Employee Benefit Resources

Employee Benefit Resources

Employee benefits are an ever changing topic for LeadingAge California members. This page will provide you with resources to continue to keep abreast of hot topics in employee benefits ranging from benefit cost reduction strategies, to PPACA legislative updates, to general items such as “What is a HSA plan?” Click on each headline to download the information in PDF format.

2016 ABCs of Employee Benefits - February 2016
2015 was one of the most legally and administratively challenging years in employee benefits history. Because employee benefits never sleep, welcome to the 2016 ABCs of Employee Benefits - your annual "just tell me what I need to do" list, as featured annually in Employee Benefits News.

New IRS Guidance on Various Affordable Care Act (ACA) Provisions - January 2016
This Ascension Vantage Point includes important new guidance about many areas of the ACA affecting employer group health plans, including new penalties for non-compliance, new safe harbor affordability percentages, the impact of employer HRA contributions and “opt out” payments on affordability, and the “hours of service” definition clarification.

2015 IRS ACA Reporting Deadlines Delayed - January 2016
The IRS is prepared to accept filings of the required forms beginning in January 2016. However, the IRS has determined some employers and insurers need additional time to adapt and implement systems and procedures to gather, analyze, and report this information. This Ascension Vantage Point details what the extension means and what steps you may need to take.

Final IRS Forms and Instructions Issued for 2015 Section 6055 and 6056 Reporting - October 2015
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created new reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code Sections 6055 and 6056. Under these new reporting rules, certain employers must provide information to the IRS about the health plan coverage they offer (or do not offer) to their employees. 


California Paid Sick Leave Law Hot Fixes - July 2015
California’s paid sick leave law went into effect on July 1, 2015, but soon encountered many unanticipated issues. In less than 2 weeks, Governor Brown signed AB 304 into law, which essentially “hot fixed” many of the defects and ambiguities in the original law (AB 1522) that gave many employers headaches as they tried to enact paid sick leave policies by July 1st. This Ascension Vantage Point highlights AB 304 and how it clarifies the definitions laid out in the original sick leave law..

EEOC Proposed Ruling on Wellness Programs - April 2015
On April 16, 2015, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a proposed rule that describes how the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to employee wellness programs that include questions about employees’ health or medical examinations. The long-awaited rule provides much needed guidance for employers on how to structure employee wellness programs without violating the ADA. This Ascension Vantage Point provides a background of the EEOC proposed rule, and its’ effect on employers.

It is recommended that if you offer (or plan to offer) a corporate wellness program that you take action to ensure your community is in compliance once the final rule is released.


California Paid Sick Leave - March 2015
In 2014, California passed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014. The law, which is more commonly referred to as California’s Paid Sick Leave law, requires all California employers, regardless of size, to provide employees who work 30 or more days in a calendar year with at least 24 hours of paid sick leave per year. This Ascension Vantage Point provides answers to some of the more common frequently asked questions by our clients and prospects.

It is recommended that you ensure your organization takes the appropriate steps to comply with the new California Paid Sick Leave in a timely manner.


Two New Cafeteria Plan Qualifying Event Opportunities – November 2014

In late September, the IRS issued Notice 2014-55, which included two additional qualifying event opportunities in which individuals can change their health coverage elections under a Section 125 cafeteria plan. Notice 2014-55 addresses cafeteria plan elections in two specific situations related to the availability of coverage through a Health Insurance Exchange. This document provides details of Notice 2014-55 and the recommended next steps for employers.

If you offer a cafeteria plan, it is recommended that you amend the plan in a timely manner to include these two new qualifying events and provide notice of these new qualifying event opportunities to your employees.

Employer Reporting of Healthcare Coverage - IRS Code Sections 6055 & 6056 - October 2014
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created new reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code Sections 6055 and 6056. Under these new reporting rules, certain employers must provide information to the IRS about the health plan coverage they offer (or do not offer) to their employees. These additional reporting requirements are intended (among other things) to provide the government with information to administer other ACA mandates, such as the large employer shared responsibility penalty, and the individual mandate.
This Ascension Vantage Point is a comprehensive document of the IRS reporting requirements. Given the complexity of these new guidelines, LeadingAge California Approved Vendor, Ascension Benefits, will be hosting webinars to review the details and offer a step-by-step guide of how to be in compliance. Please contact Tuan Nguyen, Ascension AVP Benefits at tnguyen@ascensionins.com or (925) 322-6441 should you have any questions and/or interested in registering for the webinar.
This document offers a general snapshot of what any Administrator and HR professional should know.  Since its publication in May 2014, California changed its 60-day maximum waiting period provision to align with the ACA-compliant medical insurance waiting period of up to 90 days. It just goes to show how quickly things can change!
Resources on this page are provided by Ascension Benefits, the LeadingAge California Approved Vendor for Employee Benefits.  For questions, please contact either Courtney Weidmann, LeadingAge CA Vice President of Membership & Group Services  or Tuan Nguyen, Ascension AVP Benefits at tnguyen@ascensionins.com or (925) 322-6441.