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White Papers

2018 HSA Limits and HDHP Designs Announced

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.

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Posted on May 05, 2017 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Small Employer Healthcare Relief Act Now a Reality

With the December 7, 2016 passage of the long-awaited Cures Act and President Obama now signing it into law, many small employers and their employees can rejoice that an onerous IRS ruling will be 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years beginning on or before December 31, 2016 that the onerous penalties announced by the IRS in Notice 2015-17 are no longer in effect.

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Posted on December 08, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Possible Implications on HR of a President Trump and Republican Congress

For the next two years, a President Trump bolstered by majorities in both the House and Senate could be expected to make a large number of legislative and regulatory changes that would impact HR, employers, and employees nationally. Only two days after the election, here are some of the possible changes signaled during the 2016 campaign and in various white papers offered by campaign and Congressional staffers.

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Posted on November 10, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

2017 IRS Limits Announced

As in past years, the IRS has finalized the limits for retirement plans and health and welfare plans.

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Posted on October 22, 2016 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Does My Retirement Plan Need an Audit

The end of July is creeping closer for calendar year plans and usually arrives sooner than expected for 401(k) plan sponsors. The IRS Form 5500 filing deadline can surprise employee benefit plan administrators when their TPA contacts them with news that their retirement plan has grown in size and now requires a plan audit. As an employer, it’s important to be familiar with the plan audit requirements before it’s time to file your Form 5500.

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Posted on July 08, 2016 by Terri Norman, QKA

2016 IRS Limits Announced


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Posted on October 22, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

IRS Grants Temporary Relief for Small Employers and S Corporations on "Employer Payment Plans"

On February 18, 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2015-17, granting temporary relief to small employers paying for individual (rather than group) health insurance coverage for its employees. The relief period covers all of calendar year 2014 and from January 1, 2015 through June 30, 2015. This is a significant development, particularly for 2014, when many small employers weren’t even aware of the more stringent rules issued in 2013 concerning these reimbursements.

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Posted on February 23, 2015 by Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO

Full Review of Health and Prescription Drug Claims Utilization Analysis

In a previous white paper, we discussed the value of examining health and prescription drug claims utilization for use in targeted wellness and plan design considerations. Today, we’re going to review the process and what data an employer should receive and be reviewing and analyzing, as well as a sample analysis and report.

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Posted on January 09, 2015 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS

2015 IRS Limits Announced

The IRS has announced the benefit contribution limits for tax year 2015.

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Posted on October 27, 2014 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS & TOM VOINAROSKI, SENIOR RETIREMENT PLAN ADVISOR FOR KUSHNER & COMPANY

Analysis of Health Claims Data Drives Appropriate Plan Design and Targeted Wellness

Today, the analysis of data drives advances in commerce more than nearly anything else. The power of Amazon is less in the products sells and more in the algorithms that determine what you might buy next, and the ability to address that need. The same is true in health care claims data. Data drives the ability for employers and insurers to address trends in claims data via plan design, plan election steerage, incentives and disincentives for use and participation, and targeted wellness programs.

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Posted on August 13, 2014 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS

ACA Reporting for Individual and Employer Mandates

Two key items within ACA – the Individual Mandate and the Employer Mandate – require information from employers who offer health coverage to their employees. This information will tell the government who was offered coverage (and who elected it), whether the coverage was comprehensive and met all ACA requirements, and whether that coverage was affordable. That information is required to be provided to the government through two Internal Revenue Code sections—6055 and 6056—by an insurance company and/or employer.

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Posted on August 07, 2014 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS

DOMA Decision Reminder of Change in Marital Status Requirements in Benefit Plans

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) in the summer of 2013 (see more DOMA article, DOMA webinar/video) prompted a flurry of regulatory activity and compliance actions. Now that the dust has settled, we thought that this might be a good time to review some of the benefit impacts of the DOMA decision as well as actions that may be necessary for any change in marital status – marriage, divorce, or death – regardless of same or opposite sex spouse.

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Posted on May 12, 2014

DOMA Unconstitutional - Impact on Benefit Plans

The Supreme Court, on June 26, 2013, determined that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional. DOMA had prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. While the ruling does not force states that don’t currently recognize same-sex marriage to do so, it will allow the federal government to take steps to acknowledge the marriages from the 12 states and the District of Columbia that already allow same-sex marriages.

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Posted on July 02, 2013 by Ben Cohen, CEBS - Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits

90 Day Eligibility Period

The federal agencies responsible for guidance on PPACA published proposed regulations in the March 21, 2013 Federal Register on a requirement under PPACA that prohibits group health plans and health insurance companies from utilizing any waiting period that exceeds 90 days. This largely mirrors and expands the August 30, 2012 IRS and DOL temporary guidance issued in IRS Notice 2012-59.

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Posted on July 01, 2013 by Ben Cohen, CEBS - Practice Leader, Health and Welfare Benefits

Benefit Changes in Michigan

Several new laws are in effect for 2012 after Michigan legislators pass bills regulating taxes on Medicaid plans and capping public employee contributions toward health benefits.

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Posted on September 27, 2011 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS

Changing Insurance Carriers and Grandfather Status

On November 18, 2010, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury issued an amendment to the interim final regulations governing grandfathered health plans. The announcement of this amendment is not much of a shock, but is a welcome clarification nonetheless. The amendment allows an employer with an insured health plan(s) to change insurance carriers and shop for the same coverage without losing their grandfathered plan status. It is important to note, though, that the structure of the new coverage cannot violate one of the other rules for maintaining grandfathered status.

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Posted on November 26, 2010 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS

New Simple Cafeteria Plans

By Gary Kushner, SPHR, CBP
President and CEO, Kushner & Company

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Posted on August 14, 2010

IRS Issues New Proposed Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Regulations

By Gary Kushner, SPHR, CBP
President and CEO, Kushner & Company

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Posted on October 01, 2007

Diagnosing the Ills of Health-Care Coverage

Employee-benefits experts say there is no immediate end in sight to continual increases in health-care premiums, and a lot of people are to blame for that.

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Posted on October 26, 2006 by JANE C. PARIKH, KALAMAZOO GAZETTE

Strategic Thinking in Employee Benefits: Is your patchwork quilt too big, too small, or just right?

By Ben Cohen, CEBS
Practice Leader - Health and Welfare Benefits

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Posted on July 01, 2006

A New Way to Save for Retirement: Roth 401(k) and Roth 403(b) Accounts

Beginning in 2006, employers sponsoring 401(k) or 403(b) plans have the opportunity to offer participants Roth after-tax contribution to existing 401(k) and 403(b) plans.

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Posted on July 01, 2006 by GARY B. KUSHNER, SPHR, CBP, PRESIDENT AND CEO

Employee Benefits - More Choices Ahead

From health care to retirement to work/life issues, employers are increasingly challenged as cost pressures run headlong into a changing workforce with rising expectation. To make sense of where things stand and what HR professional should do, Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, president of Kushner & Company in Portage, Mich., provided a look at “Current and Future Trends in Employee Benefits” at SHRM’s Annual Conference.

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Posted on May 31, 2006 by Stephen Miller, SHRM HR Week

Clarifying the HIPAA Compliance Confusion: What Do You Need to Do?

By 2004 all group health plans will be required to implement HIPAA privacy protections, policies, procedures and authorizations to protect individual’s health information.

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Posted on April 13, 2006 by BEN COHEN, CEBS, PRACTICE LEADER, HEALTH AND WELFARE BENEFITS

Analysis of Marsh & McLennan Charges

In light of the charges facing March & McLennan, employers will want to follow certain steps be sure they are receiving the best possible benefits coverage at the most reasonable rates.

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Posted on March 28, 2006 by GARY B. KUSHNER, SPHR, CBP, PRESIDENT AND CEO

Strategies for Building a Better Benefits Program

By Accounting Office IOMA
Institute of Management & Administration

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Posted on March 01, 2006

Recipes for Part-time Benefits

By Bill Leonard
HR Magazine

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Posted on March 01, 2006

401(k) What's Wrong?

After Enron’s implosion, roughly $1 billon evaporate from the company’s 401(k), causing lawmakers and regulators to shine a light on these plans and draft laws to protect them.

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Posted on January 22, 2006

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