Innovative Benefit Planning Blog

Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Posted On: July 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Caribbean Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Pineapple Salsa Ingredients: Cooking spray 1 tablespoon salt-free Caribbean jerk seasoning ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed and halved crosswise 4 (½ inch thick) slices of fresh pineapple ¾ cup diced red onion ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced Directions: Step 1: Preheat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Step 2: Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Rub jerk seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon salt evenly over pork. Add pork to grill; grill 12 to 14 minutes or until a thermometer registers 145°, turning occasionally.  Place pork on a platter. Cover with foil; let stand 5  minutes. Cut across the grain into slices. Step 3: Coat grill rack with cooking spray. Arrange pineapple slices on grill; cook 3 minutes on each side or until well-marked. Remove…


Becoming Sun Sensible This Summer

Posted On: July 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Becoming Sun Sensible This Summer According to skincancerprevention.org, every year in the U.S. nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer.  Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is a major risk factor for most skin cancers, so sun safety is extremely important. Skin cancers start when UV rays damage the DNA of genes that control skin cell growth. There are two types of harmful UV rays: UVA rays age skin cells, causing brown spots and wrinkles. They are also thought to play a role in some skin cancers. Remember that tanning beds give off large amounts of UVA rays. UVB rays are the main source of sunburns and are thought to cause most skin cancers. Reduce your risk by limiting your time in the sun, wearing generous amounts of broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 (or protective clothing) and avoid tanning salons. To be Sun Sensible you…


June Compliance Recap

Posted On: July 7, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance

June was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released the updated patient-centered outcomes research institute (PCORI) fee amount and announced transition relief. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published a final rule regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) Section 1557. The President signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. The Department of Labor (DOL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) (collectively, the Departments), issued additional frequently asked questions (FAQs) on health plan coverage under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter highlighting COVID-19 guidance for non-federal governmental plan sponsors. CMS issued an information bulletin for insurers regarding the 2019 medical loss ratio…


PCORI Fees are Extended an Additional 10 Years

Posted On: June 30, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance

PCORI Fees are Extended an Additional 10 Years As a reminder, employers that sponsor certain self-insured health plans are responsible for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees. Fees for plan years that ended in 2019 are due July 31, 2020. Under the Affordable Care Act, PCORI fees were originally scheduled to apply to policy or plan years ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012 and before Oct. 1, 2019. However, in Dec. 2019, PCORI fees were extended for an additional 10 years. Thus, the fee continues to apply for the 2020-2029 fiscal years. Employers must report and pay the required PCORI fees annually via IRS Form 720. For plan years that ended between Jan. 1, 2019, and Sep. 30, 2019, the fee is $2.45 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the plan. On June 8, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-44, which increases the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee amount for plan years…


Judge Rules for HHS in Price Transparency Case

Posted On: June 25, 2020 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

Judge Rules for HHS in Price Transparency Case

Judge Rules for HHS in Price Transparency Case A federal judge ruled against the American Hospital Association (AHA) on Tuesday in its lawsuit attempting to block an HHS rule pushing for price transparency. The judge ruled in favor of the department, which requires hospitals to reveal private, negotiated rates with insurers beginning Jan. 1.  The AHA stated they are requesting an expedited review as they are concerned with the significant burden this will place on hospitals when resources are already stretched thin as a result of the pandemic and increased patient care needed.  Click here to read the full brief.  


DOL Launches Online Tool to Help Employees Determine FFCRA Eligibility

Posted On: June 25, 2020 | Categorized as: HR Consulting

man reading families first coronavirus response act

DOL Launches Online Tool to Help Employees Determine FFCRA Eligibility The U.S. Department of Labor launched an interactive online tool to help workers determine if they qualify for paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave to cover time away from work for reasons related to the coronavirus. The tool guides employees through a series of questions to help them determine if the paid leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) apply to their employer. If the provisions do apply, the tool helps them learn whether they qualify for either paid sick leave or extended family and medical leave under that law.


Barbecue Lime Shrimp and Corn Recipe

Posted On: June 11, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Barbecue Lime Shrimp and Corn Recipe Ingredients: 1/3 Cup of fresh lime juice 1/4 Cup of fresh orange juice 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce 2 Tbsp honey 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 tsp grated, peeled fresh ginger 1 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp ground coriander seeds 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 ears of corn cut into 4 pieces 1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined 4 Cups cooked couscous   Directions:  Combine the first 9 ingredients in a heavy-duty, zip-top plastic bag, add raw, cleaned shrimp and corn pieces to marinate (approximately 30 minutes). While the shrimp and corn marinate, prepare couscous according to package directions and set aside. When finished marinating, place lime mixture, corn, and shrimp in foil and seal along the edges. Place foil packet on grille and cook 10 minutes. Serve over couscous.  


May Compliance Recap

Posted On: June 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance

May was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued IRS Notice 2020-29 that provides increased flexibility for making mid-year elections or changes under a Section 125 cafeteria plan during calendar year 2020 and provides increased flexibility to apply unused amounts in health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) to medical care expenses. The IRS also issued IRS Notice 2020-33 that increases the limit for unused health FSA carryover amounts and clarifies the ability of a health plan to reimburse individual insurance policy premium expenses incurred prior to the beginning of the plan year for coverage provided during the plan year. The Department of Labor (DOL) released updated Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) model notices and frequently asked questions (FAQs) providing general information on the updated model notices. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a bulletin noting it will adopt…


President Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act

Posted On: June 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance

President Trump signs paycheck protection flexibility act

President Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act The President authorized the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act on June 5th after it was passed by the House on May 28th with only one dissenting vote and passed unanimously by the Senate on June 3rd.  This act changes provisions surrounding loan forgiveness through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Highlights of this act include changing the time recipients have to spend their PPP loan proceeds, decreasing the amount that needs to be spent on payroll for forgiveness, extending worker and wage deadlines, and more. Below are major details of the act that employers who have received PPP loans may find pertinent: The amount of time PPP Loan recipients have to spend their loan is increasing to 24 weeks from 8 weeks. If they choose to, employers can keep the 8 week period. The PPP provisions previously required 75 percent of the loan to be…



Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde

Posted On: May 20, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

chicken tacos

Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Salsa Verde Ingredients:  8 Corn Tortillas 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (skin removed) 1 1/2 cups bottled salsa verde 2 limes, quartered 1/2 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese 1 medium onion 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro Directions:  Heat the tortillas in a large skillet or sauté pan until lightly toasted. Combine the chicken with the salsa in a large mixing bowl, then divide evenly among the tortillas. Top with crumbled cheese, onion and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Nutrition: 345 calories, 12 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 800 mg sodium, serves 4


COVID-19 Impact on Retirement Plan Discrimination Testing

Posted On: May 20, 2020 | Categorized as: Retirement Plans

retirement plan binder with glasses

COVID-19 Impact on Retirement Plan Discrimination Testing As a result of COVID-19, many employers have made financial, operational, and employment-related changes. Plan sponsors need to consider how the following actions may impact the results of their 2020 retirement plan discrimination testing: Changing or Discontinuing the employer 401K match Retirement plan design changes Furloughing, laying off, or termination of employees Employee deferral changes, including the discontinuation of deferrals If your organization has taken any of these actions or notice a change in participant behavior, we suggest you take a proactive approach to understand the impact on your non-discrimination testing. It is important to get a better understanding NOW of how any of these changes may negatively impact your retirement plan as corrective actions may be available prior to your plan year end. If would like a complimentary Retirement Plan Impact Analysis, please click here.  


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application

Posted On: May 19, 2020 | Categorized as: HR Consulting, Retirement Plans

paycheck protection program loan application

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Application On Friday, May 15th the SBA has released their forgiveness application with detailed instructions on how to complete the form.   While the release promised further guidance on loan forgiveness, Innovative has received a lot of questions surrounding the calculation of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) Employees and payroll costs that employers must report on their application. A few highlights relating to these questions are summarized below: Payroll Cost Calculation The application advised there are options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternate payroll covered period” that aligns with a borrower’s regular payroll. cycle. Employers will not have to change payroll dates to obtain maximum forgiveness. There is flexibility for employers to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight week period after receiving their PPP loan. FTE Employee Calculation The Loan Forgiveness Application made clear that FTE employees are…


April Compliance Recap

Posted On: May 18, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance

April was a busy month in the employee benefits world. The President signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (PPPHCEA). The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) released a final rule extending certain timeframes under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for group health plans, disability, and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 national emergency. In addition, the DOL issued a disaster relief notice that extends deadlines for furnishing other required notices or disclosures to plan participants, beneficiaries, and other persons so that plan fiduciaries and plan sponsors have additional time to meet their obligations under Title I of ERISA during the COVID-19 outbreak. The DOL released temporary regulations implementing the leave portions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The Small Business Administration (SBA) released…


Further Guidance on Internal Revenue Service Notice 2020-29

Posted On: May 18, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance

Further Guidance on Internal Revenue Service Notice 2020-29 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued IRS Notice 2020-29 (Notice) that provides increased flexibility for making mid-year elections or changes under a Section 125 cafeteria plan during calendar year 2020 related to employer-sponsored health coverage, health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs). This notice also provides increased flexibility with respect to grace periods to apply unused amounts in health FSAs to medical care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020, and unused amounts in dependent care assistance programs to dependent care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020. Elections under a Section 125 cafeteria plan The Notice provides that an employer with insured or self-insured coverage may amend a Section 125 cafeteria plan to allow employees to: Make a new election for employer sponsored health coverage on a prospective basis, if the employee initially declined to elect employer-sponsored health…


IRS Releases Two New COVID-19 Notices

Posted On: May 13, 2020 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits, HR Consulting

IRS Releases Two New COVID-19 Notices To provide additional relief to Americans during these challenging times, the IRS released Notice 2020-29 and 2020-33. These notices provided new relaxed rules for 2020 for making elections under Cafeteria plans, using amounts during a grace period or carryover period changes to the method determining the carryover amounts under Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)  and clarifying which premiums can be reimbursed under Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs). Notice 2020-29 In Notice 2020-29, the IRS provides for increased flexibility with respect to mid-year elections under a cafeteria plan during calendar year 2020 related to employer sponsored health coverage, Health FSAs and Dependent Care Assistance Plans (DCAPs). This notice also provides increased flexibility with respect to grace periods and carryover periods to apply unused amounts in health FSAs to medical care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020, and unused amounts in dependent care assistance programs…


Mother’s Day Frittata

Posted On: May 8, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Mother's Day Frittata Hats off to all Moms - Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. Eggs are always a healthy go-to breakfast. This easy to make frittata-like veggie casserole will sure to be a fast favorite for your Mother's Day brunch. Ingredients:  2 Tbsp coconut oil 1 yellow onion, diced 2-4 cups of chopped green vegetables, such as broccoli, kale or spinach ½ cup chopped fresh basil 1 tsp salt ½ tsp ground black pepper 6 eggs 2 Tbsp canned coconut milk Directions: Pre-heat oven to 375°F and grease 8” square or 9” round baking dish In large skillet, heat the coconut oil, add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes Add the vegetables and cook for 5 to 7 minutes (until softened). Add the basil and cook for 2 seconds more Whisk together the salt, pepper, eggs and coconut milk Transfer the cooked vegetable mixture to your prepared…


Open Enrollment and Outcomes Based Health Screenings Options During COVID-19

Posted On: May 5, 2020 | Categorized as: Employee Benefits

open enrollment options

Open Enrollment and Outcomes Based Health Screenings Options During COVID-19 Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, employers who were planning on offering on-site health screenings tied to payroll deductions are unfortunately being forced to consider other options.  Thankfully, the screening vendors have been flexible with delaying screening dates. As an employer, if you were offering premium discounts based on screening results, you must decide what to do with your payroll deductions and incentives now that screenings will not be occurring before the start of your new plan year. What options do employers with outcomes based wellness plans have? Many employers have expressed interest in keeping the current payroll deduction rates in place for a few more months. Unfortunately, under HIPAA’s rules regarding health contingent wellness programs, this option is not allowed.  Members must be given the opportunity to screen and earn incentives at least once every 12 months. To comply with…


Final Rule on the Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans Due to COVID-19

Posted On: May 4, 2020 | Categorized as: Compliance, Employee Benefits

On March 13, 2020, President Trump issued the Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak and by separate letter made a determination, under Section 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, that a national emergency exists nationwide beginning March 1, 2020, as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) issued a final rule that extends certain timeframes under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for group health plans, disability, and other welfare plans, pension plans, and participants and beneficiaries of these plans during the COVID-19 national emergency. The timing extensions are issued to help alleviate problems faced by health plans to comply with strict ERISA and IRC timeframes and problems faced by participants and beneficiaries in exercising their rights under health plans…


Stuffed Pepper Recipe

Posted On: May 4, 2020 | Categorized as: Workplace Wellness

Stuffed peppers

Stuffed Pepper Recipe Ingredients: Sauce 1 onion, diced 1 TBSP olive oil 2 cups marinara sauce1 cup beef broth 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes Peppers 6 medium peppers, any color, cut in half lengthwise (seeded) 1 lb ground lean beef or turkey 1 cup brown rice or cooked quinoa 10 oz can diced tomatoes 1/4 cup fresh parsley or 1 TBSP dried 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tsp salt 1 tsp fresh ground pepper Pinch cayenne pepper 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese Directions: Preheat oven 375. Cook rice or quinoa according to directions. Cook onion in olive oil until soften then transfer half of onions to large bowl for pepper mix. Stir into remaining onions the sauce, broth, vinegar and pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute. Pour sauce into 9 x 13 baking dish. Arrange peppers into dish. Combine ground meat (Can be raw) with diced tomatoes,…


Feedback From Our Happy Customers



Need a custom plan designed for your team?

Schedule a Consultation

Contact Us Now To Get Your Business Covered