Are Premium Reimbursement Arrangements Allowed?

The answer to this question is NO, absolutely not, don’t even think about it, unless you want to face a $100 per day per employee penalty! New regulations were released by the Department of Labor on November 6, 2014, and the DOL has now determined that all employer arrangements that reimburse employees for individual premiums violates the ACA's market reforms. These new regulations apply regardless of whether the employer treats the money as pre-tax or post-tax for the employee, making this practice no longer allowed.


BASE® and our legal team believe that while this is a departure from the previous guidance, it requires immediate action.  While it is unfortunate that an employer can’t help their employees with the cost of their individually purchased health insurance premiums, even on a post-tax basis, BASE® will no longer administer the Choice Incentive Plan.  BASE® believes in keeping our clients in compliance, and will discontinue the offering of the BASE® Choice Incentive Plan.  This plan has now been deemed a form of group health coverage according to these latest regulations, and we believe that it is in our client’s best interest to avoid triggering excise tax penalties from an audit.

 

The only option that is currently viable for employers to assist their employees is for an employer to offer increases in compensation that is not tied to the purchase of insurance.  Additionally, these requirements still only apply to plans with more than 1 employee (exempting the BASE® 105 HRA) and with respect to reimbursement of individual market health insurance policies, not supplemental excepted benefit health insurance policies or life insurance policies.

 

While we are no longer able to offer the BASE® Choice Incentive Plan, BASE® still has a host of other viable product offerings, which include the BASE® Section 105 HRA for the self-employed, BASE® Integrated HRA, BASE® 125 Cafeteria Plan (FSA, DCAP, POP), and the Excepted Benefits HRA and 125 plans.

 

Please call 1-888-386-9680 with any questions regarding this information.


Anne Case
BASE® - Director of Marketing & Communications

BASE® Celebrates Customer Service

Did you know that Customer Service week is celebrated in October?  While service is important all year round, this is the perfect time of year to reflect on everything we do for our customers.  BASE® is celebrating all month long, and we remind ourselves how important customer service is to our business.  But more importantly, we take this time to reflect on our customers and what we can do to continue to improve for them.  That is why we take this month to remind ourselves of the following:


  • Know who is boss – the customer of course!
  • Be a good listener and identify and anticipate needs.
  • Have confidence in what we do. 
  • Make our customers feel important and appreciated. 
  • Have the courage and honesty to take responsibility for our actions. 
  • Help customers understand our systems. 
  • Always look for ways to help our customers. 
  • Devote ourselves to go above and beyond. 
  • Get regular feedback. 
  • Don’t forget our internal customer, each and every BASE® employee. 


Our commitment does not stop at the point of sale! BASE® representatives are available to assist our customers throughout the duration of their plan. BASE® works with our customers one-on-one to ensure their plans and corresponding documentation is always up-to-date and in compliance with government regulations.


The BASE® commitment is as strong today as the day we first opened our doors for business. BASE® has assisted small to medium sized businesses deal with the rising cost of health care throughout the United States. Customers are at the very heart of our business, and with each passing year, expectations for our products and services grow stronger.


Service is more important now than ever, especially in the age of the Affordable Care Act.  Part of serving our customers is assuring our customers that our products are still in compliance and a viable benefit option. Our promise to our customers is that we will continue to provide excellent sales and service staff, innovate our products and services, and most importantly, listen to all our customers in our unwavering commitment to provide the best benefit programs the industry has to offer. 


No matter the month, BASE® prides itself on educating consumer driven professionals on benefit and tax saving solutions, while providing the highest degree of service.  Contact us today and we will do everything in our power to serve you!   


Anne Case
BASE® - Director of Marketing & Communications 



Hello Fall

Fall is here! Here are 6 facts you may not have known about fall.


1) September 22
nd is the fall equinox. There are actually two equinoxes every year; the other is in March at the start of spring.

2) On September 22
nd the day and night are about the same length. The term equinox comes from the Latin for “equal night”.

3) One of the prominent signs of fall is the changing color of the leaves. Because photosynthesis stops during this time of year the leaves do not stay green.


4) Some of the widely known fall fruit and vegetables include apples, spinach, squash, bell peppers and pumpkin.


5) During fall birds prepare for their winter migration. One of the longest migrations is the 11,000 mile journey by the Arctic Tern.


6) Before ‘fall’, which the British call ‘autumn’, this time of year was called harvest.


Now that you have enjoyed our fun fall facts, we can start thinking about winter. Winter means the end of the year is just around the corner.


Right now is a great time to start researching benefit plans for 2015. Call BASE® for information on the products we offer and to see how we can help your business in 2015.

Have a wonderful fall and we look forward to working with you in 2015!


Laura Radebaugh
BASE® - Administration/Adjudication Specialist