Small business owners that make contributions for the healthcare of their employees must ensure they’re not making any mistakes which could become costly. The best way to extend small business healthcare benefits is by understanding small business healthcare benefit compliance. Below are some common mistakes that small business owners will want to avoid:
Small business owners must make sure they’re in compliance with HIPAA Privacy Rules, which govern group health plans. Small businesses that frequently deal with Protected Health Information are most vulnerable to making this mistake, and it can be avoided by using a third party to evaluate each reimbursement request and claim, that way the employer doesn’t have to deal with PHI directly.
Failure To Submit Plan Documents
Each health plan that is covered by ERISA has to be presented with a Plan Document. These documents are legal, standard documents which specify the parameters for the benefit plan and are comprised of various provisions. Whether you offer a reimbursement plan which is formal or you cover health insurance, these documents must be submitted.
Failure To Communicate Eligibility And Plan Changes
Whenever eligibility requirements change or a plan is altered, there are various communication requirements that employers must follow. For instance, a SBC (Summary of Benefits and Coverage) must be given to beneficiaries before they enroll in the plan, within ninety days of special enrollment periods, whenever the plan is renewed and within a week of a request being written.
As you can see, it is important to become familiar with the numerous health notices that are required for each plan. Health benefits companies can be a great help in making sure these notices are distributed and managed.
Discrimination Which Favors Individuals Who Are Highly Compensated
The IRS has nondiscrimination guidelines, which establish that employers cannot discriminate in a manner which favors individuals who are highly compensated when it comes to eligibility for plan or for benefits provided therein. It is essential for business owners to work closely with their insurance brokers and health benefits providers to make sure their benefit plans are discrimination proof.
Failure To Include An SPD
ERISA dictates that Summary Plan Descriptions must be included with each welfare plan. Additionally, copies must be provided to every participant. The best way for employers to remain in compliance with this requirement is to make sure the SPD is always updated and provided to all participants at the time that is required.
These are just a few of the guidelines that employers are expected to follow when giving benefits to their workers. Making sure you’re in compliance with all these regulations will go a long ways towards ensuring you don’t make any mistakes in compliance, which can be costly and tedious to resolve. When your business is audited if it is found that you failed to comply with any of these regulations it could result in exorbitant fees and other penalties. Business owners should seek the assistance of policy experts to ensure that everything is in compliance prior to being submitted.