Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > Employee Benefits

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that health insurance subsidies for low- and middle-income taxpayers (made possible by the Affordable Care Act-ACA) are legal in all 50 states, even in those that have not established a state-operated exchange. What does that mean to employers? The case puts an end to a possible reprieve from assessable payments under the ACA’s employer-shared responsibility rules for those located in states that have not yet established their own exchanges. Ultimately, all employers should carry on with the ACA implementation, because the mandate for employers to provide coverage to full-time employees remains intact.

Employers therefore need to continue to focus on complying with the various ACA requirements, including:

  • Preparing for the new IRS reporting rules contained in Forms 1094 and 1095, which employers must use beginning in 2016 for the purpose of reporting and disclosure of health coverage provided—or not provided—to employees. The draft forms were released this summer, but the instructions have not yet been released. These drafts should not be filed with the IRS or relied upon for filing since changes may be pending.

  • Employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer affordable, minimum-value health coverage to full-time employees and dependents. Coverage for dependents is extended to the age of 26.

  • Staying informed of any developments regarding the “Cadillac tax,” which takes effect in 2018. This tax is an excise tax on employers that offer high-cost health plans to their employees. It’s intended to encourage employers to offer health care plans in which their employees share the cost. The ACA defines a high-cost health plan as one with premium costs above $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families; plans meeting those criteria will cost the employers or their insurance companies a 40 percent tax on the excess amount.

If you have any questions regarding your employee health care plan, the ACA implications, or other Employee Benefit related questions, our in-house Employee Benefits Department would be happy to speak with you.

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Holidays are often remembered with fond memories and filled with abundance but that isn’t always the case for everyone. This holiday season find ways you and your company can make a small difference in your community and help those that are less-fortunate. Here are 4 tips to help your organization bring joy to others this season.

  1. Food. Companies never have a shortage of holiday treats lying around; it seems no matter where you turn there is a stash of goodies. Break rooms and offices alike are filled with baked goods from coworkers and vendors. Not to mention the company potlucks and holiday celebrations. It seems food is everywhere but what about in the community food banks and shelters. This holiday season consider donating the extra food to the shelters or asking your vendors to send your gift to those in need this year.

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Open enrollment can be an extremely positive and rewarding experience for you and your employees. Along with your agent, consider the following suggestions to help you prepare for a successful open enrollment period this year.

Pre-Enrollment Period

  • Plan Ahead. Be ready to answer employee questions regarding the health care reform legislation. Understand how the legislation will affect your benefits offerings and be prepared to share this knowledge with employees. Communicate anything new and exciting that will enhance your open enrollment processes this year. Consider formalizing an implementation strategy to roll out an online or software enrollment program if you haven’t already to save time. If you plan to adopt a new program, allow time to integrate the new software well before your open enrollment period so everything runs smoothly for your employees. As well as making any necessary changes to your benefits offerings before the open enrollment period to avoid rushing at the last minute. Lastly, consider offering new benefits, even if they are 100 percent voluntary.

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Q&A with Employment Law Expert Damian Taylor

Q:      Can employers require exempt employees to record their work hours?
A:      The Fair Labor Standards Act is the federal law that imposes minimum wage and overtime pay requirements for most employers. Many “white collar” employees who meet minimum duties and salary tests are exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements, and therefore receive no overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 per week. Contrary to what many exempt employees think, there is nothing prohibiting employers from requiring their exempt employees to record and report their daily hours worked. Although some exempt employees consider the practice demeaning, it is viewed by many employers as a “best practice” for minimizing the risk of expensive overtime claims. One of the more frustrating types of overtime claims to defend is the claim by an employee who alleges he/she was misclassified as exempt, whose hours of work were not tracked, and who grossly exaggerates the number of overtime hours worked. The cost of defending and settling these claims is often inflated because of the difficulty proving the hours actually worked by the employee in the absence of time records. Some of these claims may even be avoided where time records are maintained. . Read more

2014 – Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Gulfshore Insurance, Inc. announced today the relocation of its east coast office and expansion into Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Officials from the company, Brad Havemeier and Tim Spear worked closely to craft an expansion plan which will result in hiring additional Sales and Service professionals to support the expansion. Gulfshore Insurance associates have been managing business and personal risk for over 44 years in Naples, Florida. The expansion of their business started in Marco Island, years later they opened in Fort Myers and 3 years ago they opened an office on the east coast in Weston. They plan to close the office in Weston and relocate to Fort Lauderdale where they will lease office space located at 1560 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway, 4th Floor.

“It was essential that we secured a larger office facility to accommodate our growth and attract the highest quality employees,” said Brad Havemeier, President of Gulfshore Insurance. “We are pleased to be expanding our presence on the east coast of Florida and to be bringing new jobs to Fort Lauderdale.”

Gulfshore Insurance is a full service independent insurance and risk management agency with 3 divisions – Commercial Insurance, Employee Benefits, and Personal Insurance. They pride themselves on delivering a consistently impeccable experience and developing relationships with their clients. Evaluating, negotiating, and recommending insurers and providers to clients is what they specialize in, they are able to do this because they partner with a variety of carriers and vendors across the country. Holding elite status with several of the large sought after carriers in the insurance industry.