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What Tax Reform Means For Small Businesses & Pass-Through Entities

What Tax Reform Means For Small Businesses & Pass-Through Entities

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One of the most significant changes under tax reform is the tax treatment of businesses. Unlike changes to the individual tax scheme, which are temporary and somewhat piecemeal, the changes to the business tax scheme are permanent and fairly comprehensive. It would be impossible to address all of the changes so I’m focusing on what I’ve been asked about most: how the new rules will affect pass-through entities and small businesses.

First, a quick reminder. Currently, you can structure your business in a few ways, including:

  • sole proprietorship is the most simple form of business entity. Taxpayers do not file a separate tax return and instead, business income and expenses are reported on a federal form 1040, Schedule C.
  • partnership is an association of two or more persons to carry on a business and can take different forms (like limited or general partnerships). A partnership files a separate return, a federal form 1065, and passes income and losses to the individual partners who are responsible for reporting that information on their individual tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a hybrid entity that offers the option to be taxed as a partnership or a corporation.
  • Single Member Limited Liability Company is an LLC with a single member, typically treated as a “disregarded entity” for federal tax purposes. That means there’s no separate tax form and income and expenses are reported on a Schedule C, just as with a sole proprietorship.
  • C corporation is what most people think of when it comes to business. A C corporation files a federal form 1120 and pays any tax due. Shareholders also pay tax at their individual income tax rates for dividends or other distributions from the company (this is where the term “double tax” comes from).
  • Professional or Personal Service Corporation is a corporation for certain occupations – typically service professions like lawyers, doctors, and architects.
  • An S Corporation is a corporation with tax treatment similar to a partnership. An S corporation files a federal form 1120-S which passes most items of income or loss to shareholders who are responsible for reporting that information on their individual tax returns.

 

Corporate tax rates, like individual tax rates, are progressive. For 2017, corporate rates range from 15% to 39% (except for personal service corporations which are taxed at 35%) while individual tax rates range from 10% to 39.6%. While the brackets vary, the rates for individuals and corporations are pretty closely aligned.

The new tax law now provides for a flat 21% tax rate for corporations (the new tax rates for individuals are here). You can imagine how that could have been problematic without more changes: If companies were taxed at a lower rate than individuals, the pass-through scheme doesn’t work. But creating a new tax rate for the entities would take away the pass-through nature of the entity. Congress’ solution? Business income that passes through to an individual from a pass-through entity and income attributable to a sole proprietorship will be taxed at individual tax rates less a deduction of up to 20% to bring the rate lower.

It sounds easy but it quickly can become tricky since the deduction is subject to limits and restrictions. To understand those, you need some definitions:

  • Qualified business income (QBI). QBI is generally net income from your business without regard for any amount paid by an S corporation that is treated as reasonable compensation, any guaranteed payment for services in business, or any amount paid or incurred to a partner for services outside his or her capacity as a partner. You’ll use the “normal” rules when figuring QBI, so capitalize and amortize expenditures accordingly. One last note: QBI is determined on a per business, not a per taxpayer,  basis.
  • Qualified property. Qualified property is tangible property (typically, things you can touch) subject to depreciation and available for use in your business at the end of the tax year. You must use the property to produce qualified business income (as defined above).
  • Specified service trade or business. A specified service trade or business is any business involving the performance of services in the fields of health, law, consulting, athletics, financial services, brokerage services, or “any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of one or more of its employees or owners.” I like to think of it this way: if the success of your business depends on you and not on something that you sell, you’re pretty much included (except for engineering and architecture services, which were specifically excluded). The definition also includes a business where the performance of services consists of investing and investment management trading, or dealing in securities, partnership interests, or commodities.
  • Threshold amount. The threshold amount is the amount above which both the limitation on specified service businesses and the wage limit apply. The threshold amount is $157,500 for individual taxpayers and $315,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly. Phase-ins apply: that means that the benefit decreases as income increases.

Now that we’ve got those definitions down, here’s how to figure the deduction:

If your taxable income is below the threshold amount, the deductible amount for each of your businesses is simply 20% of your QBI with respect to each business.

  • So, if your income is $50,000 and your QBI is $40,000, then your deduction is $8,000, or 20% of your QBI. You’re under the threshold amount so no need to do any more math.

Easy, right?

If you are above the threshold amount, you are subject to limitations and exceptions which are determined by your occupation and a wage (and capital) limit.

Let’s look at specified service trade or businesses first. To figure QBI for a specified service trade or business, you take into account the applicable percentage of qualified items of income, gain, deduction, or loss, and allocable W-2 wages. When figuring the wage (and capital) limit, you’ll include total wages paid to employees during the tax year but not those which are properly allocable to QBI (in other words, don’t double count).

Here’s how it works: Figure 20% of your QBI (a) and compare that to an additional formula (b): the greater of 50% of W-2 wages with respect to your trade or business or the sum of 25% of W-2 wages + 2.5% of the unadjusted basis, immediately after acquisition, of all qualified property. Don’t forget to take into account the applicable percentage rate – 100% less the excess of the taxable income over the threshold amount divided by the range amount or in more simple terms, it’s pro-rated for the amount you’re over the threshold.

  • So let’s say that you are a single taxpayer with taxable income of $200,000. Let’s also say that included in that amount is $100,000 in income from your law firm with applicable W-2 wages of $90,000.
  • For purposes of figuring the deduction, calculate the applicable percentage. The applicable percentage is 15%, or 100% less 85% [($200,000 – threshold amount of $157,500)/$50,000 = 85%].
  • Apply the applicable percentage to QBI (15% of $100,000 = $15,000) and W-2 wages (15% of $90,000 = $13,500).
  • After applying the applicable percentage, your deduction is the lesser 20% of includible QBI (20% of $15,000 = $3,000) or 50% of W-2 wages (50%  x $13,500 = $6,750), or $3,000.

If you are a specified service business and your taxable income exceed the threshold amount plus the phase in range ($207,500 for individual taxpayers and $415,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly), then you lose the deduction completely. In that case, the old pass-through rules apply meaning you pay tax using your individual tax rate.

For all other businesses, if your taxable income exceeds the threshold amount, the wage (and capital) limits begin to kick in. The wage (and capital) limit applies fully for a taxpayer (other than a specified service business) when taxable income exceeds the threshold amount plus the phase in range ($207,500 for individual taxpayers and $415,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly).

Before we do a deeper dive on how the phase in affects the final numbers, let’s look at the wage (and capital) limit: the greater of 50% of W-2 wages with respect to your trade or business or the sum of 25% of W-2 wages + 2.5% of the unadjusted basis, immediately after acquisition, of all qualified property. The addition of qualified property to the formula accommodates businesses which rely on the acquisition of capital, like real estate businesses. In other words, the “W-2 rule” under the Senate plan has been expanded to include wages paid plus capital.

Here’s an example of how the wage (and capital) limit is intended to work:

  • Let’s assume you have $5,000 in W-2 wages, and you buy equipment worth $200,000 and place it in service during the year.
  • According to the formula, 50% of W-2 wages = $2,500
  • And, according to second part of the formula: 25% of W-2 wages + 2.5% of unadjusted basis of the machine = $6,250.
  • The greater of the two amounts is $6,250: use that amount to figure your deduction. Note in this example that we’re aren’t figuring the actual deduction since we don’t have enough information, like total income or QBI. This is just an illustration of how you use the formula to determine the wage (and capital) limit when you have capital and W-2 wages.

If you sell the qualified property before year end, it’s no longer available for use and is not used in the formula. It’s not yet clear under the law what will happen in circumstances such as like-kind exchanges or involuntary conversions – expect guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

If you put QBI together with the wage (and capital) limit, you can figure your deduction. Remember that this only applies if you are over the threshold amounts.

Here’s an example of how the whole formula works together:

  • Let’s say you and your spouse file a joint return reporting taxable income of $350,000. Your business (not a specified service business) income was $75,000 and your share of W-2 wages paid by your business was $20,000. There is no qualified property.
  • Under the formula, (a) is 20% of your qualified business income, or $15,000.
  • Under the formula, (b) is 50% of W-2 wages, or $10,000 (since 25% of W-2 wages + 0 = $5,000 and you use the bigger number under the wage (and capital) limit part of the formula).
  • Since (b) is less than (a), the wage (and capital) limit applies and your deduction is reduced according to the phase in. The applicable percentage is ($350,000 – $315,000 threshold amount)/$100,000, or 35%.
  • You’ll reduce the tentative QBI deduction of $15,000 (a) by the difference between (a) and (b) (or $5,000) times the applicable percentage of 35% ($5,000 x 35% = $1,750).
  • Your deduction should be $13,250 (or $15,000 – $1,750).

You should be able to deduce that the higher the applicable percentage, the more that the wage limit applies. Let’s switch up the numbers in the above example to have income of just $1,000 less than the top of the range:

  • The applicable percentage is ($414,000 – $315,000 threshold amount)/$100,000, or 99%.
  • You’ll reduce the tentative QBI deduction of $15,000 (a) by the difference between (a) and (b) (or $5,000) times the applicable percentage of 99% ($5,000 x 35% = $4,950).
  • Your deduction should be $10,050 (or $15,000 – $4,950).

And if you’ve reached the top of the range? The wage limit applies in full.

No matter which variation of the formula applies, your deduction may not exceed your taxable income for the year (reduced by net capital gain). If the net amount of your QBI is a loss, you’ll carry it forward as a loss to the next tax year.

And remember, these deductions from income reduce your taxable income on your individual return. It does not change how you calculate your taxable income inside your business. Business expenses remain deductible.

Got all that? Admittedly, I am relying on “easy” rules and examples for purposes of explanation. Additional rules apply to qualified cooperative dividends, qualified REIT dividends, and qualified publicly traded partnership income. Also complicating matters? Losses. If those items affect you, consult with your tax professional. Although, who are we kidding? Even if they don’t apply to you, you should consult with your tax professional.

And yes, there are a million “what ifs?” to be considered. Remember, this is just an overview. With respect to questions about the value of incorporating and other planning issues, there is no one size fits all answer but I will be following up with some general planning tips shortly.

And if you catch a math or other error, my apologies in advance. This wasn’t easy to work through and without further guidance from Congress or IRS, I am, like many of my peers, just doing the best I can.

5 things small business owners should know or do in 2018

5 things small business owners should know or do in 2018

FILE – In this Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, Gail Trauco, owner of The PharmaKon, looks over her health insurance benefit comparison chart which shows out-of-network coverages dropped for 2018, at her home office in Peachtree City, Ga. Most…

NEW YORK (AP) — Small business owners have entered 2018 with many questions about how big their tax bills will be, but they’re also optimistic about profiting from a strong economy. And aside from financial matters, owners with employees must stay mindful about one of the troubling issues of 2017, sexual harassment.

Here are five things small business owners need to know about or do in 2018:

TAXES

The new tax law changes rates for many small business owners, whether they are sole proprietorships, partnerships or corporations. But the benefits aren’t across the board: Some owners will lose out on savings because they’ll end 2018 with income above thresholds set out in the law, or they work in fields like accounting, law or consulting.

Many business owners aren’t sure yet how the law will affect them. Although accountants and other tax professionals may have given owners some general ideas about the impact, the IRS must still write regulations that will spell out what taxpayers can do under the law and how they must comply.

Some things are known. The Section 179 deduction that small businesses can use to get an immediate break on purchases of equipment ranging from computers to vehicles to manufacturing equipment doubles this year to $1 million.

And separate from the tax bill, the IRS has set the standard mileage rate for business use for a car at 54.5 cents per mile, up 1 cent from 2017. The rate is one of two methods for accounting for how much an owner spent on using a car for business; the second is to deduct the actual expenses for the car. Under the actual expense method an owner must calculate the percentage of miles the car is driven for business, and apply that percentage to expenses like lease payments, fuel, maintenance, repairs, insurance and depreciation.

THE ECONOMY

If the economy maintains the robust expansion it showed in 2017, owners’ profits and their optimism should grow as well. But that may not translate into more jobs.

In multiple surveys last year, owners indicated they’re generally sticking to their conservative hiring patterns. Job creation plans ticked higher in a fourth-quarter survey by researchers at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Corp., with 42 percent of small business owners saying they’d add one to two staffers in the next six months, up from 38 percent in the third quarter.

Owners have said a significant revenue increase might persuade them to hire. For many, that could depend on whether consumer spending remains strong. The government’s figures on retail sales and consumer spending show Americans were feeling fine about spending as 2017 ended, a sign that business will be good in the new year. Retail sales rose 0.8 percent in November after a 0.5 percent gain in October, according to the Commerce Department. Overall consumer spending rose 0.6 percent in November after rising 0.2 percent in October.

Many small businesses are dependent on consumers, among them restaurants, retailers and service providers like hair salons. Consumers may feel like spending if the stock market extends its big 2017 advance; the Dow Jones industrial average rose 25 percent, giving many people with 401(k)s and other accounts a stronger sense of financial well-being.

Unpredictable events like blizzards and hurricanes can hurt spending, and slow the economy. But if consumers regain their confidence quickly, small businesses are likely to shrug off any dips.

HEALTH CARE

Most companies’ health care plans are set for 2018, but there will be some changes when it comes time to choose policies that begin later this year or in 2019.

Owners who want to sign up for group insurance through the government’s Small Business Health Options Program, or SHOP, now must do so through a health insurance agent or broker or directly through an insurance company. They’re no longer able to sign up through the government website, www.healthcare.gov. However, they can visit the site to get information.

The new tax law has ended the requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2019. Some very small business owners had stopped offering health plans when the Affordable Care Act was enacted because their staffers were able to get coverage through health insurance exchanges. While businesses with fewer than 50 employees aren’t required to offer insurance, some may find their staffers are interested in group coverage.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT

Human resources experts usually advise business owners to update their employee handbooks early in the year. It’s a task that’s more of a priority at many companies this year following a series of reports of workplace sexual harassment.

“Every employer should have a policy in their handbook that makes clear that sexual harassment is not welcome and that defines sexual harassment,” says Jay Starkman, CEO of Engage PEO, an HR provider based in Hollywood, Florida.

Owners can find templates for sexual harassment policies online. Whether they’re creating a policy for the first time or already have one, they should have it reviewed by an HR professional or an attorney with expertise in sexual harassment or employment law.

Companies may also want to consider training sessions to educate staffers and managers about harassment — what it is, how to recognize it, how to report it to owners or senior executives.

Owners who don’t have employee handbooks should think about creating them. Besides harassment policies, they should contain the company’s policies on discrimination, discipline, vacations, performance reviews, ethics and use of company computers, among many other issues. They should also include information on benefits. Owners can find templates online.

MINIMUM WAGE RISES

Eighteen states have higher minimum wages as of Dec. 31, 2017, or Jan. 1.

Laws were passed boosting the wage floor in 10 of those states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington state.

Eight states see increases because their minimums are tied to the inflation rate. They are Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio and South Dakota.

Small businesses such as restaurants or food service companies are most likely to now be paying their workers more under the higher minimums. Three-fifths of all workers paid at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour are in the leisure and hospitality industries. Almost all of those are restaurants or food service businesses, according to the Department of Labor.

Top 10 reasons your business needs consulting

Top 10 reasons your business needs consulting

business websiteWhether you’re starting a new company or growing an existing business, one day you might need the help of a professional. A consultancy business plan can save you thousands of dollars. A great consultant provides a fresh perspective, innovation ideas, specific expertise and other things to improve the client’s condition.

Here are the top ten reasons why companies hire business consultant:

1. An objective onlooker is needed

As we turn to friends and family for personal advice, ventures turn to an expert in business. An experienced consultant can provide a fresh viewpoint and identify problems that a client wouldn’t have been able to see.

 2. To get a specific expertise

Often clients hire professionals who have a specialized skill set they need right now and couldn’t find it in-house.

3. To obtain assistance with a business launch

Due to lack of prior experience or knowledge often new entrepreneurs need someone to assist them in the very first steps of business development. So, they start to look “business consultants near me”. A good consultancy service guarantees successful launches of operations using tried and tested methods.

4. To cut costs

Hiring a business consultant you can save thousands of dollars per week because they don’t need benefits as full-time employees. Generally, it seems like a consultant’s fees are higher than an employee’s salary, but not over the long haul.

5. To do a “dirty job”

Obviously, people find it difficult to cut their own staff. That’s why ventures need a business consultant, who is impartial and can easily handle such unpleasant tasks. In the movie Up in the Air, George Clooney’s character doing such job — he was engaged to go around the country conducting employment terminations on behalf of his clients.

6. To help with a small business optimization

Lots of newly-made entrepreneurs faced with the extremely fast growth and they start to think “I need help running my business”. So, maybe it’s time to turn to a consultant. The right expert can quickly evaluate all areas of your business, and based on this determine the processes to increase productivity and offer some beneficial challenges.

7. To determine the root of a problem

Let’s face it: sooner or later every business has temporary issues, such as falling in sales, or no flow of new customers. In this case, a consultant’s role to analyze, diagnose and criticize. Especially it works with a business consultant for small business when they also bring tons of ideas to solve the issues and develop the business.

8. To enable changes

Implement changes for a small business can be too hard because of lack particular skills for carrying these changes out. In this case, consulting is beneficial for a business, as a consultant knows what to do and can do things without any risk and worrying about the employee morale.

9. Need to get out of the box

When you have really tight budgets, you need to be more creative to achieve your goals. A talented consultant who provides innovative approach will cost you some money, but save a lot of time to get what you want.

10. To share contacts

Great business consultants have their own lists of contacts with all business’s movers and shakers in it. So, if you want to tap into that knowledge try to ask business consultants.

Hospital Indemnity Coverage On the Rise

By Michael Waddell

As a way of offsetting high out-of-pocket medical expenses following a hospital stay, including ambulance costs, more employees are adding supplemental hospital indemnity coverage to their plans through their employers. With the cost of the average hospital stay at nearly $20,000 in Tennessee and the average cost per night topping $4,800, “gap plans” are becoming more popular ways for people to bridge the gap on potential expenses.

“The trend has been years in the making,” said Tom Wiffler, UnitedHealthcare Specialty Benefits CEO. “Indemnity products have been around for decades. I think employers are recognizing that there is real value in providing these kinds of plans.”

Roughly 21 percent of employers with more than 500 employees now offer hospital indemnity coverage, according to the Mercer National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans.

“The benefit can be found in just basic peace of mind that the employee gets from covering expenses that are associated with hospital stays that may exceed their own means to cover,” said Wiffler, who points out that two-thirds of Americans have less than $1,000 in the bank. He expects more employees in Middle America to take on the additional coverage.

With hospital indemnity coverage, an employee who has a hospital stay will receive a lump sum of money, determined by the plan he or she has, that can be used however he or she chooses to handle medical bills or other household bills.

Smaller plans can cost as low as $100 to $125 per year.

“So one hospital stay will more than pay for itself for the premium that you’re paying,” said Gary Harger, UnitedHealthcare vice president of supplemental health products. “The beauty of this plan is its broad appeal. Unlike a critical illness or accident plan where there might be a more definitive target demographic, this plan really applies to any demographic because it’s about a hospital stay regardless of what age you are and what reason you are going in for your hospital stay.”

HRO Partners, an enrollment services company and human resource/benefits consulting firm for large and small employers, represents a variety of supplemental insurance carriers.

AUSTIN BAKER

“Supplemental or gap plans have been one of our strongest trending lines in terms of requests and offerings,” said Austin Baker, president of HRO Partners. “We’ve seen great growth there, and we’ve seen a lot of value for both employers and employees.”

HRO gets to hear from employees one-on-one about their coverage and what they are looking for, and the company works with employers to design programs to help meet employee needs.

Baker cites a rural Tennessee school system with about 300 employees, where the employer and employees saved a combined $1.1 million in health insurance premiums in the first year by using supplemental gap coverage like hospital indemnity/confinement. In another case, a public sector entity with 6,000 employees saved more than $20 million by making the supplemental coverage a volunteer offering.

“It’s an excellent strategy when used in the right way,” said Baker, who has also personally benefited from having the supplemental coverage, due to major medical incidents that required a hospital stay over the past couple of years.

Research shows that adding ancillary benefits to a core medical benefits offering can help improve companies’ bottom lines by increasing productivity and employee engagement. According to a report by LIMRA, a worldwide association of insurance and financial services companies, ancillary benefits can help attract and retain employees while improving morale.

Tim Finnell, principal of Group Benefits LLC, is seeing more employees adopting the coverage as a payroll deduction.

“We are not seeing employers purchasing supplemental hospital indemnity at a high rate (just a few),” Finnell said. “However, many are offering it to employees on a voluntary payroll deduction basis. As deductibles continue to rise, employees are purchasing supplemental plans to protect against the cost of a hospital stay.”

As an example, one indemnity plan with premiums of $11.75 per month for a 35-year-old and $16.75 per month for a 55-year-old pays a lump sum of $1,000 per admission to a hospital.

“If you stay in the hospital, you’re going to hit your deductible. There’s not many ways around it,” Baker said. “Sixty percent of Americans can’t pay a $500 bill. We need to change that. We need to help people save and have more of a nest egg, and we need to help people afford to do that out of their checks by saving money on their premiums. These gap programs are just so affordable.”

UnitedHealthcare’s Hospital Indemnity Protection plans are available to businesses with 51 or more eligible employees in 45 states and Washington, D.C., and the company also offers the plans to individuals who buy their own health insurance in 32 states.

Akron Public Schools Use Supplemental Benefits to Lower Bills

http://www.cleveland.com/akron/index.ssf/2017/12/akron_public_schools_district.html

AKRON, Ohio – Akron Public Schools will offer employees and their families supplemental health insurance that’s designed to drive down costs. Health care will be offered out of a new facility established at the district’s administration building near downtown Akron.

The insurance will not replace the district’s existing health plan but will offer free supplemental  care through Paladina Health. School employees can opt to sign up for the plan and the district will pay the fee — $99 for adults and $35 for children, said Akron Public Schools CFO Ryan Pendleton.

School board members on Monday gave the go-ahead for Akron-based Hasensab Architects to provide $39,000 in architectural work at 400 W. Market St. The site, has been a “swing space,” housing the school district’s elementary schools while new buildings were under construction.

Case Elementary students meet there now but will start at the new Case Community Learning Center next fall, said Akron Public Schools spokesman Mark Williamson. The building is also the future home of the LeBron James family Foundation I Promise School.

Officials hope the supplementary health care option will offer more accessible care to employees and drive down the district’s health care costs by offsetting rate increases.

Between school district employees and their dependents, 7,500-8,000 people are on the district’s health plan each year. The school district currently pays about $50 million a year for health insurance and medical benefits, such as disability insurance, Pendleton said.

However, rate increases have averaged about 10 percent, or about $5 million per year. The district’s hope is that supplemental insurance will slow or stop those increases by offering employees and their families high quality, accessible care.

Paladina doctors see from 700-800 patients per year, as opposed to regular doctors 2,500-3,000 patients per year, meaning Akron school district employees and their dependents will be seen more quickly and have more time with the physicians.

“This is a fairly new and positively disrupting approach,” Pendleton said. “A year from today I think we’ll be seeing very positive numbers and a positive return on investment.”

Adding the supplemental plan also gives the school district better bargaining power when negotiating with existing healthcare providers, who now “sharpen their pencils on some of the services they provide,” he said.

“We’re not going to lesson that $50 million initially but we can potentially cut in half what next year’s increase will be,” Pendleton said. “Those dollars are real when we can increase the health and welfare of employees.”

Critical Illness Insurance | Cancer Insurance | Allstate

Added Protection For More Peace Of Mind.

With the rising cost of healthcare, getting seriously ill could have a big impact on your finances. With supplemental health insurance that has critical illness coverage and cancer coverage from Allstate Benefits, you are paid cash benefits that can help pay for bills and expenses that your existing health insurance plan doesn’t cover.

Critical Illness Insurance Offers More Coverage.

If you are diagnosed with a critical illness, critical illness insurance can help you pay for expenses that aren’t covered by your existing health insurance plan. Critical illness coverage pays you a lump-sum cash benefit to help pay for treatment or bills, and you can add a wellness benefit option to help cover the cost of health screening tests. Some covered illnesses include:

  • Heart attack
  • Bypass surgery
  • Multiple sclerosis

Cancer Insurance Can Help Cover Extra Costs.

In the unfortunate event that you are diagnosed with cancer, having this coverage in place can help cover the cost of cancer treatment. Cancer coverage is available for individuals and families, and it’s renewable for life. It can help with medical expenses that aren’t covered by your existing health insurance plan, like:

  • Hospital stays
  • Doctor bills
  • Transportation
  • Childcare

For answers to your questions about supplemental health insurance, critical illness coverage, cancer coverage and more, contact us!!

Source: Critical Illness Insurance | Cancer Insurance | Allstate

Accident Insurance | Disability Insurance | Allstate

Get Extra Coverage When You Need It.

No one plans on having an accident or becoming disabled. That’s why supplemental health insurance, like accident coverage and disability coverage, can help you in the event that you experience one of life’s mishaps. Accident coverage and disability coverage are designed to work with your existing health insurance plan and can help you take care of expenses that may not be covered by your current insurance.

Accident Insurance Offers Added Protection.

If you are accidentally injured, accident insurance from Allstate Benefits can help you take care of out-of-pocket expenses and medical costs beyond what your existing health insurance plan covers, like:

  • Hospital stays
  • Ambulance bills
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • More

Disability Insurance Could Help Protect Your Income.

If you’re unable to work because of an illness or an injury, disability insurance can help you with a monthly cash benefit until you’re able to return to work. Most plans cover up to 60 percent of your income and the coverage stays with you, even if you change jobs. Your monthly cash benefit could help you cover expenses like:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Personal assistance
  • Groceries
  • Car payments
  • More

To learn more about accident insurance and disability insurance, contact us.

Source: Accident Insurance | Disability Insurance | Allstate

How Would Your Worker Happiness Measure Up?

How Would Your Worker Happiness Measure Up?

Contact Us for Quotes

Mika Kim, Chief Happiness Officer at Place of the Future LLC, provided insight to attendees at the 2015 Corporate Wellness Symposium on the ten performance outcomes for measuring wellbeing in the workplace.

Pharell Williams’ Happy video tapped into what we all want – happiness. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Yet our road to happiness often hits detours, both in our personal and professional lives. Place of the Future works towards achieving greater wellbeing for you and your employees. The tool they developed for measuring employee wellbeing is the Worker Happiness Index.

Measuring Happiness

In 2012, the United Nations launched a global movement with a goal of human happiness and wellbeing of all life on earth.  In keeping with that goal, Place of the Future developed the Workers Happiness Index.

The Workers Happiness Index assessment expands on the essential elements identified for the personal wellbeing of your employees. It measures ten performance outcomes and thirty-eight indicators across four business outcomes – productivity, employee retention, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

The following are the ten performance outcomes used in measuring wellbeing in the workplace.

  1. Psychological wellbeing – measures employees’ sense of purpose at work
  2. Health – assesses the promotion and attainment of healthy work styles
  3. Time balance – weighs the balance between work and allocated time for enjoyable activities
  4. Community vitality – includes external community (giving back to the community) and internal community (trusting the people at work)
  5. Social support – reviews team building efforts and the effectiveness of those efforts
  6. Culture – considers how well companies support professional growth for workers
  7. Environmental quality – reviews initiatives for preserving the environment, such as alternative working arrangements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from work commutes
  8. Organizational structure – evaluates the workers’ trust in the operations and governance of the company
  9. Material wellbeing – gauges workers’ financial security at work
  10. Work – determines the level of autonomy workers have in the workplace

As a nation, the United States moved from number 17 to number 15 of 158 countries measured in the World Happiness Report. One of the findings from the 2015 report revealed a common theme that the quality of surrounding social norms and institutions strongly influenced all measures of wellbeing.

The workplace impact on personal and organizational health are intricately connected. Do you know how your workplace measures up? What questions do you have on wellbeing measurements?

Your HUB International|Intercare representatives are happy to answer your questions and help you with all your corporate wellness needs.

 

Source: How Would Your Worker Happiness Measure Up?

Supplemental Accident & Disability Insurance Take a Bite Out of Your Workers’ Comp Costs

Supplemental Accident & Disability Insurance Take a Bite Out of Your Workers’ Comp Costs                  

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No matter your business, keeping your workers’ compensation costs down is a major concern. And developing the most cost-effective methods for tamping down those costs can be challenging. Add to that determining the actual financial impact to your business from loss of productivity and increased absenteeism as a result of work comp claims.

Most employers understand that lowering the incidence of workers’ comp claims leads to better rates because of a lower experience mod. Historically, companies have achieved this by implementing better safety protocols and improving worksite conditions. But now, the 2014 Workers’ Compensation Report suggests that lower work comp rates may actually be achieved by adding voluntary benefits into the mix.

As we mentioned in the previous blog post on voluntary benefits, employers who have included voluntary accident and disability insurance in their overall benefits offering have realized as much as a 50% reduction in work comp claims.[1]

Accident & Disability Insurance Account for Reduction in Work Comp Claims

Earlier this year,  a Workers’ Compensation Survey of 600 companies to determine whether there was a direct correlation between providing employees voluntary accident and disability insurance and a decline in work comp claims. The survey revealed that 55% of companies who provided employees with the option to enroll in accident or disability insurance actually experienced a decrease in work comp claims. And 34% of small to medium companies also reported a decrease.

Voluntary accident coverage. The survey also measured the direct effect of voluntary accident insurance on workers’ comp claims. Results revealed that when employers included these insurance products in their benefits offering, the following occurs:

 

Employers 50% Reduction in Claims 25-49% Reduction in Claims
All 600 Employers 15% 17%
Large Companies 12% 29%
Medium Companies 13% 14%
Small Companies 15% 9%

 

Voluntary disability coverage.  The results for those companies offering voluntary disability insurance were nearly the same, with 47% of large employers, 43% of small, and 33% of medium-sized companies reporting a decrease in work comp claims. Asked whether they could directly link the offering of voluntary disability insurance to a decline in work comp claims, respondents reported the following:

 

Employers 50% Reduction in Claims 25-49% Reduction in Claims
All 600 Employers 14% 15%
Large Companies 11% 20%
Medium Companies 18% 7%
Small Companies 18% 17%

Reduction in Costs, Claims and Employee Productivity

The information above reveals that employers can, in fact, reduce the frequency and cost of work comp claims by simply making voluntary accident and disability insurance available to their employees AND carefully explaining during enrollment time the purpose and usefulness of these supplemental coverages. With a reduction in claims comes a lower experience mod resulting in lower work comp insurance rates. In addition, employees who avail themselves of these voluntary insurance products gain financial peace of mind and are better able to avail themselves of the care they need. In the end, employers experience greater productivity and a reduction in absenteeism.

Providing these voluntary products is easy. They can be offered as an option with your larger benefits package at little or no cost. Employees pay the premiums through payroll deductions on a pre-tax basis.

Learn how voluntary accident and disability insurance can help you proactively gain control of your workers’ compensation costs.

[1] Employee Benefit News, “Survey Finds Majority of Employees Want Customizable Benefits,” Tristan Lejeune, Mar. 1, 2013

Source: Supplemental Accident & Disability Insurance Take a Bite Out of Your Workers’ Comp Costs