How do I apply for contract positions?
Top Echelon Contracting does not recruit and is not involved in the placement process. We serve as the Employer of Record for contractors AFTER they have been placed by an independent recruiter.
What is the difference between being paid on a 1099 versus a W-2?
When a worker is paid on the Form W-2, the employer automatically withholds the necessary employee taxes as required by the IRS, including Federal Income Tax, State Income Tax, and FICA (Social Security and Medicare). In addition, the employer pays the necessary employer taxes such as FICA (Social Security and Medicare), FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax), and SUI (State Unemployment Tax).
When a worker is paid on Form 1099-misc, the money earned by the worker is not taxed, so the individual must then file and pay the appropriate taxes. The company does not pay the employer share of taxes. And the worker does not have access to the company’s (employer’s) unemployment, Workers’ Compensation, or benefits [medical, dental, vision, 401(k), etc.].
The IRS and state agencies have seen their tax collections suffer due to workers misclassified as 1099 independent contractors instead of W-2 employees. They are cracking down with more audits, imposing heavy fines and penalties. Therefore, it is imperative that workers are properly classified per the IRS guidelines and that proper taxes are paid to the correct government entities.
How are timesheets handled?
Top Echelon Contracting employees will complete an online timesheet by the end of day Friday. The timesheet must be approved by the client company each Monday no later than 11:59 PM EST. It is important for employees to have their timesheets submitted & approved by this deadline each week.
When are employees paid?
Top Echelon Contracting employees are paid on a weekly basis, provided they meet our Monday payroll deadline. Paychecks are mailed to the employees each Thursday afternoon. However, direct deposit is recommended. Monies are deposited into the employees’ bank accounts each Friday.
Are benefits available to contractors?
Top Echelon Contracting offers the following benefits to full-time employees who work an average of 30 hours per week: medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. Employees can receive these benefits on the first of the month after they have worked for 60 days. Employees can also contribute to a 401(k) after six months of service regardless of the number of hours worked.
We offer four different healthcare insurance plans through Aetna. All four plans are compliant with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare reform law often referred to as Obamacare. For more information, go to our Contractor Benefits page.
Contractor Benefits FAQs
When do benefits start?
In general, contractors are eligible for benefits on the first of the month once they have worked 60 days. So if you start working on January 15, your coverage would be effective on April 1. Your eligibility date may vary based on your position. If your effective date is different, you will be notified.
Who is eligible for insurance?
Employees who work at least an average of 30 hours per week are eligible for our insurance on the first of the month after they have worked 60 days. To maintain coverage, employees must continue to work an average of of at least 30 hours per week.
If I don’t elect benefits right away, can I do so later?
You have 30 days from your start date to elect benefits. If you do not elect benefits within that initial 30-day election period, you will not have the opportunity to elect again until our Open Enrollment period, which starts in November each year, with changes effective on January 1. You will be allowed to make changes mid-year if you experience certain life changes that are considered qualifying events (marriage, divorce, birth or adoption of a child, etc.). If you believe that you have had a qualifying event, please contact Top Echelon Contracting’s Human Resources Department at HR@TopEchelonContracting.com
What happens to my benefits if/when my contract assignment ends?
Benefits end on your last day at work. You will have the option to continue any health, dental, and vision you had through COBRA. You will receive a COBRA notice in the mail from our third party COBRA administrator, Infinisource. The notice will provide instructions on how to elect along with a COBRA election form that you will send back to Top Echelon Contracting if you wish to reactivate your coverage through COBRA. We will ask you to send a retro payment that will cover you from the end the month in which you elect back to the date your coverage ended. Your coverage will be reinstated retroactive to your last day covered once we receive your payment. You will also receive information for how to continue your life insurance through the life insurance carrier if you were active in that plan.
What can I do to drop, change, or add coverage?
You can only add coverage during your initial 30-day election period when you are hired or during our annual Open Enrollment. Changes, including terminating coverage, can only be made during that Open Enrollment period, which occurs in November with changes taking effect on January 1. You will receive information before the start of Open Enrollment with instructions on how to submit changes. The only time you can make changes outside your 30-day election period or Open Enrollment is if you have a qualifying event such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, etc. If you believe you have experienced a qualifying event, contact HR@TopEchelonContracting.com within 30 days of the event. If it is determined to be a qualifying event, you will be instructed on how to make the applicable changes.
What are the differences between the four healthcare plans?
There are a number of differences between the four plans. The main things you want to consider are the premium, deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket maximums. The Health Insurance Benefit Summary provides a chart that compares all of these factors, which are defined on our Healthcare Definitions page.
Which plan should I select?
Top Echelon Contracting is not authorized to give benefits advice. It is important that you evaluate your own situation to determine which plan best fits the unique needs of you and your family. We do provide The Health Insurance Benefit Summary, which provides a chart that can help you compare the four health insurance plans we offer. This chart helps you easily see the difference between such factors as deductibles, co-pays, coinsurance, out-of-pocket maximums, and more.
How do I find a doctor who is in the network?
Provider directories are available the carrier websites. For instructions on how to search for a provider under a specific carrier, please refer to The Health Insurance Benefit Summary.
What are preventative services?
Generally, they are services or screenings for patients with no prior symptoms or prior history of a medical condition associated with the screening or service. Some examples include cancer screenings, blood pressure checks, cholesterol checks, and immunizations. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare reform law often referred to as Obamacare, now requires that healthcare plans pay 100% of preventative services. The best way to find out if a service will be covered as preventative is to contact your insurance carrier at the number on your ID card.
How much do I pay for services once my deductible is met?
That depends on the coinsurance assigned to the specific plan you selected. If the coinsurance was 20%, you would pay 20% of the expenses, and the plan would pick up the rest (80%). You continue to pay the coinsurance until you reach your out-of-pocket-max.
When do deductibles reset?
Deductibles reset at the beginning of each plan year. For all Top Echelon Contracting plans, the plan year begins on January 1st. At that point, you will owe the full annual deductible before the plan will pay for most services, with the exception of preventative services.
Why didn’t benefit deductions come out of my paycheck last week?
It most likely was the fifth pay of the month. We only deduct insurance premiums from the first four pays of every month, so when a month has five weeks, the benefit deductions [with the exception of 401(k)] aren’t taken from that check. If you notice that benefit deductions were not taken from your check and it WAS NOT the fifth pay of a month, please contact Top Echelon Contracting’s HR department at HR@TopEchelonContracting.com
What constitutes an office visit in terms of paying the deductible or a co-pay?
An office visit is generally care provided in the physician’s office to treat, examine, diagnose, and treat an illness or injury. Some of our plans only require that you pay a co-pay for these types of visits, while other plans require you to pay for the full cost of the office visit if you have not met your deductible. Whether or not a service will be charged as an office visit depends largely on how your doctor’s office codes it, so consult with your doctor or your carrier if you are concerned about the cost for a service.
How do I find out if a service is covered or how much I will pay?
You can get general information about services and costs by reviewing your Summary of Benefits & Coverage (SBC), which can be found behind your secure login for our Online Paperwork System. You can also call the customer service phone number for your insurance provider, which appears on your ID card.
How do I question or dispute how a claim was paid?
Any claims questions should be addressed to your carrier’s customer service department by calling the phone number that appears on your ID card.
Benefits rates, guidelines, and eligibility are subject to change.