Small businesses face government compliance issues with regards to group health insurance plans, whether the business offers insurance or not.
One of the main compliance pieces that most employers are not doing is the Summary Plan Document, Benefits by Design President Kristine Kassel says. If you have a group plan for health insurance, this documents needs to be in place, as the penalties can go up to $100 per day per employee and starting in 2015, 15,000 auditors have been hired. ASBA has some companies in place that can help with these types of documents, Kassel says.
There are also 26 different notices that need to be sent out to employees annually by 2016 and by calling ASBA, you can get some of these documents in place. Some of these fees can be a one-time fee of about $1200, which is far less than the potential fines that can be accrued on a daily basis.
Kassel says that even if you're not offering insurance, there are ways for businesses to get themselves in trouble. The Notice of Exchange, which was required to be sent out last year, needed to be sent out regardless if an insurance plan was in place. This two-page document is available on the Department of Labor website. A business can also be fined if they're not handing out a Summary of Benefits to their employees annually and this document states exactly what's covered on the group health insurance plan. By partnering with a company like Benefits by Design, businesses can be reminded when these documents need to be handed out and even create these documents for the business.
While a business is not required to provide insurance until they have 50 or more employees, those that already do provide insurance are still subject to these same guidelines. "Just because it's not a federal mandate to offer insurance that you don't have to worry about these items," Kassel says and that small businesses are mostly affected by these items because they're not aware.
By calling ASBA, businesses can be introduced to one of their partners, such as Benefits by Design, who can help them with these compliance issues for a very low fee. Benefits by Design is a brokerage agency that helps individuals and small businesses set up their insurance plans, as well as dental, vision, disability and life insurance. In representing all of the different insurance companies, Benefits by Design can help guide individuals and small businesses in making the right decisions, as well as helping throughout the year with customer service.
Kristine Kassel is the President of Benefits by Design and spoke with Arizona Business News during this interview. This Arizona Small Business Association news update has been brought to you by Copper Point, Arizona's premiere workman's compensation insurance. Arizona Business News, a featured network of Sequence Media Group, is brought to you by the ASBA.