Compliance can be complex and ensuring that your clients are adhering to the requirements can be challenging. It can be especially difficult to know what areas to focus on when you have clients with varying needs.
Understanding the most important parts of compliance all around can benefit both you and your clients. We have broken down everything to focus on in 2023 to help keep your clients on track. We’ll cover:
- Health and welfare benefits
- Four major laws to understand
- Compliance best practices
Health and Welfare Benefits
Health and welfare compliance impacts everyone that a broker serves. From consumer to business, brokers need to understand how each is affected. This will not only protect the interests of the clients, but also help businesses to avoid penalties.
Private and public sector businesses, nonprofit organizations and any business that offers benefits need to be aware. Not only is every type of business and organization affected, but brokers are impacted as well as consumers.
Additionally, the size of a company makes a difference as to what they’re subject to. If a company or organization is moving from one size threshold to another, they could potentially miss areas of compliance if they’re misinformed.
We created this resource which covers all the scenarios and details about health and welfare compliance brokers should know about.
Four Major Laws to Understand
While there are many regulations to comply with, there are four major laws to be aware of. A few of them were enacted years ago and have seen changes, but their importance has not dwindled. Understanding each in-depth will ensure that your clients don’t miss anything.
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Passed in 2010, ACA has been implemented in stages over the last 12 years. It impacts employers, employees, insurance companies, health care providers, medical device manufacturers and more. The complexity of the law makes compliance extremely difficult so it’s important to have access to someone who knows it well.
Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
ERISA was passed back in 1974. It governs both retirement as well as health and welfare benefit plans. Numerous laws have included various amendments to ERISA since it’s passing in 1974. ERISA only applies to private sector employers as government and church plans are exempt.
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
Enacted in 1986, COBRA includes requirements for portability of certain health and welfare benefits. Most of the compliance failures related to COBRA are due to failure to notify of rights or failure to offer COBRA. Like ERISA, COBRA applies to private sector employers with church plans being exempt.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Passed in 1993, FMLA allows up to 12 weeks of job protected unpaid leave and benefit continuation for eligible employers. Employers are forbidden from preventing, interfering, or retaliating against employees for taking FMLA leave and can be held personally accountable for doing so. To further complicate things, there is frequently an intersection with other federal mandates. FMLA applies to not only private sector, but also public sector employees.
Considering the complexities of compliance, mistakes abound -- from documentation to continuation. It’s easy to miss reporting deadlines, notices or confuse important documents. For a comprehensive guide to help your clients navigate compliance, including areas to watch out for, access our ebook.
Compliance Best Practices
While it can be challenging to manage everything, the more you know about compliance the more you can reduce the risk of litigation and costly penalties.
A checklist is crucial to staying organized and meeting reporting deadlines. Put together a list of items to review, to make sure nothing gets missed.
We're committed to helping you better assist your clients throughout their compliance journeys. Contact us today to learn more.