Viewing posts from: March 2018

Transitioning to Our New Site

Posted March 23, 2018 by Megan DiMartino

In our March 7th blog we made the exciting announcement that we have changed our name to AP Benefit Advisors, LLC. We can’t thank you enough for all of your support and understanding during this transition!

Over the weekend we will be transitioning our old website, www.crawfordadvisors.com, to our new website, www.apbenefitadvisors.com. This means that over the next couple days the redirect may not be working yet, so the best way to visit us is by going directly to www.apbenefitadvisors.com.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments regarding our new site.

Again, thank you tremendously for your patience, understanding and support!

AssuredPartners’ HRCI & SHRM Pre-Approved Webinar | Onboarding: The Day that Matters Most for Retention and Engagement

Posted March 13, 2018 by Megan DiMartino

Please join AssuredPartners and change communication expert, Kip Soteres, for an HRCI* and SHRM** pre-approved webinar addressing how your onboarding process can improve employee retention and appreciation for your company and its benefits beginning on Day 1.

Employees recruited into your company have often been shown the best and brightest face – they are likely excited to be starting a new job and have been sold on the best features of your organization. Day 1 orientation and ensuing onboarding efforts can either continue that momentum or kill it. Twenty percent of employee turnover happens in the first 45 days of employment; effectively communicating benefits in a sustained way can make a significant positive difference in the way new employees view their job and the way they define their relationship with their employer. Please join our webinar to receive information and training on how to communicate information on your company and benefits effectively during the onboarding process to obtain the best results.

This training will provide:

  • Suggestions for revamping Day 1 orientation content for enhanced impact and better emotional engagement for employees
  • A plan template for a 6-month new hire launch campaign for new hires that will keep them engaged and aware of the total rewards of working for your company
  • Sample communications that can be tailored for your benefit needs and tips for auto-distributing those communications to new hires
  • Tips for creating communities and forums for new hires and how to plug them into the full-value proposition of working for your company

Webinar details:

  • Wednesday, March 21, 2018 – 2-3pm EDT
  • No cost to attend
  • This webinar is open to all HR and Finance Professionals – but not to brokers, agents, TPAs and PEOs

*The use of this seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute’s (HRCI) criteria for the recertification credit pre-approval. This activity has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR, PHR, PHRca, SPHR, GPHR, PHRi, and SPHRi recertification through HRCI.

**AP Benefit Advisors is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credit (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 1 PDC for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.


For more information contact info@crawfordadvisors.com. The information contained in this post, and any attachments, is not intended and should not be misconstrued as legal advice. You should contact your employment, benefits or ERISA attorney for legal direction.

IRS Confirms – Vasectomies Are Not ACA-Preventive Care for HDHPs

Posted March 8, 2018 by Patrick Haynes

With IRS Notice 2018-12, the IRS has clarified that health plans covering male sterilization or male contraceptives without a deductible, or with a deductible below the statutory minimum deductible for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), are not HDHPs under current IRS guidance regarding requirements for health savings accounts (HSAs). As background, individuals who wish to make or receive HSA contributions must be covered by a qualifying HDHP and have no impermissible coverage. An HDHP is an insured or self-insured health plan that meets certain requirements, including minimum annual deductible and maximum out-of-pocket expense limits, although HDHPs may provide preventive care benefits without a deductible or with a deductible below the statutory minimum.

To qualify as preventive care, a benefit must be defined as such under the Social Security Act (SSA) or in IRS or Treasury Department guidance. These standards govern whether benefits that a state law requires insurance policies to provide on a no-deductible or low-deductible basis will qualify as “preventive care”. The IRS has also confirmed that preventive services that must be provided without cost-sharing under health care reform (the ACA) will qualify as preventive care for HDHP purposes.

Why now?  Why this change and guidance?

The guidance notes that some states have recently adopted laws requiring health insurance policies to cover male sterilization or male contraceptives without cost-sharing—they cite Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, and Vermont as examples.  These benefits are not preventive care under the SSA or under IRS or Treasury Department guidance, nor are they preventive services that must be provided without cost-sharing under health care reform. Therefore, plans that provide these benefits before the HDHP minimum deductible is satisfied are not HDHPs, even if the benefits are required under state law, and an individual who is covered under such a plan is not eligible to make or receive HSA contributions.

However, the IRS has provided transition relief for periods before 2020. Under the relief, individuals will not be treated as failing to qualify as HSA-eligible merely because they are or were covered by an insurance policy that is not an HDHP solely because it covers male sterilization or male contraceptives without a deductible, or with a deductible below the HDHP minimum deductible.

As you may recall from our December 2017 guidance, many concerned employers and plan sponsors with HSA programs worried about this issue, and were concerned that state legislators were not moving fast enough to exempt HDHPs from their mandates.  With this new guidance and transitional relief state legislators will have additional time to correct the oversight that “free vasectomies” were not intended to cause.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Account Manger or Sales Executive.  Thank you.

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Exciting Announcement – Our Name Change

Posted March 8, 2018 by Patrick Haynes

We are very excited to announce that we are changing our name to AP Benefit Advisors, LLC.

As you may recall, in 2014, we were acquired by AssuredPartners, Inc. and our business of developing long lasting relationships and continuing to find the new and innovative solutions to fulfill the specific needs of our clients has strengthened. We are proud to share our name and to be able to offer new tools, new products, and new lines of insurance coverage to help our clients manage more of their risk (property, casualty, aviation, marine, etc.).

You will continue to work with the same leadership team, professional staff and systems that you have enjoyed in the past, and you can expect to see additional tools, resources, products and services in the future.

Our old email address, @crawfordadvisors.com, will continue to work, but you will begin seeing replies from your service team coming from an @assuredpartners.com email address. Our telephone and fax numbers will not be changing.

AssuredPartners, Inc. is headquartered in Lake Mary, Florida, and invests in property and casualty and employee benefits brokerage businesses across the country. Through access to partner agency resources nationally, we continue increasing our leverage and negotiation power with our carrier-partners as a result of an increase to our overall book of business.

For additional information regarding us, please visit our new website, www.APBenefitAdvisors.com, and learn more about AssuredPartners, Inc. by visiting www.AssuredPartners.com.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments about our name change. Thank you again for the opportunity to serve you. We sincerely appreciate the confidence you have placed in us as your partner in providing employee benefits services to your employees and co-workers.

Thank you.

 

 

ALERT IRS Reduces HSA Family Contribution Limit for 2018

Posted March 6, 2018 by Patrick Haynes

Late last year, Congress enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Billchttps://www.apbenefitadvisors.com/2017/12/20/us-house-senate-pass-tax-cut-jobs-act-2017/ into law.   One of the changes affecting health and welfare plans is a change to the way the IRS calculates cost of living increases. Specifically, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill legislated that cost of living increases must use “Chained CPI” (a method of calculating inflation that takes into account the fact that as prices increase some consumers switch to lower priced products or substitute products).  The aim of using Chained CPI, is to reduce the effects of inflation, and over time, producer lower cost of living increases.

Today, the Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2018-18 which recalculates a number of cost of living increases for calendar year 2018, as follows –

  • The family HSA contribution for 2018 is reduced from $6,900 to $6,850.
  • This change is retroactive to January 1, 2018  therefore previous contribution elections may need to be adjusted and/or excess contributions that have already been deposited for 2018 (e.g., for those who have already contributed the full amount) will need to be returned
  • For employer adoption assistance programs, the maximum amount that can be excluded from an employee’s gross income for qualified adoption expenses is reduced from $13,840 to $13,810. Further, the adjusted gross income threshold after which the adoption exclusion begins to phase out is reduced from $207,580 to $207,140.
  • Health care FSA, transit and other benefit limits are not impacted.

The above changes apply to the 2018 calendar year. Employees contributing to an HSA should be informed of the reduced maximum limit, and adjustments in contributions for the remainder of 2018 may be needed. Employees who have already contributed the maximum amount for 2018, such as a one-time HSA contribution from a beginning of the year bonus payment, will need to receive a refund of the excess contribution.

Please contact your Account Manager or Sales Executive with any questions you may have.

Links:

 

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