March 2017 Focus
Employees leave an organization for a variety of reasons; some reasons are positive and some unfortunate. Having a Termination Checklist is an essential tool to ensuring the process of terminating an employee goes smoothly for everyone. Some of the tasks outlined on the checklist may include:
- Creating a termination letter
- Conducting an exit interview
- Notifying IT to disable system and property access
- Collecting company equipment.
- Reviewing Confidentiality and Non-Compete agreements
Most importantly, taking the time to make sure all bases are covered ensures your employer remains compliant.
OSHA 300 Progress
The clock is ticking on posting your organization’s OSHA Form 300A. The posting period ends April 1st. As stated in last month’s Focus, Form 300A is used to provide a summary of work-related illnesses and injuries for the previous calendar year. Unless exempt, employers with 10 or more employees must complete and post Form 300A. Even employers that did not have any reportable injuries/illnesses in the prior year are still required to post a summary. Employers are required to maintain records at the worksite for a period of five years. Additional information on completing Form 300A can be found at https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/index.html
President Trump’s Executive Order Causes IRS to Relax ACA Reporting Requirements
The President’s executive order issued in January gave the IRS and other agencies the authority to alleviate any undue harm and economic hardship the ACA may have on families. In response, the IRS will not require individuals to indicate whether or not they have maintained health insurance on their income tax return. Prior to the executive order, the IRS had the authority to reject the tax return if line 61 on page 2 addressing health insurance was incomplete. However, the IRS still has authority to issue penalties to those who did not adhere to the individual mandate. Look for the IRS to follow-up with those taxpayers who left line 61 blank on their tax return.
“Grandmother Plans” Live to See another Year
In 2010, President Obama promised the American people, “If you like your health plan, you can keep it.” But the regulations made it very difficult for any plan to maintain “Grandfathered” status. In the fall of 2013, many Americans were upset when they began to receive notices that the coverage they had was being replaced with the new “Obamacare” coverage. So, the administration released an executive order providing transition relief from the regulations for the small group and individual insurance market reforms and lobbied state insurance commissioners to NOT enforce the requirements of the very law labeled with the President’s name. Hence, the industry called this type of coverage “Grandmother Plans”. Each year, since 2013, health insurers taking advantage of the transition relief await to see if an extension will be granted for another year. On February 23rd, the Trump administration granted another 12-month extension, allowing small employers to keep the coverage they had prior to Obamacare until December 31, 2018.
ProSential Group Webinars for March
As a client of MWG Employer Services, we are pleased to offer free, monthly educational webinars through ProSential Group. Previous webinars are available through the ProSential Group Client Portal. To register for this month’s webinars, click on the links below.
Beyond Incentives: Ways to Motivate Your Employees
Tuesday, March 21st
Complying with HIPAA's Privacy Rule
Tuesday, March 28th
The Simple Truth
In the November Focus, I discussed the need for cost controls in healthcare to be directed at the source (hospitals and physicians) rather than the financing mechanisms (private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid). I even suggested that it may be time for the Public Service Commission in each state to begin implementing price controls for medical providers. Well, I’m not alone with this line of thinking. Montana State Representative Tom Woods introduced House Bill 395 that would require the Montana Public Service Commission to regulate hospital prices. The bill died in the House Human Services Committee on February 20th. According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the Public Service Commission didn’t want the responsibility of regulating hospital prices. Tom Wood’s bill may have never made it to the floor for a vote, but I tip my hat to him for having the courage to face the real giant and bringing some much needed attention to the real problem. The simple truth is we will never get the cost of health insurance under control until we get the cost of healthcare under control. There are a lot of people out there who are making a very good living off the status quo.