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Perhaps for one reason or another, you can’t provide your employees with a group health insurance plan. Luckily, they can purchase a plan on their own or through the Covered California exchange. But… maybe they have trouble covering the premiums. Maybe they need a prescription medication, device, or service not covered by the insurance plan. Now what?\r\rWhatever the situation, these problems can frustrate your employees. They might also have trouble staying healthy, and that’s a problem that can carry over to the workplace. You want to help your employees, and ensure that they can access benefits they need. But how?\r\rA Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) might be the answer to your quandary. Due to federal regulations passed in December, small businesses can access this provision to help care for their employees, if you meet the following requirements:\r \r You employ fewer than 50 full-time workers \r You do not offer a group health insurance plan \r You will offer the HRA to all full-time employees, on the same terms \r \rHow an QSEHRA works. A Health Reimbursement Arrangement allows you to make contributions to a tax-advantaged account. That money is used to reimburse the worker for eligible healthcare-related expenses, like their premiums.\r\rHow an HRA benefits you. You can offer this valuable benefit to employees, without having to pay payroll taxes on your contributions to the account. They don’t pay taxes on the contributions, either. And of course, happy, healthy employees are always a benefit!\r\rAn HRA might be subject to limits. Under Small Business HRA rules, you can contribute up to $4,950 for a single employee and $10,000 for those with families. These limits may be adjusted in the future to account for inflation.\r\rEven if you can’t afford to fully fund a group health insurance plan, you can help your employees pay for their own plans (and keep them happy and healthy at the same time). As with any other health insurance related issue, QSEHRAs can be complex and often require some explaining. Give us a call if you have questions, and we can help you decide if this type of benefit is right for your...

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Visiting another country is an exciting, hands-on way to learn about another culture. Of course, if an illness or accident happens, you will also receive a demonstration of their healthcare system. And that’s not so exciting!\r\rIf you’re planning a foreign vacation, you’re probably quite busy researching the different aspects of your trip. Don’t forget to consider healthcare. In the event that something happens along the way, will your health insurance policy still protect you?\r\rThe answer to that question is… It depends. The first thing you should do is find out about how your plan will work.\r\rWill my plan cover overseas healthcare? In some cases the answer is yes, but coverage might be limited to emergency situations only. Seek to fully understand those limitations. Ask if any countries are excluded from this coverage. If you’re planning any special activities, such as mountain climbing, ask if accidents related to “risky activities” will be covered.\r\rAsk about coverage for emergency evacuations. Find out if your insurance policy will pay for you to be transported back to the US, in the event of a very serious illness or injury. These emergency evacuations can cost upwards of $100,000 in some cases!\r\rHow do I file a claim? Your health insurance provider has an established system for filing overseas healthcare claims. Knowing this information upfront can help you make the right decisions along the way.\r\rIn many cases, after asking these questions you might determine that your health insurance does not adequately protect you in all possible scenarios. A travel insurance plan can help fill in the gaps, ensuring that you receive the care you need in an emergency.\r\rIf you have Medicare… consider Medigap insurance. If you’re over age 65 and receive Medicare benefits, know that Medicare will not cover medical care that you seek in foreign countries. A Medigap supplemental policy can help, but there is a lifetime $50,000 cap on overseas services.\r\rIf you’re considering a trip to another country, it can be easy to get caught up in the “fun” parts of vacation planning. But your health goes with you wherever you go! And in the event of an emergency, you don’t want to return home to a mountain of bills. Give us a call and we can help you evaluate your health insurance plan, and decide upon a strategy to address this...

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