluntary, are handled and approached, HR Strategies clients and worksite employees can rest assured that we are staying ahead of the curve, and will continue to update them on how the new guidance’s and regulations affect them.

  1. Carrie Teegardin, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  2. http://www.napeo.org/insider/currentissue/nov13/healthcare.cfm
  3. Troutman Sanders, LLP

HR Outsourcing Services 101

For the next 6 weeks, our blog will be getting “Back to the Basics” of Human Resource as America goes back to school. We will be presenting a crash course on what companies can expect if they sign with HR Strategies and begin to use our services; a kind of HR Outsourcing 101 course, if you will. We will start with payroll, move to employee benefits, and work our way through workers’ compensation, regulatory compliance, HR consulting, and training. If you are interested in learning more about what we do, please contact us today at 770.339.0000 or here on our website: Contact Us Page

HR Outsourcing 101 Book

The 26th Amendment

The 26th Amendment was passed by Congress March 23, 1971, and ratified July 1, 1971.

Note: Amendment 14, section 2, of the Constitution was modified by section 1 of the 26th amendment.

  • AMENDMENT XXVI: Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

“The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18, allowing millions of young people to participate actively in the democratic process and to have a powerful voice in shaping their political future.

The first rumblings to lower the voting age emerged in the midst of the Vietnam War, with student demonstrations running strong. The slogan “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote,” gained popularity and some groups, including student members of the California Teachers Association (CTA), hoped to change the system from within.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon passed the Voting Rights Act, which called for the voting age to be 18. The Senate voted 94-0 to pass the resolution, and 13 days later, on March 23, 1971, the House voted in favor. Within four months, the amendment was ratified by the required three-fourths of state legislatures. It was the fastest time any proposed amendment has been pressed forward, and President Nixon signed it into law in July.

Millions of 18, 19 and 20 year olds could now vote in the 1972 presidential election. They, and the young activists who fought for the change, paved the way for future generations of young people to exercise their political voices.” (Excerpts from http://democracyday.com/the-26th-amendment.html

HR Strategies strongly advocates for all to vote in our upcoming elections this November.  Please remember that your vote counts in electing our public officials who determine our laws, including those regarding commerce, and human resource issues. If you haven’t registered to vote, you may do so at http://www.presidentialelection.com/register_to_vote/.

Additionally, as an employer are you making it possible for your employees to vote. Georgia code 21-2-404 reads as such:

Affording employees time off to vote

Each employee in this state shall, upon reasonable notice to his or her employer, be permitted by his or her employer to take any necessary time off from his or her employment to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal political party primary or election for which such employee is qualified and registered to vote on the day on which such primary or election is held; provided, however, that such necessary time off shall not exceed two hours; and provided, further, that, if the hours of work of such employee commence at least two hours after the opening of the polls or end at least two hours prior to the closing of the polls, then the time off for voting as provided for in this Code section shall not be available. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may absent himself or herself as provided in this Code section. (The law does not specify whether time off is to be paid)

HR Strategies advises employers to have set company policies, listed in their employee handbooks, which set forth how the employer deals with taking time off for voting.  If you need assistance with your employees’ right to vote, or construction of employee policies and handbooks, contact HR Strategies at 770-339-0000.

Declare Your Independence

Independence has been a goal of Americans since the founding of our country, and those with their own companies tend to be particularly independent. Some people start their own business believing that it is the only route to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”; only to later realize the headaches that can come along with owning and managing a business. While they began their business to gain independence, they lose the freedom that they dream of. They become saddled with letting their business’ rule their lives, depriving them of time with family and friends, and even at times their health.

It is time as business owners to create your own Declaration of Independence!

  • Independence from rising administrative costs. Outsourcing your HR administration relieves business owners from the complex HR matters of benefits, workers’ compensation claims, payroll, tax administration, regulatory compliance, etc., and by doing so reduces your overhead.
  • Independence from focusing on the mundane. Outsourcing your HR enables small business owners to focus on their core competencies, rather than focusing on running payroll, providing employee benefits, or the many other facets of human resource administration. Outsourcing allows business owners to concentrate on their passion, without being distracted by countless human resources responsibilities.
  • Independence from the worry of regulatory compliance. Outsourcing your HR administration can keep business owners compliant by working as their off-site HR department, with the back-up of legal counsel partners, firms specializing in workplace law. Outsourcing can help you reduce your risk and vulnerabilities to Federal, State, Local and Professional Regulatory changes.
  • Independence from the nightmare of Workers Compensation Insurance and Risk Management. Outsourcing can help improve the work environment and make it safer by focusing on workplace risk management, safety programs, and good human resource practices. Additionally, when you outsource with a PEO, such as HR Strategies, they can arrange workers’ compensation coverage with major insurance carriers, provide their clients with training on safety and government compliance in regards to workers compensation and risk management, and manage the complexity of claims.
  • Independence from the burden of human resource administration and paperwork. When you outsource your HR needs to a PEO you receive assistance with all of the complications and paperwork that go along with the employee lifecycle:  writing help wanted ads and job descriptions; drug screening and verifications; new hire candidate assessment tools; new hire paperwork, including I-9 compliance; customized employee handbooks; employee policies and procedures; Federal and State required postings; human resource, supervisor, and compliance training; EEOC claims; Employment Practices Liability Insurance; Employee Assistance Program; compliance with IRS, INS, ADA, EEOC, FMLA, FLSA, DOT, COBRA, Title VII, etc.; discipline and termination counseling; investigation of employee/employer and employment complaints.

 Declare Your Independence today by calling HR Strategies at 770-339-0000!

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