Q.- Our health care FSA has a 9/1 through 8/31 plan year. I know the maximum contribution limit for health FSAs increases to $2,550 starting in 2015. Can we allow participants who enrolled in our FSA effective 9/1/2014 to take advantage of this new limit now?
The Employee Benefits Security Administration division of the U.S. Department of Labor issued a self-compliance tool that plan sponsors can use to determine if their plans comply with ERISA. The tool, which is a worksheet consisting of 92 questions, describes the laws that apply to group health plans. Explanatory guidance explains what actions are needed for compliance. The tool can be accessed here.
Employers should be familiar with the new reporting obligations that are required under health care reform. All employers who offer medical coverage, regardless of size, will have some new reporting responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act.
Q.- A COBRA continuant did not pay all of the premium for October. She is now telling us that she was short on funds and wants to pay the premium to have October coverage. Do we have to let her pay now?
The IRS announced the following cost of living adjustments for retirement plans, flexible spending account plans and other benefits in 2015:
Employers may be subject to two types of penalties under the employer shared responsibility (pay or play) requirements of health care reform. The first penalty under section 4980H(a) is a $2,000 penalty for failing to offer appropriate health coverage. The second penalty under section 4980H(b) is a $3,000 penalty if an employee gets subsidized coverage through the Exchange and the employer did not offer affordable health coverage.
Q.- We have a calendar year FSA but our medical plan renews April 1. Can we extend our FSA this year so it lasts for 15 months?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed two lawsuits against employers arguing that the employer wellness programs violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Final regulations now provide guidance on what coverage individuals must maintain to meet health care reform’s individual mandate. Health care reform generally requires all individuals to have affordable health coverage, qualify for an exemption, or pay a penalty when filing their tax return. The IRS issued final regulations on the individual mandate.
The final rules mostly track previous proposed guidance, with the following changes and/or confirmations.