United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

IRS Updates Guidance on Play-or-Pay Penalty Assessments

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Dec 5, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Beginning in 2015, to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), “large” employers must offer their full-time employees health coverage, or pay one of two employer shared responsibility / play-or-pay penalties. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determines the penalty each calendar year after employees have filed their federal tax returns.

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Topics: IRS, employer shared responsibility, Affordable Care Act, play or pay requirements

Minimum Value: HRA Contributions and Flex Credits

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Feb 9, 2016 12:00:00 PM

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued a final rule that clarifies various topics relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and premium tax credit eligibility provisions. Mirroring guidance from IRS Notice 2015-87, the final rule clarifies that health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) contributions by an employer that may be used to pay premiums for an eligible employer sponsored plan are counted toward the employee's required contribution, subsequently reducing the amount required for their contribution.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA Affordable Care Act, IRS, health reimbursement arrangements, HRA, Premium Tax Credits, Danielle Capilla

IRS Proposed Regulations Recognize Same Sex Marriage

Posted by: Danielle Capilla    Oct 29, 2015 12:00:00 PM

In June 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v Hodges that the 14th Amendment requires a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out of state. The IRS has issued proposed regulations to reflect that holding, which will impact married couples, employers, sponsors, and administrators of employee benefit plans and executors.

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Topics: ACA, IRS, same sex marriage, Danielle Capilla, Obergefell v Hodges

IRS Provides Details on Reimbursing Premiums for Individual Health Coverage or Medicare Part B, Part D, or Medigap for Active Employees

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Mar 17, 2015 12:00:00 PM

On February 18, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-17. This Notice addresses employer payment or reimbursement of individual premiums in light of the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). For many years, employers were permitted to reimburse premiums paid for individual coverage on a tax-favored basis, and many smaller employers adopted this type of an arrangement instead of sponsoring a group health plan. However, these “employer payment plans” frequently are unable to meet all of the PPACA requirements that took effect in 2014, and in a series of Notices and frequently asked questions (FAQs) the IRS has made it clear that an employer may not either directly pay premiums for individual policies or reimburse employees for individual premiums on either an after-tax or pre-tax basis. This is the case whether payment or reimbursement is done through a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), a Section 125 plan, a Section 105 plan, or another mechanism.

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Topics: ACA, PPACA, IRS, employer payment plans, Medicare Part B, premium reimbursement, Medigap, Medicare Part D, two-percent shareholder, TRICARE

IRS Requests Input on the Cadillac Tax

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Mar 10, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Beginning in 2018, plans that provide coverage that exceeds a threshold will owe an excise tax that is frequently referred to as the “Cadillac tax.” The threshold generally will be $10,200 for single benefits and $27,500 for benefits provided to an employee, retiree, or member of a bargaining unit and dependents. The tax is 40% of the value of coverage provided over that threshold level.

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Topics: compliance, ACA, IRS, compliance with health care reform, HRA, excise tax, Cadillac Tax

IRS Releases Information and Forms for Satisfying the Individual Mandate and Claiming 2014 Premium Tax Credits

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Feb 5, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Although employers are not required to offer coverage during 2014, individuals are generally required to have health coverage during 2014 and must report on that coverage through their 2014 federal income tax return. In many cases, the employee will be able to simply state through a “yes/no” question on their federal income tax form that all individuals claimed on the tax form had minimum essential coverage during all of 2014. Individuals will not be required to attach proof of coverage, and employers and insurers are not required to supply proof of coverage provided during 2014. Individuals may wish to maintain evidence of coverage (such as pay stubs showing deductions for premiums or explanations of benefits) in case they are audited, but this is not required.

Individuals who did not have the needed coverage for the entire year, or who are claiming an exemption from the individual mandate, must use Form 8965 to claim an exemption or determine their penalty (which is determined on a month-by-month basis). The penalty for failing to have coverage in 2014 is the greater of 1% of income and $95 per person or $295 per family.

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Topics: IRS, 2014 premium tax credits, Individual mandate

IRS Provides 2015 Mileage Rates and Guidance on Retroactive Transit Benefit Increase

Posted by: Bill Olson    Feb 3, 2015 12:00:00 PM

On December 10, 2014 the IRS released the optional standard mileage rates for 2015. Beginning on January 1, 2015, the standard rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck are:

  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014
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Topics: IRS, 2015, Tax Increase Prevention Act, TIPA, Mileage, Retroactive Transit Benefit

Top 10 Blogs of 2014

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 16, 2015 1:00:00 PM

 

We’ve rounded up the most popular UBA blogs of 2014, which have garnered thousands of views.

 

10. UBA Releases 2014 Health Plan Survey Executive Summary.

Recent survey data from the 2014 United Benefit Advisors Health Plan Survey, the nation's largest health plan survey, shows that employers continue to shift a greater share of expenses to employees through out-of-pocket cost increases and reductions in family benefits, as well as delay many effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) by utilizing an early renewal strategy. More

 

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Topics: health plan survey, UBA, section 125 plans, PPACA Affordable Care Act, IRS, Self-Funded, HHS, EEOC, blog, Skinny Plans, out-of-pocket limits, top 10

2015 Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Dec 16, 2014 1:00:00 PM

Many employee benefit limits are automatically adjusted each year for inflation (this is often referred to as an "indexed" limit). The Internal Revenue Service and the Social Security Administration have released a number of indexed figures for 2015.

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Topics: Linda Rowings, IRS, 2015, Cost-of-Living, Adjustments, Social Security Administration

Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Availability of Premium Tax Credits

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Dec 9, 2014 1:00:00 PM

Premium tax credits are only available to individuals who obtain health coverage through a Marketplace. A dispute has arisen as to whether the IRS has the ability to interpret PPACA to allow the subsidy to individuals who obtain coverage through any Marketplace, or whether the language of PPACA limits eligibility to those who have obtained coverage through a state Marketplace. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to rule on whether premium tax credits may only be available to individuals who receive tax subsidies as a result of being enrolled in a state exchange. In the meantime, the IRS has stated that it will continue to issue tax credits to individuals in both state and federally-run Marketplaces.

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Topics: Linda Rowings, PPACA, IRS, Supreme Court, Premium Tax Credits