1. What does offering benefits to my employees on a “voluntary basis” mean?
When our benefits are offered to your employees, they can elect for some, all, or none of the products offered. Employees get to choose what will be included in their benefit package.
2. Who pays for these benefits?
As an employer offering benefits to your employees, you have the choice as to who pays for which product. Some employers offer our benefits and let their employees pay for 100% of the cost. Some employers will offer a “benefit bank” to their employees which allows them a certain dollar amount they can pull from in order to apply toward the products elected. And yet, some employers choose 1 or 2 products and pay 100% of the cost for their employees. Our packages are totally customizable and can be set up to accommodate any need or set of circumstances.
3. If I offer these benefits to my employees, are there any tax advantages for my business and/or my employees?
Yes, when we implement a benefit package for your group, we will offer as a part of our service a Section 125 plan to you at no additional charge. A Section 125 (Cafeteria Plan) is the provision within the tax code that allows employers to offer their employees certain benefits on a pre-tax basis. We take care of filing and maintaining this document for you. When a cafeteria plan is set up, your employees are able purchase many of our products on a pre-tax basis, therefore reducing the amount of taxable income. As an employer, when your employees elect for benefits on a pre-tax basis, you save the matching FICA and FUTA tax realized by the reduction of their taxable income.
4. Is there a minimum participation requirement of my employees in order to offer these benefits?
You must have at least 3 employees to make a group.
5. How do my employees get enrolled in these products?
We pride ourselves in providing benefit communication to each and every employee. At EBA we have various scenarios to which we can accommodate employers at the enrollment level. In the age of technology we are able to work with employers in creating an enrollment process that works best for their employees. But with over 75 years of experience, we have found that a group presentation, followed up with one-on-one meetings with employees works best for all involved. The importance of a group presentation (or multiple presentations, depending on the size of the group) allows everyone hears the same information, and at that time, employees are allowed to ask questions to our Benefits Counselor. If necessary, employees are also given time to consider their individual or family needs and talk through these questions with others. Our Benefit Counselors then will set up open enrollment with employees interested in electing coverage on a one-on-one basis. This is all done via laptop computer with a secure encrypted connection.
6. How does the payroll deduction process work?
After the open enrollment, the employee will receive a copy of their policy and the employer (plan administrator) will receive an election form portfolio. The election forms tell the employer each product and the corresponding pre-tax or post-tax premium that they are to withhold from their employees paycheck. If you work with a payroll company, these election forms are simply forwarded to them and set up as a line item to be withheld per pay period. If you process payroll yourself on Quicken or QuickBooks, we have a payroll deduction department that can assist you with this. Once payroll deduction is set up, employers simply withhold the premium from employees paychecks each time they are paid and submit the premiums back to us. As an employer, you will always send in premiums after they are withheld from your employees accounts to make sure you are never put in a negative cash flow situation.
7. Can these products be purchase on an individual basis?
Unfortunately not, we only offer our products through businesses on a payroll deduction basis.