Feb. 9, 2017
From the Editor
Trish Neely, CCO
2017 is poised to be an interesting year for employers, consultants, brokers, insurers.
Although I become a retiree this month, my interest in employee benefits will continue and I intend to watch the proceedings with much interest. Patrick Fleming, whom many of you met at our recent Conference, is assuming my duties and will continue providing you with regulatory content, interpretations and guidelines to assure your plans remain compliant. It has been my pleasure to work directly with many of you through the years and I wish you all the best.
We won’t repeat what you have doubtless read and heard in the news. Suffice it to say the January Executive Order will cause the new Secretaries of the governing agencies (DOL, IRS, and DHHS) to look immediately at what they can change without Congressional Action. You have heard the term “reconciliation” which only requires a simple majority to pass, however keep in mind, it only applies to mandatory spending provisions and not the full Act. It is likely to be a repeat of the 2015 reconciliation bill which included:
- Repeal of premium tax credit/subsidies
- Elimination of penalties for individual and employer mandates
- Repeal of Medicaid expansion
- Repeal of Cadillac Tax
- Reduction of HSA excise tax from 20% to 10%
- Repeal of Health FSA cap
To recover from the revenue hit from Reconciliation (or repealing the Act) a likely result is a cap on the employee exclusion for employer provided health care (and the cap on the matching savings employers realize). This has been discussed and debated for years and keeps emerging as a revenue fix. Keeping some of the Act’s provisions such as lifetime caps, age rating, prohibition of pre-existing conditions will be challenging and will result in adverse selection without some type of control or mandate in place to encourage young and healthy enrollees. Ryan, Cassidy/Collins, Paul all have alternatives to PPACA – a common theme is retaining certain provision, giving HSAs a boost, less dependence on employer based coverage and a cap on employee exclusion for employer provided healthcare.
Nothing to date has caused the need for a change with your current plan documents; we will keep you informed as events unfurl. In the meantime we recommend holding the course and acting as if PPACA is still the law of the land until you hear otherwise.
2017 Cost Of Living Adjustments
2017 Indexing Adjustments for PPACA Mandates
The IRS issued indexing adjustments to determine when coverage is affordable and when an individual is exempt from the shared responsibility penalty. These amounts determine the employer and employee shared responsibility penalties.
DOL Increases Penalties for Violations Projects $140M in Penalty Payments
Congress enacted legislation in 2015 to adjust civil monetary penalties for a wide range of compliance violations under the jurisdiction of the Department of Labor. Some penalties have not been adjusted in decades. Thus, in 2016, initial catch-up adjustments are effective on the first of August; thereafter adjustments will be made by January 15th of each year.
Filing 2016 Forms 1094 & 1095
If you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE), draft 2016 Forms 1094 and 1095; and draft Instructions for the “C” Forms have recently been filed. The Forms show few changes from 2015; however the 2016 instructions include some additional examples and clarifications. A few highlights follow.
Welcome to FBMC’s Compliance Corner
Trish Neely, Editor
This is our 26th year of distributing the Quarterly Review newsletter and Benefits Alerts. We are merging the two under the name Compliance Corner. This issue will end our quarterly communications; going forward the Compliance Corner will provide relevant and timely information as events occur rather than waiting for the end of a given quarter. In that regard, Compliance Corner will be more like our current Benefits Alerts. If there are topics you would like for us to cover or questions you would like answered in the Compliance Corner, please contact me via email.
Forms 1094 and 1095 May Still Be Filed
June 30, 2016 was the deadline to electronically file Forms 1094 & 1095; May 31, 2016 was the deadline for paper returns. But if you have not filed yet you may still do so. It is important to note this is not an extension and whether you will be penalized for a late filing is based in part on your good faith efforts to file.
HSA/HDHP Cost of Living Adjustments
IRS Revenue Procedure 2016-28 was issued in April to announce a cost of living adjustment to Health Savings Accounts; the single change was an increase to the annual contribution limit for self-only coverage. This revenue procedure is effective for calendar year 2017.
EEOC Wellness Regulations Require Quick Adoption
The EEOC has issued final regulations on the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) on wellness programs. These regulations include changes and clarifications to the proposed regulations issued last year. The ADA notice requirements and the ADA and GINA restrictions on incentives are effective with the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2017.
FAQs for Implementing Various Market Reform Provisions
Another round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) was issued jointly by the Agencies* in April to address multiple topics, including: cost sharing, contraceptives, coverage rescissions and more. These FAQs answer questions from stakeholders to help people better understand the following laws: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), and the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 (WHCRA).
Tallahassee, Fla. – FBMC Benefits Management, Inc. (FBMC), an employee benefits manager headquartered in Tallahassee, is proud to announce 40 years of excellence in providing and managing employee benefits. From the establishment of HMOs in the early 1970s to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the healthcare landscape has changed dramatically over the past 40 years, and FBMC has proven to be a stable presence in the employee-benefits industry throughout that time.
Trish Neely, CCO
The IRS recently announced 2017 indexing adjustments to determine when coverage is affordable and when an individual is exempt from the shared responsibility penalty. These amounts determine the employer and employee shared responsibility penalties.