5 Changes Benefits Administrators Should Be Aware Of

Feel free to use this image just link to www.rentvine.comFor benefits administrators, there’s more change this year than just health care reform mandates.  Another big event this year that affects professionals in the benefits field is the recognition of same-sex marriages.  In this blog, I’m going to address several key implications, according to an article written by Stephen Miller, CEBS in HR Magazine, that HR benefits administrators should be aware of when working out next year’s benefit plans.

  • Companies will be required to treat employees’ same-sex and opposite-sex spouses equally.
  • Self-insured employers may not have to cover opposite-sex spouses, as insurance law mandates don’t apply to self-insured plans.  However, employers may face legal implications if they continue to offer benefit coverage only to opposite-sex spouses.
  • Employees can pay for a same-sex spouse’s coverage on a pretax basis under a Section 125 plan.
  • COBRA will now have to be offered to same-sex spouses.
  • Employees must be granted family medical leave to care for a sick same-sex spouse.

These are all big changes that benefits administrators will have to keep in mind for this year’s benefits renewal, as they could all have an effect on the company’s bottom line.  However, it’s important to know whether or not these changes apply to the state your company is located in.  In June of 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to not acknowledge same-sex marriages.  However, only 12 states and the District of Columbia were included in also recognizing same-sex marriage.  If your company is located in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriages, these changes may not apply to you.  However, you may have to look into certain loopholes, as how these changes affect your benefits could be determined by the location of the main branch of your company.

Have the recent changes and mandates created new staffing requirements in your company?  Contact Serenity Staffing to assist you with all of your staffing needs.  We’ll handle the resume pre-screening, scheduling, and further communication with your applicants.  Make hiring a new employee a serene experience by enlisting the help of Serenity Staffing!  Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn so you’re continually updated on important changes in the field of HR!