Health Insurance - What you need to know:
With companies spending an increasing amount on medical costs, it’s important to have a plan that fits your health care needs. There are three main types of coverage you can choose from: HMO's (health maintenance organizations), PPO's (preferred provider organizations) and the newer model called HDHP's (high deductible health plan) paired with a savings account (HSA or HRA). HMO's provide comprehensive coverage at a lower cost and with traditional designs employees pay lower deductibles or co-payments for basic care; choices are more limited generally only the hospitals, physicians and labs in-network are available. PPO's provide greater consumer choice offering service both in-network and out-of-network, financial incentives are designed to keep members in-network with lower out-of pocket costs; freedom of choice is enhanced in exchange for higher out-of-network liability. HDHP's are designed to cost shift from employer to employee and promote increased user responsibility by making the employee responsible for higher deductibles (HSA Deductible 2017 minimums: $1300 single, $2600 family; Out-of-pocket limits: $6550 single, $13,100 family); these plans may be linked to a employee vested health savings account (HSA contribution 2017 limits: $3400 single, $6750 family, $1000 catch-up 55+) or health reimbursement account (HRA- non-vested, corporate retained). HDHP's may be offered as either HMO or PPO designs. Funding may be either fully insured or self-funded with stop loss and reinsurance.
Does your Long-Term Disability Plan discriminate against Highly Compensated Employees?
Many group long-term disability plan maximums do not cover executive’s income protection needs or replacement ratio. An alternative to increasing plan maximums and company expense is changing the benefits to a non-taxable status as a more cost effective method to provide higher levels of income protection. The strategy is to "gross-up" the executive's salary to offset the additional cost of employee paid after-tax disability premiums in order for the executive to receive benefits tax-free should they become disabled. Gross-up means the employer includes an amount equal to the premium of the employee’s disability income protection coverage in the employee’s W-2 annual income report. The employer may add an amount sufficient to cover the premium (Single Bonus Plan) or the premium and taxes incurred on the premium (Double Bonus Plan). The net effect is to make the plan more efficient.
What is Long Term Care and who needs it?
Long-term care is an array of services used by people who need assistance to function in their daily lives. For many, these services help preserve the ability to live in one's home, community or to remain employed. Long-term care includes personal care, rehabilitation, social services, assistive technology, home health care, home modifications, care coordination, assisted transportation, and more. Services may be needed on a regular or intermittent basis over a period of several months, years, or a lifetime. Services may be delivered in individual homes, in assisted living, in adult day centers, or in nursing facilities. People who need long-term care overwhelmingly prefer to receive care in their own home or a community setting. Conditions that may lead to a need for long-term care include physical disability or frailty, developmental disabilities, mental illness, AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury, or stroke. The need for long-term care is usually measured by assessing limitations in an individual's capacity to perform or manage tasks of daily living, including self-care and household tasks.People of all ages may need long-term care. Older people are the primary users of long-term care services and support because functional disability increases with advancing age. The need for long term care is growing due to aging of the US population and baby boomers approaching retirement age. An estimated 70 percent of people who reach the age of 65 will need some form of long term care before they die. Long Term Care Insurance is designed to provide independence and a stream of cash flow transferring the financial risk of care and allow the client's family to supervise care instead of provide care.