ACA Penalties for Failure to Provide or Have Coverage Are Still Around

finance business calculation with calculator and pen on chart

There is a lot of confusion out there concerning ACA penalties. The 2018 tax act did not eliminate any employer penalties for not offering health insurance coverage. The only change was reducing the individual coverage penalty to zero – however, this change does not go into effect until 1/1/2019. Applicable large employers (ALEs) with more… [Read More]

Participation: Is It a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

prepare filling item form, business background

One of the central tenets of underwriting medical plans is to avoid adverse selection at all cost. Adverse selection results when a plan is designed or priced in such a way that it only adequately incentivizes sicker employees to enroll; failing to attract good risk to offset the bad. For this reason, most insurers historically… [Read More]

Small Group Savior? Another Look at QSEHRAs

Magnifying glass looking at health care newspaper headline, on cash

Small employers are often looking for ways to break out of the community rated market and lower their health insurance costs, as I’ve witnessed firsthand and written about over the years. In more recent posts we’ve discussed reference-based pricing, PEOs and self-funding as methods small employers can use to potentially gain access to more favorable plan designs and rates. There’s… [Read More]

Do Your Commuter Benefits Cut the Mustard?

One person completely stationary among the swarm of people buzzing about the train station during rush hour.

I was a little nervous to see what changes would come in the wake of the recent tax law overhaul (a.k.a. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act) signed in late December of 2017. It ends up there are some notable changes to the tax treatment of transportation benefits being offered by employers for the year 2018…. [Read More]

Introduce Voluntary Benefits Outside of Open Enrollment

Sign up - 3d render illustration of text on black chalkboard in a room.

Here we are again… Open enrollment madness for core benefit programs is in the rearview mirror and human resources teams can focus on planning for next year. It pleases me to see voluntary benefits gaining more traction with employers of all sizes, but I’ve noticed that most employers’ initial thought is to introduce new voluntary offerings… [Read More]

Frustration of Fraudulent Claims

Folder with close up on the word claims and a note where it is written under investigation. Concept of insurance fraud, 3d Illustration

It’s a well-documented reality across nearly all lines of insurance coverage that fraudulent claims account for 5–10% of total claims processed. And despite the industry’s best efforts to combat fraudulent activity, it’s largely accepted as a “cost of doing business” in the world of insurance. What has frustrated several of my self-funded clients however, is… [Read More]

Don’t Whack the Tobacco Differential Messenger!

Boss and Business game

It’s open enrollment season at Frenkel Benefits and, like clockwork, at least one of our client account managers calls me in to work closely with their client on implementing or updating a tobacco differential in their medical plan. It’s a somewhat tricky thing to do, so I’m happy to help. However, inevitably – when we… [Read More]

Are Annuities a Viable Retirement Solution?

A basket of golden eggs

As more Baby Boomers close in on their ultimate retirement date, the dilemma of how to offer them choices for cashing out their retirement accounts becomes a pressing issue. I’ve seen many employers design their plans to pay out a lump sum only – leaving the retiree to figure out how to structure their income… [Read More]