Plan Design Mandates for 2014

Plan sponsors need to make sure that their plans are in compliance with the Health Care Reform plan design mandates that are effective for the first day of the plan year beginning on and after January 1, 2014. These mandates … Continue reading

Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) Carryover Provision

Recently, the U.S. Department of Treasury issued a notice modifying the “use-or-lose” rule for Health Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). The notice will now allow a limited rollover of FSA funds to make Health FSAs more consumer-friendly and provide added flexibility. … Continue reading

IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Refunds for Over Payment on Same Sex Spousal Benefits

Under federal tax law, spouses receive special treatment for certain benefits. For example, employer provided health care coverage for spouses is not included in the employee’s income, and an employee may pay for spousal coverage on a pre-tax basis. Under … Continue reading

Do you really have to worry about the Free Rider Penalty now? Can’t it wait?

Unfortunately, it can’t wait.  In fact, if you haven’t started yet, you probably need to catch up. Under Health Care Reform, large employers (with 50+ full-time equivalent employees) that do not offer health coverage to substantially all full-time employees and … Continue reading

Agencies Issue Guidance on Health Care Reform Market Reforms and HRAs and Other Arrangements

An HRA is an employer-funded arrangement of a set dollar amount that reimburses employees, spouses and dependents for medical expenses, as designated by the employer, including premiums. The reimbursement is excludable from the employee’s income, and unused funds generally roll-over … Continue reading

IRS Issues Guidance Recognizing State of Celebration for Same Sex Marriages

Under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government only recognized marriages between opposite sex couples. This had significant impacts on many employee benefit programs. For example, an employer was required to impute income on the value of the … Continue reading

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Reporting of Minimum Essential Coverage

Under Health Care Reform, an entity that provides minimum essential coverage must report the names of the individuals covered and the period of coverage to the IRS.  A reporting entity must provide a similar statement to the individual.  The reporting … Continue reading

Employee Exchange Notice Summary

Under Health Care Reform, employers are required to provide current employees and new hires a notice explaining Exchanges. Earlier this year, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Technical Release 2013-2 and two model notices. The Technical Release provides temporary guidance … Continue reading

Free Rider Penalty: Count Hours Versus Imputing Hours

Under Health Care Reform, an employer with more than 50 full-time equivalent employees must either provide affordable and adequate coverage to full-time employees or pay a penalty. A full-time employee is defined as either working 30 hours a week or … Continue reading

Free Rider Penalty: Tracking Hours for Variable Hour Employees Sooner Rather than Later

Originally effective January 1, 2014, large employers that do not offer health coverage to full-time employees and their dependents, or offer coverage that is “unaffordable” or “inadequate,” and have at least one employee enroll in Exchange coverage and qualify for … Continue reading