BAS Blog


 

E-Verify

All U.S. employers must confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. This is accomplished by collecting Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) from new employees and reviewing the provided information to confirm employment eligibility.

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Question of the Week

Q.- Our health flexible spending account plan allows participants who don’t use their full prior year balance to carry over up to $500 to use in the next plan year. I’ve been told that if we have this rule, we can’t allow people to incur claims up to 2-1/2 months after the end of the plan year (which we used to do). Is this correct?

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ACA Reporting Requires Social Security Numbers

The Affordable Care Act requires insurers and sponsors of self-funded health plans to report to the IRS information about individuals enrolled in health coverage. An individual is identified in the reporting by Social Security Number (SSN). The IRS uses the SSN to match information sent by plan sponsors and health plans to information submitted on an individual’s federal income tax return.

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Question of the Week

Q.- We have a self-funded health plan. Do we have to send out an annual HIPAA notice of privacy practices?

A.- The HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices needs to be provided once every three years. A reminder of the availability of the notice should be provided on the years the notice is not sent. Many employers include the HIPAA NPP in the annual open enrollment materials so they don’t have to track compliance with the three year distribution requirement.

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COBRA Time Periods

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) allows certain individuals covered under a group health plan to continue that coverage in certain circumstances when it would otherwise cease. A COBRA election is required for a covered individual when there is a triggering event that causes (or will cause) a loss of coverage.

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Hardship Exemptions for Not Having Health Coverage

The Affordable Care Act requires most individuals to maintain minimum essential health coverage for themselves and their family members or pay a tax penalty. This is referred to as the “Individual Shared Responsibility” requirement of health care reform. For 2019, the individual shared responsibility payment has been reduced to $0.00.

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee did not enroll his wife in our health coverage since she is living in France. The wife is returning to the U.S. next month and our employee wants to add her to his coverage. Is this allowed under a cafeteria plan?

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IRS Releases New Publication 502 for Medical Expenses

The IRS released an updated version of Publication 502- Medical and Dental Expenses- that should be used for filing 2018 tax returns. Publication 502 explains the itemized deduction for medical and dental expenses that may be claimed on Schedule A of Form 1040. It addresses what expenses, and whose expenses, a tax payer can and cannot include in figuring the medical expense deduction.

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E-Filing Now Open

The IRS ACA Information Returns (AIR) Filing System has opened for 2018 tax year filings. The Affordable Care Act requires applicable large employers (those with 50 or more full-time employees) to provide their full-time employees information about their offer of health coverage. ACA also requires insurers and employers of any size with a self-funded health plan to provide covered individuals information describing their coverage.

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Preventive Care Services

Health care reform requires group health plans and health insurers to provide coverage for preventive health care services without any cost sharing requirements. There are three sets of preventive services that must be covered free of charge: services for all adults, services for women, and services for children. Preventive services are routine health care services including screenings, check-ups and patient counseling to prevent illness, disease or other health problems.

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Question of the Week

Q.- We had to reduce hours for several employees which caused them to lose health coverage. Can we help them out by paying their COBRA premiums?

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Employer DOL Poster Requirements

The beginning of the year is a good time for employers to review HR responsibilities. This includes making sure notices are posted appropriately, if required.

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Question of the Week

Q.- An employee dropped our health coverage at open enrollment and will not be covered in 2019. Do we have to give him a COBRA notice?

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IRS Standard Mileage Rates

The standard mileage rate for individuals and businesses to use for computing the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving expenses has been adjusted for 2019.

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Completing Lines 14-16 of Form 1095-C

Applicable Large Employers (those with 50 or more full-time/full-time equivalent employees in the prior year) should be in the process of completing their ACA forms.  An ALE must furnish Form 1095-C to full-time employees and employees covered under a self-funded health plan.

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