United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

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

Independent Contractor vs Employee

Posted by: Bill Olson    Nov 19, 2014 10:14:00 AM

By K. Michael Ward, MPH, SPHR, GPHR, Employee Benefits Advisor
The Wilson Agency
A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: IRS, independent, contractor, employee, Michael Ward, The Wilson Agency

Reference-Based Pricing and Cost-Sharing Limits

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Nov 11, 2014 10:19:00 AM

The Department of Labor (DOL), the IRS, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have jointly issued a FAQ that addresses how "reference-based pricing" works with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (PPACA) restrictions on out-of-pocket maximums. PPACA limits the out-of-pocket maximum a non-grandfathered plan may impose, and generally requires that co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles be counted toward this limit. However, premiums, balance billed amounts for non-network providers, and non-covered services do not need to be applied to the out-of-pocket limit. (For 2015, the limits are $6,600 per individual or $13,200 per family.) The new FAQ explains how the out-of-pocket limit applies to plans that use reference-based pricing--i.e., a design under which the plan pays a fixed amount for a particular procedure (such as a knee replacement), which certain providers have agreed to accept as full payment.

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Topics: Linda Rowings, IRS, HHS, Reference-Based, Pricing, Cost-Sharing, Limits, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, DOL

IRS Allows Additional Section 125 Change in Status Events

Posted by: Linda Rowings    Oct 8, 2014 11:34:00 AM

On September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2014-55 which allows employers to amend their Section 125 plans to recognize several new change in status events.

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Topics: IRS, Section 125, Open Enrollment, Notice 2014-55