June Benefits Focus

Benefits Focus

We’re several months into the coronavirus pandemic and now able to see more of its impact on the health care industry. This month’s Benefits Focus explains refunds that employers may see from their insurance carriers due to coronavirus savings and features a guide on how those refunds must be used by employers.

We boost your benefits knowledge with a thorough explanation of the Form 5500 reporting and the newly released 2021 HSA/HDHP limits. And finally, don’t miss Live Well Work Well this month. We learn about a not-so-typical wellbeing booster and prep for grilling season with safety tips.

Get the June Benefits Focus here.

Client Spotlight: Simon Hegele Healthcare Solutions

Client Spotlight

If you’ve had an MRI or CT Scan, chances are the imaging equipment used to perform the procedure was installed by Wood Dale-based Simon Hegele Healthcare Solutions (“Hegele”). An Alper Client for 15 years, Hegele organizes and manages the supply chain of high-tech nuclear medicine and imaging machines throughout North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific. With more than 150 employees, Hegele partners with the world’s largest imaging manufacturers to transport and install these intricate machines in highly sensitive health-care facilities, as well as refurbish second-hand equipment to exacting manufacturer standards before shipping and re-installing them. Deemed an essential business by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Hegele’s technicians continue to ensure critical medical equipment is installed worldwide, even while many communities remain under strict lockdown orders. Continue reading

Return To Work Guide

As we near a time when stay-at-home regulations are scaled back and all businesses are allowed to resume full operations, business owners need to decide on an acceptable date to begin reopening. To help with this process, Alper has created a collection of Return To Work materials broken into four sections:
We will continue to update these materials as more information becomes available. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your Alper Representative with questions.

Deciding When It’s Right For You To Reopen

A recent survey by Blank Rome  found that 73% of the companies surveyed have not yet developed a return-to-work strategy. If and when the government allows businesses to reopen, that doesn’t mean COVID-19 is no longer a threat. Some businesses may have greater exposures than others, so you will need to understand the risks and decide when it’s right for you. To help you in this process, consult the Centers for Disease Control, your state’s shelter in place orders and union obligations if any apply. We’ve listed additional organizations’ guidelines that would be helpful: 

CDC Guidelines

EEOC Guidelines

OSHA Guidelines

Executive Order by State

White House Guidelines

City of Chicago Coronavirus Response Center

State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site

Preparing Your Business To Avoid An Outbreak

Before you reopen your business, you’ll need to think about how you can do so safely. Most businesses will not be able to flip a switch and go from closed to open, but rather will need to reopen in phases. This section provides an overview of how to prepare for reopening. Continue reading

May Benefits Focus

Benefits Focus

We’re finding every week raises a new scenario and its own set of questions that are unique to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hope is that this issue of Benefits Focus provides clarity surrounding FFCRA compliance, deadline extensions for COBRA and what a return to work plan could look like. Click here to download it.

Our overview of a return to work plan is a great starting point—don’t miss it! However, we also have a more extensive guide to Creating A Return To Work Action Plan that you can download here.

Remember, the Alper Employee Benefits Team is here to answer any questions you have regarding this information or benefits coverage in general, EBTeam@AlperServices.com.

The Effect of COVID-19 on Your Workers’ Comp Premium

WC Premiums May Change Due To COVID-19

We’ve seen many of our Clients change their operations or even halt business activity altogether as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. If your day-to-day business has shifted due to COVID-19, it can impact your workers’ comp premiums. Consider these scenarios:

A business has suspended their operations due to COVID-19 but continues to pay their employees who are home and not working. Is this payroll included in premium calculations for workers’ comp?

Your business has limited operations due to COVID-19 and some employees are temporarily placed in new roles. What classifications would you assign to employees in temporary roles?

Have your business operations changed or been temporarily interrupted due to the pandemic? How does a change in your operations affect your class code and premium?

Our AuditRate Experts can tell you how the coronavirus pandemic impacts your particular business. Please contact the Alper Services AuditRate Team to schedule a consultation:

Michelle Marten, MMarten@AlperServices.com

John Przybylski, JPrzybylski@AlperServices.com

Video Series: Preparing For Now Through When

Preparing For Now Through When Video Series

Our first episode of the video series Preparing For Now Through When is live! In it we hear from Alper Employee Benefits Director Will Pinn about the difference between furloughs, layoffs and a reduction of hours, and how they impact your employee benefits plans. Click here to view.

Each episode of Preparing For Now Through When will examine the questions we are hearing from Clients in our area of expertise as it relates to the coronavirus pandemic. Because the current climate is constantly evolving, please contact your Alper Services representative with your immediate questions.