IRS and DOL Issue Guidance on Association Health Plans

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Tue, Sep 18, 2018

    Both the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) have issued new compliance guidance for association health plans (AHPs).

    Check out this month's Benefits Buzz for the latest news and updates in the world of benefits.

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    Tags: ACA, IRS, DOL, Association Health Plans, Department of Labor, Medicare Part D, enrollment, AHP, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ACA provisions

    ACA COMPLIANCE - Affordability Percentages Will Increase for 2019

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Tue, Jun 5, 2018

    On May 21, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2018-34 to index the contribution percentages in 2019 for purposes of determining affordability of an employer’s plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

    For plan years beginning in 2019, employer-sponsored coverage will be considered affordable if the employee’s required contribution for self-only coverage does not exceed:

    • 9.86 percent of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of both the pay or play rules and premium tax credit eligibility and
    • 8.3 percent of the employee’s household income for the year, for purposes of an individual mandate exemption (adjusted under separate guidance).
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    Tags: Health Insurance, Employers, Obamacare, ACA, Employees, ACA Compliance, Affordability Percentages, Percentage Increase

    Trump's Spending Resolution Affects ACA Taxes

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Tue, Feb 6, 2018

    On Jan. 22, 2018, President Donald Trump signed into law a short-term continuing spending resolution to end the government shutdown and continue funding through Feb. 8, 2018. The continuing resolution impacts three taxes and fees under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    Continue reading for more information on the changes taking effect.

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    Tags: Affordable Care Act, ACA, New Legislation, Spending Resolution, Taxes and Fees, Health Coverage, Taxes, ACA Compliance

    IRS Issues Pay or Play Enforcement Guidance

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Tue, Nov 28, 2017

    On Nov. 2, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated its Questions and Answers (Q&As) on the employer shared responsibility rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to include information on enforcement. Specifically, these Q&As include guidance on:

    - How an employer will know that it owes an employer shared responsibility penalty
    - Appealing a penalty assessment
    - Procedures for paying any penalties owed.

    The IRS also maintains a website on understanding Letter 226-J, as well as a sample letter, which will be used to inform employers of their potential penalty liability.

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    Tags: Affordable Care Act, ACA, IRS, Letter 226-J, Internal Revenue Service, Pay or Play Enforcement

    President Trump Signs Executive Order Affecting the ACA

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Tue, Oct 17, 2017

    On Oct. 12, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to change certain rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order would relax regulations on association health plans. This change could allow individuals and small businesses to purchase health insurance policies across state lines and avoid certain ACA requirements.

    The executive order also directs the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (Departments) to consider expanding the availability of low-cost short-term, limited-duration insurance and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).

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    Tags: Affordable Care Act, ACA, Consumer Healthcare, President Trump, Executive Order, Health Care Bulletin, U.S. Health Care System, Consumer Health Care

    House Republicans Pass Amended AHCA

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Fri, May 5, 2017

    On May 4, 2017, members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted 217-213 to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), after it had been amended several times. The AHCA is the proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

    The AHCA needed 216 votes to pass in the House. Ultimately, it passed on a party-line vote, with 217 Republicans and no Democrats voting in favor of the legislation. The AHCA will only need a simple majority vote in the Senate to pass.

    If it passes both the House and the Senate, the AHCA would then go to President Donald Trump to be signed into law.

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    Tags: Health Care, ACA, Health Care Reform, AHCA, American Health Care Act

    Trump Outlines Timescale for Obamacare Replacement

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Tue, Feb 7, 2017

    President Donald Trump said the process for coming up with a replacement for the Affordable Care Act could stretch into 2018, a longer time frame than he previously indicated.

    Trump’s comments came in an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that aired on Sunday during the Super Bowl pregame show. O’Reilly asked the president whether he would introduce a health plan this year to replace Obamacare, which Trump has long vowed to quickly repeal as one of his top priorities.

    “Maybe it’ll take till some time into next year, but we are certainly going to be in the process,” Trump said in the interview. “I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

    Continue reading for more on the possible changes to Obamacare legislation:

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    Tags: Obamacare, Healthcare Legislation, ACA, Trump

    Stay Informed on Reform - Changes in Health Care & the ACA

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Mon, Jan 23, 2017

    First Steps Toward Repeal Taken

    On Jan. 12, the U.S. Senate took the first step toward repealing the ACA by passing a budget resolution by a vote of 51-48. This budget resolution provides direction for how Republicans can start rolling back the ACA. The U.S. House of Representatives then passed the same budget resolution Jan. 13 by a vote of 227-198. The budget resolution is noteworthy because it authorizes the House and Senate to produce legislation, called “budget reconciliation,” that will enable Congress to repeal and replace some parts of the ACA.

    Continue reading for more information on current health care reform.

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    Tags: Health Care, ACA, Health Care Reform

    With GOP repeal initiations underway, brokers anticipate ACA replacement

    Posted by Soules Insurance on Fri, Jan 13, 2017

    Despite action this week to begin repealing the Affordable Care Act, questions remain over whether the Republicans in Congress can both repeal the ACA and replace it with their own alternative by the end of February — without creating a gap in health coverage for Obamacare’s roughly 20 million participants.

    “Having plan and executing on the plan are two very different statements. [President-elect Donald Trump] says he wants to have a plan by the end of February and I think the assumption is what the timetable of the rollout will be to get that done,” says Perry Braun, executive director of Benefit Advisors Network.

    The Republican-led U.S. Senate took its first steps to repealing the ACA by voting to remove funding from the health insurance law. The vote — 51 to 48 — was mostly along party lines. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted against the measure due to concerns that Republicans have not settled on a plan to replace the ACA. (Democratic Senator Barbara Feinstein (Calf.) did not vote as she was recovering from surgery.)

    The House of Representatives will vote on the measure today.

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    Tags: Obamacare, ACA, Healthcare-related Legislation