ACA Form 1095 Deadline Extended

Tom Henschke Health Benefits Administration, Human Resources, News

According to BASIC HR Compliance & Technology, the IRS has extended the due date for certain 2018 information-reporting requirements for insurers, self-insuring employers, and certain other providers of minimum essential coverage under section 6055 of the Internal Revenue Code and for applicable large employers under section 6056 of the Code. Read more here.  

IRS Reduces HSA Limit for Family Coverage for 2018

Matt Pfeiffenberger Large Group Benefits (100+), News

The IRS issued a new revenue procedure regarding health savings account (HSA) limits. The new tax laws had a provision in it which was not formally enacted until just recently. The new revenue procedure now puts the change into effect. Basically the ruling reduces the HSA family maximum contribution for 2018 from $6,900 to $6,850 retroactive to January 1, 2018. Employers with HSAs will need to check to see if employees elected the $6,900 maximum for 2018, and in effect cut that back to $6,850. The new $6,850 max is a combination of any employee and employer contributions into the employee’s HSA for 2018. You can read more about the change below. Questons can be directed to Matt Pfeiffenberger, Vice President, …

ACA Compliance – Furnishing Deadline Delayed for 2017 ACA Reporting

Matt Pfeiffenberger Health Benefits, Large Group Benefits (100+), News, Small Group Benefits (2-50)

On December 22, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2018-06 to: Extend the due date for furnishing forms under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2017 for 30 days, from January 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018; and Extend good-faith transition relief from penalties related to 2017 information reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056. Notice 2018-06 does not extend the due date for filing forms with the IRS for 2017. The due date for filing with the IRS under Sections 6055 and 6056 remains February 28, 2018 (April 2, 2018, if filing electronically). Section 6055 and 6056 Reporting Sections 6055 and 6056 were added to the Internal Revenue Code (Code) by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Section 6055 applies …

Reading Health System And UPMC Health Plan Announce Joint Venture

Matt Pfeiffenberger Health Benefits, News

Reading Health System and UPMC Health Plan announced they have finalized an agreement to form a provider-payer joint venture. Beginning January 1, 2017, this Reading-UPMC Health Plan enterprise will combine access to Reading Health System’s high-quality clinical care, expert providers, and advanced healthcare facilities with UPMC Health Plan’s experience, expertise and advanced analytics to improve the health of the community. The new joint venture will offer a full line of health coverage and related services to individuals as well as employers and their employees in the Reading Health System service area. Read the Cision PR newswire >>> If you have questions, contact Matt Pfeiffenberger, VP, Health Benefits Solutions, at (717) 397-9600.

Penn State Health, Highmark Join Forces

Matt Pfeiffenberger Health Benefits, Large Group Benefits (100+), News, Small Group Benefits (2-50)

As reported on ABC 27 News, Penn State Health and Highmark Health have announced a new partnership. The $1-billion deal allows Penn State Health to expand and improve its locations across central Pennsylvania with the support of Highmark. “We really hope that through this new product, we’re going to make it that people throughout central Pennsylvania are still able to access this medical center and receive that sort of care closer to home,” Penn State Health CEO Dr. Craig Hillemeier said. Highmark customers are guaranteed access to the Penn State Health Network. Both companies say the deal aims to lower the cost of care for patients. Read the ABC 27 News article >>> If you have any questions, contact Matt Pfeiffenberger, VP, …

Often, Opioid Abuse Becomes a Family Affair

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News, Risk Management

Opioid addiction often starts in the family medicine cabinet, a new study warns. If someone is taking prescription opioids for pain, such as OxyContin, it’s more likely that others living in the home will also get an opioid prescription, the researchers found. “Prescription opioid use may spread within households, and patients may need to consider the risks to other family members,” said lead researcher Marissa Seamans. She is a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health’s department of mental health in Baltimore. Read more here >>>

IRS Issues Pay Or Play Enforcement Guidance

Matt Pfeiffenberger Health Benefits, Large Group Benefits (100+), News

On Nov. 2, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated its Questions and Answers (Q&As) on the employer shared responsibility rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to include information on enforcement. Specifically, these Q&As include guidance on: How an employer will know that it owes an employer shared responsibility penalty; Appealing a penalty assessment; and Procedures for paying any penalties owed. The IRS also maintains a website on understanding Letter 226-J, as well as a sample letter, which will be used to inform employers of their potential penalty liability. Action Steps – No penalties have been assessed under the employer shared responsibility rules at this time. However, employers subject to these rules are still responsible for compliance. These Q&As indicate …

The Best-Kept Secret For Retirement Savings May Be Health Savings Accounts

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

A few years ago when my company offered the option of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) instead of Flexible Spending Accounts, I thought “okay, fine.” I got another debit card and happily used it to spend pre-tax dollars on current medical expenses. Recently, though, I spoke with a financial advisor who opened my eyes to the fact that I’d been using my HSA all wrong. Now, I realize HSAs are one of the best options available for additional retirement savings. Read more here >>>

CVS-Aetna Merger Could Transform Health Care Industry

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

If approved, the $69 billion acquisition — $77 billion including debt — would drastically remap the health care industry. CVS Health (CVS) is a massive drugstore chain and prescription drug insurer, while Aetna (AET) is one of the nation’s largest health insurers. It would also go down as the largest health insurance deal in history, far exceeding Express Scripts (ESRX)’ $29 billion acquisition of Medco in 2012, the last record-holder. Tell me more >>>

Mind the Insurance Gap

Mary Lyons Business Insurance, Health Benefits, Insurance, Voluntary Benefits

Is your business unprotected? “Of course not,” you probably say. But how sure are you? Almost 40% of small companies would likely go out of business if the business owner unexpectedly died, according to a new report, the New York Life Small Business Insurance Gap. Tell me more >>> If you would like more information about protecting your business, contact Mary Lyons, GBA, Insurance and Benefits Sales Consultant, Health Benefit Solutions.