BAS Blog


 

Question of the Week

Q:  We have an employee who retired last year.  Both the retiree and his wife elected to continue health coverage under COBRA.  The retiree is dropping COBRA coverage and enrolling in Medicare.  Do we have to let the wife continue on our plan? 

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LGBT Discrimination Prohibited for Federal Contractors

President Obama signed an executive order earlier this month prohibiting federal contractors and the government from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  

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IRS Releases First Draft of Health Care Reporting Forms

BAS is ready to assist employers with their new IRS-required reporting obligations under health care reform. 

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Question of the Week

Q.  Are vitamin supplements, such as calcium and vitamin D, eligible for reimbursement from a health flexible spending account plan? 

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Form 5500 Filing

Employers with calendar year benefit plans should be gearing up for the Form 5500 filing deadline.  Unless an extension is requested, calendar year plans must file their Form 5500 by July 31, 2014.

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Health Plan Identification Number

Self-funded health plans are required to obtain a standard Health Plan Identification number (HPID) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  This 10-digit number, similar to a Social Security number or Employer Identification Number, will facilitate the transfer of information from one covered entity to another. 

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Question of the Week

Q.-  We terminated an employee because he was not performing his job well, and his coworkers did not like working with him.  He was covered under our health plan at the time of his termination.  Do we have to offer him the right to continue health coverage under COBRA?  We don’t think we should since we fired him, and he wasn’t performing well. 

A.-  If your organization is subject to COBRA (20 or more employees), you should give him a COBRA election.  If his termination was not a result of gross misconduct, he would be entitled to the right to continue his coverage under COBRA.
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Flexible Work Schedules

Some employers offer their employees the option to work a flexible work schedule instead of the standard 9:00-5:00 work day.  Employers are generally not legally required to offer flexibility to their employees in terms of arrival and/or departure times.  Instead, flexible work schedules are matter of agreement between the employer and the employee. 

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Tax Credits for Small Employers

Certain small employers that offer insured health coverage to their employees are eligible for a tax credit.  To be eligible for the credit, the employer must have no more than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees for the taxable year, and the employees must have average annual wages of no more than $50,000 per FTE.  The employer must also have an arrangement that requires it to pay a uniform percentage (not less than 50%) of the premium cost of a qualified health plan offered through the SHOP Exchange. 

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee is participating in our calendar year Dependent Care FSA and elected to contribute $2,000.  His wife just lost her job, and they no longer need the child care.  Can he cancel his election for the remainder of the year? 

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Issues Facing Working Families

President Obama held a summit last month to address issues facing working families.  According to White House statistics, 

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Contraceptive Coverage Exception Under Health Care Reform

The U.S. Supreme Court recently responded to a challenge to health care reform by holding that closely held, for-profit businesses do not have to comply with the mandate to offer certain contraceptive coverage. 

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Prepare for Health Care Reform Reporting

 

The IRS is requiring employers to comply with new health care reform reporting requirements.

To achieve compliance, employers will need to collect and consolidate vast amounts of benefits, payroll, and HR data starting in January 2015.  Now is the time for employers to prepare for the requirements so that they can successfully gather the right data to make the mandatory reporting to IRS and to employees.  Click here for a summary of the reporting requirements.

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Question of the Week

Q.  An employer is in bankruptcy.  They originally had 1000 employees.  Now they have 25 employees.  They are getting a new health plan to offer to the 25 employees.  What happens to the continuants on COBRA? 

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Proposed Changes to FMLA Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor announced proposed changes to the Family and Medical Leave Act to provide same-sex spouses the same protections as opposite-sex spouses. 

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Self-Funded Plans Must Pay PCORI Fee

Health care reform requires health plans to pay a fee to support clinical research.  The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee (PCORI fee) is due by July 31 of the calendar year following the end of the plan year.  Insurers of insured plans and sponsors of self-funded plans must pay the PCORI fee and file appropriate returns with the payment.  The fee is assessed for plan years ending on or after October 1, 2012 and before October 1, 2019. 

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