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Tuesday, 30 January 2018 14:59

The Ever-Changing World of ACA Taxes

There are several healthcare-related taxes that employers have been responsible for under the Affordable Care Act.  Some have gone through a sunset while others continue, and some were given a temporary holiday and were scheduled to start anew in 2018. 

Following a short government shut-down, President Trump signed a short-term spending bill (a Continuing Resolution or “CR”) on January 22nd to reopen and fund the federal government through February 8, 2018.  Attached to the bill are suspensions of three ACA taxes and a six-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). 
Published in Healthcare Reform
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 14:39

Wellness on a Shoestring

With a new year just beginning and resolutions in full swing, the idea of Well-being and Wellness jumps into the limelight once again. This time, our focus becomes on keeping this conversation going all year long in partnering with employers of all sizes in the exploration of company wellness programs.

Some employers struggle to understand how to create a wellness program with little or no budget, but it can  be done. 
Published in Wellness
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 14:06

Individual mandate repealed for 2019

For starters, the individual mandate is still in effect for 2018, meaning that employees may have to pay a sharp tax penalty of 2.5% of their income if they do not have health insurance. Early reports that this is no longer in place are false.

Even after the individual mandate is eliminated in 2019, the individual market, federal subsidies and Medicaid expansion (32 states and the District of Columbia implemented this) will all still be in place, barring further congressional action.

Published in Healthcare Reform
Wednesday, 20 December 2017 15:04

What Made the Cut in the Final Tax Cut Bill

The Conference Committee in Congress worked last week to meld together the House and Senate versions of their tax cuts bill. Their compromise bill was passed on Tuesday, December 19th, by the House. While the Senate passed it that Wednesday, some last minute changes required Tuesday night by reconciliation rules meant the House had to pass the final bill again on Wednesday, before President Trump signed it into law on Friday, December 22nd. The final product was a little closer to the Senate version of the bill, but included a few last-minute surprises for employers and tax payers alike.
Published in Healthcare Reform
Guest Article by Reagan Freed, Principal Consultant for Solvere HR Consulting
 
Sexual harassment claims are rising at an alarming rate. The need for immediate action in response to these trends should be a priority for every organization.
 
The growing “#MeToo” movement has given employees a platform to share their story and callout misconduct in the workplace. These shared experiences are prompting increased openness about discussing the issue and will continue to give employees the confidence to bring forward claims that they may not have had the courage to do so previously. If your organization hasn’t had a claim, it doesn’t necessarily mean your current work environment will be safe from future claims.  

What You Should Do Right Now. This is a critical time for organizations to take a hard look at their culture, workplace behaviors, and policies to proactively assess areas of risk. Read more for the six steps every organization should take right now to protect their employees and the organization from distracting workplace behaviors and expensive legal claims: 
Published in Best Practices
Although there is much speculation about the future of The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the requirements for certain reporting is still the law of the land for now. For all large employers, and small employers that are partially self-funded, the deadline of January 31st to distribute 1095-Bs and 1095-Cs to employees is fast approaching. 
Published in Compliance
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 17:11

How Tax Reform Impacts your Benefits

Republicans have promised to get a tax bill on President Trump’s desk by the end of the year. In response, the House and Senate have created separate versions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in the last several weeks, leaving little time for them to be debated. 
 
These bills represent the largest proposed tax code overhaul in 30 years, and it would affect nearly every American family and business. The House passed their bill on 11/16/17, and the Senate passed their bill out of committee on 11/28/17. The full Senate is expected to vote as soon as this week.
 
The TCJA also would affect what benefits you can offer your employees, repealing some provisions effective 1/1/2018, even though you may have already enrolled employees for those very programs. Please note all of these provisions are changing rapidly and this blog post may already be out of date by the time you read it!
Published in Healthcare Reform
The end of the year is quickly approaching which means several plans, such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), are ending for the 2017 year*. Depending on the details of those contracts (and whether they contain a rollover, carryover or grace period provision), employees have until 12/31/17 to use any remaining funds in their FSA or to submit claims for reimbursement under the HRA. 
Published in Best Practices
In early October, President Trump signed an Executive Order instructing the Department of Labor to propose regulations to expand access to Association Health Plans (AHPs). This expansion would give small employers and the self-employed more health insurance options through bona fide trade and association groups based on profession and interest groups.
 
It’s important to understand what AHPs are, and the potential impact this expansion could have on our current health insurance market. 
Published in Healthcare Reform
Congress missed the September 30 deadline to continue funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This means federal funding for this program will expire by the end of October. This could cause strain on state level budgets nationwide, because once CHIP funds run out, states will struggle to continue this important program. 
Published in Healthcare Reform
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