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Downtown St. Joseph continues to undergo changes at various intersections in order to remove traffic signals and replace them with stop signs. The removal of traffic signals in the central business district emerged as an issue when it was determined they were no longer needed after decades of use, according to a study conducted by Synder & Associates. The city’s public works department plans to begin the third phase of removing traffic signals Downtown beginning Monday, Nov. 30. This third phase will take place on Jules Street at the crossings of Fourth, Fifth and Sixth streets. At each intersection there will be signs labeled “Signal Removal Study Underway” to help drivers identify where the changes are taking place. Changes motorists will begin to see are either two-way or four-way stops. However, plans for each intersection will differ in order to determine the best pattern based on flow of traffic and safety. Diane Cudworth, owner of Downtown Frames, believes removing the traffic signals will help to not only keep pedestrians safer, but also drivers. The removal of traffic signals doesn’t just benefit the safety of drivers or pedestrians, but it also can be beneficial to Downtown businesses, according to Cudworth.



According to HealthCare.gov, a QSEHRA gives small businesses the ability to provide nontaxed reimbursement of some healthcare expenses, like premium and coinsurance payments. To be eligible, employers must offer healthcare coverage that meets the ACA requirements, including an individual marketplace plan. In addition to having fewer than 50 full-time employees, employers must provide the same reimbursement terms to all full-time employees (specific reimbursement amounts can vary by age and how people in a household are covered under the plan) and not offer a group health plan, like the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) or a flexible spending account (FSA). The maximum QSEHRA benefits or contributions in 2020 were $5,250 ($437.50 monthly) for employee-only coverage and $10,600 ($833.33 monthly) for employee and household coverage. Understanding the caps for each employee in the program you offer is important, as it relates to an employee's growing burden in absorbing annually increasing healthcare costs. Even though it's not the employer's fault that healthcare costs rise each year, it is beneficial to have a clear picture of what employees are experiencing in the universe of healthcare costs. Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that a family of four covered under employer-sponsored health discover this info here insurance was spending about $3,300 between premiums and out-of-pocket expenses in 2003. At that time, employers were contributing more than $7,000 to the total coverage costs. In 2018, those numbers had increased to more than $7,700 in employee expenses and $15,000 in employer costs. Key takeaway: Although you can offer health insurance reimbursements to your employees, you must execute the program within a tax shelter such as an HRA. HRAs are designed by the IRS to reduce healthcare costs for employees.

2020-12-02 / Posted in