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HR News Alert
Brought to you by Premier Insurance Corp

May 2016 Issue

Anchor2017 HSA Contribution Limits and Minimum Deductibles

TheIRS has released the2017 inflation adjusted amountsfor health savings accounts (HSAs). To be eligibleto makeHSA contributions, an individual must be covered under a high deductible health plan (HDHP) and meet certain othereligibility requirements.

High Deductible Health Plan Coverage
An HDHP has a higher annual deductible than typical health plans and a maximum limit on the sum of the annual deductible and other out-of-pocket expenses. For 2017, the minimum annual deductible is$1,300 for self-only coverageor$2,600 for family coverage. Annual out-of-pocket expenses (deductibles, co-payments, and other amounts, but not premiums) may not exceed$6,550 for self-only coverageor$13,100 for family coverage.

Annual HSA Contribution Limitation
An eligible employee, his or her employer, or both may contribute to the employee's HSA. For calendar year 2017, the annual limitation on HSA deductions for an individual with self-only HDHP coverage is$3,400. For an individual with family coverage under an HDHP, the annual limitation on HSA deductions is$6,750. The limit is increased by $1,000 for eligible individualsage 55 or older at the end of the tax year.

You can learn more about HSAs in our section onHealth Savings Accounts.

AnchorUpcoming Deadlines for Employers to File ACA Information Returns With the IRS

Employers subject to the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) information reporting requirements are reminded that the deadlines for filing the first ACA information returns with the IRS for the 2015 calendar yearare quickly approaching. The due dates are as follows:

  • Applicable large employers (ALEs)--generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents--must file Forms1094-Cand1095-Cwith the IRSno later thanMay 31, 2016(or June 30, 2016, if filing electronically).
  • Self-insuring employers that are not considered ALEs, and other parties that provide minimum essential health coverage, must file Forms1094-Band1095-Bwith the IRSno later thanMay 31, 2016(or June 30, 2016, if filing electronically).

The ACA information returns are used to report certain information to the IRS about the health care coverage offered to employees and other covered individuals (as applicable). Affected employers were also required to furnish employee/individual statements, on or before March 31, 2016, that included the same information provided to the IRS.

Be sure to review ourInformation Reportingsection for more information, guidance, and Q&As.

AnchorUpdated FMLA Poster Now Available

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released anupdated versionof the "Employee Rights Under the Family and Medical Leave Act" poster (often referred to as the "General FMLA Notice"), along with anew guideto help employers comply with the law. Employers may useeitherthe new April 2016 version of the posterorthe prior February 2013 version of the poster to fulfill their FMLA posting requirements.

Background
The federal FMLA provides eligible employees of covered employers (including private sector employers who employ50 or more employeesfor at least 20 workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year) with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The law also includes certain family military leave entitlements. Employers are required to maintain group health insurance coverage for an employee on FMLA leave on the same terms as if the employee continued to work.

Updated FMLA Poster
Every employer covered by the FMLA is required to display a poster prepared by the DOL which summarizes the major provisions of the law. The poster must be displayedin a conspicuous place where employees and applicants can see it, even if there are no employees eligible for FMLA leave. AnApril 2016 versionof the required FMLA posteris now available for employers; however,the February 2013 version of the FMLA poster is still valid and can be used to fulfill the posting requirement.

If a covered employer has any eligible employees, itmust alsoprovide the general notice to each employee by including it in employee handbooks or other written guidance concerning employee benefits or leave rights, if such written materials exist (otherwise, the employer may distribute a copy of the general notice to each new employee upon hire).

New Employer's Guide
A newemployer's guidewas also released, which is designed to provide information about employers' obligations under the law and their optionsin administering FMLA leave.The guide contains resources such as charts, examples, and citations for further information.

Our section on theFamily and Medical Leave Actincludes additional FMLA forms and notices for use by employers.

Anchor3 Things for Employers to Know About Vacation Leave

With summer just around the corner, now is a great time to review existing vacation leave policies. Here are three things employers need to know about vacation leave:

  1. Vacation leave is not required under federal law.While vacation days are a common employer-provided benefit, federal law generallydoes not requireeither time off or pay for vacation.However, if an employer decides to offer vacation leave to its employees, the policy should be applied fairly and uniformly.
  2. State laws may apply to pay in lieu of earned vacation.In addition to allowing employees annual time off for vacation, employers also commonly provide pay in lieu of vacation time that employees have earned.A number of states require employers to pay employees for unused accrued vacation upon termination. Contact yourstate labor departmentfor guidance on your state's laws regarding vacation pay.
  3. Vacation policies should be in writing and communicated to employees.It is very important for employers to develop a clear, written policy regarding paid vacation leave and follow itexactly. Non-written leave policies can lead to inconsistency and complaints from confused employees, as well as claims of discrimination. At a minimum, the policy should include:
  • The categories of employees who are eligible to accrue and use paid vacation leave;
  • The amount of paid vacation leave provided each year and how leave is earned;
  • Whether paid vacation leave can be carried over from year to year; and
  • Whether employees will be paid for unused vacation leave upon termination of employment (in compliance with any state law requirements).

Check out our section onLeave and Time Offto learn more about federal and state-mandated leave requirements, as well as common types of employer-provided voluntary time off.

AnchorNew Versions of SBC Template and Related Documents Finalized

Federal agencies have finalized new versions of thesummary of benefits and coverage (SBC) template, instructions, uniform glossary, and related documents, which are authorized for useon or after April 1, 2017. Under the Affordable Care Act, group health plans and health insurance issuers are generally required to provide a written SBC to plan participants and beneficiaries at specified times during the enrollment process and upon request.

Changesto SBC Template
The new SBC template includes an additional coverage example as well as language and terms to improve individuals' understanding of their health coverage. Specifically, the new template includes more information about cost-sharing, such as enhanced language to explain deductibles, and requires plans to address individual and overall out-of-pocket limits. Changes have also been made to the SBC to improve readability.

Date for Using Updated Template and Related Documents
The implementation date for using the new SBC template and associated materials will be as follows:

  • Health plans and issuers thatmaintain an annual open enrollment periodwill be required to use the new editions beginning onthe first day of the first open enrollment period that beginson or after April 1, 2017with respect to coverage for plan years beginning on or after that date.
  • Health plans and issuers thatdo not use an annual open enrollment periodwill be required to use the new editions beginning onthe first day of the first plan year that beginson or after April 1, 2017.

Additional information can be found in ourSummary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)section.

Newsletter provided by:

Premier Insurance Corp
1326 Cape Coral Parkway, Cape Coral, FL 33904
239-542-7101

Please Note: The information and materials herein are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or other advice or opinions on any specific matters and are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified attorney, plan provider or other professional advisor. This information has been taken from sources which we believe to be reliable, but there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. In accordance with IRS Circular 230, this communication is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used as or considered a 'covered opinion' or other written tax advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose other than its intended purpose.

The information provided herein is intended solely for the use of our clients and members. You may not display, reproduce, copy, modify, license, sell or disseminate in any manner any information included herein, without the express permission of the Publisher. Kindly read our Terms of Use and respect our Copyright.

© 2016 HR 360, Inc. - All rights reserved

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