Tag Archives: insurance news

Health Care Reform and Your Small Business

Do you own or work for a small business?

Then you probably know that there have been significant changes as a result of the new Health Care Reform.

Depending on the size of the business, the requirements and benefits change.

Small businesses with less than 25 full-time employees have the advantage of receiving tax credits to help pay for employee premiums. Additionally, they will be able to offer their employees a small business insurancerange of plans from different insurers like larger companies do, while still receiving a single bill and writing a single check.

Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees are exempt from penalties and might also qualify for employer health care tax credits. However, they are encouraged to closely monitor their workforce so they don’t breach the threshold of 50 full-time employees and acquire steep penalties.

Larger companies, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees, will see the brunt of the changes the Affordable Care Act has brought. As of Jan. 2016, all companies with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to make some potentially costly adjustments.

Many large companies are struggling to comply with the regulations because they don’t have the personnel or budget to fulfill requirements. They are cutting employee hours, reducing hiring, or passing costs onto consumers or shareholders to meet the new regulations.

health care reform small businessThe first mandate is that they must track worker’s hours and absences. They will also be required to report to the IRS on the employee health care offered or not offered and how much they spend on health insurance. With this increased amount of record keeping and reporting, small businesses might have to hire more employees or spend more on human resource providers.

Secondly, companies with 50 or more full-time employees and will be required to offer employee health care coverage to their employees, or pay a penalty.

Lastly, these larger companies, as well as higher income employees, might be affected by some new taxes.

While we can speculate how the Affordable Care Act will affect small and large businesses alike, the only way to be sure of these changes and their affects is to let it play out.

Because the new Health Care Reform can be complicated, if you own a small business it would be worth your time to seek the advice of an insurance agent in order to make sure you are in compliance.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the new Health Care Laws or your small business!

Texas Adopts NCCI Workers Compensation Manuals and Plans

You might have heard that Texas has recently adopted National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) workers compensation manuals and plans. So far, Texas has only approved the Basic and Forms Manual, Statistical Reporting Plan, and Experience Rating Plan, but are on their way to fully becoming an NCCI state.

Texas has been working to become an NCCI state since 2012. But because workers compensation has been regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), based in Austin, TX, since 1876, transferring to NCCI brings with it a lot of changes.

With change come questions, so here are a few answers.

 

First, what is the NCCIworkers compensation NCCI Texas?

The National Council on Compensation Insurance, based in Boca Raton, FL., is the largest provider of workers compensation data and statistics. They gather data, analyze industry trends, and provide support and recommendations to over 900 insurance companies in nearly 40 state governments.

Users of NCCI services include insurance companies, independent bureaus, self-insured organizations, regulatory authorities, legislatures, risk managers, employers, insurance agents, and more.

 

Why does Texas want to become an NCCI state?

If Texas becomes an NCCI state, the amount of data provided to the NCCI would dramatically increase. Once they have more data, they will be able to provide more accurate information to other NCCI states. This will profit both the NCCI and the states they serve.

In addition, Texas insurance carriers would benefit from the technical expertise, infrastructure, and support the NCCI provides. This would also free up the TDI to pursue more extensive workers compensation issues.

Insurance carriers and policyholders would both benefit from having access to more uniform statistical data, as well as functioning with more consistent rules, which are dictated by the NCCI across states.

 

How do the NCCI adoptions affect insurance carriers and policyholders?

The first affect is that certain workers compensation system functions transfer from the TDI to NCCI, therefore improving efficiency. This streamlines the experience for both carriers and policyholders, as well as decreases the amount of involvement from the government and TDI.

Secondly, carriers are now required to report additional data on each policy they issue to the NCCI, while the TDI required only minimal reporting. They also have to report the data in different ways.

Carriers and individual agents are now charged additional fees in order to have access to the NCCI manual, endorsements, forms, and other services they provide. However, the NCCI has agreed to apply discounts to Texas services as they make the transition.

 

When will Texas become an NCCI state?

That is the question on everyone’s mind. As of now, they have approved the NCCI Basic and Forms Manual, Statistical Plan, and Experience Rating Plan, but they are pushing forward to become an NCCI state. The good news is that the NCCI is developing transition plans along the way so insurance carriers and policyholders have the necessary time to adjust to the new requirements.

 

Got Questions?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the changes to workers compensation as a result of  Texas becoming an NCCI state, JR Carnahan is prepared to guide you in the right direction. Connect with us here or by calling 210-587-6968.