Employee Benefits

A recent bill has been introduced in the House and Senate that simplifies reporting requirements under the ACA. The Commonsense Reporting Act of 2017 (H.R. 3919 and S. 1908) attempts to ease the reporting requirements of employers in three areas: reporting information before open enrollment, minimize administrative reporting at year end, and reduce the submission of unnecessary information. In addition to bi-partisan support, both bills are getting support from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). SHRM’s vice president for government affairs, Mike Aiken, has said “H.R. 3919 and S. 1908 is a first step to minimize the challenges associated with the law’s reporting requirements”.

Current reporting requirements of the ACA require employers to collect and report information to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and their employees annually. Information required ranges from health insurance plan coverage, individual and beneficiary information (including social security numbers), enrollments, premium amounts, etc. The required information is intended to verify compliance with the ACA for employers and individuals, and help validate subsidies provided to individuals.

Friday, 03 November 2017 11:28

401(k) Contribution Limit Increase

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On October 19, the IRS announced an increase in the contribution limits for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans. For 2018 the new limit will be increased from $18,000 to $18,500. However, the catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 or over remains unchanged at $6,000 annually.

According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor , women comprise 51.5 percent of all managerial and professional jobs and are estimated to account for 51 percent of the overall increase in labor force growth from 2008 to 2018. Additionally, many of these women are also mothers responsible for the care and well-being of their children. If businesses want to attract and retain female leaders in the office, they need to think outside traditional maternity leave benefits and focus on long-term retention.

Friday, 14 April 2017 08:11

Colorado ranks sixth-best in the country

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A report released by The Commonwealth Fund, found that Colorado’s health care system ranks sixth-best in the country. Colorado jumped five spots in the organization’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance from before the Affordable Care Act to the present. That was the fifth-largest jump among all states. The Scorecard ranks states on more than 40 measures of health system performance in five broad areas: health care access, quality, avoidable hospital use and costs, health outcomes, and health care equity. Read more here

Friday, 17 March 2017 14:13

American Health Care Act

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On March 9, 2017 the House approved the American Health Care Act—to replace tax elements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—by a vote of 23-16. The Act suggests various amendments to the current Affordable Care Act in place including: reducing employer mandate penalty, reducing individual mandate penalty, creating a continuous coverage requirement surcharge, delaying excise tax, repealing health insurance tax, repealing increase on Health Saving Account tax, and repealing limits on Flexible Spending Account limits. There are aspects of the Affordable Care Act that will stay in tax with this proposed Act. Read more here

The 21st Century Cures Act, that was signed late last year and took effect on January 1st, 2017, has a provision included that reinstates using “stand-alone” Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), allowing small employers to fund employees individual purchased health coverage. “Stand-alone” HRAs are HRAs created that are not part of or attached to any employer sponsored health insurance offering. This is great news for small employers that are looking for ways to help their employees with the cost of health coverage but are not able to purchase a group health plan.

Wednesday, 04 May 2016 10:06

Boosting Morale Through Employee Wellness

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In a 2015 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, 76 percent of survey respondents currently offer employee wellness programs. Companies that lead this trend came from Silicon Valley, but...

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 09:06

4 Changes to the Affordable Care Act

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is seeing a handful of changes this year. Some areas, like the automatic enrollment policy, were simplified for employers. Other line items will be tied to increased penalties. The good news is that there are fewer changes compared to previous years, so it’s easier to keep up with these shifts. Here are the top four to remember.

Friday, 11 March 2016 12:27

Deciphering Health Insurance Lingo

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Health insurance plans can be intricate and often confusing to decide what is important for your plan. There are many options to cater to what you, the employer, would like to make available to your employees. There are 3 major categories to focus on when looking at health insurance plans:

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