Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 9, 2016

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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2016 IRS Form 8941: Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums (PDF)
To be filed by employers who paid premiums for employee health insurance coverage provided through a Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace.
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Advert.]

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Telehealth execs discuss engaging providers & consumers in digital health to optimize ROI & improve population health. Promo Code BLINK2 takes $200 off your registration (May not combine w any other offer. Not valid twd Govt Rate/Workshop Only/Webcast)


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Reminder to Employers and Health Coverage Providers: You Have More Time in 2017 to Provide Information Forms to Covered Individuals (PDF)
"The IRS extended the 2017 due date for employers and coverage providers to furnish information statements to individuals. The due dates to file those returns with the IRS are not extended. This chart can help you understand the upcoming deadlines."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

IRS Releases 2016 Form 8839 for Excluding Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits
"Employer-provided adoption benefits may be excluded from an employee's gross income if they are furnished pursuant to an adoption assistance program that meets the Code's requirements. Benefits under a qualified adoption assistance program may be funded by the employer directly, by employees through salary reductions under a cafeteria plan, or by a combination of both. Employees may also claim a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses, although the credit and the exclusion may not both be claimed for the same expense."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Quick Guide: 2017 Contribution Limits for FSAs and HSAs
"In 2017, the annual FSA contribution limit is increasing by $50 from the previous year. Employees with this employer-sponsored benefit account can contribute a maximum of $2,600. FSA carryover limits remain the same at $500. Dependent Care FSA, also known as Dependent Care Assistance Plan (DCAP), limits remain at $5,000 for single, head of household, or married filing jointly, or $2,500 each for married filing separately."
DataPath

Millennials, New Technologies Lead Employers to Modernize Employee Benefits
"[1] Employers are moving away from one-size-fits-all health benefits to providing employees with more options to choose from so their individual needs can be met.... [2] Most employers are adding or expanding voluntary benefits to appeal to younger generations.... [3] More employers are introducing innovative technologies and tools into the benefit experience.... [4] More employers are expanding the definition of well-being to include mental, emotional, social and financial health in addition to physical health.... [5] A growing number of employers are using or considering private benefit exchanges to address the complexity of delivering personalized benefits to a multigenerational workforce."
Willis Towers Watson

[Advert.]

How to Survive an ACA Audit

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Dec. 13 webinar. Ensure that your policies and procedures mitigate audit inquiries from various federal agencies. Documentation and record retention will be the key to minimizing potential penalties.


Open Enrollment: Offering Opportunities for Health Insurers to Forge Deeper Connections with Members
Infographic. "79% of U.S. adults would find it valuable to easily connect with someone with a healthcare background for questions regarding open enrollment ... 54% of health insured Americans have experienced potentially challenging or frustrating situations during the open enrollment process ... 51% of Americans would prefer to use an online form to sign up for a health plan during open enrollment."
Xerox

Repealing Health Reform: The State-by-State Impact
"[N]ew state-by-state fact sheets on the impact of repealing the [ACA] without replacing it ... show that in 2019, in every state tens of thousands of people would lose health insurance coverage -- and in seven states (California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, and Texas), more than 1 million people would lose it."
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

New Coalition Will Push Back Against ACA Repeal
"The initial goal is to stop Congress from repealing the law without simultaneously passing a replacement for some 20 million people covered through subsidized private health insurance and expanded Medicaid. Called 'Protect Our Care,' the group brings together organizations that helped pass the [ACA] ... [including] the NAACP, liberal advocacy groups like Families USA and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the Service Employees International Union, which represents many health care workers, and the Center for American Progress[.]"
InsuranceNewsNet.com

Benefits in General

DOL Announces New Appointments, Leadership for 2017 ERISA Advisory Council
"The newly appointed members and the expertise they represent are: Employee organizations: Douglas L. Greenfield is a member of the Washington D.C. law firm, Bredhoff & Kaiser, P.L.L.C.... Accounting: Robert A. Lavenberg is a national employee benefit plan audit partner at BDO and has more than 30 years of experience with ERISA.... Employers: Marjorie F. Mann is senior attorney, Florida Power & Light Company.... General public: Colleen E. Medill is the Robert and Joanne Berkshire Family Professor of Law at the University of Nebraska College of Law.... Insurance: Srinivas Dharam Reddy is a senior vice president at Prudential Retirement."
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Trump Names Regulation Foe to Labor Post
"President-elect Donald Trump has named fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder as his secretary of labor.... Puzder is chief executive of CKE Restaurants, parent of the Carl's Jr. and Hardees chains, and a financial supporter of Trump's campaign. The 66-year-old executive is a sharp critic of regulation. He is on record as opposing the [DOL] overtime rule, and it's likely he also would favor killing the fiduciary rule."
InsuranceNewsNet.com

Press Releases

DOL Resolves Lawsuit to Restore $138K Owed to Employee Benefit Plan of Chicago Ophthalmologist Nicholas C. Caro
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2016 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

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