Innovative Benefit Planning Blog

5 Ways to Leverage Benefits to Combat Recruiting and Boost Retention

Posted On: September 21, 2021 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, HR Consulting, Workplace Wellness

Employers face the toughest job market in recent years as they struggle to recruit and retain employees. Many are having trouble keeping top performers on board, as well as finding qualified candidates for open positions. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in July that the number of open jobs reached a high of 10.9 million, while the number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs had been climbing sharply since February, totaling four million in April and again in July. Meanwhile, the importance of retaining key employees grows: the Society of Human Sources (SHRM) found the average cost of replacing an employee runs 50% to 60% of their annual salary.The tight labor market underscores the importance of having a solid benefits package to help employers recruit and retain employees. The combination of competitive pay and attractive benefits provides a key advantage when organizations compete for workers.  The current…


Biden Announces New Vaccination Executive Order

Posted On: September 20, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

President Joe Biden took aim at vaccine resistance in America, announcing policies requiring most federal employees to get COVID-19 vaccinations and pushing large employers (100+) to have their workers inoculated or tested weekly. The below article outlines more details on these items included in the orders: 1. OSHA is directed to issue Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure that all employees are fully vaccinated or able to produce a negative COVID-19 test result on at least a weekly basis; 2. A new Executive Order requires certain government contractors to comply with guidance, to be published later this month by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force (Task Force Guidance or Guidance), which presumably will require that employees who work on or in connection with certain government contracts be vaccinated, regardless of whether they work on a federal site; 3. The Centers for Medicare…


Innovative Launches New Groundbreaking Benefit Performance Assessment

Posted On: September 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News, Employee Benefits

Innovative Launches New Groundbreaking Benefit Performance Assessment Innovative has launched our new groundbreaking, proprietary Benefit Performance Assessment. This complimentary assessment shows employers how they can cut waste, take control of healthcare costs, and provide better service solutions. All within an hour of your time and without impacting the coverage offered to employees! It’s unfortunate, but the same cookie-cutter method has been applied to middle market benefits for decades now. Employers continue to experience a lack of creativity, a broken under-writing system, and lack of a data-driven approach. Rightfully so, they are frustrated of the rising cost and lack of clarity. Here at Innovative, we knew it was time to show employers a new way at looking at things, and something you haven’t seen before. Our assessment reviews five key performance areas that are essential for a successful benefit program: Identify & Eliminate Waste Identify many ways that waste and inefficiencies…


Innovative Promotes Jamie Bratton to Vice President of Marketing & Engagement

Posted On: September 8, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Promotes Jamie Bratton to Vice President of Marketing & Engagement Innovative Benefit Planning is pleased to announce it has promoted Jamie Bratton to the position of Vice President of Marketing and Engagement. In her new role, Jamie will continue to manage, establish, and implement strategic and tactical communication plans across every business unit. In addition, as a valuable asset to our client’s employee engagement strategy, Jamie and her team will work with the account team in developing custom communication plans that drive employee engagement and better understanding of their benefits.  She is also responsible for evolving Innovative’s brand through creating new products and services for current and future clients. Since Joining Innovative three years ago, Jamie has brought vision and passion to our team and clients. She has a successful track record in building and executing strategic go to market strategies that benefit our clients and brand, including the…


Innovative Welcomes Polina Lipskaya as Underwriting Associate

Posted On: September 2, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Welcomes Polina Lipskaya as Underwriting Associate Please join us in welcoming Polina Lipskaya as our newest Underwriting Associate.  In this role, Polina will be a key member of the Client Service team.  She will directly support the Account Executives, Account Managers, and Consultants with quoting, reporting and the overall analytical processes through the proposal process. This position works as an integral part of the Sales and Account Executive teams with the responsibility to maintain excellent relationships both internally and externally with Innovative clients and vendors. Prior to joining Innovative, Polina was a Consulting Director for a large Philadelphia based consulting company for non-profits. She has also worked as an analyst for pre-seed investor Contrivance Ventures in London and with Sberbank in Moscow. Polina graduated earlier this year from Haverford College in Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Economics. We are pleased to welcome Polina to our growing team.  


ARPA Subsidy Period Expiration Reminder and Updated Guidance

Posted On: August 31, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

ARPA Subsidy Period Expiration Reminder and Updated Guidance Subsidy Period Expiration Notice ARPA requires subsidy expiration notices to be sent to Assistance Eligible Individuals (“AEIs”) prior to the expiration of the Subsidy Period. This Expiration Notice should be sent no more than 45 days and no less than 15 days prior to the expiration of the Subsidy Period. The Expiration Notice should advise of the date the Subsidy is to expire, and a statement that the individual may be eligible for coverage without premium assistance through COBRA continuation coverage or under a group health plan. This notice is not required for instances in which the loss of the Subsidy is due to the AEI becoming eligible for other group coverage or the maximum COBRA eligibility period ends prior to September 30, 2021. We are now within the 45 day period of the subsidy’s expiration date, so the notice may be…


Innovative Promotes John Romaska to Vice President of Consulting

Posted On: August 27, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Promotes John Romaska to Vice President of Consulting Innovative Benefit Planning is excited to announce John Romaska has been promoted to Vice President of Consulting. John previously served as our Director of Benefits Consulting, where his responsibilities included strengthening Innovative’s relationships with current clients and overall advancement of the employee benefits practice. In his new role, John is responsible for leading client teams to promote organizational growth and portfolio retention. He will set overall direction and develop teams that drive high-quality, relevant, and innovative client solutions, services, processes, and analytical support. John will also oversee strategic planning and consulting advice for clients Since joining Innovative over five years ago, John has proven to be a committed and integral part of the team. During his time here, he has improved client deliverables by training our account team, as well as creating educational material for our clients and prospective clients on…


Departments Defer Transparency and Disclosure Rule Enforcement, Provide FAQ Guidance

Posted On: August 26, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

Departments Defer Transparency and Disclosure Rule Enforcement, Provide FAQ Guidance On August 20, 2021, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (collectively, the Departments), issued FAQ guidance regarding provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the No Surprises Act (the Act) and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). Specifically, the FAQ provide guidance to group health plans and health insurance carriers to help them comply with the final Transparency in Coverage Rules (TiC Final Rules) issued under the ACA and similar provisions in the CAA. This Advisor provides a high-level summary of the FAQ and its impact on employer plan sponsors. Background The TiC Final Rules require non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers that offer non-grandfathered group or individual coverage to disclose on a public website information about in-network provider rates for covered items and services, out-of-network allowed amounts and billed charges for covered…


No Surprise Billing: Interim Final Regulations Part 2

Posted On: August 16, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

No Surprise Billing: Interim Final Regulations Part 2 On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, along with the Office of Personnel Management (collectively, the Departments), issued an interim final rule (IFR) to explain provisions of the No Surprises Act (the Act) that passed as part of sweeping COVID-19 relief legislation signed in December 2020. The Act and IFR aim to protect consumers from excessive out-of-pocket costs resulting from surprise and balance medical billing. This Advisor is the second in a series that provides a high-level summary of the IFR and its impact on employer plan sponsors. Background Generally, under the Act and the IFR, group health plans, or health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage, that provide or cover any benefits for services in an emergency department of a hospital (including a hospital outpatient department that provides emergency services)…


Innovative Welcomes Adam Cardell as Executive Account Manager

Posted On: August 12, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Welcomes Adam Cardell as Executive Account Manager We are excited to announce the latest addition to the Innovative Benefit Planning team! Adam Cardell has joined Innovative as an Executive Account Manager.  As an Executive Account Manager, Adam will be responsible for strengthening Innovative’s relationships with current clients, as well as ensuring all onboarding, renewal, compliance, and annual service deliverables are met for the client. The Executive Account Manager also helps Innovative develop new products and services for new and existing clients, implement process improvements, and supporting effective management of back-office operations. Adam will report directly to CEO Terriann Procida. Adam has spent several years in the benefits industry, including most recently as a Client Manager with Willis Towers Watson. He was previously an Account Manager and Sales Consultant with Trinity Benefit Advisors, and a Benefits Specialist at Heath Advocate. “Adam’s extensive background in account management and his experience in…


July 2021 Compliance Recap

Posted On: August 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Events

July 2021 Compliance Recap July 2021 was a quiet month in the benefits industry, largely due to the summer vacation season and the July 4th Independence Day holiday. Importantly, however, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury, along with the Office of Personnel Management (collectively, the “Departments”), issued an interim final rule (IFR) to explain provisions of the No Surprises Act (the Act) that passed as part of sweeping COVID-19 relief legislation signed in December 2020. Additionally, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2021-46 (Notice) to clarify lingering questions employer plan sponsors and other interested parties have been asking since the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) became law in March 2020. No Surprises Act Interim Final Rule Under the Act, group health plans, or health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance coverage, that provide or cover any benefits for services in…


Innovative Welcomes Tyler L. Buff to our Team as a Benefits Consultant

Posted On: August 9, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Welcomes Tyler L. Buff to our Team as a Benefits Consultant We are pleased to announce that the Innovative team continues to grow! Please join us in welcoming Tyler L. Buff to our team as a Benefits Consultant.  Tyler will focus on understanding the customer needs and assist in developing strategies to increase efficiencies and results. As a Benefits Consultant, Tyler will develop and maintain relationships with external vendors to educate and promote solutions in the marketplace. In addition, he will work closely with the Benefits Retention Team to develop long-term benefit strategies that support our customer relationships. Prior to joining Innovative, Tyler spent the last eight years in various account executive positions, including most recently as the District Manager with ADP Total Source. During this time, he worked closely with clients to develop benefit strategies based on the company goals and employee census. Tyler received his Bachelor of…


Innovative Welcomes Carly Vettori to our Team as a Benefits Sales Consultant

Posted On: August 3, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Welcomes Carly Vettori to our Team as a Benefits Sales Consultant We are excited to announce the latest member of Innovative Benefit Planning! Please join us in welcoming Carly Vettori to our team as a Benefits Sales Consultant.  In this role, Carly will help us to understand the customer needs and assist in developing strategies to increase efficiencies and results. Specifically, she will work directly with potential clients to build and deliver our Benefit Performance Assessment to help employers uncover cost savings and long-term benefit strategies. In addition, the Benefits Sales Consultant develops and maintains relationships with outside vendors; maintains awareness of new and existing products; educates clients; and promotes solutions in the marketplace. Prior to joining Innovative, Carly was an account executive with Beasley Media Group in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.  Carly was responsible for prospecting and closing new business; qualifying leaders; and building and growing lasting relationships with…


6 Tips for a Healthier Summer BBQ

Posted On: July 29, 2021 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

6 Tips for a Healthier Summer BBQ Grilling is a fun way to prepare some of your favorite foods, especially during the summer. Try out a new recipe and follow these tips to make your summer cooking adventures healthy and flavorful this season! Add color. So many different fruits and veggies can be grilled, alone or in kebabs. Try out a few new things on the grill. Choose healthier sides. Try a bean salad, a green salad, or a fruit salad instead of the traditional macaroni or potato salad. Choose whole grain buns. Whole grain bread is filled with fiber and flavor. You can also always try a lettuce wrap. Grill fruits for dessert. Try throwing some apples, pears, or pineapples on the grill for a sweet treat. Know your portions. A healthy portion of any meat is about 3 ounces or the size of a deck of cards. Try…


Innovative Welcomes Nicoletta Torres as New Account Manager

Posted On: July 28, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Innovative Welcomes Nicoletta Torres as New Account Manager We are excited to announce the latest addition to the Innovative Benefit Planning team! Please join us in welcoming Nicoletta Torres as our newest Account Manager.  As an account manager, Nicoletta will be a valuable resource to Innovative’s leadership team, employees, and clients. She will directly support our Benefits Consultants during the initial phase of onboarding prospective new clients and then assumes responsibility for both the technical maintenance and the promotion of a very positive experience between Innovative and our clients. Nicoletta will work directly with carriers to obtain quotes and negotiate on the clients’ behalf.  In addition, her experience will be beneficial for clients in suggesting plan designs, funding methods and contribution strategies. Prior to accepting this position, Nicoletta spent 12 years as an account manager and senior benefits account manager. She most recently managed a large General Insurance Agency that…


June 2021 Compliance Recap

Posted On: July 23, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

June 2021 Compliance Recap June 2021 was not a busy month in the benefits industry, largely due to the summer vacation season and the Independence Day holiday. Importantly, however, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Additionally, the IRS unveiled a tool to assist families in taking advantage of the monthly Advance Child Tax Credit payments and issued a revised 2021 version of Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, to in part reflect the tax credit in connection with 100% COBRA subsidy under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). The Department of Labor (DOL) also issued guidance on the information to be disclosed pursuant to a participant’s request during a claims dispute. We continue to monitor and advise on the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) Antitrust Settlement as the claim deadline nears. The ACA Upheld On June 17, 2021,…


IRS Issues Draft Form 1095-C

Posted On: July 22, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

IRS Issues Draft Form 1095-C The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued the 2021 Draft Form 1095-C, which is required to be filed with the IRS by applicable large employers (ALEs), to report the offer of health coverage to employees. New Codes An ALE that offers an individual coverage health reimbursement arrangement (ICHRA) can now use two previously-reserved codes in order to report offers of coverage: 1T. Individual coverage HRA offered to employee and spouse (no dependents) with affordability determined using employee's primary residence location ZIP code. 1U. Individual coverage HRA offered to employee and spouse (no dependents) using employee's primary employment site ZIP code affordability safe harbor. Additional Copies of Page 3 Permissible The 2021 instructions also clarify that self-funded plans that are required to complete Part III of Form 1095-C, and that have more than 13 covered individuals on a single Form 1095-C, may use additional copies of…


The IRS Issues the Most Recent Update to Form 941

Posted On: July 22, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

The IRS Issues the Most Recent Update to Form 941 On June 24, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service issued the most recent update to Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return. The form has several new lines added to obtain credits for the COBRA subsidies offered under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Employers should be using this new revision for filings in the second quarter, due by August 2, 2021. Additionally, some revisions have been made to align Form 941 with the extension and amendments made to the Emergency Paid Family Sick Leave and Extended FMLA provisions included in ARPA. Employers should discard any unused Form 941 with revision dates earlier than June 2021. The new Form 941 may be downloaded here. If you have any questions, please contact us at icomply@ibpllc.com.   This Compliance communication is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions…


EEOC Extends EEO-1 Deadline for 2019 and 2020 Data Submissions

Posted On: July 22, 2021 | Categorized as: Compliance

EEOC Extends EEO-1 Deadline for 2019 and 2020 Data Submissions The New Deadline Gives Employers Another Month–Until August 23– To Complete Their Reports   Employers now have some extra time to submit equal employment opportunity (EEO-1) workforce data from 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on June 28, 2021. These reports were previously due by July 19, 2021. Employers now have until Aug. 23, 2021, to complete their submissions. The EEOC’s collection of this data, the portal for which opened on April 26, 2021, had been delayed numerous other times due to the coronavirus pandemic. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the EEO-1 Report is usually due by March 31 every year. If you have any questions, please contact us at icomply@ibpllc.com.   This Compliance communication is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should…


Andrew May Promoted to Senior Account Manager – Financial Services

Posted On: July 16, 2021 | Categorized as: Company News

Andrew May Promoted to Senior Account Manager - Financial Services Innovative Benefit Planning is pleased to announce the promotion of Andrew May to Senior Account Manager-Financial Services. Andrew has been a part of the Innovative financial service team for over two years, serving as a Financial Services Associate. During this time, Andrew has managed to receive his AIF® designation and CFP® designation, all while truly making an impact to our team and his clients. Like his prior role, Andrew will continue to consult with and support retirement clients. In addition, as Senior Account Manager-Financial Service, Andrew will play a critical role in new client implementation, member open enrollment, managing communications with clients, carriers, and vendors, as well as manage and lead the department compliance calendar. “Andrew has played a key role in the Innovative Investment Fiduciaries team and has shown significant growth, dedication, and leadership. He consistently goes above and…


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