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Retirement Plan Administrator
Steidle Pension Solutions, LLC
in NJ

Retirement Plan Administrator
Bronfman Rothschild
in MN, WI

Retirement Plan Documents Consultant
Alliance Benefit Group of Houston, Inc.
in TX

Benefit Plan Reporting Specialist
Plante Moran
in MI

401(k) Operations Manager
Nadler Financial Group, Inc.
in IL

Executive Director
North Dakota Public Employees' Retirement System
in ND

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 14765: Employee Premium Tax Credit (PTC) Listing (PDF)
April 2017; pub. Nov. 17, 2017. A list of the ALE member's assessable full-time employees for the year in question, to be included with IRS Letter 226J, Preliminary Calculation of the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment.
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Online Learning Course: COBRA

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Even with ACA coverage easier for individuals to obtain, group health plans must continue to offer COBRA coverage. This course explains technicalities of COBRA, including who is entitled and how to administer.

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Form 14764: ESRP Response (PDF)
April 2017; pub. Nov. 17, 2017. Form to be used for employer response to IRS Letter 226J, Preliminary Calculation of the Employer Shared Responsibility Payment. [Benefitslink note: This is a fillable PDF form, which may not display properly in your web browser. If your browser displays a page so stating, right-click on the link and select "save"; you should then be able to open it with the latest version of the free Adobe Reader application.]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases Guidance on QSEHRAs
"The IRS recently released almost 60 pages of guidance on Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) ... [IRS Notice 2017-67 covers] topics such as who is an eligible employer, substantiation requirements, and the notice requirement. The Notice underscores the complexity associated with operating a QSEHRA and some traps for the unwary."
HUB International

[Guidance Overview]

ACA Section 1557 Notice and Taglines Required to Tagalong on Other Documents
"Employers who are subject to the ACA Section 1557 notice and language taglines requirement should make sure to provide the notice and language taglines any time they provide the [HIPAA[ Privacy Notice or an SBC. Typically all three items are included with enrollment materials, but given the specific guidance on providing an addendum to the SBC, affected employers should consider providing the notice and language taglines as an addendum to the SBC in addition to providing it separately with other communications."
HUB International

[Guidance Overview]

Coal in Your Christmas Stocking? The Pay or Play Penalty Assessment
"[T]he IRS only intends to send a Letter 226J to ALEs on behalf of full-time employees who received a premium tax credit, and for which the ALE did not report either an affordability safe harbor (or other form of relief) in all boxes in row 16 of the employee's 2015 Form 1095-C. In other words, if none of an ALE's 2015 Forms 1095-C contained any blanks in row 16, the ALE should not expect to receive a Letter 226J."
Miller Johnson


Sponsored by

For over 20 years, we've helped employers find the best-informed candidates to fill their benefits job openings -- learn more!

IRS Updates Q&A Guidance to Address ACA Employer Mandate Penalties
"The updated Q&As describe notification procedures for the employer mandate penalty and how to dispute or pay the penalty. The IRS has yet to assess any penalties for noncompliance, but the process is expected to begin by year-end. Employers should be prepared to respond upon being notified of a potential employer mandate penalty."
Willis Towers Watson

The Employer Penalty, Voluntary Compliance, and the Size Distribution of Firms: Evidence from a Survey of Small Businesses
"A new survey of 745 small businesses shows little change in the size distribution of businesses between 2012 and 2016, except among businesses with 40-74 employees, in a way that is closely related to whether they offer health insurance coverage.... Between 28,000 and 50,000 businesses nationwide appear to be reducing their number of full-time-equivalent employees to below 50 because of that mandate. This translates to roughly 250,000 positions eliminated from those businesses."
National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]

2018 Medicare Parts A and B Premiums and Deductibles
"The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $134 for 2018, the same amount as in 2017.... CMS estimates that the Medicare Advantage average monthly premium will decrease by $1.91 (about 6 percent) in 2018, from an average of $31.91 in 2017 to $30. More than three-fourths (77 percent) of Medicare Advantage enrollees remaining in their current plan will have the same or lower premium for 2018."
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Insurer Participation in the 2018 Individual Marketplace (PPT)
6 slides. "48% of exchange enrollees have a choice of three or more insurers in 2018, down from 58% in 2017 and 85% in 2016.... 1,623 counties have only one exchange insurer in 2018 compared to 1,036 counties in 2017 ... 52% of counties will have one exchange insurer in 2018, compared to 33% of counties with one exchange insurer in 2017."
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Obamacare Insurers Rack Up $12.3 Billion in Losses from Risk Program
"Some $27 million collected under the [ACA] risk corridors program in 2016 will be used to continue paying back claims from 2014 ... 2016 claims, less payments attributed to profitable insurers, totaled about $3.5 billion for 2016 in the individual market, and $469.7 million in the small group market."
Bloomberg BNA

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Proposed Tax Reform Bills of Senate and House Now Aligned on Key Compensation and Benefits-Related Tax Provisions
"[B]oth the House and Senate proposals leave the current law regarding the taxation of stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs) largely intact, stepping away from the initial proposals to tax such awards at vesting.... The proposed amendments would eliminate a publicly traded company's ability to deduct compensation above $1 million that it pays in any year to any covered employees... [W]ith the proposed 20 percent corporate tax rate, the lost tax deduction will be smaller than under current law."
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Section 162(m) FAQs Under the House and Senate Tax Bills
"What big changes are in store for Section 162(m) in the current tax bills? ... What performance-based awards are affected? ... When would the changes kick in? ... How would the changes affect old awards and deferrals that result in compensation in future years? ... Should a company accelerate payouts of 2017 annual incentive, to pay before year end?"
Steven Hall & Partners

on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Reliance on Technical Release 2011-03R for Delivery of Disclosures
Is anyone relying on Technical Release 2011-03R to deliver annual fee disclosures or any other disclosures? I don't see any advantage to using that release over the safe harbor in the regulations that covers consent to electronic delivery. Are there any?
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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2017, 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, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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