BAS Blog


 

Question of the Week

Q. - An employee did not elect to participate in the FSA this year, but he has a carryover amount from a prior year. He is terminating employment tomorrow. Does he get to keep his carryover amount? Should he be given the opportunity to continue FSA participation under COBRA?

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Employer’s COBRA Processes Prevented Penalties in Lawsuit

An employee terminated from Montefiore Medical Center sued her former employer for, among other things, failure to provide a proper COBRA notice. The former employee was terminated from employment after failing to return to work after medical leave.

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IRS Releases Health Care Reform Guidance for Individuals

The IRS released a new publication- IRS Pub 5187- which explains the impact of the Affordable Care Act on individual tax filings.  The Publication, Health Care Law: What’s New for Individuals and Families, is available by clicking here

The publication explains how taxpayers can satisfy the individual mandate under health care reform and offers information about the new premium tax credit. It begins with an overview of the Affordable Care Act, and then focuses on tips for filing 2014 tax returns. A glossary is included in the publication to provide an explanation for health care reform terminology.

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Question of the Week

Q. If we have a mid-year increase to our deductible under our health plan, may we allow employees to increase their FSA elections mid-year? 

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DOL Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

The US Department of Labor issued a new rule prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The rule implements an executive order signed by the President in July.

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Online Filing Required for Plans with Prescription Drug Coverage

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires all employers that offer prescription drug coverage to file an annual statement about the coverage. The filing is required by all employers, regardless of size. Employers with calendar year plans that provide prescription drug coverage to their employees must remember to file the online statement by March 1.

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Question of the Week

Q.- Do we have to issue a Form W-2 reporting the cost of health coverage to a former employee who has been on COBRA for over 12 months already? 

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Transit Pass Limit Retroactively Increased for 2014

The IRS, through the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (TIPA), increased the 2014 monthly limit under qualified transportation plans for transit pass and vanpooling benefits. The limit was retroactively increased from $130 to $250. 

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New SBC Rules Proposed

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury issued proposed rules to add features to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC). 

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Question of the Week

Q.- We hired a new employee.  His COBRA coverage from his former employer ended 12/31/14. His new medical coverage with us doesn’t start until 2/1/15. Will he be subject to a health care reform penalty if he doesn’t have coverage for the month of January? 

A.- The employee should consult counsel for his or her specific situation, but it is our understanding that if an individual is uninsured for less than 3 months of the year, the individual will not have to pay a health care reform individual mandate penalty. 

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Transit Plans and Electronic Payment Cards

The IRS issued new guidance on the use of electronic media cards to provide transit benefits. The new rules recognize changes in technology since earlier guidance was issued.  

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Will You Be Subject to Health Care Reform This Year?

This year, large employers must provide their employees with health coverage or pay a penalty. It is important to know if you are a large employer for Affordable Care Act purposes. 

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