There are apps for just about everything these days. You can get business apps to do all the same things you can do with your computer, and much more: read credit cards, do video conferencing, and organize trips. You can get apps that help you find parking places, translate languages, and count calories. You can get any game you want, as well as beer-drinking apps and a keyboard app that makes cat sounds
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an app to help PEOs with the constantly changing rules and regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), especially those coming up in 2014? Well, think of this issue of PEO Insider® as your “ACA app,” something to help guide you in the year ahead.
One of the biggest ACA challenges this year is making sure you know what to do even if your PEO does not have a large group health plan, as the ACA still presents business opportunities, as well as financial and legal risks:
While a number of kinks in the state and federal exchanges still need to be straightened out, the “exchange status app” in this feature can help. The feature’s U.S. map shows which states are running their own exchanges, are in partnership exchanges, or are in federally facilitated marketplaces. It also indicates the status of SHOP exchanges, which in federally facilitated marketplaces will only have limited choices this year. Links to several state exchanges show the variety of approaches.
- Be ready to help clients understand and comply when the final employer mandate regulations come out;
- Review your Form W-2 reporting practices for employer-sponsored plans and new tax reporting rules for compliance;
- Make sure your PEO’s and your clients’ medical savings accounts reflect ACA changes;
- Educate clients about the new rules that apply to their plans to protect them from penalties and scrutiny; and
- Be helpful but careful when helping clients understand how the ACA worksyou are not giving legal or tax advice.
Client-sponsored group health plans are becoming more common among PEOs, and yes, this feature has an “app” for that! The third feature article outlines areas of potential exposure and techniques for managing them, as well as the general categories of client-sponsored plans and how each affects the PEO’s exposure to risk.
The ACA brings a number of items for every PEO’s checklist in 2014: plan design changes, new reporting obligations, notice obligations, taxes and fees, planning for the employer mandate, and deciding which compliance services to offer. The “checklist app” outlines and describes these.
NAPEO’s resources to help you with the ACA go beyond this feature. Because the ACA is under construction and existing parts are subject to change or further clarification, NAPEO is offering a series of webinars in 2014 about the most important topics, as well as archives of the audio recordings and PowerPoint presentations of all previous ACA webinars in NAPEO’s online Healthcare Reform Resource Center (www.napeo.org/members/advocate/healthcare.cfm). NAPEO also sends out the weekly Healthcare Round-Up, provides ACA coverage in every issue of PEO Insider, and will offer programming at both the 2014 Legal & Legislative Conference and Annual Conference & Marketplace. You can find more information about all of these resources in the “app” at the end of the feature...
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The Role of PEO In-House Counsel in Healthcare Reform
Dawn Davidson-Drantch, Esq.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), along with its attendant regulations and technical advice, is a bear in and of itself. Add the PEO layer and it becomes even messier to navigate. However, it also has been a great marketing tool for PEOs, and it certainly increases their “stickiness” with current clients, so PEOs have been entrenched in the process from day one. By now, at the dawning of 2014, PEOs are well into healthcare reform compliance assistance. We’ve long been researching, figuring, calculating, educating, meeting, and researching some moreand reconfiguring everything when the regulations/technical assistance/postponements are announced. Our benefits, human resources, accounting, and IT departments have been busy for the better part of three years, and certainly for most of this past year, doing all of the above. With all that said, what is the role of in-house counsel and/or legal departments in all of this, for those PEOs that have them?...
Limited Scope Dental and Vision Benefits
Barry L. Salkin, Esq.
Limited scope dental benefits cover substantially all treatment of the mouth (including any organ or structure within the mouth), and limited scope vision benefits cover substantially all treatment of the eye. In the 2004 preamble to the regulations defining limited scope dental and vision benefits, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) indicated that a policy can still qualify as a limited scope dental benefit even though it provides coverage of such things as oral cancer or for a mouth injury that results in broken, displaced, or lost teeth, or as providing limited scope vision benefits even though it covers such ophthalmological services as treatment of an eye disease, such as glaucoma, a bacterial eye infection, or an eye injury.
Limited scope dental and limited scope vision benefits are excluded from...
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
A Marketing Dream
March 2010You will have to read it to know what’s in it. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law and one of the most complicated and broad-reaching laws to have ever been enacted was born. In my opinion, the PEO industry was handed a marketing opportunity on a silver platter. This piece of legislation touches every business of every size, shape, and location. It is complicated, confusing, challenging, and for many, overwhelming. However, it is also the perfect opportunity for PEOs to demonstrate the value we bring to businesses by providing the guidance and expertise to keep businesses in compliance and allow them to focus on the business of their businesses...
30 Years of Collaboration and Limitless Possibilities
Mark C. Perlberg
2014 NAPEO Chairperson
It is perhaps hard for many of us to believe, but in my column today I am recognizing an important milestone for NAPEO: our 30th anniversary. We often refer to how “young” the PEO industry is and I suppose, relatively speaking, we still are (I believe automobiles, for example, have been around a bit longer). Having said that, 30 years is a meaningful period of time, certainly long enough to reflect on where we have been and, of course, where we might be going...
Happy 30th Anniversary, NAPEO!
Patrick J. Cleary
With this edition of PEO Insider,® NAPEO kicks off its 30th anniversary year. As our chairman, Mark Perlberg has already opined in his column that this is still a relatively young industry (30 is the new 20, after all) that has undergone many changes, with many more yet to come
During this year, you will see our anniversary logo proudly displayed on the front cover of PEO Insider, in our email signatures, and elsewhere, and will see some special touches and tributes at our major conferences. The magazine also will be featuring some industry profiles and some retrospectives, the latter under the banner of “#napeo30,” our hashtag for this anniversary...
Maternity Leave, Healthcare Exclusions, Injury Liability, MHPAEA
William J. Schilling, Esq.
Q. Does the federal government require employers to provide mandatory, paid maternity leave for employees?
A. No. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows...
The Changing Politics of the ACA
For the past three years, the politics of healthcare in Washington, D.C., have been as predictable as the sun rising in the east.
Congressional Republicans (who control the House of Representatives) had one position—repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)which is why the House of Representatives has taken almost 40 votes to repeal the law. Congressional Democrats opposed all efforts to repeal it, and the Democrats (who control the Senate) refused to consider any legislation to repeal the ACA. While Congress debated, the Obama administration went about implementing the ACA, with its focus on the October 1, 2013, opening of the healthcare exchanges.
With the failed rollout of the healthcare exchange, the politics of the ACA have completely changed...
Small Business Optimism Crawls Forward
No Sign of Real Recovery
Small-business optimism ended the year slightly up from November at 93.9, but below the previous three mid-year readings of more than 94, and 6 points below the pre-recession average, according to the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB’s) latest index. On the positive front, reports of capital spending rose significantly in December, increasing by 9 points from November and job creation among NFIB firms was the best since February 2006. The promising NFIB job creation and capital spending numbers for December may forecast a better 2014...
Lever1: Erica Brune
A Start-Up In an Industry of Innovation, Camaraderie, and Shared Expertise
Thirty years ago, a few entrepreneurs who found themselves pioneering a brand-new business concept banded together for their common good. During this nascent stage of what is now the PEO industry, these innovators realized that to be successful, they needed a means to address their concerns collectively. There was no definition of what this new business concept was, there were no guidelines or best practices, and regulators viewed what they were doing with skepticism. The new industry needed to define itself, and a legal and regulatory framework was sorely needed. Some early companies went out of business, leaving taxes unpaid, clients and workers high and dry, and a bad reputation in their wake.
As director of operations at Gragg Advertising, Erica Brune was charged with forming an entity to service the companies CEO and Chairman Greg Gragg had recently spun off. Erica’s admin team had been providing payroll, benefits, and HR to the company, and now had other corporate entities to serve. She broke that team off to form Lever1 to meet these needs, not knowing that what she was developing was a PEO until the company’s corporate counsel told her so...
In November 1984, 20 companies in this budding industry met in Scottsdale, Arizona, and agreed to form a national trade association, the National Staff Leasing Association. Fourteen of those companies became the association’s founding members. Ten years later, as both the association and the industry evolved, the name changed to the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). From the beginning, NAPEO has worked to define the PEO business, develop operational standards and best practices, create a legal and regulatory framework, and educate its members. Through all of this, the collaborative spark that was there from the start grew and intensified.
Today, the PEO industry still attracts entrepreneurs eager to join the industry. Most newcomers to the PEO business start with NAPEO. That’s exactly what Erica Brune, president of Lever1, based in Kansas City, Missouri, did when she started the company. The first thing she discovered upon joining was what all NAPEO members come to learn: NAPEO members share their experience and expertise with one another openly and often.
To commemorate NAPEO’s 30th anniversary year, “PEO Spotlight” will start 2014 with a profile that epitomizes the cumulative effect of entrepreneurs forging the PEO industry in a culture of innovation, camaraderie, and shared expertise.
Military, Government, Business: Working Together
Thomas J. Donohue
When you think about the instruments of powerdiplomacy, information, military, and economicsit’s business that often serves as the nexus. We’ve all heard the cliché that there’s a lot government and the military can learn from the private sector and vice-versa. It happens to be true
But the relationship is about more than...