Benefits Buzz

Posted January 3rd, 2019 in Employers, Producers

Whether it be to inflation adjustments, new laws, tweaks to existing regulations or other reasons, each new year brings changes to health plans and other benefits. Here is a summary of 10 important changes taking effect in 2019.

1) There will be no penalty under federal law if you don’t have health insurance. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made the cost for not having health insurance $0 starting in 2019.

Posted December 31st, 2018 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) allow eligible individuals to put money aside tax-free to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, but HSAs work differently than other tax-advantaged accounts. Here are 10 helpful tips and reminders as the year comes to an end. 

Posted December 20th, 2018 in Individuals

Time is running out to spend your 2018 FSA funds. In most cases, unless your plan has carryover or the Grace Period, you’ve only got until 12/31 to spend any remaining balance. By the time the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, any money left in your account will be forfeited.

Posted December 17th, 2018 in Employers, Producers, Individuals

Last Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) unconstitutional.

The judge’s decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by 20 Republican state attorneys general earlier this year. The lawsuit was filed after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act zeroed out the Individual Mandate penalty. The lawsuit claimed the Individual Mandate was so essential to Obamacare, and without it, all of Obamacare must go. The judge agreed.

Posted December 11th, 2018 in Producers, Individuals

Illinois state legislators passed a law last month which makes several changes to short-term medical (STM) plans. The most significant change limits the maximum duration of coverage to periods that are less than 181 days (i.e. 180 days). This change applies as of November 27, 2018, which is the date the law was enacted. The immediate effective date did not provide a window of time for insurance carriers to adjust their STM plans to the shorter durations of coverage.

Posted December 4th, 2018 in Employers, Producers

Many employers offer a cash payment to employees who waive health insurance coverage. These cash payments are always taxable to employees who waive health insurance coverage, but did you know employees who elect the health insurance coverage may be subject to paying taxes on the cash payment that they didn’t receive?

Wait! What?

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