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 RAS Law, P.C. 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.


July 2018 The Grand Bargain
Two ballot initiatives were slated to be voted on by MA voters in this November’s election; one a family and medical leave initiative and the other an increase in the MA minimum wage.  Rather than wait for the November election results, Governor Baker, the MA legislature and the business community took control of the process and agreed to legislation known as “the Grand Bargain,” signed by Governor Baker on June 28, 2018.


June 2018EMAC Q2 Wages Due July 1 and Amendments to EMAC Supplement in the Current 2018 State Budget Bill are Under Consideration
Many of your clients are still grappling with Q1 EMAC Supplement issues. They have a few more days — until June 30, 2018 – to submit EMAC Employee Information Forms requesting a MassHealth or Health Connector eligibility redetermination for their listed employees to make certain related EMAC Supplement charges for Q1 are correct.

There’s something that may cause some consternation — more than $130 million of the $200 million in EMAC Supplement tax for 2018 has already been collected in Q1 alone (hat tip to AIM for reporting this figure).

May 2018 – Shifting Gears on Appeals of the Big EMAC Attack
By now you may be hearing from clients that their EMAC Supplement appeal request – filed with the DUA within 15 days of receiving their 1st quarter EMAC Supplement assessment — has been summarily denied.  This is less than desirable news for employers with significant EMAC Supplement liabilities.  “So now what?”, your client asks.  Read on for the answer

April 2018 Edition #2 – Appealing DUA EMAC Supplement Determinations – What Your Clients Need to Know

So now the EMAC attack has been let out of the bag and has arrived at employers of six or more near you; likely some are your clients.  I just received a call for EMAC Supplement assistance from a CFO just returning from a very nice vacation only to find the EMAC assessment on his desk waiting for him.  Welcome back.

April 2018 Edition #1 – The New MA Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) – It’s No April Fools

The questions have started coming into the office: “My client is asking about some new pregnancy discrimination law in MA.  I haven’t heard anything.  Do you know what they are talking about?”  Yes, I do and now you will too.

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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