It’s common for employers to think about their health plans only during open enrollment, when you’re considering plan design changes and offering benefits to your employees. This year, with the Affordable Care Act in effect, you’ll have to be sure to address additional items throughout the year – more than just new enrollments, election changes and claims issues. Continue reading
Over the last few weeks we have been receiving many calls from our clients inquiring what type of documentation they could provide to their employees for proof of healthcare coverage when filing their 2014 tax return. We wondered why employees were looking for this, since the ACA does not require such proof of coverage for 2014. Under the ACA, for 2014 individuals were mandated to either be enrolled in a healthcare plan or pay a penalty. However, due to many changes in the ACA law and the impending implementation of the reporting requirements in 2016 (based on 2015 enrollment), the IRS is not requiring proof of medical coverage for 2014 individual tax filings. Instead, they are considering that the health plan enrollment information will be provided by individuals on the “honor system” when filing their 2014 tax return. Continue reading
The transitional reinsurance program was implemented to stabilize premiums in the individual market due to anticipated enrollment of higher risk individuals in the Health Insurance Marketplace when it opened in 2014. The fees collected are also intended to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for the $5 billion that was spent on the early retiree reinsurance program that began in 2010.
For 2014, the contribution rate is $63 per covered life per year. Final regulations have split this fee into two payments – one for each of the reimbursement programs. The contribution rate for 2015 is $44 per covered life and the contribution rate for the final year of the program has not yet been announced. Self-funded, self-administered plans are exempt from the transitional reinsurance fee for the 2015 and 2016 reporting years. Continue reading
The IRS has just released draft copies of the forms employers will need to meet their reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act adds two new sections of the Internal Revenue Code that require many employers, beginning in 2015, to file additional forms to provide information needed to confirm compliance with the ACA’s “individual mandate” (Section 6055) and “employer mandate” (Section 6056) provisions. Continue reading
The IRS just released a new percentage to calculate whether an employer-sponsored health plan is affordable for individuals who purchase coverage from an Exchange. But employers will need to rely on the old number to avoid penalties. Continue reading
In a 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled on June 30, 2014 that closely-held, for-profit corporations, may be exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employer-sponsored health plans cover contraceptives, if complying with the mandate violates the sincerely-held religious beliefs of the corporation’s owners. Continue reading
Does your company offer coverage to employees that are part of a collective bargaining unit?
If so, you’ll need to understand and consider the impact certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on the benefits you offer and your negotiations with the union.
For example, the Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act, which require employers to offer coverage to full-time employees or be subject to penalties, may be problematic for your organization. You have a Collective Bargaining Agreement (“CBA”) in place and will need to make sure that the provisions of that agreement relating to health coverage also comply with the requirements of the ACA. Of course, you’ll also want to be careful to limit the costs of providing health coverage.
Before heading into union negotiations, you should be aware of strategies for maintaining costs and understand the implications presented by ACA requirements. Here are a few to consider. Continue reading
This year over 7.1 million Americans enrolled in health plans on state and federal health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For many families, one of the benefits of enrolling in an exchange health plan is the “Premium Tax Credit,” also known as a premium subsidy. The subsidy is provided to help make the cost of healthcare insurance affordable to individuals and families who meet certain eligibility requirements:
- You must purchase insurance through a health insurance exchange (e.g., the Marketplace);
- Your household income must be between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level (“FPL”).
- You must not be eligible for “affordable” employer-sponsored coverage, or government-sponsored coverage (like Medicare, Medicaid, CHIP, or TRICARE);
- You cannot be claimed by another person as a dependent; and
- You cannot file a “married filing separately” tax return (except in certain domestic violence situations—see IRS Notice 2014-23).
Your eligibility for the credit, and the amount of the credit you can receive, is determined based on the information you provide when you apply for coverage. If you are eligible, you decide when to receive the credit:
- Take it now – You can choose to have part or all of your estimated credit paid directly to your insurance company, thus lowering your share of monthly premiums during 2014.
- Take it later –You can wait until you file your 2014 income tax return (in 2015) to take the credit, which will be a refundable credit on your income tax return.
Most people are aware by now that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires individuals to have health insurance coverage beginning in 2014, and that many of those individuals who purchase coverage through a government-run insurance exchange will qualify for a premium subsidy or tax credit—the government pays a portion of their premium if their income is below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. But do you know what the consequences are for your company if one of your employees receives a tax credit? Continue reading