3 Benefits Reminders to Send Your Employees in May

Mark Rader Benefits Communication

#1.  Adjust your W-4s

Now that tax time has finally passed it’s time to…think a little more about taxes!

Sorry. But the tax law that passed last December might make your employees’ existing W-4s less accurate, meaning if they don’t update their withholding amount now, they might be surprised by a smaller refund, a balance due, or even a penalty in 2019.

Tell them to visit the new IRS tax withholding calculator to estimate their 2018 taxes and get instructions on updating their W-4 withholdings. If they can update their W-4 online, provide the link and clear instructions. If they need to fill out a paper form, explain where to find it and how to submit it.

 

#2. Consider putting more money in your HSA

While the year is still young(ish), recommend that your employees add up their out-of-pocket health care costs thus far, make a new estimate of upcoming expenses (padding that estimate for unexpected expenses!), and compare that total with how much they’ll have in their HSA account at the end of the year if they change nothing.

If there’s a gap, suggest they increase their contribution rate now to make up the difference (and remind them there’s no such thing as HSA funds expiring: those are theirs for life). Doing so will give them more available cash to pay bills—and since HSA contributions aren’t taxed, they’ll save money too.

 

#3.  Double-check your out-of-network coverage

Summer is almost here, which means hitting the beach, leaving the country, or stowing away on a steamship bound for open waters. So remind your employees to take a quick peek at their health plan’s policies on out-of-network care before they skip town. If they need a doctor (or scurvy treatment) while they’re away, they’ll know where to go, how to pay, and how to get reimbursed.

 

Can’t wait to dig into more ALEX stuff until then? Check out:

Blog Post: 7 HR Jams to Get You Through Your Spring Slump

Blog Post: The Secret Ingredients That Make ALEX So Engaging to Employees

eBook: 11 Tips to Make Your Small Benefits Team Scrappier