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Stay Out of Foul Trouble with BASE®

The beginning of March always starts my favorite time of year, March Madness. Don’t let your company be called for a penalty this season. Gear up, take charge and prevent unnecessary fouls by calling BASE®.

Did you know that without an ERISA Wrap, your company is vulnerable to a $110 per-day, per-employee fine? Employers/plan administrators are liable for serious penalties if they don't provide an SPD or have a current Plan Document.  In fact:

  • Failure to provide an SPD or Plan Document within 30 days of receiving a request from a plan participant or beneficiary can result in a penalty of up to $110/day per participant or beneficiary for each violation.
  • Lack of an SPD could trigger a plan audit by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
  • The DOL has increased its audit staff and national enforcement initiatives to investigate employers' compliance with Health Care Reform, resulting in companies of all sizes being audited and being required to provide an SPD and Plan Document.

The case of Lee. ING Groep, N.V., 2016 WL 3974176 (9th Cir. July 25, 2016) is just one example of how a court can impose such penalties.  In this case, the court granted summary judgement to the plaintiff and imposed a penalty of $27, 475 for failure to produce a Plan Document in a timely manner.

Group health plans must be administered in accordance with a written Plan Document, which must be made available to plan participants and beneficiaries upon request.  In this case, ING North America learned that even though they couldn’t be penalized for failure to provide documents relevant to a benefit claim, penalties could be imposed for failure to provide required plan governing documents. While this case started because an employee was unhappy regarding the handling of claims, it proves that one complaint can lead to a DOL audit and put employers at risk for thousands of dollars in penalties.  

Regardless of business size, almost every company needs an ERISA Wrap to stay in compliance. The BASE® staff strives to make the process as simple as possible and works with you to meet all regulations. We provide clients with a Wrap SPD and Wrap Plan Document to be handed out to plan participants that meet the regulations and requirements set by the Department of Labor and ERISA.

The BASE® staff are experts in compliance, rules and regulations. We can assure clients are on the right track by providing wrap around protection with the BASE® ERISA Wrap. A BASE® client recently stated, “My experience in setting up a BASE® ERISA Wrap has been incredible. BASE® is courteous and thorough, and their follow up is unlike any other company.”

BASE® can help clients avoid the risk of penalties and meet government requirements with the BASE® ERISA Wrap. Contact BASE® to learn more about how a customized Wrap SPD and Wrap Plan Document can provide the required ERISA provisions and information that will help achieve compliance.

BASE® Helps With Physical and Financial Health Resolutions

Goals, it tends to be a keyword at this time of year, and someone who runs any type of farm or business has the weight of both personal and business goals.  A lot of times it is important to remember that leaning on others to help you in fulfilling your goals is half the battle. 

Personally, it is a great time to really look at your health and assess what you and your family spend on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.  By looking back, you can maybe find other means of being healthier and spending smarter.  Maybe it is as simple as focusing on a yearly check-up or how often you are buying out-of-pocket items like prescription medications, glasses, sunscreen and more.  Are you paying more than you need to for these types of items, and are you taking advantage of all the benefit programs out there? 

From a business standpoint, this is also a great time to assess the health and well-being of those around you.  Statistics show that having healthy employees is important to productivity and cost containment.  In fact, according to a February 2015 survey report from the nonprofit Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Exploring the value Proposition for Workforce Health, “leaders turn to workforce initiatives in an effort to control health care costs. While there is research evidence to support this positioning, there is also evidence supporting a broader value proposition such as increased productivity and performance, higher engagement and morale, and lower turnover rates.” Plus, being healthy is not only considered a state of well-being, but also financial well-being.  That makes a business owners job two-fold, to ensure those working for them are not only physically healthy to continue performing their job, but also financially healthy. 

Are your benefits eating up the dollars in your paychecks?  One way to attack this goal is to assess all the different types of benefits and perks you provide, or that are available to you as an employee.  There are so many new ways to trim health benefit costs these days to put more money back into your business and keep it in paychecks.  There are easy ways to pre-tax health insurance premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses to help you achieve financial goals, relieve stress and put you, your family and the people who work for you on the road to healthy living.  Educate yourself on simple pre-tax benefit plans that can help your financial health as well as enhance your physical health by calling BASE® at 1-888-386-9680.