Pharos-Tribune

September 24, 2013

Business news in brief, week of Sept. 22, 2013


Pharos-Tribune

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Beacon raises over $25K for Riley

Beacon Credit Union will be presenting a donation of over $25,000 to the Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Every year, Beacon Credit Union raises money for the Riley Children’s Hospital Foundation through its Credit Unions for Kids Campaign. This year, Beacon Credit Union was selected as a recipient of the Miracle Match program which was created by the CO-OP Financial Services with the intent to assist credit unions whom are raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. The program matched $10,000 in donations from Beacon members.

Beacon Credit Union is a full service, locally owned credit union with more than 46,000 members. The credit union operates 20 service offices throughout north-central and northeast Indiana, including two in Logansport.

Health exchange deadline approaching

In speaking with employer groups and local chambers of commerce, the Indiana Chamber has realized that some employers are not aware of the Oct. 1 deadline to provide information to their employees about the federal health exchange.

Essentially, if a company is required to comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act, then it must provide the information. That means this requirement applies to nearly all employers.

Additionally, regardless of how many employees a company has or whether it provides health care coverage or not, this exchange information must be shared with current employees, including those working part-time.

The general language that is required in the notification to employees includes these three items:

• The exchange or marketplace exists, including a description of the services it provides and direction for employees to visit www.healthcare.gov for more information.

• Employees who purchase coverage through the exchange or marketplace may be eligible for a premium subsidy if their employer does not provide coverage that is "affordable" and provides "minimum value." Coverage is affordable if the employee-only option for the lowest-cost plan offered costs less than 9.5% of an employee's W-2 wages. Coverage provides minimum value if the plan pays 60% of the total costs.

• Employees who purchase coverage through the exchange or marketplace will pay for that coverage with after-tax dollars.

The notice must be provided automatically to employees, be free of charge and written in language that the average employee can understand. It may be provided by first-class mail or electronically if the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s electronic disclosure safe harbor are met. The notification also may be attached to employee paychecks, included in employee renewal or new hire packets and personally hand delivered to each employee.

Posting or leaving the notices in a break room or other location for employees to pick up will not satisfy the notification requirement.

Two examples of the exchange notices can be found on the DOL’s health reform website at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform/. Further information is also available from Indiana Chamber vice president for health care policy Mike Ripley at mripley@indianachamber.com.