Brooker Insurance Agency is a proud member of Insurance Exchange Navigators (IEN), an alliance of select insurance brokers in the Northeast Ohio region. As a member of this coalition, Brooker Insurance Agency is among a network of skilled professionals having expertise in every facet of employee benefits and individual health insurance.
IEN’s mission is to help businesses and individuals manage health insurance and benefit offerings under the new health care reform legislation. Through this alliance, Brooker Insurance Agency is pleased to offer our clients expanded insurance product options and deeper levels of expertise, as well as a streamlined insurance shopping process, enabling our clients to select the health insurance and benefit programs which best match their specific needs.
Health Savings Accounts (HSA’s)
More companies are offering HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) to help their employees cover their medical bills. HSA’s are a valuable way to help your employees pay for health care under a HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan). With an HSA, an employee can make tax-deductible contributions each year to pay for current and future health care costs. What isn’t used in any given year will stay invested and continue to grow tax-free.
Section 132 Plans
With a Section 132 Transportation Benefit Plan, employees can set aside pretax dollars to pay for work related transportation expenses such as transit passes, subway fees, parking and vanpooling. Section 132 Plans are similar to the pre-tax FSA’s for medical expenses, except the transportation benefit plan does not include a “use it or lose it” penalty, meaning that any unused funds in a plan year are carried forward to the next year.
Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA’s)
A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is an employer-funded benefit that is used to help offset medical expenses incurred by the employee that are not covered under the employee’s health plan. The employer sets aside a specific amount of pre-tax dollars for employees to pay for health care expenses. Often used in conjunction with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), HRAs can generate savings for the employer, while providing funds to assist the employee in paying for medical expenses not covered under the health plan. Employers can use the savings from the lower premiums associated with the HDHP to fund the HRA. Most importantly, employer contributions to the plan are 100% tax deductible to the employer, and tax-free to the employee.
Section 125/132 Plans
A good way to provide health care benefits to your employees is with the establishment of a Section 125 Plan – also known as a cafeteria plan or flexible spending plan. A Section 125 plan allows employees to contribute pretax dollars into the plan which are placed into an account the employee can use to pay for allowed expenses (e.g., premiums for health insurance, dependent care costs, medical supplies, etc.).
COBRA insurance is a short term bridge to other health insurance. COBRA insurance guarantees an employee the right to keep their group health care coverage for a pre-determined length of time, when they would otherwise lose it after leaving a job. Its purpose is to help during a time of transition, and is not intended as a permanent solution to health care coverage. COBRA coverage must be offered by public sector employers that have at least 20 employees on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year.