Author: Kathleen A. Berger, CEBS

Employers that offer a health plan that covers outpatient prescription drugs must distribute the plan’s Medicare Part D notice before October 15. The notice explains whether the plan’s drug benefits are creditable or noncreditable coverage. It is only required for Medicare-eligible participants, but many employers choose to distribute the notice to all participants regardless of…

The IRS has finalized the forms and instructions that employers will use for 2018 reporting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Applicable large employers (ALEs) will use the following: 2018 Form 1094-C (transmittal to IRS). 2018 Form 1095-C (statement to individual). 2018 Instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C (instructions). Employers that self-fund a minimum essential…

Are you an employer that offers or provides group health coverage to your workers? Does your health plan cover outpatient prescription drugs — either as a medical claim or through a card system? If so, be sure to distribute your plan’s Medicare Part D notice before October 15. Purpose Medicare began offering “Part D” plans…

The Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility provision — often called the employer mandate or “play or pay” — requires large employers to offer health coverage to their full-time employees or face a potential penalty. (Employers with fewer than 50 full-time and full-time-equivalent employees are exempt.) Large employers can avoid the risk of any play…

On August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order directing the Departments of Labor and Treasury to make it easier for employers to offer retirement and savings programs. The majority of workers are employed at small businesses where they are less likely to have access to 401(k) plans and other retirement plans than workers…

On August 3, 2018, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (the Departments) published a Final Rule to expand the availability of short-term medical policies. Called short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI), the policies are marketed to individuals as an alternative to ACA-compliant plans. Currently a short-term policy is limited to…

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated the model notice for employers to use to inform employees about the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). All employers with group health plans are required to distribute a CHIP notice at least once a year to employees living in certain states. There is no need to send…

Employers that self-insured any group health plans in 2017, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), are responsible for determining whether the annual PCORI fee applies to their plan. If so, use Form 720 to calculate, report, and pay the fee by July 31, 2018. PCORI stands for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Federal law imposes a…

On June 19, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Rule regarding Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs are not new, but they have not been widely available in the past and, in some cases, they have not been successful. The Final Rule is designed to make AHPs available to a greater number of…

At this time of year, many employers and benefit advisors begin preparing Form 5500, the annual report required for most employee benefit plans. Form 5500 must be filed with the federal government within seven months after the end of the plan year. For calendar-year plans, that means the plan’s 2017 Form 5500 is due July…