Waguespack: Helping Any Way We Can

SHARE

Since 1975, the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) has made it our mission to serve our diverse business membership by working towards the singular goal of fostering a climate for economic growth by consistently championing the principles of free enterprise. LABI is proud to be Louisiana’s official state chapter of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. We have over 2,300 members, representing businesses of every size and industry sector that employ over 320,000 people.

These thousands of jobs are the backbone of the Louisiana economy, and we do all we can to protect the ones we have and attract more for the betterment of the state. On most days, you will find us working toward this mission by developing, promoting and advocating for smart policies that lead to economic growth and improved societal outcomes in Louisiana. On other days, we are hard at work convening public events and executing many other efforts behind the scenes to help employers invest in their communities, expand their operations and navigate the ever-changing landscape of complex governmental regulations and mandates.

“LCI"

A key tool in this effort – the LABI Benefits Center – is soon to become an even more critical asset for Louisiana employers and workers.

The LABI Benefits Center is a one-stop shop (www.labibenefitscenter.com) of employee benefits and administration tools that are among the best in the market today – all in one central location with specialized offerings for LABI companies. It helps our members get the tools they need to maintain their workforce and run their business… at a price they can afford…and at a convenience level that helps them stay focused on their products and customers. The LABI Benefits Center offers a myriad of insurance solutions to meet the unique needs of any size business, simple automation of Human Resource functions, regulatory compliance systems, COBRA management, cafeteria plans and a variety of other supplemental benefits packages.

Many LABI members have taken advantage of these services over the years, and recent action in Washington D.C. could cause demand to skyrocket.

Last October, President Trump signed an Executive Order focused on providing more competition and flexibility in the health care market. One provision of this order was to direct the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to issue regulations that would “expand access to health coverage by allowing more employers to form Association Health Plans (AHPs).” Those proposed rules were released last week.

AHPs are plans that allow multiple employers to pool together as a single group or association to buy insurance in a more market-driven way. This flexibility gives them stronger buying power and additional flexibility to structure benefit packages that best meet the needs of their business and employees.

The DOL’s proposed AHP regulations will be open for comment for the next 60 days, and we encourage our members to offer their input directly to the federal agency.  For the specific language included in the Executive Order or directions on how to comment, click on the following link: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2018/01/05/2017-28103/definition-of-employer-under-section-35-of-erisa-association-health-plans

LABI’s Director of Health Care, Renee Amar, is also available as a resource for anyone who might need or want help with the comment process. She can be reached at reneea@labi.org.

No matter what the final DOL regulation looks like, the LABI Benefits Center will be here to help.

Small businesses have enough to worry about these days. Especially when weak markets and scarce capital options are joined by predatory lawsuits, complex tax codes and ever-changing governmental mandates. The complications of running a business can seem overwhelming at times, and many employers are increasingly concerned about how they can stay afloat…which is exactly why the LABI Benefits Center was designed. We want to make it easier for them to focus on what they do best, rather than be overwhelmed by everything else.

Since 1975, it has been our goal to help employers of all sizes whenever we can…however we can…any way we can.  We encourage businesses of all sizes to check out the ways LABI can help you find affordable solutions to your everyday challenges by visiting www.labibenefitscenter.com or call us at 888-816-5224.

Stephen Waguespack is President of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI)