As a business owner, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest compliance issues regarding employee benefits. This is especially true when you own a marijuana business, but a benefit administration company may be able to help you stay compliant.
In this two-part series, we’ll provide an overview of some of the current compliance issues you need to be aware of. In part one, we’ve discussed workplace safety, transparency for health plans and hospitals, surprise billing and gender and family planning. Read on for the remaining 3 benefits.
In part one, we’ve discussed workplace safety, transparency for health plans and hospitals, surprise billing and gender and family planning. Read on for the remaining 3 issues you need to pay attention to when it comes to benefits:
The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) requires group health plans and health insurance issuers to provide parity between mental health/substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits and medical/surgical benefits. This means that if a plan provides coverage for mental health or substance abuse, that coverage must be on par with the coverage provided for physical health conditions.
There are three main ways in which MHPAEA affects employer-sponsored group health plans: benefit limitations, monetary requirements, and treatment limitations. With respect to benefit limitations, plans cannot place greater limits on MH/SUD benefits than they do on medical/surgical benefits.
For example, if a plan has a $500 deductible for medical/surgical services, it cannot have a higher deductible for MH/SUD services. With respect to monetary requirements, plans cannot require higher co-pays or out-of-pocket maximums for MH/SUD services than they do for medical/surgical services.
Finally, with respect to treatment limitations, plans cannot place more restrictions on MH/SUD benefits than they do on medical/surgical benefits. For example, if a plan covers 10 sessions of physical therapy per year, it must also cover 10 sessions of mental health therapy per year.
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged account that can be used to pay for certain medical expenses. To be eligible to contribute to an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP).
A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is an employer-funded account that reimburses employees for qualified medical expenses incurred during the year. Unlike an HSA, an HRA is not owned by the employee; rather, it is owned and funded by the employer.
A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is also an employer-funded account used to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses incurred during the year. FSAs can be used to reimburse a wide variety of expenses including copayments, deductibles, some over-the-counter medications, and more.
One key difference between an FSA and an HRA is that unused FSA funds are forfeited at the end of the year; unused HRA funds can be rolled over into the next year. You need to be familiar with all of the developments and amendments regarding these accounts.
Under the ACA, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must provide certain preventive services without any cost-sharing requirements. These services include things like immunizations, cancer screenings, and tobacco cessation programs.
There is some confusion among employers as to whether or not these requirements apply to cannabis businesses since marijuana is still illegal under federal law. However, because these requirements are based on employer size and not industry, they do apply to cannabis businesses with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees.
To avoid any penalties, it’s important that you review your preventive services offerings and make sure they meet all of the ACA requirements. Even if you’re not required to offer these services at this time, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the requirements so that you can be prepared in case your business grows and you become subject to them.
When it comes to running a cannabis business, compliance with the law is essential. This is where Green Leaf Business Solutions comes in. We specialize in providing compliance support for businesses in the cannabis industry to ensure that you avoid any potential issues with eligibility, meet the legal requirements for benefits and stay compliant with the regulations.
You can count on us to help you with everything from ensuring that your documents are in order to setting up cost-effective 401k plans that meet all of the legal requirements. In addition, we often provide online access to our services, which makes it easy to stay on top of your benefits and eligibility requirements. Reach out to us today to see what we can do for you!
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