Benefits & HR - Laws - Changes - Webinars

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Upcoming Webinars - Benefits and HR Series 2018

January Edition

SUMMARY - Group Health Compliance in 2018 – What now?

Effects of Recent Federal law changes:

Cadillac Tax (Health Plans with high benefits) This was postponed to 2022 - making it less likely to ever become law. Why didn’t congress suspend? Because it was a tax that was factored into how the ACA would be paid for. Many Employers and Unions have plans that are considered Cadillac plans. What should you do now if you might have a Cadillac plan? Nothing. But re-assess in two years and see the status of the law at that time.
• CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) – This program has been extended for 6 years.

Suspended parts of the ACA:

• Health Insurance Provider Fee – this was a flow through that just increased premiums.
• Tax on Medical Device Manufacturers – This was a flow through that increased Premiums
• Individual Mandate - The individual mandate was repealed by congress for 2019. It still stands for 2018.

WHAT DID NOT CHANGE:

• Employer Mandate. Employers with over 50 Full-time equivalent employees MUST continue to offer health Insurance to their employees and meet the existing contribution rules of the ACA law.
• ACA Penalties: The IRS has finally begun assessing penalties for the first ACA penalty year (2015). Letters are going out now (called a 226J). These are for large employers (over 50 FTE employees), or small groups that are self-funded and required to file 1094 and 1095 paperwork. It is expected that most situations can be cleared up and are the result of missing information. If you get a 226J letter, you MUST respond within 30 days. (You most likely will get an extension if you respond timely)

OTHER CHANGE:

• Fringe Benefits - A few changes such as: Employer paid Transportation accounts can no longer be deducted by the employer.
• Association Health Plans – ACA treated them like small employer health plans – making it VERY difficult to set up and manage. With an Executive Order, the rule has been softened to treat them like large group plans. However, State regulations will still apply, making it difficult in many states.
• Contraceptive requirement of ACA – Previously, the ACA had no exceptions. The Obama administration eventually allowed narrow exceptions. Now, the definition has been relaxed so more businesses can qualify based on a “moral convictions” definition. (If your business makes any changes, make sure that you follow standard handbook guidelines for rolling it out. And be ready to defend your decision based on the definition of moral convictions).

What is next? (What is congress considering?)

• Short Term insurance may be coming back – to help people in transition.

• HSA (Health Savings Accounts) Congress wants to expand this account and clarify when it can be used.

• HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangements) might be liberalized to make it easier for employers to pay for individual coverage for their employees.

We will continue to keep you informed and up to date as these changes take effect.