The Simple Secret to Achieving Goals

“Talent is overrated; mental strength is critical.”  This is the opening quote to an interesting article by James Clear, a noted Author of the New York Times best seller Atomic Habits.  Many view top performers in the workplace, in athletics, and in life, as gifted or talented.  While talent may have something to do with success, […]

How to Cultivate an Environment for Innovation

Innovation is important to every field but can be a vague and aspirational goal. Yet, it is crucial to foster this behavior for success in the fast-paced world of digital change. For example, consider a bulk marine terminal that must move product across a fixed footprint to remain a viable transportation solution.  Virtually, every industry must […]

Early Termination of COBRA Upon Enrollment in Other Group Health Plan or Medicare

Question:  How does enrollment in another employer-sponsored group health plan or Medicare affect a qualified beneficiary’s COBRA rights? Compliance Team Response:   Short Answer: COBRA generally terminates early where the qualified beneficiary first becomes covered under another group health plan or Medicare after COBRA is elected. General Rule: COBRA Maximum Coverage Period Absent an early […]

Medicare Secondary Payer Employer Size Requirements

Question:  At what size are employers subject to the Medicare Secondary Payer rules? Short Answer: The Medicare Secondary Payer rules generally apply at 20 employees for Medicare entitlement based on age, and 100 employees for Medicare entitlement based on disability. Medicare Secondary Payer Rules: General Rule The Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) rules prohibit employer-sponsored group […]

COBRA Small Employer Exception

Question:  When does the COBRA small employer exception apply? Short Answer:  The small employer exception from the federal COBRA requirements applies if the employer had fewer than 20 employees on at least 50% of its typical business days in the preceding calendar year. Small Employer Exception: General Rule The federal COBRA continuation coverage rules do […]

Group-Term Life Insurance §79 Nondiscrimination Rules

Question:  Are there nondiscrimination rules that apply to group-term life insurance benefits? Short Answer: Yes, Section 79 imposes nondiscrimination rules that generally require employers to offer non-key employees the same level of coverage as offered to key employees. Section 79 Nondiscrimination: General Rule The nondiscrimination rules that apply to group-term life insurance plans generally require […]

Potential ACA Employer Mandate Penalties for Late Offer of Coverage to New Full-Time Hire

Question:  What are the potential ACA employer mandate penalties for failure to timely offer coverage to a new full-time hire (including a full-time temp or intern)? Compliance Team Response:   Short Answer: The “B Penalty” ($312.50/month in 2019, $321.67/month in 2020) may apply for the failure to timely offer coverage to a new full-time hire. […]

Seattle Commuter Ordinance 2020

The City of Seattle recently passed a Commuter Benefits Ordinance that takes effect in 2020.  The ordinance is similar to other commuter benefits ordinances that we have seen in the Bay Area, New York City, and Washington D.C. Employers Subject to the Seattle Commuter Benefits Ordinance:  20+ Employees Effective January 1, 2020, the Seattle Commuter […]