The Benetech Advantage
It's lonely in HR. Never fear! Benetech's team of seasoned experts provides the wisdom, technology insights, and healthcare regulatory updates that keep under-staffed and over-tasked HR departments informed, in compliance, and running lean!
Told you we would let you know when the final 2019 1095-C forms are out, and here they are!
Affordable Care Act Draft 1095-C and 1094-C forms are out.
Each year, the IRS sets new out of pocket maximums and contribution limits for a number of tax-related benefit plans based on cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). We'll get right to the point. The 2020 adjustments are official as of today and are as follows.
There's never a shortage of compliance concerns when offering group benefits. While Summary Plan Descriptions and Plan Documents from insurance carriers cover much of the required notices to plan participants, there are a few outlying communications that fall on the shoulders of employers. To keep in compliance, here are a few notices that should be a part of an employer’s onboarding or annual enrollment processes.
The IRS has released updated penalties for Affordable Care Act non-compliance. As has been the common practice since the first year of mandatory reporting for Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), the penalties for failure to offer coverage to “substantially all” of your full-time employees, or failure to offer coverage that was “affordable” or offered “minimum value” has increased with inflation. Here are the new penalty rates, as well as some common misconceptions about ACA penalties.
In the United States, 86% of health care costs are spent for people with chronic conditions. While High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) have been a popular plan offering for employers seeking reduced health care costs for employer-sponsored plans, the high up front deductibles were often a deterrent to participation from employees with chronic conditions. In HDHP's participants can receive copays before paying their full deductible for services classified as "preventative care." But for people with chronic conditions, it was almost guaranteed they would be paying their entire deductible. However, on July 17, 2019, the IRS released a notice which added a number of chronic conditions whose treatment would fall under that definition of "preventative care."
A Section 125 plan, AKA a cafeteria plan, allows employers to give employees the option of taking cash or make a pre-tax contribution to their employer-sponsored health plan. This is a great benefit to employers (reduced payroll and FICA tax) and employees (reduced taxable income and paying health premiums with pre-tax dollars). While cafeteria plans have been around for decades, we still run into employers who deliver their plans on a post-tax contribution basis and miss out on the savings for their business and employees. A simple $300 plan document can save thousands of dollars year-over-year. But that aside, there are stipulations to gaining the tax benefits of a Section 125 plan, and the IRS imposes strict testing to make sure that an employer's plan does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees.
On December 14, 2018 a federal judge in Texas ruled that because the individual mandate (which penalized individuals for failing to have health insurance) would no longer be in effect in 2019, that the “entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is invalid. They argued that the individual mandate would no longer be a valid tax since the penalty had been reduced to zero, and the entirety of the ACA was unconstitutional. Does this mean that the Employer Mandate is going away in 2019?