Benefits Compliance Services
When you engage a broker for your company’s employee benefits program, you might assume that they will also ensure that your benefits program is compliant and remains compliant. Because of the complexities and costs associated with benefits compliance, few brokers provide Employee Benefits Compliance Services, and those who offer them may charge heavily for the service.
Employee Benefits Compliance isn’t optional for your company or any other company — it’s required by numerous regulations. So, if your benefits broker doesn’t provide Employee Benefits Compliance Services, you will need to find another provider who does. Your options include specialized attorneys or some payroll system vendors. But your better choice is to switch to Rhino Employee Benefits (Rhino), where we provide Employee Benefits Compliance Services as part of every employee benefits program.
What is Employee Benefits Compliance?
Generally speaking, your company is responsible for all of its own compliance requirements based on the regulations of the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Health and Human Services (HHS), Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). These Federal and State agencies write their own compliance laws that include employee notifications, documentation of the notifications and employee responses, maintaining ERISA SPD and SMM details, filing reports with the appropriate agencies at the proper time and having complete documentation of your program’s operations for audit purposes. That means your company needs to understand and comply with all of the following:
- ERISA SPD Wrap generation and enforcement
- Employee notice(s) generation addressing Medicare Part D, CHIP, WHCRA, HIPAA, COBRA, NHMPA, MHPA, FMLA, USERRA, GINA, Wellness and Patient Protection
- Summaries of material modifications
- Section 125 Premium Only Plan (POP) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
- Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
- ACA tracking and affordability
- Employer reporting
- Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) distribution
- Legal employment library
- Employee manual review
- Benefit waiver enforcement
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
- Anti-discrimination testing
- One-on-one employee consultation regarding health sensitive information
- Continuous employer and employee education regarding changes in the law
Penalties for Non-Compliance
In the eyes of these agencies, you are in non-compliance until you prove otherwise. All the while, the penalties and fines will accumulate and range from $100 per occurrence up to millions of dollars in aggregate.
Operating in a non-compliant manner exposes your company to severe penalties and fines. And, for the agencies enforcing compliance, it is a zero-tolerance game.
Rhino Employee Benefits Compliance Services
We see our Employee Benefits Compliance Services as a differentiating strength of Rhino. So, while other brokers may disclaim any responsibility for providing Employee Benefits Compliance Services, we embrace it so we can provide our clients with a complete solution to their employee benefits program. We do not charge for providing our Employee Benefits Compliance Services but instead pay for them by reinvesting a portion of our revenue into:
- Building and managing your plans in the Ease benefits administration and HR software system
- HR staff and employee education about plan features and benefits
- COBRA administration
- Section 125 set-up and maintenance
- Required employee compliance notices
- 5500 reporting
- ERISA SPD Wrap generation
- Extensive claims reconciliation
- Custom employee benefit manuals
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
- HR library
- Onsight, telephonic and video employee enrollment support
The heart of our Employee Benefits Compliance Services is our Ease benefits administration and HR software. This licensed technology becomes both the portal for your participating employees and the program management dashboard for your HR team. The Ease system automates new employee onboarding, automates and records all compliance actions and data, houses your compliance documents and much more. Read more about our Ease software.
We Build Your Compliance Structure into Your Benefits Program
Rhino simplifies your benefits compliance by creating the documents, data collection processes, agency reporting schedules and employee communications in parallel with your program’s development in the Ease platform. This best practice ensures that no document or compliance requirement gets overlooked and that your program satisfies all compliance requirements the day it launches.
Tracking Proof of Waivers and IRS 226j Letters
If you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) with fifty (50) or more Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees, you must offer 95% of eligible employees “affordable” medical insurance coverage. However, your employees can waive (decline) any or all offered benefits. A potential liability arises if an eligible employee seeks and obtains assistance to pay for medical insurance because they felt it was too expensive or did not know it was available. This action triggers an IRS 226j letter requiring an immediate response and starts accumulating fines, potentially thousands of dollars per day.
Your defense relies on maintaining records of employees waiving benefits and confirmation of notifications sent about available benefits. The Ease software tracks all waivers and maintains a complete record of notification and proof of receipt, allowing you to respond quickly to the IRS and avoid paying huge fines.