The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently published an Information Letter that confirms the general preemption under ERISA of state civil laws that require employers to obtain written consent before withholding amounts from employees’ wages for contribution to a benefit plan subject to ERISA.
Posted on February 18, 2019 by Gary B. Kushner, President and CEO
Employers who sponsor group health plans that cover any prescription drugs generally must disclose whether the plan provides creditable or non-creditable prescription drug coverage to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) within 60 days of the start of a new plan year. If your plan year begins on January 1, you must file your disclosure with CMS by March 1.
Posted on February 18, 2019 by Gary B. Kushner, President and CEO
In a recent article published by SHRM, our President and CEO Gary Kushner was cited as the main resource on dealing with active employees and their dependents upon their reaching Medicare-eligibility. Kushner mentioned many issues related to employer-based health and prescription drug benefits in both large and small employers when employees work past age 65, or who have dependents past age 65.
Posted on February 15, 2019 by Ian Thrasher
On December 14, 2018, a US District Judge in Texas issued a ruling that the entire ACA was unconstitutional given that the individual mandate contained in it no longer had a tax penalty, the basis of the 2012 US Supreme Court ruling upholding the ACA’s constitutionality. However, employers should note that the ACA remains in full force and effect pending appeals, likely again to the US Supreme Court.
Posted on December 17, 2018 by Ian Thrasher
The IRS has issued Notice 2018-94, extending the due date for 1095-B and 1095-C forms to be sent to employees from January 31, 2019 until March 4, 2019. However, the Notice also points out that the regular due date for filing those same 1095-Bs and Cs with the IRS (covered by the 1094-C or 1095-C) remains the same: February 28, 2019 if filing paper copies or April 1, 2019 if filing electronically.
Posted on November 29, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
The IRS has announced the limits for employee benefit plans for 2019.
Posted on November 15, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
When Congress passed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act in 2003 implementing prescription drug coverage under Medicare (commonly known as Part D), it required all employers that offer prescription drug benefits to provide an annual notice to all Medicare-eligible plan participants and qualified beneficiaries before October 15th of each year, the start of the Medicare open enrollment period. This could include not only retirees and their dependents, but active Medicare-eligible employees and their dependents, and COBRA participants as well. For most employers, rather than determine which actives, retirees, dependents, and COBRA participants are Medicare-eligible, it’s easier to blanket the entire population with this annual notice.
Posted on September 08, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Gary Kushner, President and CEO of Kushner & Company was interviewed by Workforce Management magazine during the 2018 SHRM Annual Conference in Chicago about the most often missed items in employers’ compliance with the ACA.
Posted on July 02, 2018 by Jennifer Alfieri, COO of Kushner & Company
Under the ACA, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) was established. The funding mechanism for PCORI was a fee on group health plans, including certain employer-contributed health care flexible spending accounts (employer FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). An IRS Form 720 is required to be filed each year by July 31st.
Posted on June 01, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Starting in 2007, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 (TRHCA) requires that the IRS release the upcoming year’s new HSA limits prior to June 1st. Here are the new limits for 2019
Posted on May 14, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
In May, 2017, the IRS released the 2018 HSA contributions limits in Rev Proc 2017-37, amongst other HSA-related indexed numbers, stating that the maximum contribution for those in family HDHP coverage would be $6,900. Congress then passed its Reconciliation Act in December, 2017, changing the indexing methodology for a number of benefit-related (and other) limits to utilize something called “chained-CPI,” as opposed to the regular CPI that had been used for decades. This in turn caused the IRS to recalculate its 2018 limits for benefit plans, and on March 2, 2018 issued Rev Proc 2018-18, retroactively reducing the 2018 family HSA maximum contribution amount by $50 to $6,850.
Posted on April 26, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
On March 5, 2018, the IRS published Internal Revenue Bulletin (IRB) 2018-10.
Effective for calendar year 2018, the family contribution limit for HSAs has been lowered to $6,850 from the previously set amount of $6,900.
Posted on March 06, 2018 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
The employer mandate, sometimes known as the “play or pay” clause of the ACA, imposes penalties on Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) if any of their full-time employees purchases individual coverage at the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as an Exchange) and receives a premium tax credit while doing so for any month in the calendar year, beginning in 2015.
On November 2, 2017, the IRS announced its program to notify employers of a potential penalty under this provision for calendar year 2015.
Posted on November 16, 2017 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
With IRS Notice 2017-64, we now have the applicable retirement and health and welfare benefit limits for 2018. Many (but not all) have increased from 2017. Earlier this year, the IRS announced the 2018 Health Savings Account (HSA) limits and plan designs.
Posted on October 23, 2017 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
In a new IRS Notice, the period to provide the required notice to all participants of a new Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) is extended until no sooner than 90 days after the issuance of such guidance.
Posted on March 06, 2017 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
With the December 7, 2016 passage of the long-awaited Cures Act and President Obama having signed it into law, many small employers and their employees can now rejoice that an onerous IRS ruling is overturned. Starting January 1, 2017, small employers that do not offer group health insurance to their employees will have a tool to provide a tax-favored reimbursement to their employees. And more good news: there’s transition relief retroactive for all plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2016 that the onerous penalties announced by the IRS in Notice 2015-17 are no longer in effect.
Posted on December 08, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
The IRS has issued Notice 2016-70, extending the due date for 1095-B and 1095-C forms to be delivered to employees from January 31, 2017 until March 2, 2017. However, the Notice also points out that the regular due date for filing those same 1095-Bs and Cs with the IRS (covered by the 1094-B or 1094-C) remains the same: February 28, 2017 if filing paper copies or March 31, 2017 if filing electronically.
Posted on November 21, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
The IRS has just released the new 1094-C and 1095-C forms for 2016 for employer reporting of health coverage both to employees and to the IRS. There are many notable differences from the first year’s forms in 2015 that employers will need to prepare for now.
Posted on October 05, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
In the June 1, 2016 issue of Workforce Magazine, Kushner & Company’s President and CEO Gary Kushner proposes fixes to the Cadillac Tax on employer health plans. These fixes include utilizing the metal tiers of health coverage offered, removing health care FSA, HRA and HSA contributions from the calculation, and only assessing the Cadillac Tax on platinum level plans.
Posted on June 15, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Under the ACA, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) was established. The funding mechanism for PCORI was a fee on group health plans, including employer-contributed health care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). An IRS Form 720 is required to be filed each year by July 31st (August 1, 2016 this year due to July 31st being on a weekend).
Posted on June 10, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
On April 29, 2016, the IRS issued the HSA contribution limits and HDHP design requirements for 2017.
Posted on April 29, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
On May 4, 2015, the IRS issued the HSA contribution limits and HDHP design requirements for 2016.
Posted on May 08, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
With tax season in full swing, often the question arises regarding who can incur qualified medical expenses for an FSA or HRA. In 2010, the qualifications were amended with the introduction of the ACA, otherwise known as Health Care Reform. Previously, qualified medical expenses could be incurred by an employee or their spouse, all eligible dependents claimed on the employee’s federal tax return, and any person the employee could have claimed as a dependent on his or her tax return unless that person filed a joint return, had a gross income in excess of $3,950, or if the employee, or spouse if filing jointly, could be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s prior year return.
Posted on March 25, 2015 by Alicia Ball, Senior Account Manager - Health & Welfare Plans
With the recent release of Rev. Proc. 2014-61, all 2015 benefit limits have now been updated. This includes for the first time an update to the Health Flexible Spending Account limit. That limit has been increased to $2,550 from $2,500. We’ve compiled the complete list of changes for 2015 here.
Posted on October 30, 2014 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS
Recent guidance in the form of a Memo from the IRS’ Office of the Chief Counsel from February 24, 2014, provided additional direction on the interaction between Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). The Memo primarily dealt with how the new Carryover provision available for FSAs would impact eligibility to make or receive contributions to an HSA. However, it also serves as a good opportunity to cover an area that creates constant confusion from clients and participants – the restriction on contributions to an HSA when enrolled in a health plan that is not a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), including general-purpose Health FSAs.
Posted on April 06, 2014 by Ben Cohen, CEBS, Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits
As a small part of the almost-annual Medicare “Doc Fix” that establishes reimbursement rates for providers, on April 1, 2014 Congress and the President have eliminated the maximum annual deductibles allowed for small employer group health plans (previously $2,000 individual/$4,000 family) imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), effective retroactively to the initial ACA enactment (March 23, 2010).
Posted on April 03, 2014 by Ben Cohen, CEBS, Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits
Most everyone is familiar with the fact that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court this summer. The IRS has just released guidance about the tax treatment of same sex spouses as the tax year draws to a close, particularly as it relates to health care FSAs. If you have employees with same sex spouses, you’ll want to take a quick look at IRS Notice 2014-1 for more information.
Posted on December 21, 2013 by Ben Cohen, CEBS, Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits
On January 25, 2013, significant changes were made to the HIPAA Privacy rules in the HIPAA/HITECH Act Omnibus Act requiring action be implemented by September 23, 2013. These changes primarily broaden the definition of a “breach” of Protected Health Information (PHI) and expanded responsibilities for the employer and Business Associate in the event of a “breach”.
Posted on September 09, 2013 by Ben Cohen, CEBS, Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits