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Benefits

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Reminder: Individual Mandate Remains in Effect for 2018

Requirement is Effectively Repealed Beginning in 2019 Individuals are reminded that the section of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which effectively repealed the individual shared responsibility provision ("individual mandate") of the Affordable Care Act does not become effective until 2019. As a result, individuals are required to have minimum essential health coverage, qualify for an exemption from the requirement, or pay a penalty tax for 2018. You can learn more about the Individual Mandate (Individual Shared Responsibility) through SIMA's partner, HR360. ...

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Reminder: ‘Pay or Play’ Affordability Percentage is 9.56%

Percentage Down from 2017 Under the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers—generally those who had 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) in 2017—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer affordable coverage that provides minimum value to their full-time employees (and their dependents) in 2018. As a reminder, for plan years beginning in 2018, coverage will generally be considered affordable if the employee's required contribution for the lowest cost self-only health plan is 9.56% or less of his or her household income for the taxable year....

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‘Cadillac Tax’ Delayed Until 2022

Tax Previously Set to Become Effective in 2020 President Trump has signed the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, which (among other things) delays implementation of the "Cadillac Tax," the Affordable Care Act's excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage, until 2022. Previously, this tax—which would impose a 40% tax on plans that cost more than $10,200 (for self-only coverage) and $27,500 (for family coverage)—was set to become effective in 2020. You can find more information about Cadillac Tax here. ...

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3 Key ACA Terms Employers Need to Know

Definitions Essential to Understanding 'Pay or Play' Compliance In general, under the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), applicable large employers—generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer minimum essential coverage that is affordable and provides minimum value to their full-time employees (and their dependents). Here are definitions to help employers understand these key terms: Minimum Essential Coverage: Minimum essential coverage includes, among other things, coverage under an employer-based plan (including self-insured plans, retiree plans, and COBRA coverage). It does not include...

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Highlights of Maryland Sick & Safe Leave Law

Maryland has passed a sick and safe leave law. Highlights of the law are presented below. Coverage An employer with 15 or more employees generally must provide an employee with paid earned sick and safe leave at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns. An employer with 14 or fewer employees must (at least) provide an employee with unpaid earned sick and safe leave. The law does not apply to an employee who (among other things) regularly works less than 12 hours a week for an employer. Click here for more details on coverage and exceptions. Accrual and Use Earned sick and safe leave...

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Maryland Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law

On Jan. 12, 2018, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 veto of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which requires employers in the state to permit employees to earn and use sick and safe leave. Absent further legislative action, the measure will become effective Feb. 11, 2018. Accordingly, Maryland should prepare to comply with its requirements immediately.The Healthy Working Families Act applies to all employers in Maryland, including state and local governments; however, it makes a distinction between large and small employers. For employers with 15 or more employees, sick and safe leave is paid leave and must...

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Forms 1095-B and 1095-C Furnishing Deadlines Extended

The IRS has extended the due dates for furnishing 2017 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to covered individuals and full-time employees, respectively, from January 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018. The IRS has also extended good faith penalty relief to reporting entities who make certain calendar year 2017 information reporting errors. However, the deadline to file 2017 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C with the IRS remains February 28, 2018 (or April 2, 2018, if filing electronically). Penalty Relief Extension The IRS has extended penalty relief to reporting entities that can show that they made good faith efforts to comply with the calendar year 2017 information reporting requirements (both for furnishing to individuals and...

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New Small Business Health Care Tax Credit Form Released

Form Used by Eligible Employers to Claim Credit for 2017 Tax Year The IRS has released Form 8941, Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums, and related instructions, for tax year 2017. Eligible small employers use this form to figure the credit for health insurance premiums under the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit. The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit is designed to encourage small businesses and tax-exempt employers to offer health insurance coverage to their employees. Among other requirements, an employer may be eligible for the credit for tax year 2017 if: It had fewer than 25 full-time equivalent employees for...

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New Tax Law Effectively Repeals the Individual Mandate

Repeal Effective in 2019 President Trump has signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which, among other things, effectively repeals the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual mandate beginning in 2019. Individual Mandate Repeal Effective in 2019 Under the ACA, individuals are currently required to have minimum essential health coverage, qualify for an exemption from the requirement, or pay a penalty tax. This ACA provision is known as the "individual mandate." Effective in 2019, the individual mandate is effectively repealed, as the penalty tax for noncompliance with the mandate will be reduced to $0. ...

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IRS Increases Limits for HSA, FSA, HDHP

The IRS recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the annual dollar limits for various welfare and retirement plan limits for 2018. Although some of the limits will remain the same, many of the limits will increase for 2018. The annual limits for the following commonly offered employee benefits will increase for 2018: High deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs); Health flexible spending accounts (FSAs); Transportation fringe benefit plans; and 401(k) plans Employers should update their benefit plan designs for the new limits and also make sure that their plan administration will be consistent with the new limits in 2018. Employers may also want to...

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