Home > Benefits Blog > News

2018 APEX award for Operational Efficiency and Excellence from Alegeus leadership

(comments: 0)
Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, COBRA,

American Benefits Group (ABG) of Northampton MA, a leading national benefits service and solution provider in the health benefits industry has been recognized by healthcare benefits payments giant Alegeus as the 2018 APEX Award winner for Operational Efficiency and Excellence. The award was presented at the Alegeus National Conference on May 16th in Orlando Florida.

Read more >

HSA Family Maximum Contribution for 2018 to Remain at $6,900

(comments: 0)
Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Savings, HSA,

On April 26, 2018, the IRS announced (through Rev. Proc. 2018-27) that the 2018 HSA maximum family contribution is reverting back to the original $6,900. As reported in March the IRS had previously announced a decreased limit of $6,850 (Rev. Proc. 2018-18).

In restating the original limit of $6,900, the IRS shared many reasons for the decision, including taxpayer complaints that the $50 limit reduction imposed “numerous unanticipated administrative and financial burdens” for those that had already maxed out their contributions before the reduction was announced, and administrators who had to modify their systems to reflect the reduction. Most interestingly, some stakeholders had pointed out the fact that Section 223 of the IRC requires the IRS to publish the annual inflation adjustments by June 1 of the preceding calendar year.

As a result of the new announcement, HSA eligible individuals with family coverage may now contribute up to $6,900 for 2018. Employers wanting to take advantage of the increased limit will need to make the appropriate adjustments in their payroll and benefits administration systems, if they had previously change the systems to reflect the $6,850 limit.

A further complication comes with the new announcement: Some employees had already maxed out the $6,900 before the March 5, 2018, reduction announcement. To help the employees avoid the 6 percent excise penalty tax for excess contributions, the employers already completed the corrective action of distributing the excess $50. Now, with the limit back at $6,900, that $50 is no longer considered an excess contribution. If the $50 was associated with employer contributions or employee pretax contributions, it would now be considered a nonqualified distribution, subject to a 20 percent excise penalty tax (plus income tax). To avoid the tax, the employees will need to work with the employer and HSA bank/trustee to repay the $50 to the HSA. The repayment will need to take place by April 15, 2019. Again, this last complication only applies to those employees who maxed out their contribution prior to March 5, 2018, due to employer or employee pretax contributions and whose employers had already refunded the excess $50 to them. 

Rev. Proc. 2018-27 »

IRS Announces Change to 2018 Family HSA Contribution Limit

(comments: 0)
Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, HSA, IRS,

On March 5, 2018, the IRS released Rev. Proc. 2018-18 (as part of Bulletin 2018-10). Due to changes made in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (2017 tax reform), certain adjustments needed to be made to inflation amounts. One of those adjustments is to the annual family contribution for HSA's in 2018. The family max contribution is decreased from $6,900 to $6,850. The single contribution limit remains unchanged at $3,450.

Read more >

ABG Recognized as 2015 Customer Service Champion with Alegeus Apex Award

(comments: 0)
Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, COBRA,

American Benefits Group of Northampton, MA has been recognized as the 2015 Customer Service Champion by healthcare consumerism market leader Alegeus Technologies. The award was presented to ABG management on May 8th at the national Alegeus Client Conference in San Diego.

Read more >

Clarification by Treasury and IRS Relaxes Election Change Rules

(comments: 0)
Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Care Reform, HHS, IRS, PPACA, Section 125 Plans,

So employers and employees can take advantage of the health insurance Exchanges starting January 1, 2014, regulators issued some exceptions to the permitted election changes rule for cafeteria plans.

Read more >

Consumer Engagement Is The New Healthcare Reality


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, PPACA, Section 125 Plans,

Every so often it seems another round of surveys is released demonstrating the strong, continual growth of the consumer-directed health care (CDHC) market and the accompanying behavioral shift in how Americans approach buying health care. This month has

Read more >

Important Information Regarding the PPACA Summary of Benefits and Coverage Requirement


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, DOL, ERISA, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, HRA, HSA, IRS, PPACA,

Group health plans, which include HRAs, MERPs, and non-excepted FSAs, must provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) for all eligible plans to all eligible individuals, participants and beneficiaries.

Read more >

IRS Releases Guidance Concerning the 2013 FSA Contribution Limit


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, IRS, PPACA, Section 125 Plans, Taxes,

The IRS has released Notice 2012-40 which provides guidance on the effective date of the $2,500 contribution limit to health flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) under IRS Code Section 125(i) and on the deadline for amending plans to comply with the limit. The notice also provides relief for contributions that mistakenly exceed the $2,500 limit provided they are corrected in a timely manner.

Read more >

Court Finds Employer Met ERISA's Voluntary Plan Safe Harbor, Despite Payment of Premiums Through Cafeteria Plan


Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, DOL, ERISA, Section 125 Plans,

Voluntary benefits that are sold directly to employees may be subject to ERISA as employer-sponsored plans, or may be exempt under the voluntary plan safe harbor, which allows for only minimal involvement by the employer. The plaintiff in this case purchased a short-term disability policy after seeing a presentation by the insurer at his workplace.

Read more >

Are You Really Saving Money By Self Administering Your HRA?


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, COBRA, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, HIPAA, HRA, Medicare, Taxes,

Posted by RENEE KUHS, Compliance Attorney

Do you think you’re saving money by administering your health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)?  In our experience, many employers that self-administer an HRA often overlook important compliance obligations that put them at financial risk.  Failure to comply with the following requirements is common and can be costly.

Read more >

IRS Issues 2011 Version of Publication 969 on HSAs, HRAs, Health FSAs and MSAs


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, IIAS, IRS, Section 125 Plans, Taxes,

Publication 969 has been updated for use in preparing 2011 tax returns. This publication provides basic information about HSAs, HRAs, health FSAs, Archer MSAs and Medicare Advantage MSAs, including brief descriptions of benefits, eligibility requirements, contribution limits and distribution issues.

Read more >

HSA Contributions Changes and the Last Month Rule


Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Savings, HSA, Taxes,

Q. How much can an individual contribute if she’s HSA eligible all year but changes from self-only to family coverage after her May 18, 2011, wedding?

A. This individual can take one of two approaches.

Read more >

New Guidance on Group Health Insurance Coverage Informational Reporting


Category: Cafeteria Plans, CDHC, COBRA, Compliance and Regulatory, Flexible Spending, FSA, Health Care Reform, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HRA, HSA, IIAS, IRS, PPACA, Section 125 Plans, State Legislation, Taxes,

The IRS has issued new guidance to clarify how employers and benefit plan administrators will need to meet Form W2 health benefit cost reporting requirements, including the treatment of FSAs, HRAs, EAPs and wellness programs, and supplemental coverage.

Read more >

May owners of an LLC (usually called "LLC members") participate in the LLC's medical or cafeteria plan and receive employer HSA contributions?


Category: Cafeteria Plans, Compliance and Regulatory, Health Reimbursement, Health Savings, HSA, IRS, Section 125 Plans, Taxes,

A limited liability company’s (LLC’s) health plans may create special issues with respect to LLC member participation. This is because LLCs may be treated as either a partnership or a corporation (depending on how the LLC has elected to be treated), and for tax purposes the IRC treats partnerships and corporations differently. No IRS guidance specifically addresses the status of LLC members for purposes of health plan participation, including participation in a medical or cafeteria plan.

Read more >