Employee Benefits Compliance Services


Posted by: Altura Benefits in Insurance Tax

employee benefits compliance services | altura benefits

It can be tough to navigate the ever-growing labyrinth of compliance-related laws, policies, and guidelines. This is why we’ve streamlined the entire process. Our employee benefits compliance services and tools ensure your business operates in accordance with all federal, state, and local regulations— allowing you to avoid expensive penalties and balance HR responsibilities.

How Our Employee Benefits Compliance Services Work

Altura Benefits strengthens client relationships with a needs-based assessment that identifies employee benefits compliance issues and how you can make improvements. After this assessment, we provide clients with an online compliance calendar and automatic notifications in regards to the timing of complying with any given requirements. When needed, we also provide competitive quotes from our trusted network of providers who optimize HR compliance for businesses. We always take into account the size, growth, and requirements of all our clients, to ensure we always take the best approach for your business.

Our compliance services professionals will help you manage the following responsibilities:

Tax Filing Services:

1. ACA Filings

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires employers with 50 or more full-time employees, self-insured small employers, and others, to submit annual reports of information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and employees. Forms 1095-B and 1095-C report on employer-provided health insurance both offered to, and provided to, employees.

2. 5500 Preparation and Filing

The Form 5500 fulfills annual reporting requirements under Titles I and IV, or ERISA. Most retirement plan sponsors understand the importance of filing Form 5500. However, many do not understand that companies with over 100 participants may also need to file Form 5500 for welfare benefit plans. These plans provide benefits such as medical, dental, vision, life insurance, long-term and short-term disability, accidental death & dismemberment, and severance pay.

3. Section 125 Plan Document Requirement

Some employers offer a cafeteria plan, also known as a Section 125 plan. These plans allow employees to pay for certain benefits and qualified expenses using pre-tax dollars. The Premium Only Plan (POP) is the foundation of a Section 125 plan; this is the portion that allows you to pay group insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars. In addition, your POP plan is the building block for all other tax savings plans such as Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Savings Accounts. In order to receive the tax advantages, a cafeteria plan or POP must comply with the rules found in the Internal Revenue Code Section 125. One of the rules includes having a written plan document. This document must be updated periodically and maintained on file in the case of an audit.

Additional Compliance Services:

1. ERISA Compliance

If you provide employer-sponsored group health coverage, then you likely must comply with federal ERISA requirements. A key requirement is the provision of a summary plan description that describes all important plan rules and benefits. To simplify this compliance, employers can create a wrap document. The wrap document fills in required information which isn’t provided by the insurance policy, coverage certificate, or plan booklet. The wrap document and underlying document (together) fulfill this summary plan description obligation. Think of the wrap document as an employee handbook for your company’s benefits.

2. COBRA Administration

When an employee is no longer eligible for health coverage, employers must 1. notify plan administrators within 30 days and 2. provide the employee with a specific notice about rights to COBRA continuation benefits. The plan administrator must send a COBRA election notice within 14 days of initially receiving the employee’s ineligibility, and the individual then has 60 days to decide whether or not to choose the COBRA continuation coverage. To learn about how COBRA insurance works in Utah specifically, click here.

3. Handbook Preparation

All companies should maintain an up-to-date, clearly written collection of policies. These policies are used to guide employees on business expectations, appropriate conduct, complaint mechanisms, and other items relevant to their employment. Employee handbook preparation is a critical business compliance service. Employee handbooks must be specific to your business’s particular policies and priorities, while still adhering to certain legal standards.

4. Mandated Employee Training Administration

Industry-specific needs (along with different state laws) mandate employee training requirements. Sexual harassment, emergency procedures, and HIPAA compliance are commonly regulated training. Assuring your employees adhere to the required training schedules, implementing updates to existing training modules, and documenting staff completion of courses can all pose challenges to internal HR departments. Working with an outsourced partner such as Altura Benefits is a better way of handling this upkeep.

How to Avoid Non-Compliance Penalties

Non-compliance penalties issued by federal, state, and local government agencies (and other authorities) have skyrocketed in recent years. A simple mistake could now set you back substantially, leading to penalties of hundreds-of-thousands of dollars.

It can feel like legislation and guidelines seem to change daily. Although this can make staying compliant difficult for many businesses, it is also why our service proves the most useful. We’ll optimize your current compliance program and help you avoid expensive penalties that your business just can’t afford.

Unlike many compliance service companies, we customize our recommendations based on your particular budget and needs. This helps to ensure that you only pay for necessary services, and nothing else. It’s that simple.

Let Altura Benefits’ employee benefits compliance services keep your business in compliance with state and federal laws. Contact us today for your assessment!