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2019 ACA Reporting: Draft Forms Now Available

 November 18 2019     Shelly Hodges-Konys
Once again, it’s time for applicable large employers (ALEs) and employers who sponsor self-funded group health plans to prepare for reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On November 13th, the IRS released draft 2019 forms and instructions: Draft 1094-B Form (Transmittal to IRS for self-funded plan sponsors under 50) Draft 1095-B Form (Statement to Individuals for sel...

Update from the IRS: FSA Contribution Limit Increase for 2020

 November 7 2019     Shelly Hodges-Konys
As anticipated, the 2020 maximum contribution limit for health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) is increasing to $2,750 (up $50 from $2,700 in 2019). Yesterday, the IRS released annual inflation adjustments via Revenue Procedure 2019-44, which included an adjustment for FSAs (among other benefits). For 2020, employees can elect up to a $2,750 salary reduction for contributions to their FSAs ...

COBRA Rate Setting & Wellness Incentives

 October 31 2019     Diane Cross
For employers with a wellness program that offers a premium discount as a reward, there is often confusion when it comes to COBRA rate setting. Specifically, how does such premium discount impact the COBRA rate? If you are confused already, you are not alone – we discuss the issue further below. Background: COBRA Rate Setting Before explaining further, understanding basics about COBRA...

Health FSAs: Impact on HSA Eligibility…Continued

 October 24 2019     Diane Cross
This article is co-authored by Cassidy Zang and Diane Cross When discussing Health Savings Account (HSA) eligibility, a common topic that bubbles is how Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) coverage can impact it. As discussed in our previous blog post, FSA plan design (e.g., grace period or carryover) can impact HSA eligibility into the subsequent plan year. Continuing the discussion on the to...

Are "Voluntary" Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA?

 October 15 2019     Diane Cross
Many employee benefit plans offered through a private-sector employer are subject to ERISA. For certain voluntary plans, however, employers are often asking if those plans are subject to ERISA. For example, programs that may qualify as voluntary can include life, disability, critical-illness and accident insurance plans (among others). As with most employee benefit compliance matters, there i...

ACA's Health Insurance Tax (HIT) Returns for 2020

 September 30 2019     Diane Cross
Back from a suspension in 2019, the Affordable Care Act’s health insurer tax (“HIT” tax) will likely resume as of January 1, 2020.  For background, the HIT tax (also often referred to as the health insurance providers fee) began in 2014 and is an annual fee charged to certain health insurers to help fund federal and state marketplaces/exchanges.  It was suspended in 201...

Get Your Notices Ready...

 September 20 2019     Diane Cross
As many employers prepare for open enrollment, distributing required annual notices can be a tedious task on the to-do list. Federal regulations such as ERISA, HIPAA, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) require employers to distribute various notices to employees, at specific times. Open enrollment is one of those times in which several notices are required to be distributed, as summarized below. ...

Medicare Part D Disclosure Due to Individuals

 September 9 2019     Diane Cross
With the bustle of open enrollment season, it is a good time to remind employers that the annual Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Disclosure is due to individuals by October 14th.   Overview Employers with plans providing prescription drug coverage to individuals that are Medicare Part D eligible must disclose to such individuals and to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid ...

Health FSAs: Impact on HSA Eligibility

 August 26 2019     Diane Cross
With open enrollment season upon us, the opportunity is ripe for individuals to decide to change elections to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and open a Health Savings Account (HSA). With that in mind, this is an ideal time to review the nuances of how Health Flexible Spending Account (FSA) coverage - specifically with a grace period or carryover provision - can impact HSA eligibility. &...

SPD vs. SBC: What’s the Difference?

 August 6 2019     Diane Cross
In an acronym heavy industry, it can be easy to confuse what documents plan sponsors are required to distribute and when. For example, both ERISA and the ACA require SPDs and SBCs, respectively, be provided to keep participants in the loop with what is happening with their welfare plans. Despite sounding so similar, ERISA’s SPDs and ACA’s SBCs are different documents that serve differe...
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