Health Insurance

Bob Vinal is president of Bay Area Health Insurance Marketing, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2011. He can be reached at (650) 273-0330 or by email.

Pre-Tax Premiums for Small Employer Health Groups

Posted on January 15, 2019 by James Florence

MENLO PARK — A Section 125 Premium Only Plan (POP) is an essential part of any employer group health insurance and ancillary benefit program. Section 125 is a part of the Internal Revenue Code that legally allows employees to make their benefit contributions with pre-tax dollars. A Section 125 POP can benefit employers and their employees alike.

How Employers Benefit From a Section 125 POP

A Section 125 POP can save an employer money in a couple of ways. First, it reduces the amount employers must match of their employees’ Social Security and Medicare Taxes. Additionally, it can lower an employer’s workers’ compensation premiums.

How Employees Benefit From a Section 125 POP

Employees avoid paying any income tax on premiums they pay through POP. Read more

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Taking Advantage of Digital Insurance Platforms

Posted on June 12, 2018 by James Florence

SANTA ROSA — Many things have gone digital during the last few years, and employer insurance platforms are no exception. With modern digital technology, once-tedious insurance processes like enrollments, terminations and plan alterations can now be implemented electronically, resulting in a faster, more streamlined approach. If you’re an employer, make sure your insurance broker can provide you with this cutting-edge resource.

Consider the following example of how a digital platform streamlines the annual process of insurance enrollment. It begins when the broker solicits bids from the different insurance carriers. Since each employer’s employee census information is stored in the cloud (all highly encrypted and privacy-protected), the broker doesn’t need to request that information from the employer—they can simply download it and send it electronically to the carriers, Read more

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2 Employer Misconceptions about Employee Health Benefits

Posted on May 23, 2018 by James Florence

MENLO PARK — If you’re an employer, you may have considered offering health benefits to your employees but were dissuaded by the cost. However, it’s possible that your decision was based upon misinformation or inaccurate assumptions. Here are two common misconceptions employers have about employee health benefits:

1. Offering employee health benefits is prohibitively expensive.

Health insurance isn’t cheap, but for employers, it’s not as expensive as many people assume. For example, some employers mistakenly think they’ll have to cover their employees’ coverage costs in full. In reality, employers are only legally required to cover 50 percent of each employee’s coverage and zero percent of their employees’ dependents’ coverage, which is far more affordable. Read more

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Communicating Employee Benefits

Posted on October 02, 2017 by Mari Patrick

MENLO PARK — If you’re a small-business owner, you’re likely spending thousands of dollars each month to provide benefits for your employees. However, if you aren’t taking the time to communicate to your employees about their benefits, they may not understand how valuable they are—or that they even have them in the first place.

Besides knowing they have benefits, it’s crucial that your employees know how to use them. The majority of your employees will probably never use their health plans for anything other than prescriptions or incidental treatments, but when they do, they’ll need to know the proper procedures and have the necessary identification (such as an insurance ID card).

A great way to communicate with your employees about their benefits is to distribute an annual Summary of Benefits and Coverage, Read more

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Video: Communicating Employee Benefits

Posted on October 02, 2017 by Mari Patrick

MENLO PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re an employer, make sure your employees understand what your benefits are and how to use them. Today we’re in Menlo Park with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Bob Vinal of Bay Area Health Insurance Marketing to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Bob Vinal: Hi. Today let’s talk about employee benefits. Employee benefits is one of our largest costs as a small employer. We’re spending thousands of dollars each month and each year providing our employees with a valuable benefit. But do they appreciate the benefit? Do they know that the ID card that you gave them is an unlimited credit card? Read more

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Video: Tax Credit for Small Business Owners

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

MENLO PARK — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re a small business owner, you’ll want to know whether you’re eligible for a 2015 tax credit. Today we’re in Menlo Park with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Bob Vinal of Bay Area Health Insurance Marketing to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, Bob Vinal: I’d like to share a tip with how you can save your company thousands of dollars. The Affordable Care Act allocated funds for small employers to encourage them to offer their employees health insurance benefits. They want to do a dollar-for-dollar match for up to 50% of the premiums that you’ve paid. Ok, this can be a valuable benefit for qualified employers. Read more

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Video: Avoiding Pitfalls with the Affordable Care Act

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin

SANTA ROSA — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you’re a business owner, you’ll want to be aware of upcoming changes to the Affordable Care Act and how they will affect you. Today we’re in Santa Rosa with Diamond Certified Expert Contributor David Hodges of Vantreo Insurance Brokerage to learn more.

Diamond Certified Expert Contributor, David Hodges: Good morning. I just want to talk a little bit about the Affordable Care Act today because there are some pitfalls that you as a business owner can really fall into if you’re not careful or have good consultants. In fact, that’s a large reason why I’m a member of Diamond Certified is because they spend quite a bit of time making sure that we’re not only ethical, Read more

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