Member Value – Broker Updates

Broker Updates

MassAHU is invested in providing our members the most up to date, accurate and broker specific education and practical advice with regard to health care reform and the changing landscape of today’s employee benefits marketplace for our members. The MassAHU chapter of NAHU continues to engage the professional services of Rick Szczebak, Esq. with Parker Brown Macaulay & Sheerin for our members. MassAHU will be posting a summary publication provided by Attorney Szczebak on a monthly basis, which is accessible to members only. Please log in to access these Broker Updates.

2018 

February 2018HRA’s and COBRA – Calculating the COBRA Premium for HRA’s 

“So, HRAs really are health plans subject to COBRA,” you say. But of course, and they always have been.  The issuance of the IRS information letter discussed below seems like a good time to review the HRA/COBRA issue because it frequently crosses my desk.

Last fall the IRS released an “information letter” addressing an employer’s calculation of the COBRA premium charged to a former employee for continued coverage under a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). The former employee received a COBRA notice /election form and the cost of medical plus HRA coverage seemed quite high to him.  This individual wrote his Congressman, who then wrote the IRS seeking clarification. The individual also wanted the IRS to audit the employer’s HRA, but that’s another story.

January 2018 – NEW FOR THE NEW 2018 YEAR – EMAC GUIDANCE AND THE TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT – PLUS ACA REPORTING RELIEF  Health plan related compliance requirements continue for 2018.  The Massachusetts Employer Medical Assistance Contribution Supplement (EMAC Supplement) is now in effect.  This has been on the radar screen since early last year.  In addition, there are changes in the taxation of certain fringe benefits as a result of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed by President Trump late last month.  But there’s still more.  The IRS has announced an extension of the deadline to furnish Forms 1095 (B or C) to covered individuals.

ACA REPORTING RELIEF: FORM 1095 REPORTING TO COVERED INDIVIDUALS IS EXTENDED 30 DAYS – Yes, the IRS has issued an automatic, 30-day extension for applicable large employers (ALEs) to furnish 2017 IRS Form 1095 (B and C) to covered individuals.  Employers are not required to do anything special to receive the extension as the extension is automatic for all ALEs.  As a result, for the 2017 calendar year reporting period, these Forms are now due to individuals on March 2, 2018, rather than January 31, 2018.

Sounds like a good deal, right?  Sort of.

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