How to achieve a ‘penalty-free’ workplace

The New York Times recently said: After the enrollment deadline passes on Sunday, every adult without insurance will be subject to a minimum penalty of $325 when filing taxes next year. The fee will rise the following year to $695 per adult, more than seven times the $95 penalty for being uninsured in 2014.”

That story was about the individual mandate penalties, not the business penalties.

By now you probably know that large employers are facing penalties for not providing insurance, and they make the individual penalties look like a bargain. Businesses face penalties of $2000 per full-time employee, and possibly $3000 for each employee who gets an insurance subsidy on an exchange.

How to achieve a penalty-free workplaceThe Times article made it clear that the President and his team were openly pushing the fear of penalties to drive consumers to the exchanges where they can sign up for health insurance. Their goal is to have about nine million individuals enrolled in a plan. Are any of those nine million people employed by you?

If they are, then you owe a $3000 penalty if you failed to offer that person a health plan that is ‘affordable’ under the rules. You will also owe an additional $3000 for every one of your employees who takes the President’s advice and gets insured through the exchange with a subsidy.

But there’s good news. You only owe the full penalty if you fail to offer a plan for the entire year, or if you fail to offer an ‘affordable’ plan that meets the IRS’ tests for affordability.

That's not all, their are plans available that are not only affordable but offer a preventative and wellness plan and a Bronze plan at the same time. The combination creates a ‘penalty-free’ workplace allowing you and your employees peace of mind during tax season.

The preventative and wellness plan is a minimum essential coverage (MEC) plan and fulfills your employees’ requirement to have health insurance. So there’s NO penalty for your employees. But what about you, as their employer?

The offer of the Bronze plan satisfies your requirement to offer a plan. This puts you, and your employees, in the penalty-free zone. So where can you find this combination that keeps you safe?

FreedomCare offers the only guaranteed compliant program available that is low cost and easy to implement. There are thousands of employees around the country with FreedomCare cards right now, and thousands more on the way, and none of them will have their tax refund gobbled up by Uncle Sam as a penalty for not having health insurance. Not only are they penalty-free, but their employers are as well. It’s a win-win-win with FreedomCare.

Start today by making steps to create your own penalty-free workplace.


3 Reasons to Self-Insure your Benefits Plan

shutterstock_94589152Most brokers and employers were in denial this past year about the Affordable Care Act. With its ever-changing laws, continuous delays and lack of clear information some brokers and employers were under the impression the employer mandate would never go into effect. Well, its 2015, nothing was overturned and here we are, employers are facing thousands of dollars in potential penalties.

Most people don’t know that a large portion of the ACA is going to be funded by employers who fail to comply and end up paying penalties. Compliance is critical if you or your clients do not want to be part of the Obamacare funding machine.

Any insurance agent who represents large groups of 50 or more full-time employees knows that the ACA is going be challenging. Agents and Employers that understand the basics of the laws are more equipped to navigate the changes and are often more open minded to considering different strategies.

When considering plans like the ones FreedomCare offers, you have to start by changing the way you think about traditional health insurance plans and start exploring the world of self-insured health plans, also known as ERISA qualified plans. The Affordable Care Act brought numerous mandates on traditional insurance plans but exempts ERISA plans from a lot of the ACA provisions. Self-Insuring your benefits is not only legal; it has been around for decades. Traditionally Self-Insurance has only been able to be utilized by large employers; until now.

So why would you want to self-insure?

1. You have more control over your plan design:

Traditional insurance companies usually offer set packages for benefits. By self-insuring, an employer can tailor a plan suited for their employees.

2. You can save a lot of money:

Self-Insured plans are not traditional products, they have very different costs associated with them. For example, they don’t have to build in extra charges for profits or taxes.

3. Better cash flow:

With a traditional insurance plan, the employer pays the same premium even if their employees use less care one month than predicted. With a self-insured plan, the employer pays the actual cost of care instead of a fixed monthly premium and holds on to that extra money.

So you’ve seen that self-insuring offers several advantages over traditional insurance. But where do you begin?

Well FreedomCare allows employers greater flexibility and discretion when it comes to self-insuring their benefits. We offer the only Guaranteed Compliant program along with a wealth of benefits that are not only valuable to employees but also a value to business owners.

Take control of your benefits program, start your self-insured program today.