May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month. Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer, and the number of new cases is on the rise. You can lower your risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers by protecting yourself from ultraviolet (UV) radiation all year long, not just during the summer months.
Being exposed to UV radiation is a risk factor for skin cancers, including melanoma. In the United States, the hours between 10 am and 4 pm are the most hazardous for UV exposure. To protect yourself from UV radiation, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying in the shade, wearing clothing that covers your arms and legs, and using sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection. In addition to increased exposure to UV radiation, people with the following risk factors are more likely than others to develop skin cancer:
....for certain individuals.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that the 2018 annual limitation on health savings account (HSA) contributions by individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) is now $6,850. This limit was previously announced as $6,900, but has been revised downward due to an inflation adjustment provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The 2018 annual limitation on HSA contributions by an individual with self-only coverage under a HDHP remains unchanged at $3,450.
The above change applies to the 2018 calendar year. Employees contributing to an HSA should be informed of the reduced maximum limit, and adjustments in contributions for the remainder of 2018 may be needed. Employees who have already contributed the maximum amount for 2018 will need to receive a refund of the excess contribution.
See page 400 of IRS Bulletin 2018-10
The IRS is sending out "pay or play" penalty letters, so be sure you as an employer are compliant with all your ACA requirements.
Review the ACA Checklist with HR360 for 2018
Review a IRS Questions and Answers regarding "Pay or Play".
Need ACA guidance? Don't hesitate to call Unlimited Benefits, Inc, for assistance. 888.587.9370
On-Demand urgent care, in the comfort of your home or work. Pretty cool!
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Their providers are board certified physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants with significant experience evaluating acute injuries and illnesses. In fact, they may be the same providers that you'd see in your local emergency room or urgent care and it all happens in the comfort of your own home or office. They'll come to you!
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Looking for a way to reduce your workers’ compensation claims?
Voluntary benefits could be the answer. A recent survey of 600 employers* found that nearly half of companies offering accident and disability insurance experience reductions in workers' compensation claims. In addition to asking employers if they could confirm declines in claims, the survey also inquired about the significance of those declines. The results demonstrate that by making voluntary accident and disability insurance available to employees, companies can often decrease the frequency and expense of their workers' compensation claims.
The survey results reveal the following:
Employers who offer voluntary accident insurance noticed declines in their workers’ compensation claims. Specifically:
In examining their volume of workers’ compensation claims and the amount of decline, declines of 50% or more were determined to be significant or very significant:
Interestingly, large employers also saw a 29% moderate reduction in workers’ compensation claims of between 25 and 49%.
Employers who offer voluntary disability insurance noticed declines in their workers’ compensation claims. Specifically:
In examining the volume reduction in workers’ compensation claims, a reduction of 50% or more was determined to be significant or very significant:
Numerous studies indicate an increasing number of employers are offering voluntary benefits as part of their total employee benefits program. However these studies do not review the overall employee/employer satisfaction with the voluntary benefit program. Total satisfaction is based on more than just the product that is offered. Unlimited Benefits' approach to voluntary benefits is customized based upon the needs of each employer and that employer’s team members.
For more information on how VWB's can positively impact you, the employer, and your employees contact Unlimited Benefits at 888-587-9370
Almost everyone knows Dave Ramsey and his common sense tips on wealth creation, debt elimination and financial management. We thought it was kind of cool to run across his great tip about why using Unlimited Benefits, Inc is a great choice. (OK, not UB, Inc. specifically but us as an "Independent Agent").
Check out Dave's #1 Tips right here
The Affordable Care Act ensures that health plans offered in the individual and small
group markets, both inside and outside of the Exchanges, offer a comprehensive package
of items and services known as essential health benefits. Insurance policies must cover
these benefits in order to be certified and offered in the Exchanges, and all
Medicaid/Medi-Cal state plans must cover these services by 2014.
Essential health benefits must include items and services within at least the following 10
1. Ambulatory patient services (outpatient services)
2. Emergency services
3. Hospitalization, including medically necessary surgeries and other inpatient
4. Maternity and newborn care
5. Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health
6. Prescription drug coverage
7. Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices*
8. Laboratory tests and services
9. Preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management
10. Pediatric services, including oral and vision care
Health plans are allowed to impose cost sharing obligations on plan members for most
essential benefits, but those that qualify under a category of preventive health services
will be made available at no charge to plan members.
The ACA gives states authority to specify details surrounding the essential benefits. The
states must each choose a benchmark plan that will serve as a more detailed definition of
benefits within each of the ten Essential Health Benefit categories.
California has selected the "Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. - Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Small Group HMO 30 ID 40513CA035"as its state benchmark plan.
Colorado selected the "Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado - Ded HMO 1200D" as its state benchmark plan. Following are sample Evidences of Coverage and Plan Summaries for the benchmark plans.
The Affordable Care Act changed the definition of Small Groups to be those with 1-100 full-time (FTE) employees. Groups with 51-100 FTEs were required to transition from Large to Small Group on January 1st, 2016. Some groups chose an "Early Renewal" option in order to bypass this requirement for one more year. However, in 2017 there will be no escape.
Small Group guidelines and regulations differ from Large Group. It’s important to be aware of the changes. We've collected our considerable resources into one toolkit to help your transition..
These tools include but are not limited to:
Call Unlimited Benefits today to help transition your group as easily as possible.
Download your "At-A-Glance Transition Guide."
On September 9, 2013, the IRS released proposed regulations on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)'s annual information reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) sections 6055 and 6056. Employers and medical benefits providers have been eagerly awaiting these new proposed regulations.
Who is responsible for the reporting?
IRC section 6056: Large employers (as defined by the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions) with both fully-insured and self-insured plans are subject to the reporting. This means that employers subject to the 2015 penalties must comply with this reporting requirement.
IRC section 6055: Employers who sponsor self-insured health plans
How does an employer report the information?
IRC section 6056: Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (or a substitute form if certain requirements are met)
IRC section 6055: Form 1095-B (or a substitute form if certain requirements are met)
When will reporting begin?
IRC sections 6065 & 6055: February 28, 2016 (or March 31, 2016 if filed electronically). The report must cover information for the 2015 calendar year. Employers must continue to report annually.
The IRS encourages employers to voluntarily comply with the information reporting provisions in 2014 in order to test reporting systems and plan designs prior to full implementation in 2015.
What information must be reported to the IRS?
IRC section 6056: For each person enrolled in coverage, the employer must report to the IRS the following:
IRC sections 6056 & 6055: Employers must provide written notice to covered individuals of the following:
The proposed regulations state that simplified reporting methods are under consideration, and the IRS may request additional information from employers, including:
Where can employers obtain more information? The proposed regulations are available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/09/2013-21783/information-reporting-of-minimum-essential-coverage and https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/09/09/2013-21791/information-reporting-by-applicable-large-employers-on-health-insurance-coverage-offered-under.
Simply put, according to ACA guidelines, you're new company can not obtain group benefits until there is at least one person on payroll for 50% of the previous quarter.
For example, you've incorporated in December of the previous year but you have no W2 employees until March of the new year. Your company would be ineligible to start a benefit program until June 1. This would be the beginning of the 3rd Quarter.
Other guidelines and Underwriting requirements for carriers in California can be found in this fantastic spreadsheet below.
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Founder of Unlimited Benefits and Financial Services Expert since 1994