Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 8, 2018

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Publication 5157A: Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)/Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE): Affordable Care Act - Taxpayer Scenarios for 2018 Returns (PDF)

52 pages. "The purpose of the following examples is to give volunteers an opportunity to practice completing forms and worksheets associated with the [ACA] tax provisions. Adequate information is provided to prepare simple tax returns with various health insurance coverage scenarios that you may encounter. Following each scenario are screen shots from the tax preparation software that will allow you to check your work. " [Rev. Oct. 2018]
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employees' Share of Health Costs Continues Rising Faster Than Wages

"Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose five percent to an average $19,616 this year, extending a seven-year run of moderate increases.... On average, workers this year are contributing $5,547 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers paying the rest.... Over time, the increases continue to outpace wages and inflation. Since 2008, average family premiums have increased 55 percent, twice as fast as workers' earnings (26%) and three times as fast as inflation (17%)."
Insurance Journal

Medicare Advantage Plans Shift Their Financial Risk To Doctors

"The 'global risk' model is increasingly used by Medicare plans such as Humana and UnitedHealthcare to shift their financial exposure from costly patients, giving doctors' groups more money upfront and control over patient care."
HealthLeaders Media

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Notice Takes a Bite Out of the Business Expense Deductions for Meals, Entertainment

"[Notice 2018‑76] explained that, under Code Section 274(k), no deduction is allowed for food and beverage expense unless the expense is not lavish or extravagant under the circumstances and the taxpayer or an employee of the taxpayer is present at the furnishing of the food and beverage. If those requirements are satisfied, the amount of the deduction is limited to 50 percent of the amount of the food and beverage expense under Code Section 274(n)(1)."
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Editor's Pick A Broad Explanation of ERISA Fiduciary Insurance (PDF)

15 pages. "[M]ost D&O policies do not protect against ERISA claims due to a common ERISA exclusion.... [E]mployee benefits liability insurance covers claims involving administrative errors that are not treated as breaches of fiduciary duty.... Civil penalties, like audit CAP monetary sanctions, are not covered under a standard fiduciary or employee benefits liability policy.... [E]xisting fiduciary liability insurance coverage [generally] will not cover risks relating to liability related from state law causes of action (that are not preempted), for data breaches as opposed to liability resulting from a breach of an ERISA fiduciary duty relating to a privacy or security breach."
CKR Law

Press Releases

Nelson Mullins Announces Automated Tool for HIPAA Compliance
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Health Plan Trends (PDF)
Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC

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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 2018 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 those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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