How the New AHP Could Increase the Risk of Lawsuits Against Your Small Business

DuPage County small business law attorneysSmall businesses have long struggled to provide the same quality healthcare benefits to their employees as larger corporations. As a result, their hiring pool is often smaller, and they sometimes lose good workers, solely because they lack the ability to provide certain benefits. Thanks to the new AHP, that could all change. Franchisors and small businesses need to tread lightly, however, as there are some aspects of the law that could increase their risk of a lawsuit. Learn more in the following sections, including how a seasoned small business lawyer could help to mitigate this risk for your company. 

A Closer Look at the New AHP

At their core, AHPs allow small businesses to band together to purchase healthcare coverage for their employees, but unlike the older version, this new AHP allows companies to band together based on more than just industry or field. Instead, they can be linked by geography, or simply the desire to offer healthcare coverage. Set to start in September, the new AHP will apply to all small businesses, and even self-employed individuals, which were originally excluded. 

Employers who enroll in the program are expected to have the same flexibility as large corporations when choosing a coverage plan, but they may find that there are more exclusions. For example, a provider can choose not to cover prescriptions or drug rehabilitation services. Laws regrind maternity care, pre-existing conditions, and preventative care still apply. 

Avoiding Lawsuits Under the New AHP

In a large corporation, the human resources (HR) department typically works to ensure that all provided benefits are complaint with the law. In a small business or franchise, the task typically falls on the shoulders of the owner, who may already be spread too thin. As a result, they may fail to meet the legal requirements, such as ensuring that:

  • They are providing maternity coverage if they have 15 or more employees;
  • The cost to workers does not exceed more than 9.56 percent of their income (companies with 50 or more employees); and
  • The plan covers at least 60 percent of the cost of covered benefits (companies with 50 or more employees).

If an employer fails to meet these requirements and their employee has to seek other coverage because of that oversight, the small business could be subject to fines, penalties, and lawsuits. 

Franchisors have an even bigger challenge; overcoming joint liability when their franchisees fail to meet the requirements. Extra precautions, like hiring a program administrator and setting up an AHP trust, are highly encouraged for these companies. 

Contact Our Wheaton Small Business Lawyers

At Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC, we recognize just how devastating a lawsuit can be to your company’s future, and we strive to protect it. Skilled and experienced, our Wheaton small business lawyers can assist you in taking the appropriate steps before enrolling in an AHP. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a personalized consultation to get started today. 

Sources:

http://www.nprillinois.org/post/read-fine-print-picking-association-plan-your-small-business#stream/0

https://www.benefitspro.com/2018/03/30/small-businesses-franchises-need-to-tread-lightly/

 

Women Face Unique Challenges in the CRE Market

DuPage County real estate lawyersAlthough great strides have been made in achieving gender equality in America, women continue to face significant challenges in the commercial real estate market. In fact, studies show that women are still making less than their male counterparts, even though they are doing the same work. Learn how you can overcome the issues you are facing in the CRE market, and discover how a seasoned attorney can assist you in the process. 

Gender Equality Issues in the CRE Market

In a study published by RETS, a commercial real estate recruitment and staffing firm, 618 women in entry- to senior-level CRE market positions revealed their biggest concerns. A startling 87.2 percent said they are concerned about the lack of equal pay, and 65 percent said they had learned that a male counterpart made more than them. Of those, 75 percent claimed they had heard on two or more occasions that a male agent made more than them. 

Advancement opportunities were another great concern. In fact, 79.2 percent said they felt they did not have any advancement opportunities within their company, and 61 percent said they felt they had been passed up for an advancement opportunity. Of those women, 85 percent said it had happened on more than one occasion. Additionally, 79.1 percent of women said they did not feel that their opinions were as valued as their male counterparts. 

Overcoming Challenges in the CRE Market 

While there is little that women can do about the gender gaps in the CRE market, there are measures they can take to ensure their opinions are valued, and that they receive the best possible  chances at advancement. First and foremost, women need to speak out when they feel they are being discriminated against over gender. Second, know where to find assistance if you feel you are facing gender discrimination in the workplace, as this is against the law. Lastly, women are encouraged to utilize the resources that are available to them, such as the aid of a lawyer when growing their portfolios. 

Contact Our DuPage County Real Estate Attorneys

The CRE market is one of the leading employers in the nation, which means there are many women who could be at a disadvantage on the job. Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC advocates for these women to ensure their rights are protected, and we assist them in making sound investment decisions so they can grow and expand their wealth. Discover how our seasoned DuPage County real estate attorneys can assist you. Call 630-665-2500 and schedule a personalized consultation with us today. 

Source:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/316015

 

Single and Retired? Try These Strategies When Creating Your Illinois Will or Trust

DuPage County wills and trusts lawyerWhile those who are married or have kids typically have a built-in plan, should anything happen to them, singles rarely have this option. As such, they may find themselves incapacitated or ill with no one to protect their interests. Even worse, if they pass away, their entire life’s earnings could be lost. Thankfully, there are ways that single people can protect themselves from such a fate. Learn more, and discover how a seasoned will an trust lawyer can assist with the process. 

Examining the Role and Responsibilities of a Proxy or Trust

A trust or proxy is someone who makes medical, financial, or estate decisions for an incapacitated or deceased party. Used by single and married people alike, this person must be appointed by the individual in question ahead of time, and their roles and responsibilities must be clearly outlined. These may include:

  • Financial responsibilities – Making decisions on behalf of the individual and handling of their finances, should they become incapacitated; 
  • Healthcare responsibilities – Making medical decisions if the individual becomes incapacitated; and
  • Will or trust executor responsibilities – Handling of the estate and final expenses, should the individual pass away.

Ensuring Your Proxy is Prepared for Their Role

Your will or estate plan can be as simple or comprehensive as you like, but keep in mind that your proxy only knows what you tell them. For example, if you do not want to have excessive measures taken to keep you alive, you must outline this in your will or estate plan. Additionally, if you only want your proxy to handle certain aspects of your estate, you will want to ensure this is clearly stated and explained. Of course, it can be difficult to plan for all scenarios, especially on your own. As such, individuals are highly encouraged to seek legal counsel when drafting their will or estate plan. 

You will also want to ensure that your proxy has all the information they need to handle their responsibilities (i.e. passwords for online banking, credit cards, and online banking), and they will need a list of your debts and assets, along with a copy of your passport and information on any insurance policies you may have. This information can be placed in an envelope and given to your proxy. Just be sure to also supply your attorney with a copy, and update the information anytime something changes. 

Contact Our DuPage County Estate Planning Lawyers

With more than 40 years of experience, Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC has the knowledge and skills to help ensure your estate plan is created with your best interests in mind. Schedule your personalized consultation with our DuPage County estate planning lawyers to learn more. Call 630-665-2500 today. 

Source:

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/i-team/estate-emergency-planning-for-single-people