The Business Council of New York State has opened up its web site to the public for assistance in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Normally only available to members, BCNYS has created a Managing the Coronavirus page with links to additional information, webinar recordings with slides, and facts on recent legislation, including:
- The New York Emergency Paid Sick Leave Law
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) federal relief bill
The proposed New York Health Act currently under discussion in the New York Legislature has the goal of replacing all public and private insurance with a state-sponsored plan. For a well-researched analysis of the plan, see the link below.
Do No Harm – Bill Hammond
There are many ways of ensuring that everyone has health care coverage (A.K.A. providing universal health care). New York representatives are considering passing a Single-Payer bill that would cover all New York residents under one government-sponsored plan. Is that the same as Universal Health Care? Click here for an explanation of the different types of coverage options.
The Cadillac Tax is a 40% excise tax on employers that provide high-cost insurance benefits to employees. As part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it was designed to reduce health care costs by encouraging employers to offer cost-effective coverage. Originally set to become effective in 2018, the effective date has been pushed back to 2022. Click here for an info-graphic with additional details.
Though the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is uncertain, the IRS is beginning to enforce its employer mandate that requires employers with 50 or more full time equivalents to provide affordable health insurance. Employers with over 100 full time equivalents are the first to receive notification of fines imposed for failing to provide qualifying insurance.
Early this morning, the Senate voted against the “skinny repeal” of several provisions of the Affordable Care Act by a vote of 51 to 49. Three Republicans joined the Democrats in voting against the bill that would have repealed the individual mandate, the employer mandate, several of the taxes that fund the ACA, and key protections of health benefits. Senator John McCain released a statement on why he voted against the bill, siting the lack of a replacement plan that would reform health care. He urged congress to take the bill back to committee, get input from multiple sources, and come up with “a bill that finally delivers affordable health care for the American people.”
Read more here.
Effective January 1, 2018, ALL private employers are required to provide Paid Family Leave (PFL) to employees who have worked for at least 26 consecutive weeks. Employees are entitled to 8 weeks during a 52-week calendar period in order to:
- bond with a newborn, adopted or foster care child during the first 12 months;
- care for a seriously ill family member; or
- address important needs related to a family member’s military service
In 2018, the benefit is 50% of average weekly wages to a maximum of $1,296.48. Employers won’t need to administer PFL since the DBL carriers will have that responsibility, and the premium will be funded through payroll deduction. There may be indirect costs and planning required to change payroll deductions, update employee handbooks and policies, and to make adjustments for employees taking leave under the new benefit. For more information, follow this link.
The federal election results have many people wondering about the fate of the Affordable Care Act and the effect changes will have on insurance coverage. The “repeal and replace” mantra and promises to act quickly may be catchy sound bites, but the reality will likely be “repeal and delay” or a series of small changes in the law. It’s safe to say that nothing will change immediately since insurance companies file their plans months in advance, and many in congress have pledged not to make disruptive changes to the insurance market. The changes won’t be retroactive, and there will be time for insurance companies to re-design their plans to meet changing regulations and for us to plan for those changes. We’ll keep our clients informed and help to sort out the new options as they come. In the meantime, all regulations are still in effect, and groups with 50+ employees should still follow reporting requirements!
BDS merger with Utica firm spurs
The Central New York Business Journal featured BDS in an article titled BDS merger with Utica firm spurs revenue growth.
BDS is looking for a full time Employee Benefits Representative. If you’d like to join us in providing innovative benefit solutions to new and existing clients in CNY, the North Country and the Southern Tier, email your resume to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with “Employee Benefits Representative” in the subject line.