It is hard to believe that we are closing the door on another year already. Once again, we look to see what changes and upcoming events should be at the top of your list of things to think about when it comes to your employee benefits plans.
•Individuals are still required to have health insurance in 2018. Yes, President Trump repealed the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, that does not go into effect until 2019. Your employees are still required to have insurance in 2018 or they could face a penalty on their personal Federal income taxes.
- Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) that, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), did not meet the requirements for offering eligible employees affordable and minimum essential health coverage requirements of the ACA’s Shared Responsibility Mandate will begin receiving penalty notices from the IRS. These determinations are made based on based on ACA tax filings, so it is possible that an error in your filing could trigger the notification. You have 30 days from receipt of the notification to reply, so be sure to respond quickly if you receive a notification.
- ALEs are still required to offer their employees affordable coverage that meets the minimum value standards. The employee’s cost for their own insurance coverage cannot exceed 9.56% of their annual household income. Note that this rate has decreased from the 2017 limit.
- ALEs received a 30-day extension to the timeframe in which they must provide employees with a 1095-B and/or 1095-C form for the 2017 reporting year. They now have until March 2, 2018 to provide these notifications to their employees. Deadlines for filing with the IRS remain the same, February 28th for paper filings and April 2nd for electronic filing.
- Flexible Spending Account (FSA) contribution limits increase in 2018 to $2,650 for the health FSA and $5,000 for dependent care FSAs.
- Health Savings Account (HSA)contribution limits also increased in 2018 to $3,450 for those covered by an individual High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) medical plan and $6,900 for those covered by a family HDHP medical plan. If you are 55 or older, you can still contribute an additional catch-up amount of $1,000 in 2018.
Next Steps: Remind employees that they are still required to be insured. Respond to any IRS correspondence promptly. Review employee costs for individual insurance to ensure your coverage is deemed affordable. Review FSA and HSA elections to ensure they are within the new limits. And enjoy a prosperous 2018!
DISCLAIMER: The comments and materials contained herein are intended to be for informational purposes only. This is not legal advice and is not intended to create or constitute a lawyer-client relationship. Before acting on the basis of any of this information or material, you are advised to consult your employment attorney for legal advice. Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company or agency. Neither Brown & Brown Insurance nor EHL Insurance accepts any liability for any damages or other liability arising out of this communication or the reliance upon any of the information provided within.
AUTHOR: Heather Torres
Senior Employee Benefits Advisor
(360) 779-4448 ext. 8170