Enrolling New Dependents and Changing Plan Options Under COBRA

Question:  When can COBRA qualified beneficiaries enroll new dependents or change plan options? Short Answer: COBRA qualified beneficiaries can make plan changes upon experiencing HIPAA special enrollment events, moving outside the plan’s regional service area, and during the plan’s open enrollment period. General Rule: Same Coverage as in Effect Upon the Qualifying Event The general […]

Can AI Be Used to Enhance Worker Happiness and Satisfaction?

A tech start-up, Humu, founded by three former Google executives is using artificial intelligence (AI) to change worker behavior towards a happier workplace.  Most people think AI is used to discuss some of the most complex problems. However, Humu was founded on the basis that using analytics and some proprietary communication tools, worker satisfaction and happiness could […]

ACA Grandfathered Plan Status

Question:  What are the benefits of maintaining ACA grandfathered plan status, and what is required for a plan to preserve grandfathered status? Compliance Team Response:   Short Answer: Outside of fully insured plans in the small group market, there is little reason to maintain ACA grandfathered plan status at this point. Overview of ACA Grandfathered […]

ACA Employer Mandate and Reporting Rules When Acquiring a Non-ALE

Question:  What are the ACA employer mandate and reporting requirements when an ALE acquires a non-ALE that keeps its EIN after the acquisition? Compliance Team Response:   Short Answer: The non-ALE seller becomes subject to the ACA employer mandate and reporting requirements upon the acquisition by the ALE buyer. “Applicable Large Employer” Status Includes Entire […]

Taxation of Gym Reimbursement Arrangements

Question:  What are the tax consequences of an employer’s gym and exercise equipment reimbursement arrangement as part of its broader wellness program?  Short Answer: The general rule is that any employer payment/reimbursement for gym, health club, spa, exercise equipment, or other similar expenses that are intended for general fitness and health is standard taxable income […]

§105(h) Nondiscrimination Rules for Specialty HRAs

Question:  What nondiscrimination rules apply to a specialty HRA (such as an infertility HRA) that an employer would like to make available on different terms to different employee classes? An HRA is a self-insured group health plan, and therefore it is subject to the §105(h) nondiscrimination rules.  This includes specialty HRAs such as infertility HRAs, […]

Playing to My Team’s Strengths with WISTA

Earlier this month, the ladies of ABD’s Seattle Maritime Team were honored to host lunch for a Lunch and Learn organized by the Seattle Chapter of WISTA (Women in Shipping and Trading Association). The event space was hosted by the Holland America Group. Pictured: Jenn Rabena, Tosca Pinder, Denise Couples, Mary Mark While WISTA Lunch […]

Reducing Workers’ Compensation Claims and Costs with Circle of Care

Last month, I was invited to speak at the Hospitality Finance & Technology Professionals, Monterey Chapter meeting. My presentation focused on workers’ compensation, emerging risk management trends, and employer risk mitigation strategies. The audience composed mostly of finance, human resources, risk managers and technology specialists in the hospitality industry was intrigued by my perspective on […]

SF HCSO and Employees Who Waive the Health Plan

Question:  Does the SF HCSO require employers to make City Option contributions for employees who waive a very generous offer of employer-sponsored group health plan coverage? Short Answer:  Yes, employers will still need to contribute quarterly to the City Option on the waived SF employees’ behalf unless an exception applies. City Option Contributions Required: The […]