Compliance Checklist for Your Group Plan

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As open enrollment 2020 is just around the corner, there are a few things that employers with group plans should know so they can work with us to take any necessary actions. As always, new rules are taking effect and some employers’ plans will be more affected than others. In addition, if you’ve made changes to your plans in any way, you should read this to make sure your plan is compliant with relevant laws and regulations. ACA health provider fee When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law it contained provisions to collect a 2.5% “health provider fee”…
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IRS Announces 2019 HSA Contribution Limits, Changes for HDHPs

| posted in Blog

The IRS has increased health savings account contribution limits for 2019, along with changes to the out-of-pocket expenses for HSA-qualifying high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). The 2019 HSA contribution maximum will be $3,500 for individual coverage, from $3,450 this year. The contribution maximum for family coverage will increase to $7,000 from the current $6,900. Individuals age 55 or older not yet enrolled in Medicare may make a catch-up HSA contribution of up to $1,000 – an amount that remains unchanged from last year’s catch-up limit. This most recent set of limit adjustments fits the pattern of previous years, with the IRS…
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As Competition for Talent Increases, More Employers Offer Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As competition for talent heats up, more companies are not only offering higher salaries, but also boosting their employee benefit offerings, according to a new study. Nearly 33% of organizations surveyed said they had increased their overall benefits in the last 12 months, a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study found recently. The majority of benefits increases were in health insurance and wellness programs. On the flipside, only 6% of firms said they had reduced benefits, mostly citing the need to remain financially stable, whether it was due to increasing costs of benefits, economic factors or poor organizational performance….
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Bill Would Reverse Ban on Using FSAs, HSAs for Over-the-counter Meds

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Legislation in Congress would reverse a controversial portion of the Affordable Care Act that bars employees from tapping their flexible spending accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements to pay for over-the-counter medications. The ACA barred the practice of spending funds that had been set aside using pre-tax dollars to spend on medications that can be purchased without a prescription. HR 1270 was introduced last year to remedy what bill sponsor Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) says has resulted in patients having to spend more money than necessary. That ban is resulting in “families spending more money to see their…
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Bill Would Nearly Double Permitted HSA Contributions

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As employers shift more of the cost burden to employees, legislation in Congress would nearly double the amount workers can put into health savings accounts. Under H.R. 5445, employees enrolled in high-deductible plans and opting for single coverage could in 2017 contribute up to $6,500 to their HSAs, while those with family coverage could contribute up to $13,100. Under current law, the 2017 maximum HSA contributions are $3,400 for employees with single coverage and $6,750 for family coverage. The idea behind the measure is to let employees fund all of their out-of-pocket costs through HSA contributions. Premium costs though would…
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Consumer-driven Health Plans Confuse Enrollees

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As more employers are moving their workers into consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), a new study has found that many employees don’t understand how such plans and their moving parts work. The report found that there is widespread misunderstanding among enrollees in CDHPs about the health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts attached to those plans and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). This is an increasingly important issue that needs to be addressed by employers as CDHPs and reimbursement accounts quickly gain traction. The “Acclaris Consumer Education Survey” of health industry professionals found that: • 64.5% of health industry professionals rated…
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