Q: One of our COBRA continuants is enrolled in Medicare, can I cancel her COBRA coverage?
The U.S. Department of Labor released a new resource to help employers understand the impact of mental health issues in the workplace. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one out of five U.S. adults have a mental health condition each year.
Applicable Large Employers (ALE) with 50 or more full-time employees must provide affordable, minimum value coverage to full-time employees and their dependents or be subject to a tax penalty. Some employers may consider themselves “small employers,” but may actually be ALEs because they are part of a controlled group.
Q.- I know the individual responsibility penalty has been reduced to $0 starting with 2019. For 2018, if I didn’t have health coverage for two months out of the year, should I have paid the penalty with my 2018 tax return?
EEO-1 is an annual survey capturing demographic information about employees. The survey is an annual reporting requirement for all private employers with 100 or more employees and federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract, subcontract or purchase order amounting to $50,000. Covered employers must track and report employee data by ethnicity, race and sex. Covered employers must also track pay data.
An applicable large employer must offer minimum essential coverage providing minimum value to its full-time employees and their dependents. A full-time employee is an employee who works 30 or more hours per week (130 hours per month).
Q.- I purchased a year’s supply of contact lenses on December 30, 2018. My FSA runs on a calendar year. Since I am using the lenses in 2019, can I be reimbursed from my 2019 FSA for their cost?
In a recent Opinion Letter, the Department of Labor confirmed that employers do not have to pay employees while they volunteer for charitable causes. The Opinion Letter provides guidance only for the requesting party, but it is interesting to understand the Department’s position with the facts presented.
Last year, the Department of Labor expanded the possible use of Association Health Plans (AHPs). Those AHP regulations allowed groups of employers to band together to sponsor health plans that did not meet certain Affordable Care Act requirements. The employer groups would be treated as a “single employer,” even if their members were only tenuously affiliated.
Q.- An individual at our company changed from an employee to an owner-operator. With the employment change, he lost his right to employee health coverage. Do we have to give him the right to continue the coverage under COBRA?
A recent Technical Advice Memorandum (TAM) from the IRS suggests that employer-provided meals may be excluded from an employee’s income in only very limited circumstances. This is a departure from the position most employers take when providing food for employees. The TAM addressed a question raised to the IRS of whether the value of meals provided to employees in the office headquarters were included in the employees’ income and subject to employment taxes. The TAM found that the answer to this question could be “yes” if the employer’s business policies and practices with respect to meals and snacks did not meet Internal Revenue Code requirements.
The IRS updated its Frequently Asked Questions to confirm that penalties will not be assessed for incomplete or incorrect ACA returns filed or statements provided to individuals for 2018 coverage if a good faith effort is made. This is not relief from failure to offer proper coverage.