Category Archives: Uncategorized

Iowa’s Individual Market Is Collapsing

Wellmark and Aetna both announced this month that they will no longer be offering health insurance on the individual market in 2018.  Those who were insured with these carriers, with plans that originated after 2014, have a distinct possibility of having no options for health insurance in the upcoming year.

How Can You Help Your Employees?

Wellmark offers health insurance plans to small businesses with as few as ONE employee.  By offering health insurance through your company you can ensure that your employees will have access to coverage today and in the upcoming year.

How Much Do Employee Benefits Cost?

Employers with less than 50 employees are not required to contribute towards the employees health insurance premiums.  The small group market premiums are typically 15 to 20% less than the individual market and can be deducted pre-tax increasing the savings.

One-On-One Enrollment

Are you aware that 70% of employees would like to take a more active role in their healthcare decisions but feel they don’t have the resources to make those informed decisions?

Fortress Benefits works directly with your employees on a one-on-one basis to empower your employees to make employee benefits decisions to fit their needs.  We provide the knowledge and resources necessary to ensure your employees are satisfied with your companies’ employee benefit package.

Employer Flat-Dollar Contributions to Benefits, an idea worth exploring

Smart employers and their benefits advisers annually review their benefit offerings to identify areas in which they can control the cost of medical premiums. Employers and employees recognize that most of the increase in employee compensation during the last decade has not flowed to employee’s bank accounts, but rather to medical insurers in the form of higher employer contributions to premiums. As a result, a growing number of employers are exploring the advantages of a defined-contribution approach to funding employee benefits. Call us today for a review of your current benefit plan and let us show you how you can control your costs with a defined-contribution plan for all of your employee benefits.

1094 and 1095 Questions

Many employers are asking questions about who is required to report 1094/1095-C and Forms 1094/1095-B. On December 28th, the IRS issued Notice 2016-4 that explains much of what employers are asking us about these forms.
First, the IRS requires all health insurance carriers to issue the 1095-B to its members by February 1st. This is not an employer responsibility. Second, in the same IRS notice, they have announced an automatic extension for Applicable Large Employers (ALE) additional time to prepare 1094/1095-C forms, which is an employer responsibility. An ALE is any employer who has 50 or more employees or 50+ FTEs. The extension applies to the reporting requirements under Code Section 6055 and Code Section 6056, which are part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The February 1st deadline for furnishing Form 1095-C to employees is now moved to March 31, 2016.
Third, and the question we most often receive from our clients is the IRS Notice also provides transitional relief for employees who file their personal income tax returns before they receive Form 1095-C from their employer or 1095-B from the issuer of their health coverage. Employees may rely on other information received from their employer to avoid non-coverage ACA penalties. Once they finally receive their 1095-C form, they need not file an amendment to their tax returns to reflect the information on those forms.

DOL and IRS enforce ERISA

As of July 1st, the IRS and the DOL are beginning to enforce the rules set out in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).  Does your employee benefit plan (health AND retirement) have all of the language required by both agencies of the federal government?  If not, you could be subject to a $100 per day, per plan, penalty for non-compliance.  An ERISA wrap document will satisfy the necessary language to keep your plan compliant.  Most large employers are already aware of this, but most small employers, less than 50 FTE, have never had to worry about regulations enforcement.  Those days are over.  ALL employers, regardless of size, must adhere to the newly enforced regulations.  Call us today to get an ERISA wrap document for your business.  Don’t leave yourself open to possible penalties in case of an IRS or DOL audit.