Benefits Buzz

Enter Your Email

Tag Cloud

Archives

ACA

Posted February 6th, 2018 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The state of Idaho is looking to do something no other state has done – allow for the sale of health insurance plans which don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The primary purpose is to allow for lower premiums plans to be available.  
 
Posted January 23rd, 2018 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
Last night, President Donald Trump signed into law a temporary spending bill which ends the government shutdown and funds federal spending obligations for the next few weeks. The spending bill also included a few healthcare surprises. The bill suspends or delays three taxes that were created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
 
Posted January 11th, 2018 in Producer, Employers, Individuals
In response to an executive order issued by President Donald Trump in October of last year, the Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed new rules that aim to expand the availability of association health plans (AHPs) in the small group market.
Posted January 4th, 2018 in Producers, Employers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2018-06 which provides some relief for those entities who are subject to reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

In summary:

Forms 1095-B and/or 1095-C now must be furnished to employees and individuals by March 2, 2018, for the 2017 calendar year. This is a 30-day extension from the original deadline of January 31, 2018. No additional extensions will be granted by the IRS, even if requested by an employer.

Posted December 26th, 2017 in Individuals, Producers, Employers

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, also known as the Tax Act, was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The Tax Act makes several changes to the existing tax code, including the repeal of the Individual Mandate (kind of, sort of). The Individual Mandate was not literally repealed by the Tax Act, but the penalty for failing to have minimum essential coverage (e.g., health insurance) has been reduced to $0 starting on January 1, 2019. This is effectively the equivalent of repeal; however, the Individual Mandate will still be applicable for the 2017 and 2018 tax years. This change to the Individual Mandate has spurred numerous questions and/or speculations, including:

Posted November 22nd, 2017 in Producers, Employers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated its Questions and Answers website in regards to the Employer Mandate, and it appears they have started to send initial notices to employers who are subject to a penalty for the 2015 year (generally, this will be employers with 100 or more employees since transition relief was available in 2015 to employers with 50-99 employees).

Posted November 7th, 2017 in Producers, Employers

The Employer Mandate guidelines state that coverage is affordable when an employee has to pay no more than 9.5% of their household income (inflation-adjusted to 9.56% for the 2018 plan year) for self-only coverage which is offered, but which employers know the household income of an employee? As a result, there are three alternative methods that an employer can rely upon when determining if the coverage they offer is affordable. These methods are explained below and some general examples on how to apply each method have also been provided. Assume in each example that the employer has a calendar plan year for 2018.

Posted November 1st, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
As you may have heard, the Trump administration discontinued funding for the cost-sharing reduction subsidies (CSR subsidies). Critics of this move believe it will create instability in the Exchange and individual marketplaces. Political efforts to restore the CSR subsidies are underway, but it appears Republican leadership has some demands as part of those restoration efforts.
Posted October 10th, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires most health insurance plans to cover in-network preventive care at 100%, including coverage for prescribed contraceptives available to women. This has sparked some controversy with organizations who have a religious objection to the use of contraceptives. The Obama administration addressed this controversy by doing the following:
 
  1. Exempted group health plans offered by churches and houses of worship from providing coverage for contraceptives if there was a religious objection.
     
Posted September 26th, 2017 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

Spoiler Alert: The answer is no.

Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) have been spearheading efforts to repeal and replace substantial parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While there are many changes that the so-called “Graham-Cassidy” bill would make to the ACA, there are really three main themes that stand out: