Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Laws Affecting Employee Benefits

As a business owner there are many Laws affecting your employee benefit plans. See below for definitions.

  • ERISA. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) sets standards for the establishment and operation of employee benefits plans. If you offer employees a health insurance plan or a retirement plan, chances are you’re covered by ERISA. Some ERISA requirements apply to both retirement and welfare benefit plans. (Welfare plans are generally those that provide health, life, or disability benefits.)

  • HIPAAThe Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also bars discriminatory practices in the handling of benefits. Additionally, HIPAA imposes portability, privacy, security, and certain other requirements on group health plans. On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed an economic stimulus bill called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), into law, which expands HIPAA’s privacy and security regulations. Under the ARRA, business associates of covered entities will be directly subject to HIPAA. The stimulus plan also extensively changes HIPAA on other issues, including security breaches and related notification requirements, the rights of individuals regarding their protected health information, and increased enforcement and penalties for violations.

  • COBRAThe Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) was designed to protect employees and their families from losing health benefits if the employees lost their jobs. Under COBRA, an individual may usually keep health coverage through a previous employer’s health plan for up to 18 months by paying 102% of the cost of coverage. Under the ARRA, the federal government paid 65% of COBRA premiums for up to nine months for employees who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009. This subsidy has been extended several times by Congress.

(Adapted from HRHero.com)

With all of these laws and regulations it can often be overwhelming for new and veteran business owners alike. Instead of taking a legal risk you can sit down with an expert for a free evaluation. Be sure to protect your hard work and life earnings. Contact us today, and speak with an expert: 216-831-1220 

No comments:

Post a Comment