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Benefits

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Small Businesses May Be Able to Keep Existing Health Coverage Through 2019

A previously extended transitional policy that permits health insurance issuers to continue group coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been further extended to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2019, provided that all policies end by December 31, 2019. Health insurance issuers that renew coverage under the extended transitional policy are required to provide standard notices to affected small businesses for each policy year. Policies subject to the transitional relief will not be considered to be out of compliance with key ACA provisions, including: The requirement to cover a core...

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FAQs on Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit Released

The Internal Revenue Service has released FAQs on the Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit, which certain employers can soon claim based on wages paid to employees on family and medical leave. The tax credit is effective for tax years 2018 and 2019. Among other questions, the FAQs answer: Which employers can claim the credit; How the credit is calculated; and How the credit impacts an employer's tax deduction for wages paid. Click here to read the FAQs. ...

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Reminder: New Procedures for Disability Plan Claims Effective Soon

New Rule Changes Disability Claim Processing Requirements Effective for disability benefit claims filed after April 1, 2018, a new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires ERISA-covered employee benefit plans offering disability benefits to provide additional procedural protections to claimants. The new rule ensures that protections for disability claimants parallel protections under the Affordable Care Act that already apply when workers file claims for group health benefits. These new protections apply to all ERISA-covered disability plans, regardless of how the benefit is characterized by the plan or whether the plan is a pension plan or a welfare plan. Changes to...

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Reminder: Group Health Plans Required to Offer Special Enrollment

Certain Events Trigger 30 or 60-Day Special Enrollment Periods Under HIPAA, certain events that happen to employees or their dependents trigger a right to "special enroll" in a group health plan. Special enrollment allows individuals who previously declined health coverage to enroll in coverage outside of a plan's open enrollment period. An employee and his or her dependents must be provided at least 30 days to request special enrollment in a group health plan because of: Loss of eligibility for other coverage, such as coverage from a spouse's employer; Termination of employer contributions toward other health coverage; or Certain life events, including marriage, birth, adoption,...

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Medicare Part D Disclosure Due to CMS by March 1

Online Form for Employers Offering Prescription Drug Coverage to Medicare Part D-Eligible Individuals The Medicare Modernization Act requires employers that provide prescription drug coverage to Medicare-eligible individuals to complete the Online Disclosure Form to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to report whether such coverage is creditable prescription drug coverage. Creditable coverage means that the coverage is expected to pay, on average, as much as the standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. This disclosure is required annually, no later than 60 days from the beginning of a plan year—typically March 1st for calendar year plans—and at certain other times. Additional Disclosure...

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IRS Decreases 2018 HSA Contribution Limit for Certain Individuals

The Internal Revenue Service  has announced that the 2018 annual limitation on health savings account (HSA) contributions by individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) is now $6,850. This limit was previously announced as $6,900, but has been revised downward due to an inflation adjustment provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The 2018 annual limitation on HSA contributions by an individual with self-only coverage under a HDHP remains unchanged at $3,450. Click here to read the IRS announcement.  ...

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IRS Updates Q&As on ACA Information Reporting

The Internal Revenue Service has updated its Q&As regarding Form 1094-C and 1095-C information reporting by applicable large employers (ALEs)—generally those with at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, in the preceding calendar year. The Q&As answer the following questions and more: For which employees must an ALE file Form 1095-C? What information must an ALE furnish to its employees? How should information about an offer of coverage for the month in which an employee is hired be reported on Form 1095-C? How should an ALE complete Form 1095-C for a full-time employee who terminates employment during a calendar year and receives...

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Reminder: Form 1094 & 1095 Deadlines Approaching

Certain Employers Required to Electronically File Returns Employers subject to the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) information reporting requirements are reminded that the deadlines to file and furnish Forms 1094 and 1095 are quickly approaching. The reporting deadlines in 2018 are for reporting information on the 2017 calendar year, and are as follows: Applicable large employers (ALEs)—generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents—must file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS no later than February 28, 2018 (or April 2, 2018 if filing electronically). ALEs must also furnish a Form 1095-C to all full-time employees by March 2, 2018. Self-insuring...

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IRS Confirms Impact of Tax Reform on Contribution, Benefits Limits

The Internal Revenue Service says that the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 does not affect the tax year 2018 dollar limitations for retirement plans announced last October – but it will have an impact in the future. Of course, the tax code specifies dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans, and it requires the Treasury Department to annually adjust these limits for cost-of-living increases using procedures that are similar to those used to adjust benefit amounts under the Social Security Act. The IRS notes that the recently enacted TCJA made no changes to the section of the...

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DOL Proposal Encourages Creation of Association Health Plans

Rule Would Permit Associations Based on Industry or Geography The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed rule which would allow employers to join together as a single group to offer group health insurance coverage to current employees, former employees, working owners, and their family members as part of an "association health plan." If finalized, the rule would allow association health plans to be formed on the basis of industry or geography, such as by state, city, county, or metropolitan area. Notably, the proposed rule would subject association health plans to the nondiscrimination rules currently applicable to large group coverage...

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