Here are all the articles I've written about Employment. Enjoy!

August 17th, 2015

Big changes are coming for small business owners….

CALLING ALL SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS!!!

Are you aware of the big health insurance changes coming in 2016??  The Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) will create a tsunami that may really change your health insurance benefits.

Small Groups used to be classified as 2-50 employees.  In 2016, it will change to 1-100 employees.

This major shift will be hardest on companies in the awkward midsize range — 50-100 employees.  Here’s why . . .

Before 2016, these groups with over 50 employees qualified for rates based on age bands (e.g., 30-39), not the employees’ actual ages — this is called Community Rating — which saved the employer AND employees some money.

BUT in 2016 these 50-100 employers will be REQUIRED to have Composite Rating just like smaller employers.  Composite rates are based on the employee’s actual age rather than age bands.  The employee’s family members’ rates will also be based on their individual ages.

Composite Rating will cost more for the employer and employees.    Groups of 50-100 employees may struggle with the new age-based system required by the ACA.

Not only do you have other uncertainties besides insurance to worry about when you’re growing your business, but enrollments are really a headache!   That’s why it’s good to have a trusted broker help you with your policy [ahem!!].

Aside from that, you need a good advocate to PLAN PLAN PLAN to get ready for some serious rate changes in 2016!    If you do plan, you’ll grow up big and strong and healthy!  The Insurance Mom is by your side to help you through your growth spurt.

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August 13th, 2015

You Can’t Take it With You — Life Insurance That Is!

Got life insurance at work?   Great!

Leaving the job for something bigger and better?  Congrats!

Retiring from the daily grind?   Have fun!

But… heads-up!   You can’t take your cheap, affordable term life insurance with you.   I bet you didn’t know that, right?    You can only keep your cheap, affordable term life insurance if you change it to the more expensive permanent sort of life insurance (aka “whole life”).

What, Insurance Mom?   Tell me what to do!!   Take a deep breath and give The Insurance Mom a call.   Let’s chat about what type of life insurance you should have, and how much life insurance you really need.   We want your family to have choices, not expenses, right?   Right!!

The Insurance Mom’s got you covered… phew!…

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July 9th, 2014

Long-Term Care Clarity!

Does Medicare cover long-term care expenses?  The answer may surprise you!

 

There was a neat article this week in the LA Times about Long-Term Care Insurance which spelled it out very nicely.

 

If you haven’t given much thought to how you’d pay for long term care expenses, you’re not alone.    Most of us haven’t.   But, the BIG question is:   Would you be able to afford it?

 

In California, the average annual cost for long term care – today — is about $82,000 a year.  Wow, that hurts!   If you cover your ass(ets) and get long-term care insurance, you’ll significantly reduce your costs.

 

So . . . DOES Medicare cover LTC?  No!     Does your health insurance cover LTC?   No!

 

Not a happy prospect.   We are all about protecting your money over here, so it may be time for you to start thinking about it, too.  Remember: the younger you are when you plan ahead the more you save.  The ‘Mom’ only wants what’s best for her little kiddies!

 

Educate yourself on the details of the ins and outs with the article here and contact The Insurance Mom for a chat about your future.  Mind your P’s and Q’s and you’ll be taken care of . . . long-term.…

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April 22nd, 2010

Small Businesses: How To Claim Your Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit

Questions abound!   Here’s an answer:

HOW TO CLAIM THE TAX CREDIT

How does an employer claim the tax credit? The credit is taken on the annual tax return. The IRS will provide information on how tax-exempt employers can claim the new credit.

Does taking the tax credit affect an employer’s deduction for health insurance premiums? Yes. The amount taken for the tax credit must be subtracted from the deduction.

May an employer reduce employment tax payments during the year in anticipation of the tax credit? No. The credit applies against income tax, not employment tax (i.e. withheld income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax).

See more FAQs so that you get the most out of your money!

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April 19th, 2010

Are You an Employee or an Independent Contractor?

Watch out!  The IRS is cracking down on cheating companies!   This recent article is from Parade Magazine:

Some labor-force experts predict that 50% of jobs created in the economic recovery will go to contractors, consultants, or other temporary employees.  That’s good news for employers, since these “contingent workers” cost 30% less than full-time staff (no payroll taxes, health insurance, workers comp or coffee!).   But studies by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service suggest that thousands of companies may be calling workers “ contractors” when they’re really full-time.

True independent contractors control when and how they work, rather than obeying directives from an employer. By misclassifying workers, businesses get all the advantages of full-time employees but save millions of dollars. They also gain an edge over their competitors, deprive the government of billions in tax revenue, and hurt employees by making them ineligible for worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, medical leave, and other benefits.

President Obama has allocated $25 million to the Department of Labor to combat employee misclassification, mostly by hiring additional investigators.  Meanwhile, the IRS is expanding company audits, and states from Nebraska to Maine are announcing initiatives to find—and fine—companies that aren’t playing fair.

“Misclassification is a spreading epidemic,” says Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who recently proposed higher fines and criminal sanctions for businesses in his state that misclassify workers. These companies, he adds, “not only victimize workers, who don’t get the compensation they deserve, but also honest businesses who are underbid or outpriced by those that illegally cut costs.”

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April 18th, 2010

Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

If you own a small business, this is for you.    Did you know that, as a result of the recent health care reform legislation, starting in 2010 you may be eligible for a 35% tax credit?

Eligibility Rules

  • Providing health care coverage. A qualifying employer must cover at least 50 percent of the cost of health care coverage for some of its workers based on the single rate.
  • Firm size. A qualifying employer must have less than the equivalent of 25 full-time workers (for example, an employer with fewer than 50 half-time workers may be eligible).
  • Average annual wage. A qualifying employer must pay average annual wages below $50,000.
  • Both taxable (for profit) and tax-exempt firms qualify.

Amount of Credit

  • Maximum Amount. The credit is worth up to 35 percent of a small business’ premium costs in 2010. On Jan. 1, 2014, this rate increases to 50 percent (35 percent for tax-exempt employers).
  • Phase-out. The credit phases out gradually for firms with average wages between $25,000 and $50,000 and for firms with the equivalent of between 10 and 25 full-time workers.
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