IRS Issues Letter 5699 To Noncompliant Employers

IRS Issues Letter 5699 To Noncompliant Employers

The Internal Revenue Service has been sending Letter 5699 to employers that have not complied with their ACA reporting requirements under Internal Revenue Code Section 6056 for the 2015 calendar year.

Letter 5699, Request for Employer Reporting of Offers of Health Insurance Coverage (Forms 1094-C and 1095-C), requests missing information from applicable large employers (ALEs) that were required to report under Section 6056, but failed to file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C with the IRS. The IRS identifies potentially noncompliant ALEs based on their Form W-2 total employee count reported for the 2015 calendar year.

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Affordability Percentages Will Increase For 2019

Affordability Percentages Will Increase For 2019

On May 21, 2018, the 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. These updated affordability percentages are effective for taxable years and plan years beginning Jan. 1, 2019. This is a significant increase from the affordability contribution percentages for 2018. As a result, some employers may have additional flexibility with respect to their employee contributions for 2019 to meet the adjusted percentage.

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Furnishing Deadline Delayed for 2017 ACA Reporting

Furnishing Deadline Delayed for 2017 ACA Reporting

On Dec. 22, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2018-06 to:

Extend the due date for furnishing forms under Sections 6055 and 6056 for 2017 for 30 days, from Jan. 31, 2018, to March 2, 2018; and
Extend good-faith transition relief from penalties related to 2017 information reporting under Sections 6055 and 6056.

Notice 2018-06 does not extend the due date for filing forms with the IRS for 2017. The due date for filing with the IRS under Sections 6055 and 6056 remains Feb. 28, 2018 (April 2, 2018, if filing electronically)

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Individual Mandate Penalty Will Be Eliminated in 2019

Individual Mandate Penalty Will Be Eliminated in 2019

On Dec. 20, 2017, the tax reform bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is expected to be signed into law by President Donald Trump shortly.

This tax reform bill makes significant changes to the federal tax code. The bill does not impact the majority of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) tax provisions. However, it does reduce the ACA’s individual shared responsibility (or individual mandate) penalty to zero, effective beginning in 2019.

As a result, beginning in 2019, individuals will no longer be penalized for failing to obtain […] Read more

2018 Compliance Checklist

2018 Compliance Checklist

The ACA has made a number of significant changes to group health plans since the law was enacted in 2010. Certain changes to some ACA requirements take effect in 2018 for employers sponsoring group health plans, such as increased dollar limits. To prepare for 2018, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy.

This ACA Overview provides an ACA compliance checklist for 2018. Please contact Cornerstone Group for assistance or if you have questions about changes that were required in previous years.

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New Regulations Expand Exemptions From The Contraceptive Mandate

New Regulations Expand Exemptions From The Contraceptive Mandate

On Oct. 6, 2017, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (Departments) issued two interim final rules expanding certain exemptions from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage mandate.

The first interim final rule expands the availability of the exemption for employers that object to providing contraceptive coverage based on their religious beliefs.
The second interim final rule provides an additional exemption for certain employers that object to providing contraceptive coverage based on their moral convictions (but not religious beliefs).

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Republicans Release Tax Reform Plan

Republicans Release Tax Reform Plan

On Sept. 27, 2017, the Trump administration—in conjunction with Republican Congressional leadership—released a tax reform plan designed to make significant changes to the federal tax code. This plan is intended to serve as a template for the Congressional tax writing committees that will develop tax reform legislation.

This tax reform plan was collectively developed by the Trump administration, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, and the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance. It includes only broad policy directives, with the expectation that Congress will provide more detail when drafting its tax reform legislation.

The tax reform plan would make […] Read more

Comparison of the AHCA and the BCRA

Comparison of the AHCA and the BCRA

On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its proposed bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), called the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Then, on June 22, 2017, Republicans in the U.S. Senate released a discussion draft of their proposal, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). On July 3, 2017, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a comparison report of the House’s AHCA and the Senate’s BCRA.

This ACA Overview includes the CRS report, which contains tables that, together, provide an overview of AHCA and BCRA provisions, as compared to current law under the […] Read more

How Michigan Is Fighting Opioid Abuse

How Michigan Is Fighting Opioid Abuse

The opioid epidemic–a key focal point of health care reform negotiations in Washington—resulted in 22,000 deaths nationally in 2015 alone, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “prescription opioids continue to be involved in more overdose deaths than any other drug.”

The opioid epidemic is a serious threat.  Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, however, has made remarkable progress toward reducing the impact of prescription opioids in the state.

At a recent benefits-related seminar conducted by Cornerstone Group, BCBSM Manager of Pharmacy Sales Michael Simeoni revealed that, since 2010, BCBSM has succeeded in:

Reducing the number of opioid pills dispensed […] Read more