BPC Named to List of Best Places to Work in Illinois 2015

BPC Named to List of Best Places to Work in Illinois for the Second Time

We are excited to share with you that BPC has been named a 2015 Best Places to Work in Illinois company. This is the second time BPC has been recognized by the independent program designed to identify the best places of employment in Illinois that benefit the state's economy and workforce.

For 36 years our team has been in the business of taking care of people. We are just happy people who love our employees and our clients, striving daily to make the world a better place. We are so thankful to our clients, plan participants, partners and colleagues for allowing us to do what we love every day. 

As a special thank you to our staff for their hard work in helping BPC be a Best Places to Work in Illinois Company we will be structuring department schedules so employees can enjoy every other Friday as paid time off during the summer. But rest assured we will be available and ready to serve you on Fridays and every day!  Other rewards and special events will be scheduled to celebrate this achievement. Watch this video to see how we revealed the big news to them!

Our mission is to take care of every employee, client, partner and participant with kindness and joy that not only makes them want to do business with us, but in a way that puts a smile on their face and joy in their hearts.
— Habeeb Habeeb, President & CEO of BPC

BPC’s passion for creating positive, service-based cultures doesn't stop with us. We want to share our guiding principles to help others thrive. As a result we are partnering with the H-Squared Leadership Institute to conduct seminars and certified continuing education classes to help individuals, businesses and communities become their very best. CEO Habeeb Habeeb has delivered these high-energy, all heart talks and seminars throughout the United States reaching audiences in business, universities and high school work-study classrooms.

Thank you again for allowing us to serve. We hope to make 2015 your best year yet!

 

Posted on April 23, 2015 .

In a World Where Identity Theft Protection Is Not Created Equal...

inaworld

The media and entertainment industry was abuzz after the historic hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment's network this past November. Careers were tarnished and The Interview became a cultural event. But the terrifying real-life drama that resulted from the hack was left out of the spotlight. Thousands of Sony Pictures Entertainment employees were living in a horror film after their identities, bank accounts, and health information were compromised in the security breach.

“You chug along. But it is like, wow, you always have to look over your shoulder. This is forever.”
— Sony Pictures Employee

An employee* of Sony Pictures Entertainment has opened up to Fortune about the personal impact the security breach had on his family and some of his colleagues. From having to take time off for opening and closing accounts to worrying about their life savings and retirement funds, the cost of identity theft is devastating to both employees and employers. Read the full article here.

“The company provided us with All Clear ID, which is a security monitoring firm, but some people said that LifeLock was the way to go, and I decided to get it. There’s a reason you pay for it.”
— Sony Picture Employee

As employers and employees work to secure networks and personal identities, they often start exploring the world of identity theft protection. Many providers offer "reactive" services that may be presented at a lower cost. The problem with reactive services is that often times the impact of a security breach is not seen until after accounts and identities are compromised. Only Lifelock Identity Theft Protection provides proactive monitoring and alerts.

In today's digital world it is not a matter of if but when identity theft will happen. Learn how BPC and LifeLock Identity Theft Protection can safeguard your employees as a voluntary employee benefit at no cost to your company. And, by partnering with BPC, you can offer this group benefit at rates much lower than what is available to individual customers. Watch this video and learn more about how BPC and LifeLock Identity Theft Protection can safeguard your employees.

*The employee’s name has been withheld due to the sensitivity of the ongoing situation.

 

Posted on February 27, 2015 .

IRS Announces Transition Relief for Small Employers Offering Certain Health Coverage Reimbursements

Exise Tax Relief for Small Employers

As employers continue to adapt to Affordable Care Act market reforms, the IRS continues to provide guidance and clarification. In its latest notice,  IRS has provided small employers who reimburse or pay certain individual health insurance policy premiums for employees with some limited transition relief from the assessment of the excise tax in Code Sec. 4980D until July 1, 2015.

The full notice answering five questions can be read here. Below are highlights from the guidance.

Transition Relief and Clarification on Individual Premium Plans

Question and answer one provides that small employers (not an Applicable Large Employer (ALE)), who employed fewer than 50 employees in the prior year, that reimbursed some or all of individual medical premiums in 2014 or the first half of 2015 are not subject to any excise tax until July 1, 2015. The IRS reiterates their position that ultimately these arrangements will be subject to tax in the future and this relief is being provided to allow small employers additional time to obtain group health coverage or adopt a suitable alternative. 

The Notice is clear in question and answer five that whether a premium reimbursement is considered taxable income to the receiving employee is not at issue. Rev. Rul. 61-146, which holds that benefits paid through such arrangements are not taxable income, continues to apply. That ruling does not mean that excise taxes to the employer will not be applicable though. Nor does the IRS consider a reimbursement program acceptable simply on the basis of the premiums being paid post-tax. Even if considered taxable, a premium reimbursement program may still constitute an employer payment plan, fail the annual dollar limit and preventive services requirements, and be subject to the excise tax.   

However, Q&A 4 indicates that increasing an employee’s compensation, without conditioning the payment on any purchase of health coverage (or otherwise endorsing a particular policy, form or issuer of health insurance) will not constitute an employer payment plan.  It appears that in the long-term, employers wishing to assist employees with the purchase of individual premiums may need to take this relatively hands-off approach.  

Treatment of S Corporations' Health Care Arrangements:

The second question and answer clarifies that a premium reimbursement plan can still cover S-Corp owners (not employees) on a post-tax basis, and S-Corp owners can still claim the deduction at year-end. Further guidance may be issued, but until that point S-Corp owners can continue to reply on IRS Notice 2008-1.

Integration of Medicare Premium Reimbursement Arrangements and TRICARE-related HRA with a Group Health Plan

In the third question and answer, the IRS reiterates previous guidance that Medicare and TRICARE are not group health plans, but offers a sort of middle road for providing an integrated plan to reimburse premiums (Medicare) or medical expenses (TRICARE) without requiring actual enrollment in the employer’s group health plan. In each case employers have to offer a minimum value group health plan, the employee must be enrolled in the other coverage (Medicare/TRICARE), and the plan must be restricted to employees with that coverage. The Notice also details restrictions on what each plan could reimburse.  

The IRS anticipates that clarifications regarding other aspects of employer payment plans and HRAs will be provided in the near future. BPC will continue to keep you in the know along the way. 

 

Posted on February 20, 2015 .