Many business owners ask themselves why having an HR Consultant is important. What I have discovered over the past two years with Benefit Innovations Group is that the Affordable Care Act is offering Benefits in non-compliance. Yes, you can acquire someone to shop medical plans and compare pricing, but what about all the things that are required to administer benefits?
Benefits Administration: Making sure employees are educated about their plans will lead to higher work satisfaction. When employees understand how to use their plans effectively, they can make better healthcare decisions and minimize excessively high bills from claims. By partnering with an expert, you allow the HR staff and owners to concentrate on growing the business, not answering insurance concerns.
ERISA Compliance: ERISA or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is the governing rules for an Employee Welfare Benefit Plan. This includes: Medical, Dental, Vision, 401k, Wellness Plans, Severance Plans, and Section 125. It is required to have an ERISA Wrap Document which entails your full benefit package. In addition to this document, Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) are required to be sent to all full-time employees via certified mail.
COBRA/ State Continuation: COBRA or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act is required if you have 20 or more employees. If you have less than 20 employees, you are required to administer State Continuation or Mini-COBRA to your employees. In addition, the rights and responsibilities of COBRA must be sent via certified mail to all full-time employees as well.
ACA Monitoring & Consulting: In 2016, the IRS has mandated reporting for all large employers with over 50 full-time employees to complete 1094/1095 reporting this year. It is a very detailed task that needs monitoring ALL YEAR ROUND in order to complete the reports the following year. This reporting is very tedious and time-consuming. Some owners have attempted to complete it on their own and found it can be very difficult to complete correctly and in a timely fashion.
Hiring Additional HR Staff: For many of the aforementioned, the tasks required to do the listed items will take hiring someone just to deal with your benefits alone! The time and money that is spent on hiring, training, and various taxes and insurances can be expensive for a small business.
Deciding to seek out an HR Consultant will allow you to outsource your HR services while supporting your existing office staff with advice, reports, and knowledge which will assist with reducing your costs, improving business performance, and ensuring legal compliance.