Knowledge Base

Welcome to our Knowledge Base! We’ve put together a library of information on important business and benefit topics that we believe you’ll find helpful. There is good information here, but we’ve got a lot more knowledge than we can fit on this page. If you have a question or need guidance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. 

Recent Articles

What’s that I heard about changes to COBRA? Am I required to provide employees with retirement benefits? Our benefit articles are designed to provide helpful, timely information on a wide variety of employee benefits topics. Simply click on one of the topics below to read the article in its entirety. 
The DOL’s Laser Focus on Mental Health Parity: Practical Considerations for Plan Sponsors

October 26, 2021

The DOL’s Laser Focus on Mental Health Parity: Practical Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Last month, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) entered into a settlement agreement with UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company
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OSHA Issues Additional Guidance Regarding COVID-19

August 5, 2021

OSHA Issues Additional Guidance Regarding COVID-19

On June 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) announced that it will issue an emergency temporary standard...
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The American Rescue Plan Act FSA Dependent Care Assistance Programs

August 5, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act FSA Dependent Care Assistance Programs

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), which is the latest round of federal economic stimulus legislation...
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DOL Releases ARPA COBRA Subsidy Model Notices, Formal Guidance, and FAQs

August 5, 2021

DOL Releases ARPA COBRA Subsidy Model Notices, Formal Guidance, and FAQs

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) released its guidance on the ARPA COBRA subsidy, including the issuance of...
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Flex Plans are Extra Flexible in 2021

August 5, 2021

Flex Plans are Extra Flexible in 2021

Employers who sponsor a Section 125 cafeteria (“flexible benefits”) plan, including those with a health and/or dependent care flexible spending account...
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Cybersecurity for Retirement Plans and Their Participants

August 5, 2021

Cybersecurity for Retirement Plans and Their Participants

The release of what the Department of Labor has described as “compliance assistance materials” follows a recommendation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO)...
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Videos

We get it...insurance isn’t the most captivating subject. To help your employees better understand the benefits you offer, we’ve created some fun and engaging short videos focused on a variety of employee benefits topics.
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Frequently Asked Employee Benefits Questions

What are the basic rules to qualify for group insurance?

An employer must have at least one non-spousal W-2 employee (including the owner) working at least 30+ hours per week to be considered eligible for group insurance. Most insurance companies require the majority of your employees to enroll in coverage; however, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Can I pay or reimburse my employees to get their own individual health insurance?

Generally speaking, no. Since the adoption of the ACA, the IRS and DOL have discouraged and penalized this practice. Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangement (ICHRA) and the Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) are two potential ways employers can reimburse employees for their individual coverage but they must be properly administered and aren’t always a fit for every employer. Talk to us about the best way to achieve your goals.

How much of the premium does an employer have to pay?

It depends. If you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE), you will be required to meet the ACA IRS affordability test. If you're a small employer, insurance companies typically require the employer to pay a minimum amount of the employee's portion of the health insurance premium. Generally, the required amount is either 50% of the employee premium or a minimum of $100. This required amount can be different depending on the insurance company and the state in which your plan is domiciled.

Can Independent Contractors be insured under a group plan?

1099 contractors are not considered employees and would not be eligible for group insurance.

Are pre-existing conditions excluded from coverage?

In 2014, the Affordable Care Act determined that health insurance companies can't refuse to cover someone (or charge higher premiums) if they have a medical issue prior to the date their new health coverage begins. There is an exception to this rule if your plan is considered a Grandfathered Plan.

How long am I committed to keeping an insurance policy?

Insurance contracts are month-to-month and can be cancelled at any time. However, insurance premiums are typically locked in for a 12-month period. But employers generally can change to a different insurance company at any point throughout the year.

Is any one insurance carrier really better than another?

From our client's perspective, they won't see much of a difference because of our service model but yes, some insurance companies are better in certain areas than others...and each market segment, region, and state may differ.

Can I save money by working directly with the insurance company?

No. Insurance companies generally don't work directly with employers so it's important to partner with a trusted consultant who has your company's best interests in mind.

Does my company need worker’s compensation in order to qualify? 

This depends on the state your health insurance is domiciled. In California, the health insurance companies will require all employees, other than owners, to be covered under the company's workers' compensation.