A dynamic shift is occurring in today’s workplace. Positions that were once held by career-long employees are now occupied by individuals who routinely jump from job to job in search of the opportunity. The tech industry provides a notorious and long-standing example of this, as companies go public, merge, and liquidate regularly. But the trend has spread to most employment sectors in most of the developed world, and it shows no signs of slowing. Millennial workers are particularly susceptible to this nomadic employment status.
Businesses – especially small businesses – have been forced to accept the fact that shorter employee tenures are the new norm. Although salary, benefits, retirement plans and paid time off (PTO) continue to play a key role in attracting talented employees, companies have begun to adopt a much more proactive approach when it comes to employee retention.
As employers strategize for future employee benefits programs, it is important to pay attention to ongoing compliance obligations and prepare to make any changes that may be necessary. Regardless of future potential legislative changes, there are a number of compliance concerns that employers can count on sticking around. Employers should keep these issues in mind because the cost of ignoring them can be costly.
Here are 5 mandates employers should stay on top of to ensure compliance and help retain talented employees.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), an employer with 50 or more full-time equivalent positions is required to offer health coverage to at least 95 percent of their full-time employees and their dependents. In addition, the coverage must be affordable to the employee, meaning not more than 9.56 percent of the employee’s household income. It is critical that employers document their offers and waivers of coverage.
Employers should review their risk of exposure for when the tax is scheduled to begin in 2020. The best way to do that is to identify plans and benefits that might be taxed, such as flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement arrangements and health savings accounts.
Most health plans must cover certain preventive services at no cost to the employee. The services must be delivered by a doctor or provider covered in the plan’s network. Examples of preventive services include immunizations, cholesterol screening, diabetes screening, Hepatitis B screening, lung cancer screening, obesity screening and many more services.
Starting January 1, 2018, preventive services now include screening for depression in adults, low-dose aspirin for certain at-risk adults aged 50-59 and syphilis screening for asymptomatic, non-pregnant adults, among others. Check with HealthCare.gov for a list of specific preventive care benefits that must be offered.
Preventive healthcare is a win-win for employers and employees. The more employees take advantage of preventive healthcare, the more cost-effective their care becomes. Employers need to stay abreast of updates as well as communicate frequently with employees about the services available to them.
Employers are required to provide employees with an easy-to-understand summary of their health insurance plan benefits and coverages. There is a new template out that employers must follow. The updated version includes new disclosures about coverage before meeting deductibles.
There are several comprehensive federal statutes that impact work wellness programs, so make sure you consult with a legal expert who can help you stay in compliance. Final regulations that affected wellness programs were issued in 2016. The new rules require employers that offer wellness programs to provide a notice to the employee what information will be collected and how it will be used if data collection is part of the program, as well as other applicable requirements.
Staying in compliance with laws and regulations that apply to employee benefits will not only ensure your company is following the requirements but will also help retain employees. Make sure you communicate regularly with employees about how your company is staying in compliance and in what ways the mandates benefit them.
Your employees are your most valuable asset. Lanier Upshaw understands the importance of employee benefits as a competitive advantage in recruiting and retaining top talent. To learn more about how we can help your company control costs and leverage your employee benefits program, contact us here.