Cloud computing allows convenient on-demand network access to a shared pool of computing resources (such as networks, servers, storage and applications) that can be rapidly supplied and used with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. The computing resources are pooled to serve multiple customers and can be scaled to meet changes in demand. Continue Reading
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This issue provides a summary of recent regulatory, judicial and legislative activity. Continue Reading
When several entities (whether incorporated or unincorporated) share common ownership, a controlled group or common control may exist. For many IRS benefit plan purposes, a controlled group is treated as a single employer. For example, the determination of an employer’s size for purposes of COBRA, Medicare Secondary Payer rules and the ACA’s Applicable Large Employer status are determined on a controlled group basis. IRS non-discrimination testing is generally performed on a controlled group basis. This Benefit Minute provides a high level overview of controlled groups. Continue Reading
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final Market Stabilization Rule that is intended to help lower premiums and stabilize the individual and small group markets as well as increase health insurance choices in markets that are threatened by insurer exits. Continue Reading
Republican efforts to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) stalled on March 24, 2017 when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan determined he did not have the support needed to pass the bill in the House of Representatives and withdrew it without a vote. Detractors of the bill included all Democratic members of the House, as well as the Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of Republican representatives who felt the bill did not go far enough to repeal the ACA. Moderate Republicans were also concerned by the Congressional Budget Office report which estimated that, by 2026, 24 million more people would be uninsured relative to the number of uninsureds under current law. It appears the administration and the Republican leadership will table current health care reform efforts for now and move on to other agenda items. Continue Reading
Distribution of ERISA-required documents is challenging for employers. Hard copy distribution is inefficient, costly, not environmentally friendly and out-of-date in the digital age. However, electronic distribution must be accomplished in a manner that complies with Department of Labor (DOL) requirements and results in actual receipt by plan participants. Continue Reading
Repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been the consistent message of the Republican Party and President Trump. Some steps have already been taken that will likely ultimately impact the ACA. Congress is progressing with a budget resolution bill that may lead to repeal of some aspects of the ACA that relate to the federal budget (this resolution cannot remove the ACA’s market reform provisions) and the President issued an executive order directed to those agencies (HHS, DOL and Treasury) with responsibilities related to the ACA. While neither action can fully repeal the ACA, both likely impact ACA administration and enforcement and demonstrate the clear intent of the Republican-controlled Congress and the President to follow through on their promise. At the same time, several new Republican proposals have been offered because there is a recognition that repeal is not feasible without concurrent replacement. Continue Reading
Set forth below are the 2017 and 2016 limitations for qualified plans and other benefit related items.
Click here to view a printable copy of the document.
A Qualified High Deductible Health Plan (QHDHP) coupled with a Health Savings Account (HSA) offers an opportunity for individuals to be more involved in and responsible for managing their own healthcare costs while enjoying advantageous tax treatment. HSA contributions, investment earnings, and distributions for qualified medical expenses are free of federal income taxes, FICA taxes and most state income taxes. In exchange for this tax-favored status, certain requirements apply to HSAs. This Benefit Minute provides a reminder about those requirements. Continue Reading