ACA Penalties for Failure to Provide or Have Coverage Are Still Around

finance business calculation with calculator and pen on chart

There is a lot of confusion out there concerning ACA penalties. The 2018 tax act did not eliminate any employer penalties for not offering health insurance coverage. The only change was reducing the individual coverage penalty to zero – however, this change does not go into effect until 1/1/2019. Applicable large employers (ALEs) with more… [Read More]

Small Group Savior? Another Look at QSEHRAs

Magnifying glass looking at health care newspaper headline, on cash

Small employers are often looking for ways to break out of the community rated market and lower their health insurance costs, as I’ve witnessed firsthand and written about over the years. In more recent posts we’ve discussed reference-based pricing, PEOs and self-funding as methods small employers can use to potentially gain access to more favorable plan designs and rates. There’s… [Read More]

Get on Top of Nondiscrimination Testing

Woman hiding behind an object just showing eyes and hands

It’s that time of year… No, not Halloween, but even scarier – nondiscrimination testing time! While there are different schools of thought on when to test your cafeteria plans, the bottom line is the IRS requires that your plans have passed all testing by the last day of the plan year. Many employers wait until final… [Read More]

ACA Penalties – Not Gone Yet

ACA Penalties – Not Gone Yet

Although the Trump Administration has clearly signaled that enforcement of the individual penalty will not likely be a target for 2017, it is not as clear concerning the employer penalty. Earlier this month the Treasury Department issued its report titled “Affordable Care Act: Assessment of Efforts to Implement the Employer Shared Responsibility Provision.” The Treasury… [Read More]

Healthcare Reform – It’s Not as Easy as It Looks (and It Didn’t Really Look That Easy Anyway)

Healthcare Reform – It s Not as Easy as It Looks

The IRS now says that they are not equipped to test the accuracy of ACA health information to validate the premium and cost sharing subsidies that were given out over the past years. Unbelievably, for 2015 the IRS expected 77 million Form 1095-Cs and actually got 104 million forms. And of these forms, 5.4% (or 5.6… [Read More]

It’s That Time of Year – Use It or Lose It!

It s That Time of Year - Use It or Lose It

5 scary words for FSA participants – “use it or lose it.” Are your employees scrambling for some last-minute ideas on how to spend their FSA money? Fortunately, for plan sponsors who have implemented either the 2½-month grace period or the $500 rollover features, these 5 words are a bit less intimidating than they used to… [Read More]

1095 Nightmares

1095 Reporting

I just got an email from UnitedHealthcare regarding 2016 reporting. A light bulb moment. UHC reports 1095Bs for their insured accounts, and eventually, the IRS will do a data match to ascertain that employers complied with the healthcare mandate. Many clients have multiple companies included in their plans, and it is pretty clear that the… [Read More]

Rubber Hits the Road


After over six years of waiting, employers are finally getting their first documented taste of the employer mandate and its implications. At the end of June, HHS began sending letters to employers informing them of the names of employees who enrolled in exchange coverage and received subsidies. There are several reasons an employee can gain… [Read More]

Another Exciting Day in Washington

5-2-16 An Exciting Day in Washington

The NAHU Principals Council, of which I am a member, periodically meets in Washington DC to speak with regulators and legislators concerning employee benefit issues. Last Thursday we met with Republican leadership to discuss the aftermath of 1095 reporting and to also get an update on the Excise Tax (formerly known as Cadillac Tax). Republicans… [Read More]

More Pre-Tax Dollars – Are You Offering Commuter Benefits Yet?

commuter benefits

It is time to implement a commuter benefits program. Governed by Section 132 of the IRS code, a commuter benefit program allows employers to set aside money from their paycheck on a pre-tax basis, similar to a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (FSA) plan. These pre-tax dollars are used to help pay for the subscriber’s mass… [Read More]