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Healthcare

Monday, 11 February 2019

Must employers report QSEHRA benefits on Form W-2?

Written by Thomson Reuters

Question: Our company is exploring the idea of offering a qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA). If we decide to go this route, would we be required to report any information about this benefit on employees’ Forms W-2? Answer: Yes. If an employee is covered under a QSEHRA, the employer must report the total amount of the employee’s permitted QSEHRA benefit on Form W-2 in Box 12, using Code “FF...

Monday, 11 February 2019

2019 ACA-related cost-of-living adjustments available

Written by Thomson Reuters

Cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) applicable to 2019 are available for a wide variety of tax limits, including many related to provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Let’s look at some highlights that are related to health care benefits provided by employers. Savings accounts Some COLAs affect health-care-related savings accounts. For example, the dollar limit on employee salary reduction contributions to health Flexible Spending Accounts has been raised from $2,650 to $2,700...

Monday, 11 February 2019

A work in progress: The ACA’s uncertain future

Written by Thomson Reuters

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been a work in progress since its enactment nearly nine years ago. You can expect that pattern to continue this year and beyond. The current environment in Washington and a sweeping legal challenge to the ACA’s fundamental constitutionality have given followers of the law’s evolving requirements plenty to monitor and speculate about in the days ahead. Labor market dynamics That legal challenge was made by a U...

Monday, 26 November 2018

Can we rescind a participant’s coverage based on a plan error?

Written by Thomson Reuters

Question: Our company sponsors a group health plan that covers employees who work at least 30 hours per week. After reassigning one of our covered full-time employees to a part-time position, we mistakenly continued to provide coverage for two months — collecting premiums and paying claims for that period. After a routine audit, we discovered the error. Can we rescind the employee’s health coverage effective as of the date that his status changed from full-time to part-time?..

Monday, 26 November 2018

Agencies propose regulations to expand use of HRAs

Written by Thomson Reuters

Three federal agencies have proposed changes that could bring significant changes to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). The IRS, Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly proposed the regulations in response to President Trump’s executive order directing the agencies to consider regulations or guidance that would expand the availability and permitted use of HRAs. Let’s look at some highlights. HRAs funding individual insurance The proposed regulations would allow HRAs to be integrated with, and to reimburse premiums for, individual health insurance coverage if certain conditions are met...

Monday, 26 November 2018

Future focused: Trending health care plan features

Written by Thomson Reuters

The pace of health care cost inflation has remained moderate over the past year, and employers are trying to keep it that way. Rather than continuing to ask employees to shoulder more of the burden, however, many are aiming at longer-term changes in employee behavior, such as fostering a “culture of health” within their organizations. These insights come from two newly issued reports from a pair of large benefits consulting and insurance brokerage firms, based on surveys conducted earlier this year. Looked at in total, the data indicates that employers are looking less at immediate cost-cutting measures and more at “future-focused” plan features...

Thursday, 01 November 2018

How should ALEs report coverage of family members who elect COBRA separately?

Written by Thomson Reuters

Question: Our company, an applicable large employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act, sponsors a self-insured health plan. As an ALE, how should we report coverage of family members who elect COBRA separately from the departing employees? Answer: An employer that sponsors a self-insured group health plan is obligated under Internal Revenue Code Section 6055 to report coverage information for all enrollees in the health plan, including nonemployees (such as COBRA beneficiaries). COBRA-qualified beneficiaries may include the spouse (or former spouse) and dependents of a current or former employee...

Thursday, 01 November 2018

IRS releases final 2018 Forms 1094 and 1095

Written by Thomson Reuters

The IRS has released draft Forms 1094/1095-B (B Forms) and Forms 1094/1095-C (C Forms), and related instructions, for the 2018 tax year. If your organization is considered an applicable large employer (ALE) under the Affordable Care Act, it’s important to stay up to speed on the details. B vs. C As you may recall, the B Forms are filed by minimum essential coverage providers (mostly insurers and government-sponsored programs, but also some self-insuring employers and others) to report coverage information in accordance with Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 6055...

Thursday, 01 November 2018

HDHPs with HSAs: Growth slows but changes may be ahead

Written by Thomson Reuters

Coupling a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) has been a popular approach for many employers in the wake of the Affordable Care Act. Approximately 20 million Americans are enrolled in plans following the HDHP+HSA model, according to various estimates. But recent studies show that its growth appears to be tapering off somewhat, even as efforts are underway in Congress to ramp it up again. Cadillac tax The slow growth is a bit of a surprise...

Monday, 01 October 2018

New regs extend short-term, limited-duration insurance coverage

Written by Thomson Reuters

The Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, and IRS jointly finalized regulations in August that extend the permissible duration of short-term, limited-duration health insurance. This action follows President Trump’s executive order directing the agencies to consider regulations or guidance that would allow such insurance to cover longer periods and to be renewed by the consumer. The regs, which finalize previously proposed rules with some modifications, were scheduled to take effect 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Let’s look at some highlights...

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