Category Archives: Payroll


The Three Q’s Of ObamaCare: Quality, Quantity, and Quitting

iStock_000011181067XSmallIt’s important to understand the impact Obamacare will have on your family’s healthcare. The most important effects can be covered with 3 Q’s: Quality, Quantity, and Quitting.

Quality: The Affordable Healthcare Act may change the quality of healthcare in the United States forever. There was time in the United States that the sacrifice of going to Medical School and studying for 8 total years, as well as interning, was well worth the wait of being awarded into one of the most noble professions in society. Doctors were honored, well paid, and well respected. The stresses on the healthcare system, with tort litigation soaring and the lack of accountability in the private and public sector for healthcare, has taxed the profession severely. Our medical clientele representing small businesses are seriously concerned about the quality of care for patients in the new environment, where 11 million or so new patients will have access to care with the same pool of physicians. The Affordable Healthcare Act may take away the freedom of good practice and end up overworking and overtaxing medical professionals.

Quantity: The supply of new physicians entering the market may be limited. The best and brightest from all over the world used to want to be in America to practice medicine. In the new highly regulated environment, the best and brightest minds may opt out for other professions in less regulated careers where they can let their talents and creativity provide a valuable resource to society. This potential effect can dramatically reduce the quantity of physicians in the United States.

Quitting: There may be an increased number of quitters that includes doctors, hospitals, and private health insurance  - providers who can no longer make a living or a profit by practicing under these ACA rules. Many private insurers are reducing plans, leaving states, raising deductibles, and altogether leaving the system, as they can no longer provide a return on investment, on their capital or their time, by providing healthcare to American society within the current framework. Quitting the system, obviously, will grossly affect our other 2 Q’s (Quality and Quantity). Some have called this “Quazy.”

5 Things Small Businesses Need to Know About Healthcare Reform

Counting handsThe implementation of the Affordable Care Act is rapidly approaching and it is important that small businesses have a place to turn to for feedback, advice, and execution. Below are five points that we believe all business owners should take into consideration to help business owners increase their sales, reduce their costs and minimize their risks.

1. Exchanges are not necessarily the answer.

As discussed in our blog posted earlier in the week, Root Of All Evil Or The Holy Grail? Private Market Options In The Age of Obamacare  although the exchanges are opening, and do provide another way for you to purchase insurance, they are not necessarily the best way to go. The private market options can still hold a lot of value and it is best to look at the pricing, network size, and the administration costs of administering the plans to make sure that you are making the best decision.

2. Make sure your broker is appointed on the exchange.

Since the exchanges may be a viable option for some businesses and individuals, it is important to work with a broker. As a broker appointed on the state exchanges, we have the ability to present the private market options and exchange options while helping you decide which is best, as well as a game plan that you can execute. By choosing to go to the exchanges directly you assume a lot of responsibility, and risk making the wrong benefit choice for you and/or your employees.

3. U.S.E  your broker – Understand the coverage, Streamline the services, Execute your strategy.

We encourage business owners to USE our game plan to navigate health care reform.

Understand the coverage -It is key that you understand the plan that you purchase, and how it compares to the other plans in the marketplace. This is vital to understand the price and competitiveness of your plan. It is also important to understand how changes to your staff and health insuranceenrollment can impact your property and casualty policies.

Streamline your services – By streamlining your insurance program, you can more closely monitor your employee benefits to ensure proper compliance, while also cutting the cost. Employee addition and attrition can be administered with dedicated contacts from one company which saves you time and money. Also look at including payroll into the offering to make sure that you can more efficiently manage enrollment to worker’s compensation, health insurance and payroll while making sure that you are compliant with local and federal rules and regulations.

Execute your strategy – Your broker needs to be able to demonstrate the value in working with you and help you execute the goals. Laying out your game plan, and being able to follow through in this turbulent environment is key. If you goal is to improve the quality of your benefits, confirm how you want to do that affordably and sustainably. If your goal is to lower costs, how do you plan on doing that over the long term? Will you do it through cutting benefits, changing your plan structure, or instituting a wellness program? Execution is key, and without the right partner you won’t be able to do it successfully.

4. Ensure you are compliant.

Compliance is key as we look at healthcare reform. By offering health plans that are not compliant, improperly notifying employees of healthcare options, or not following any one of the dozens of other reforms, compliance is key. You can subject yourself to substantial fines or penalties, even potential lawsuits from employees if you do not stay in compliance. Make sure you broker and payroll company provides you with the tools to notify you of deadlines, get free resources, and stay compliant at a reasonable cost

5. Analyze your full insurance program.

While you are looking at managing your compliance, you and your broker need to look at your full insurance program and see how they work with one another. Employees on your health insurance should match the employees and payroll on your package policy, and your worker’s compensation. Your contact information on all policies should be checked to make sure they are consistent. Furthermore, you take inventory of policies and coverages to make sure you understand what insurance coverages you have in place, where you are deficient of coverage, and how you can continue to protect your business.

Newtek Lending a Hand in Sandy Recovery

At Newtek, The Small Business Authority, we just announced several special programs to help small businesses devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Newtek Chairman and CEO Barry Sloane says, “We are here to help small businesses and even moreso, any individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy’s devastation. Newtek, “The Small Business Authority” helps independent business owners in good times and bad, both our clients as well as others. We are a business located in both Manhattan and Long Island and clearly understand the problems these local businesses face. We are here every day, around-the-clock to help with all major causes of concern for small businesses.”

Mr. Sloane offers, “All it takes is a phone call to the 1-855-2-THESBA phone line for help with:

* SBA Disaster Loan Funding

Examining Insurance Policies for wind, flood, and business interruption coverage.

Data Back-up Planning

Cloud Computing Solutions for immediate cost-savings and future disaster protection.

Additionally, it is important to know that The United States has declared several states (and many counties within them) Federal disaster areas. These include areas within Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Newtek understands both individuals as well as small business leaders have myriad assistance questions. Answers may be found at FEMA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Website. Assistance can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the Hurricane Sandy disaster. Moreover, this site also provides helpful programs for medical and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance.

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loans are available for businesses located in affected counties and States which include loans up to $2MM for certain property losses and/or fiscal damage.

Business owners’ first step should be to register the affected business by calling 1-800-621-FEMA(3362) or by Internet at www.disasterassistance.gov.

Remember that you can call any time, 24/7/365 at 1-855-2-THESBA or, visit us online at www.thesba.com.

 

Whom Should You Hire: A Contractor or a Full-Time Employee?

Whom should you hire?

When you find yourself overwhelmed with projects for your company, you may begin to consider hiring additional staff members. After all, making sure your team can handle the work is crucial if you are to meet deadlines and please clients with quality results. However, don’t be hasty in hiring a slew of full-time employees when the work may dry up tomorrow. Instead, consider hiring some contractors who can be kept on hand as the work ebbs and flows.

To determine whether full-time employees or temporary contractors would better suit your business needs, ask yourself these questions:

Will the work last?

If you’re working on a project that will involve an impressive workload for the next year or more, then it’s worth it to hire at least one more full-time employee. On the other hand, just because you have some more projects than usual this time of year doesn’t mean the work will last. You may end up going through the hassle of interviewing, training, and collecting paperwork for a new full-time worker, only to run out of work for him to do. To avoid wasting time and money on employees you don’t need, make sure the new work will be long-term.

Can you afford to pay for a full-time employee?

Contractors tend to have higher hourly rates than full-time workers for one reason: They don’t get the same benefits. Consider what you usually have to provide for staff members:
• Paid vacation
• Sick leave
• Health and life insurance
• 401(k) matching
• Workers’ compensation

Plus, you typically have to pay a portion of Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment taxes for each full-time staff member, Rhonda Abrams wrote in her USA Today article, “Should You Hire an Employee or Independent Contractor?”¹
Before you decide whether an employee or contractor would better fit your budget, add the benefit and tax costs to the salary you’d pay an employee, then compare the total to the simple hourly rate you’d pay a contractor.

Do you need help with a specialized project?

You may have no more work than usual, but you realize that your employees cannot handle the projects at hand. If you need some specialized skills for your current workload but do not foresee a long-term need for the specialized knowledge, you may benefit from hiring a contractor. For example, OPEN Forum writer Thursday Bram recommends hiring a contractor when you need a new website, because you’d likely only need a new site design once in the next few years. She sums up the matter by writing, “Contractors are generally one of the best options when you need a specialized skill set on a short-term basis.”²

Add the Overall Costs

Because contractors usually have higher hourly rates than full-time employees, you may benefit more from hiring a full-time employee if you need someone 40 hours per week. On the other hand, if you only need help around 20 hours per week, then a contractor is your best bet. If you end up needing more of the contractor’s time in the future, you can always find out if he is open to the idea of becoming full-time eventually. This can benefit both of you, offering some job stability and health insurance to your new employee, and saving you from paying the high hourly rates of the typical contractor.

For more information, visit:

1. “Should You Hire an Employee or Independent Contractor?
2. “Temps, VAs, Contractors, and Employees: Who Should You Hire?

The Small Business Authority cannot and does not give legal or tax advice and nothing contained in this article should be construed as such. Before taking any actions based on this or any other article published by The Small Business Authority, we strongly advise you to consult with an attorney and/or your tax professional.



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