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As employers look to finish up the year, the employee bonus targets are being missed.

A Towers Watson survey probed into how U.S. companies were feeling about employee bonus payouts timed for the end of the year. Continuing a three year trend, employers are not anticipating fully funding their annual employee bonus pools. “We’ve really only had one year since the Great Recession where we’ve enjoyed above-target bonus pool funding,” said Laura Sejen, a Towers Watson employee and the lead author on the survey’s findings. The survey estimated bonus pools will payout 87 percent of their 2013 maximum targets. This is the same number from 2012’s survey. The Towers Watson survey was sent to 121 companies from the U.S. and Canada in June and July. Bonus funding levels have fallen from the 95 percent funding in 2011. The report gives some historical perspective by noting that in 2006 and 2010, funding targets were funded at the 102 and 111 percent marks, respectively. These funding targets are generally related to the overall financial performance of the compa ...

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Home based business mistakes regarding salaries and expenses of household workers.

Many businesses start by being based out of the household. Understanding how home-based businesses should deal with tax write-offs and expenses can be complicated, especially when there are employees working in the household. The case of domestic helpers, whether cleaners, child care or cooks, etc, mistakes are often made when the business owner feels the home help is part of the business’ expenses. The first big mistake is to assume that household employees, like nannies, have any kind of financial connection to the business. Many times, business owners try to label household employees as tax deductible expenses for the business. This is incorrect and will cause many accounting and tax issues for your business. Household workers are not independent contractors. Typically, aspects of the definition of “independent contractor” are violated in the case of a household worker. The family typically controls who does the work, when the work is performed and how the work is performed. These are ...

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Google implements a HIPPA compliance feature in the form of a BAA

For those companies required to abide by HIPPA regulations, your choices for cloud computing just got broader. Google now provides a HIPPA compliant option for many of its core online applications, including Gmail. Google is now offering the options to sign a HIPPA Business Associate Agreement (BAA) relating to your companies use of its Gmail, Calendar service and Drive service. The 1996 HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) law looks to manage the access organizations have to individually identifiable healthcare information. It tries to create a policy of “need to know,” regarding access to any information. The law acts to make healthcare industry companies and professionals responsible for correct sharing of personal information. Typical kinds of protected information includes an individual’s name, address, all payment records and information about the person’s health. The move brings Google’s core applications up to speed with Microsoft’s p ...

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Affordable Care Act as it relates to immigrants

According to some statistics, as many as 20% of the young uninsured population of the U.S. consists of immigrants. Their legal access to the benefits of the Affordable Care Act varies depending on their individual legal status. Legal Permanent Residents / Naturalized Citizens who have lived in the country for more than five years. Eligible for full use of the program including the income-based Medicaid aspects. Legal Permanent Residents who have lived in the country for less than five years. Depending on income, may qualify for subsidized health care coverage. Do not qualify for the income-based Medicaid aspects. Refugees and immigrants exempt on humanitarian grounds. (regardless of time living in the country) All qualify for the health insurance coverages and Medicaid. People working under H-1B, F-1, J-1 visas (work visas, student visas) Eligible for health care coverage. Not eligible for Medicaid. Deferred Action individuals (the +400,000 undocumented ...

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Mental Health getting more support with the Affordable Care Act.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes directives aimed to health plans, including Medicaid, to cover mental health services to the same degree as they cover physical illnesses. The law will place an additional projected 8 million people on Medicaid in year number one, statistically speaking, many of which will have mental illnesses. On top of that an estimated 7 million people will receive tax subsidies to go purchase health insurance. Mental health has been tightly tied to physical health. A 2006 study of state Medicaid programs said people with serious mental illnesses are likely to pass away 25 years earlier than mental illness-free people. As and example, depression been tied to obesity through physical changes in the body’s chemistry and immune system. The obesity brings the common handful of overweight conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Mental health issues also lead to longer short and long-term disability leaves. They can also decrease the likelihood of patient ...

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