Category Archives: Uncategorized

Small Biz Employers With Kaiser Plans Have 5pm, August 30, 2013 Deadline

This is an important reminder that Employers with 1 to 50 employees who sponsor a California Kaiser Permanente Group Health Plan have until 5:00pm PST Friday August 30, 2013 to file the Kaiser-Early-Renewal-Intent-Form.

 What Is The Kaiser Intention To Renew Early Form?

Simply stated, this form (Kaiser Small Business Form No. 60141913 (August 2013) informs Kaiser that you want 35 more days to think about their offer to change your anniversary date.   There is no commitment on your part.  We recommend you submit the form, as it changes nothing in your current arrangement with Kaiser, but it does buy you until October 4, 2013 to think about their offer.

 Which Employers Should Consider An Early Renewal?

  • Employers with a Non-Grandfathered Kaiser small group plan
  • And contract renewal dates in the first half of the year
  • And who have not made a prior renewal date change in 2013.

 I have Submitted The Form Already, What Happens Next?

Over the next few days (until October 4th), you have the opportunity to decide if you want to go through with a contract anniversary date change.  If you wish to proceed, then you must file an additional form by October 4, 2013, titled the Kaiser-Early-Renewal-Confirmation-Form, which confirms your intent to renew early for December 1, 2013.

 What Is The Advantage To Changing My Renewal Date?

First, employers with Grandfathered plan status probably should not change their anniversary date, unless your advisor/broker has recommended it.  All other eligible employers would consider the following factors:

  • Is your existing RAF (risk adjustment factor) 1.1 or .90?
  • Is it important to delay your renewal to keep costs down?
  • Is it not worth the hassle to delay the inevitable?

Remember, there are additional important issues to consider, and Kaiser warns that a group will bear all responsibility for its decision to accept the offer for early renewal including but not limited to the group’s compliance with the ACA and ERISA (see related story)..

Talk with your broker for answers, or leave us a comment at the end of the article.

Obamacare: 15,000 Working Spouses Taken Off UPS Health Plans

Marketwatch recently reported that the Obamacare law is contributing to the removal of 15,000 working spouses from the United Parcel Service (UPS) health plan.  Unfortunately, this could be true because of the structure of the new healthcare reform law.

Key to the story is that spouses are excluded from the definition of eligible dependent under Section 152(f)(1).  The implication of this omission is that so-called “pay or play” penalties would not apply to large employers who choose this road.

Here is an excerpt of the law that enables this to be true:

For any calendar month, a large employer is subject to an assessable payment if either: ” (1) the employer fails to offer to substantially all (at least 95%) of its full-time employees (and their dependents) the opportunity to enroll…”  The assessable payment is currently a $2,000 per employee penalty under Section 4980H(a)

Calculating the 2014 4980H(a) annualized penalty: The number of Full-time Employees of the applicable large employer member (reduced by the allocable share of the 30-employee reduction) multiplied by $2,000.

Read a related story on the new Obamacare law.

Updated Travel Assistance Plan From FrontierMedex

Many California residents have a free travel assistance program through FrontierMedex.  If you are covered by a group life insurance plan, underwritten by Standard Insurance Company, then this applies to you. TravelAssistance  FrontierMedex can be found at several local organizations (see a partial list below).

Who Offers A Travel Assistance Plan

The San Jose Police Officers’ Association, the City of Campbell, City of Santa Clara, City of San Jose, San Andreas Regional Center, Mountain View Police Officers’ Association, Santa Clara County Central Fire District and much more.