Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Monthly Archives: March, 2016

  • Top 5 Health Care Reform FAQs

    Common Questions and Answers for Employers and Group Health Plans

    This week marks the six-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While much of the law is now in effect, questions remain about many of its requirements. Here’s a look at five of the most common questions and answers surrounding the law:

    Are all employers required to provide health insurance to full-time employees?
    Under the ACA, small employers–generally those with fewer than 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalents–are not penalized for choosing not to offer coverage to any employee. Large employers subject to “pay or play” may be liable for a penalty tax if they do not offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to full-time employees (and their dependents).

    Do employers need to offer the same coverage to all employees?
    Similarly situated individuals must be treated equally. Distinctions among groups of similarly situated employees may be permitted if they are based on bona-fide employment-based classifications consistent with the employer’s usual business practice–for example, full and part-time employees.

    Insured group health plans are not required to comply with certain rules prohibiting discrimination in favor of highly compensated individuals, currently applicable to self-insured plans, until after regulations or other administrative guidance is issued. Health benefits offered as part of a cafeteria plan remain subject to the nondiscrimination requirements of Section 125, and additional testing may apply depending on the types of benefits offered under the plan.

    Will an employer be liable for a “pay or play” penalty if one of its employees purchases health insurance through a Marketplace?
    A large employer will only be liable for a penalty if at least one full-time employee receives a premium tax credit. In general, an employee will not be eligible for a premium tax credit if the employer has offered the employee health coverage that is affordable and that provides minimum value, even if the employee rejects the offer of coverage and instead enrolls in coverage through a Marketplace.

    Can employers reimburse employees for premiums paid for individual health insurance policies?
    No. An “employer payment plan” is defined as an arrangement under which an employer reimburses an employee for some or all of the premium expenses incurred for an individual health insurance policy, or an arrangement under which the employer uses its funds to directly pay the premium for an individual health insurance policy covering the employee. Pursuant to agency guidance, employer payment plans are generally considered group health plans that do not comply with certain ACA market reforms, and therefore may be subject to a $100 per day excise tax per applicable employee under the federal tax code.

    How does the law impact tax-favored accounts such as HSAs, HRAs, and health FSAs?
    The ACA prohibits tax-favored distributions from health savings accounts (HSAs) to reimburse the cost of over-the-counter medicines or drugs that are not prescribed, except for insulin. A similar rule applies to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) and health flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

    HRAs must be “integrated” with other group health plan coverage in order to satisfy certain ACA requirements, and may no longer be used for an employee’s individual insurance policy premiums.

    A health FSA must qualify as an excepted benefit and be offered through a cafeteria plan to comply with the law. In addition, the ACA requires that salary reduction contributions to health FSAs be limited to $2,500 annually, indexed for inflation (for taxable years beginning in 2016, the limit is $2,550).

    Visit our Health Care Reform section for answers to other frequently asked questions and additional guidelines and tools to help companies with compliance.

    Info provided by

    Read more
  • Online Tax Tools and Resources for Small Businesses

    With tax season underway, now is a great time to check out the IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, a convenient way for small employers to find answers to tax questions, educational materials, and other tools to help run their businesses.

    Among the information and resources available on the website are:

    • Small business forms and publications;
    • Online applications for an employer identification number (EIN);
    • Employment tax information–including federal income tax, Social Security and Medicare taxes, FUTA, and self-employment tax;
    • Tax-related news that could affect small businesses;
    • Small business educational events;
    • IRS videos for small businesses; and
    • The A-Z Index for Business.

    Other resources available on the IRS website include a virtual small business tax workshop for learning about federal tax obligations, and a 12-month tax calendar for small business taxpayers with information on general business taxes, electronic filing and paying options, retirement plans, business publications and forms, and common tax filing dates.

    Our section on Employer Tax Laws provides additional information on an employer’s tax responsibilities.

    Read more
  • White Paper: Do your employees have questions on the 1095 form they are receiving in the mail?

    Do your employees have questions on the 1095 form they are receiving in the mail?  The attached white paper may assist employees in understanding the form and explain why they are receiving a 1095.


    Feel free to contact me with any questions.

    Read more
  • Employers Should Be Aware of Rules Concerning Workplace Posters

    Even if your company has only a few employees, a number of federal and state laws require you to display labor posters in your workplace that include information about relevant employment laws. Employers should be mindful of the following mistakes concerning workplace posters.

    Mistake #1: Posting the Wrong Posters
    A good place to start your poster inspection is with the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) online Poster Advisor, an interactive tool that can be used to determine the poster requirements of several federal laws administered by the DOL. Be sure to check with your state labor office for state-specific poster requirements, as well as any industry-specific requirements that may apply to your business.


    Mistake #2: Posting Outdated Posters
    Workplace posters are updated from time to time-for example, to reflect changes in the law-so make it a regular practice to check whether the posters displayed in your workplace are the most recent versions available.


    Mistake #3: Posting the Wrong-Sized Poster
    A workplace poster isn’t useful unless it can be easily read by your employees. Many of the agency links to required workplace posters contain specific information regarding a poster’s size. If you have any questions regarding the required size of a poster, contact the DOL or the applicable state agency.


    Mistake #4: Hanging Posters in the Wrong Place
    Workplace posters must generally be displayed in a prominent location where all employees can see them, but some posters may have special location requirements. For example, covered employers must post the federal Family and Medical Leave Act poster in a conspicuous place where both employees and applicantsfor employment can see it. Check for specific requirements for the posters you must display, and choose each poster’s placement carefully.

    Information regarding the federal requirements and links to downloadable posters are featured in our Federal Poster Requirements section. For state-specific posters, visit our State Laws section, select your state, and click on ‘Posters’ in the left-hand navigation menu.


    HR News Alerts provided by:

    Team Nash
    2005 E 2700 St, Suite 140, Salt Lake City, UT, 84109

    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.

    © 2016 HR 360, Inc. – All rights reserved

    Read more
  • Charges of Discrimination Based on Disability Increase

    Retaliation, race discrimination, and disability discrimination were the most commonly filed complaints with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) during fiscal year 2015. While retaliation remains at the top of the list, disability charges increased by 6% from last year. In total, the agency received 89,385 private sector workplace discrimination complaints.

    The laws enforced by the EEOC make it illegal for covered employers to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, or genetic information.

    New Employment Discrimination Guidance  
    The EEOC has issued two new sets of guidance concerning discrimination in the workplace. The first set of guidance explains responsibilities concerning the employment of individuals who are (or are perceived to be) Muslim or Middle Eastern, including information on background checks, hiring and other employment decisions, harassment, and religious accommodations.

    separate set of guidance addresses the rights of employees with HIV/AIDS when it comes to several workplace situations, including whether an employee is allowed to keep his or her condition private, the right to a reasonable accommodation if an employee’s condition could affect his or her job performance, and whether an employee could get fired if the employer knows that he or she has HIV/AIDS.

    More information about the EEOC laws is featured in our section on Discrimination.


    Information provided by

    Read more
  • ACA Information Reporting Reminder: First Employee Statements Due by End of March

    As a reminder, employers subject to the new Affordable Care Act (ACA) information reporting requirements must furnish the first statements for the 2015 calendar year to employees on or before March 31, 2016.

    Information Reporting Requirements 
    The ACA requires applicable large employers (ALEs)–generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents–to report information to the IRS and to their employees about their compliance with the “pay or play” provisions and the health care coverage they have offered, using Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

    Self-insuring employers that are not considered ALEs, and other parties that provide minimum essential health coverage, also must report information on this coverage to the IRS and to covered individuals, using Forms 1094-B and 1095-B.

    Compliance Deadlines
    The deadlines for calendar year 2015 are as follows:

    • ALEs must furnish employee statements (Form 1095-C) to employees no later than March 31, 2016. The first IRS information returns (Forms 1094-C and 1095-C) must be filed no later than May 31, 2016 (or June 30, 2016 if filing electronically).
      • ALEs with fully insured plans must furnish the Form 1095-C to each employee who was a full-time employee for any month of the calendar year (and who was not in a limited non-penalty period).
      • ALEs with self-insured plans must furnish the Form 1095-C to any employee who enrolls in the health coverage, whether or not the employee was a full-time employee for any month of the calendar year.
    • Small self-insuring employers that are not considered ALEs must furnish statements (Form 1095-B) to covered individuals no later than March 31, 2016. The first IRS information returns (Forms 1094-B and 1095-B) must be filed no later than May 31, 2016 (or June 30, 2016 if filing electronically).

    Be sure to review our Information Reporting section for additional information, guidance, and Q&As.

    Information provided by


    Read more