Americans who want to live and work in Canada have many legal and practical questions besides immigration, such as healthcare, education, taxes, housing, transportation and financial services. It is important for Canadian companies who want to recruit and hire American expats to make the transition as smooth as possible. Ackah Business Immigration Law is a full-service Canada and U.S. immigration law firm and provides cross-border immigration services for Americans who want to work in Canada. As part of their relocation package, employers should provide relocation and integration services to ensure their expat employee is happy and productive. Sirena Dimas, Employee Health & Benefits Consultant at Marsh McLennan Agency in South Florida, recommends that Canadian employers make sure that their U.S. employees have access to quality healthcare.
3 Healthcare Considerations For Canadian Employers Hiring American Expats
Canadian employers looking to source U.S. employees must know how to present compliant and comprehensive healthcare coverage to their U.S. workforce. Here are three key areas to consider when hiring a U.S.-based employee or U.S. citizen.
1. COBRA Eligibility and Continuing Coverage:
As currently in effect, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows employees to continue health insurance coverage for a limited time after they are no longer employed. Companies with 20+ headcount must offer COBRA to U.S. employees. Many employers find COBRA compliance challenging as there are strict coverage timelines and financial penalties to the employer if these timelines are not met.
Solution: A Third-Party Administrator (TPA) who specializes in COBRA can take the administration and compliance burdens off the employer. Often, TPAs can connect to the internal benefits administration system electronically, offering a seamless, low-touch solution.
2. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs):
FSAs ease the burden of rising healthcare costs by allowing employees to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical expenses, dependent care, and other eligible costs. Employers may struggle to adequately explain the nuances of FSAs, resulting in low adoption rates.
Solution: Employers can contract the COBRA TPA to provide administration services for FSAs, from processing claims to custodianship of the trust account.
3. Employee Education:
Every benefits program includes various carriers who provide medical, dental, vision, life, and disability coverage as well as numerous carrier-specific value-adds. Navigating these benefits can be confusing, particularly for those new to the system.
Solution: Employers should provide U.S. employees with clear benefits information, including enrollment procedures, coverage details, and instructions for filing claims. Among many services, a benefits broker can assist in providing employee education.
About Sirena Dimas
Employee Health & Benefits Consultant, South Florida
Marsh McLennan Agency provides business insurance, employee health & benefits, retirement, and private client insurance solutions to organizations and individuals seeking limitless possibilities. To learn more about Marsh McLennan Agency, contact Sirena.Dimas@MarshMMA.com or head to MarshMMA.com.
Cross Border Immigration Services For Canadian and U.S. Employers
Ackah Business Immigration Law and Evelyn Ackah, an award-winning immigration lawyer recognized for her exceptional skill in preemptively resolving immigration issues, has established a strong reputation for her unwavering commitment to smoothing the journey for cross-border workers.
Ackah Business Immigration Law has offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to help clients move to new opportunities in Canada. To get in touch with Ackah Law, contact us at (587) 404-5692 or send an email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.