Straight From The Source Blog by Higginbotham Insurance

September HR News Worth Review

September 10 , 2019


Medicare Part D Notices Due Before Oct. 15, 2019

Each year, Medicare Part D requires group health plan sponsors to disclose to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D and to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable. Plan sponsors must provide the annual disclosure notice to Medicare-eligible individuals before Oct. 15, 2019—the start date of the annual enrollment period for Medicare Part D. CMS has provided model disclosure notices for employers to use.

This notice is important because Medicare beneficiaries who aren't covered by creditable prescription drug coverage and don't enroll in Medicare Part D when first eligible will likely pay higher premiums if they enroll at a later date. Although there are no specific penalties associated with this notice requirement, failing to provide the notice may be detrimental to employees.

To make the process easier, employers often include Medicare Part D notices in open enrollment materials sent out annually. If a plan sponsor chooses to provide the disclosure notice with other plan participant information, the creditable coverage disclosure must be prominent and conspicuous. This means that the disclosure notice portion of the document or a reference to the section in the document that contains the disclosure notice portion must be prominently referenced in at least 14-point font in a separate box, bolded or offset on the first page of the provided plan participant information. Also, as a practical matter, group health plan sponsors often provide the creditable coverage disclosure notices to all plan participants.

Employer Takeaway
Employers should confirm whether their health plan’s prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable and prepare to send their Medicare Part D disclosure notices before Oct. 15, 2019. “Before” means the individual must have been provided with the notice within the past 12 months. So, if it was provided on or after Oct. 16, 2018, that will suffice.

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Tags: Compliance

The Texas Residential Construction Liability Act

September 04 , 2019

broken pencil v2

In 2003, Texas passed a law governing the steps a residential homeowner must take before bringing a lawsuit against a contractor for a construction defect. The process allows builders and other involved parties an opportunity to immediately inspect and repair before a homeowner may file suit, and it offers limitations on the consumer awards available under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

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Tags: Risk Management

Educating your children about insurance before they leave for college

August 28 , 2019


Attending college is an exciting time for children. Whether it’s deciding where to go, what to major in or figuring the finances, there are a lot of decisions to think about. Before they leave the nest, here are three things to consider when it comes to having the right insurance policy.

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Tags: Home & Auto

Financial wellness: should you offer student loan assistance benefits?

August 22 , 2019

Student loans

Many of your workers have student loan debt. It may be causing significant stress. It may even be distracting them from work. To help with this growing problem, more employers are offering student loan assistance benefits. Here’s what you need to know before you launch your own program.

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Tags: Employee Benefits

Protect your accounts receivable with trade credit insurance

August 14 , 2019

GettyImages-invoice v8Extending credit to your clients isn’t just a nice perk, it’s expected in today’s business climate. Credit not only enhances the purchasing power of your customer base, it can also attract prospects that may not have otherwise been able to buy from you.

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Tags: Business Insurance

Contractors: do you have a silica exposure control plan?

August 07 , 2019


The air your workers breathe could be killing them. Respirable silica is a known health hazard. Because silica has many applications in the construction industry, construction site managers and employers should be aware of the risks and know how to manage them with a silica exposure control plan.

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Tags: Risk Management

August HR News Worth Review

July 31 , 2019


IRS Expands Preventive Care for HDHPs to Include Chronic Conditions

On July 17, 2019, the IRS released Notice 2019-45 to add care for a range of chronic conditions to the list of preventive care benefits that can be provided by a high deductible health plan (HDHP) without a deductible. This includes treatment and medication for asthma, diabetes, heart disease and depression, among others.

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Tags: Compliance

Understanding commercial property insurance deductibles

July 24 , 2019

Money tornado

Your commercial property insurance policy likely includes a deductible. If you file a claim, the deductible is the amount you will have to pay out of pocket before the insurance company pays. While deductibles are seen in many types of insurance, from health to auto, they can work a little differently in commercial property policies.

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Tags: Business Insurance

Five things to consider before switching car insurance

July 17 , 2019

GettyImages-car insurance

Switching your car insurance policy can save you hundreds of dollars a year. But, make sure you consider these things before you make the switch to a different insurance company.

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Tags: Home & Auto

July 2019 Retirement Times

July 15 , 2019

Retirement Times Blog.jpg

Summer Homework for Fiduciaries

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Tags: Retirement Plans


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