I think checklists really help. They help me. They let employers know the items with which they need to comply. They need to comply with a laundry list of things based on their size. A group of 100 has a different checklist from that of a group of 50 or 1,000, so checklists for companies A, B and C are based on size and include everything with which they need to comply. They simply check off whether or not they are doing one item or another. Did their carrier include an item in their document? If not, then they need to include it. What annual notices do they need? There are three or four different annual notices. Employers can check them of the list when they have taken care of those notices. The checklists are something that will be done randomly as well as yearly. The checklist is always available. It is always something with which employers have to work, but it helps to reduce anxiety because there are so many different regulations, and employers have to know which apply to them and which do not. When we take over a new group, we go through a whole laundry list of things based on the group’s size to make sure they have complied. If not, we make sure they put those items in place. The checklist helps employers to know what actually applies to them and what does not.
When we are taking over a new employer, the first thing we review, which seems the simplest, is eligibility rules. We determine which eligibility rules they have in place, such as 30 hours or more and first of the month following the date of hire, and we make sure they are consistent across all employee benefit plans: medical, dental, vision, life and disability. A lot of time there are inconsistencies, but it is important to make sure that they are consistent. Is the plan a grandfather plan or not? If not, is preventive care covered at 100 percent? All the different things that have to go into effect when a plan is a non-grandfather plan need to be in the employer’s plan booklets. They need to have notified employees in open enrollment memos about the various things that have changed because they are a non-grandfathered plan. We ask to see the employer’s summary plan description (SPD). If they do not have one, then as the new broker, we make sure they have a wrap SPD because the carrier booklets do not always include the documentation they should include. There is a laundry list of items. We ask to see what the employer has done for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). We review the notifications they give for a new hire and when there is a term. We ensure they have the various notices that they need to move forward. We usually take over the COBRA administration for them, but there are things that we take over that are ultimately their responsibility, and we want to let them know what we are doing for them. There is a laundry list of leave policies, COBRA and Employee Retirement Income Security Act regulation. We ask to see their last Form 5500. If they have not done it, we need to complete it. The checklist can be quite lengthy, but we take care of it all for employers.