Phone(315)437-2484   Email   Location5010 Campuswood Dr, Ste 105, E. Syracuse, NY
Employee Benefits Syracuse NY Insurance, Retirement Specialists in Syracuse NY

February 2, 2023

Work Part Time at BDS!

  • 2o hours/week; permanent salaried position in East Syracuse
  • Bonuses, 401(k) and profit sharing
  • Vision, dental, and wellness benefits
  • Variety of responsibilities providing support for client service and marketing
  • Professional, pleasant office with a teamwork approach

Full job description

February 4, 2022

COVID At-home Test Reimbursement Information

  • For FDA-approved over-the-counter (OTC) tests purchased after January 15, 2022
  • For those exposed to or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
  • NOT for assessment testing required for school or work

Aetna – Offers reimbursement and no-cost options for those enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans. For more information:

Aetna COVID Test Reimbursement Information

Excellus – Offers reimbursement and no-cost options for those enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans. For more information:

Excellus COVID Test Reimbursement Information

MVP – Offers reimbursement to commercial plan members. For more information:

MVP COVID Test Reimbursement Information

UHC – Offers reimbursement and no-cost options for those enrolled in employer-sponsored and individual plans. For more information:

UHC COVID Test Reimbursement Information

Other options for free at home tests:

The Federal government has a website for each household to request a one-time shipment of four free at-home COVID-19 tests. Go to

Medicare has announced that free at-home tests will be available under Part B in the spring of 2022.

February 3, 2022

ERISA Penalties Increase for 2022

The Department of Labor announced an increase in ERISA penalties for 2022 for employers who fail to maintain plan documents for health and welfare plans, file Form 5500, or provide required documents and notices. For details, click here.

January 7, 2022

COVID-19 Cost-Sharing

Excellus, United Healthcare, and MVP have updated their policies regarding cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment.

  • Testing: Medically appropriate testing is still covered with $0 cost-sharing. Testing to return to work or for public health surveillance is NOT covered.
  • Treatment: Cost-sharing is the same as it would be for the treatment of other illnesses under the member’s coverage.

June 25, 2021

NY State of Emergency Expired

Governor Cuomo has announced that the New York State of Emergency, first declared on March 7, 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic, has expired. Businesses are no longer required to limit capacity or maintain social distancing, although they are free to continue restrictions if they choose.

CDC guidance remains in effect for large venues, schools, public transit, healthcare settings, nursing homes, and correctional facilities. The CDC is monitoring for the presence of the Delta variant of COVID-19 due to the higher transmissibility of the strain and the tendency to become the dominant strain in areas where it has been detected.

New York’s success in bringing the COVID infection rate down has been attributed in part to tighter restrictions and the high vaccination rate. Over 20 million doses of the vaccine have been administered. Areas of the country with the lowest vaccination rates (such as the Gulf states) are considered the most vulnerable to future surges in COVID infection rates.

April 12, 2021

BDS is Moving!

Benefit Design Services is moving to another building in our corporate park. Effective May 1, 2021, our new address will be:

5010 Campuswood Drive, Suite 105

East Syracuse, NY 13057

We’ll be moving on April 29th and 30th and are hoping for minimal disruption of phone and internet service.

April 12, 2021

IRS: PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is Now an Eligible Expense

The IRS announced in March that personal protective equipment (PPE) used in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is now an eligible medical expense under Section 213(d) of the IRS code. Retroactively to January 1, 2020, the cost of hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks can now be reimbursed from your FSA, HSA, or HRA.

August 10, 2020

What is a PHE?

In January 2020 when COVID-19 was first becoming a part of our daily vocabulary, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar declared a national public health emergency (PHE). What does that mean? The website explains how they work, what authority they give Secretary Azar, and the effects they can have on government programs. It also maintains a list of current PHEs.

Employer group benefits are affected by PHEs as insurance carriers and retirement plan administrators temporarily modify their processes to accommodate the emergency. Since PHEs can be extended as the need arises, employer groups have the added responsibility of keeping up with changes that happen faster than handbooks can be updated.

See a list of PHE extended deadlines here.

July 1, 2020

NYS Travel Advisory

Beginning June 25, 2020, New York State (along with New Jersey and Connecticut) has issued a travel advisory for anyone who lives in or travels to a state with a 10% or higher average COVID-19 infection rate then returns to New York. Visitors and travelers, upon entering New York, are required to self-quarantine for 14 days. The above link includes information on exemptions for essential workers.

With summer vacations increasing out of state travel, employers in New York should inform employees who choose to travel to those states for personal reasons that they will NOT be eligible for New York’s Paid Sick Leave. This does not apply if the employee travels for work or at the employer’s request.

The list of applicable states changes weekly and should be monitored by those planning to travel.

June 25, 2020

SBA Revises PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has revised the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application and also created a shortened form for those who meet the requirements. (Previously the guidelines for loan forgiveness were changed to give more flexibility in the amount of time to use the funds and the amount required to be used for payroll.)

Additional details and links to the applications

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