Benefits Buzz

Tag Cloud

Archives

Enter Your Email

Employer Compliance Reminders

Posted on November 20th, 2018

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, the trees are mostly bare, the holidays are just around the corner and open enrollment is in full swing. If you’re like most benefits professionals, you probably head into open enrollment with a mixture of enthusiasm and dread.

We get it—this time of year can be unbelievably stressful and exhausting. With all the time you’re spending setting up enrollment meetings, chasing down employee applications and entering new benefit elections, you probably don’t have a spare moment to think about benefits compliance.

Unfortunately, compliance obligations don’t go away just because it’s your busiest time of the year. We’ve put together some helpful reminders to help make sure that compliance stays top-of-mind this open enrollment season.

Plan Documents

Employers should make sure they have appropriate plan documents in place. This includes the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) required under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for health insurance plans and some Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). Additionally, when employees can pay for benefits with pre-tax dollars, a Cafeteria Plan document must be adopted. Lastly, all benefits subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) must have a summary plan description (SPD) with customized and detailed information disclosed. 

Non-Discrimination Testing

Some benefit plans require non-discrimination testing to be conducted. The non-discrimination testing is necessary to ensure highly compensated and/or key employees are not eligible for or receiving benefits more favorably than other employees. Non-discrimination testing applies to Cafeteria Plans, self-insured medical plans, Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), Health Flexible Spending Accounts (Health FSAs), Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (DC FSAs) and group term life insurance. 

Medicare Part D Reporting

Employers must report information to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) within 60 days of the start of each plan year. The reporting lets CMS know the creditable coverage status of prescription drug plans, including those embedded with a health insurance plan. Medicare-eligible employees are subject to a penalty if they delay enrollment in Part D unless they have creditable drug coverage elsewhere. The reporting form can be accessed and submitted by clicking here, and it only takes about ten minutes to complete. 

COBRA General (Initial) Notice

A COBRA General Notice must be provided to new plan participants within 90 days of enrolling in coverage. This includes an employee who elects a new or different benefit that is subject to COBRA, as well as new dependents who will now be covered under a plan that is subject to COBRA. As a best practice, employers should provide the COBRA General Notice to every eligible employee.

Although this list contains many of the most common compliance obligations you'll encounter, it is by no means exhaustive. Download our helpful Compliance Talking Points document that can be referred to as a checklist for common requirements.

Download our Compliance Talking Points

 

Have a question about benefits compliance? Ask the Expert!

Looking for compliance services for your company? Request a Proposal.