What is a QSEHRA?

  What does an employer who wants to help their employees with their health insurance, but isn’t quite ready to jump into the group benefits pool just yet, do? Some employers just “wage up” or give a stipend to their employees to help offset the cost of health insurance. In some cases, this may not affect their tax situation.  However, in other scenarios, it could have serious consequences on an employee’s eligibility for assistance with their marketplace plan. If an employee receives a stipend of $300/month to help with premium, it  looks like their income is higher. But, it’s actually not.  That extra $3600 is supposed to be used for medical insurance. QSEHRA The QSEHRA might be a great place to start. QSEHRA stands for Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement. In a nutshell, it allows you to help your employee with their premium on an individual plan … without compromising their eligibility for a subsidy. How it works As the employer, you need to determine what you

I see you! Using your HSA for eye care.

                                                       I went to see my eye doctor recently. My husband and I have an Health Savings Account, so I used that to pay for my exam and new glasses. In the course of that visit, my doctor and I discussed all the things you could use an HSA for when at the eye doctor, so I thought I'd share a few here. 👀 Exam 👀 Glasses 👀 Contact lenses 👀 Vision therapy 👀 Prescription sunglasses 👀 Anti-fogging solution (especially useful when wearing a mask!) I'll be sharing a few more ideas on how to use your HSA card in the coming weeks, so please be on the lookout for that. In the comments below, I've included a link to a blog on HSAs if you'd like to read more about them. Have a question? Let me know! PS: Need a great eye doctor in NW Houston? Go see Dr. Erin Pitts  at Eyes on Cypress . #hsas   #employeebenefits   #visionbenefits   #visioncare   #knowyourbenefits

Is a FSA right for your company?

A Flexible Savings Account can be a tremendous help to an employee and a nice addition to a benefits package.  Offered by the employer, an FSA allows employees to set aside pretax dollars through a payroll deduction to pay for specific healthcare expenses, like medications, eyeglasses and copays, just to name a few.  How it works  Each year, the federal government sets a cap on the amount of money an employee can set aside for these eligible expenses for themselves and their eligible dependents. In 2021, that figure is $2,750.   The employer, however, may set a lower annual maximum allowable amount they would allow their employees to set aside. The employee then determines their own annual election; that amount will be broken down by the number of pay cycles the company has over the course of the year and then deducted from those paychecks.  Unlike other tax-advantaged benefits, such as a Health Savings Account, a Flexible Spending Account has no plan requirements and the entire chosen

Health Savings what?

From time-to-time, I get the question “why would I choose an HSA over a copay plan?”  There are a number of reasons why actually.  First of all, a Health Savings Account is a special savings account, exclusively for medical expenses. It can be a great tool for families who don’t expect to use their health plan much in a given year. Plus, it can help you save on important tax dollars. What? A health plan that can help me save money on my taxes? Yep.  To start, you must have an HSA-designated High Deductible Health Plan. Just because it has what you consider a high deductible, doesn’t mean that it qualifies. It must actually be HSA designated by the insurance company. An easy way to tell would be if your plan qualifies is if there are no copays before you hit your deductible. Tax savings At work, you may have an HSA plan in your benefits offering. You also may have an actual Health Savings Account available to you. Sometimes, an employer offers an HSA plan and lets you elect the financia

For Your Reference: How an alternative funding model can be the answer to your health plan needs

Finding the right health plan for your organization can be a challenge. So many options. So many carriers. So many numbers.  Spreadsheet exhaustion might even kick in.  One of the biggest choices an employer has to make is between fully-insured and self-insured health plans.  A fully insured plan is what we are all used to … a network with copays, in either an HMO, PPO or HSA format. The company pays a premium to the insurance carrier, who assumes all of the risk. Risk? Yes, risk. That is what insurance is all about, right? Mitigating -- and minimizing -- risk. With fully insured plans, premiums are based on a community rating system. If your company is based in 77065, for example, your rates will be based on everyone in that zip code. You could have no claims throughout the year on a fully insured plan and still get a rate increase and not get any money back.  With a self-insured health plan, employers operate their own insurance plan. The company goes through underwriting or submits