United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Medicare Costs Explained

Posted by: Kathy Binkley, RHU, ChHC    Aug 25, 2015 12:00:00 PM

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Nothing in life is free,” and nothing is – not even Medicare. In most cases, you won’t have to pay a premium to get Medicare, at least for Part A (here’s a refresher on the different parts of Medicare), but that doesn’t mean it’s free. You’ve just pre-paid in the form of taxes. So you don’t have to worry about a premium for Part A, which covers in-patient hospital expenses, assuming you or your spouse paid Social Security for at least 10 years. However, there are other costs associated with Medicare, which vary depending on the specific insurance.

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Topics: health care costs, health care reform, The Wilson Agency, retirement savings, Medigap, Medicare, Medicare secondary payer, Kathy Binkley

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