Employee Benefits

Posted February 23rd, 2015 in Employers, Producers

The IRS has released the final version of the forms and instructions as it relates to the new employer reporting requirements associated with the Employer Mandate and other Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions. The forms are identical to the draft versions that were released last summer, but there have been revisions made to some of the instructions. The forms and instructions can be accessed below:

Section 6055 reporting (used to report which individuals are covered by the employer sponsored plan)

Posted December 19th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both voted and approved an extension of more than 50 different tax provisions that expired at the end of 2013. The actions taken would retroactively extend these tax provisions for 2014, but it does not extend them into 2015.  
 
Posted October 31st, 2014 in Producers, Employers
Effective October 31, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of e-Health Standards and Services (OESS), the division of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) that is responsible for enforcement of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) standard transactions, code sets, unique identifiers and operating rules, announces a delay, until further notice, in enforcement of 45 CFR 162, Subpart E, the regulations pertaining to health plan enumeration and use of the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) in HIPAA transactions adopted in the HPID final rule (CMS-0040-F). 
 
This enforcement delay applies to all HIPAA covered entities, including healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses.
Posted August 8th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) limits the maximum waiting period that employers can use for health coverage to 90 calendar days. However, there is something also referred to as an orientation period which seems to have taken a back seat to the 90 day waiting period. The final ACA rules allow employers to use an orientation period of up to one month (in addition to the 90 day waiting period) for bona fide employment reasons.
 
What Does That Really Mean?
Posted July 25th, 2014 in Producers, Employers

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) as a way to help improve clinical effectiveness. The research institute is partially funded by fees charged to health plans, including some Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and some Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). The fees are payable over a seven year time period and started for the first time last year.

The next round of PCORI fees are due to the IRS by July 31, 2014 and are payable via Form 720 by applicable employers for plan years ending in 2013

Posted April 17th, 2014 in Producers
Congratulations on making it through the craziness of the first individual open enrollment period and small group early renewal process. Some of you may still be finalizing the clean up and reconciliation process for any newly sold business. As you are finishing this task and the weather finally improves it may be tempting to play lots of golf or escape for a long vacation during the Spring/Summer months. This "off-season," however, is the time to remain the most disciplined.
 
Posted April 2nd, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

Each year on April 2, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) champions the effort to recognize all those who participate in the employee benefits industry and their hard work. As an IFEBP member, Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex) wants to thank you for your business and remind you to participate in the festivities, as well.

Posted February 19th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

When it comes to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), one of the most common questions we hear is, “Can people aged 65 and older contribute to an HSA?” Many people would answer no to this question, but that is not always the case.

The fact that someone turns 65 does not automatically disqualify him from making contributions to an HSA, but enrollment in Medicare does.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 in Producers, Employers

An employer can be fined up to $100 per day for every employee that had a waiting period in excess of 90 calendar days.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a new rule that group health plans cannot have a waiting period of more than 90 calendar days.

Posted January 17th, 2014 in Employers

After nearly thirty years of lobbying the “Use-It-or-Lose-It” rule has been changed. Now the option is left to you, the plan sponsor, whether or not it is the right thing to implement for your company. Let’s take a look at some of the scenarios and helpful tips for the healthcare flexible spending account (FSA) rollover option in terms of an adoption lifecycle (a model that shows the trend of acceptance to a new concept over time).

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