Legal Alert – IRS Adjusts HSA Contribution Limit, Provides Transition Relief for Certain Non – Compliant HDHPs

In Rev. Proc. 2018-18, the IRS has released adjusted contribution limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) due to changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).  As shown below, the new HSA contribution limit for individuals with family high deductible health plan (HDHP) coverage is $6,850, a $50 reduction from the previously announced inflation-adjusted amount for 2018. Other HSA/HDHPfigures remain unchanged.

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Legal Alert – Agencies Release Proposed Regulations on Short -Term Limited Duration Insurance

On February 20, 2018, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (Agencies) released proposed regulations that expand the availability of short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI). STLDI is offered in the individual (non-group) insurance market and is generally used by individuals such as students or individuals between jobs. Therefore, the direct impact to employers is limited; however, there is some concern that this rule may disrupt the individual and small group markets and is seen by some as a further step by the Trump administration to erode Obama-era regulations.

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Legal Alert – Short-Term Spending Bill Delays Cadillac Tax

On January 22, 2018, President Trump signed the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act 2018, a short-term spending bill that:

  • Re-opened the federal government after a three-day shut-down;
  • Extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, through fiscal year 2023;
  • Extends the existing suspensions of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) medical device excise tax through 2019 and the tax on high cost employer-sponsored health coverage (the “Cadillac Tax”) through 2021; and
  • Suspends the annual fee on health insurance providers for 2019.

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Legal Alert – DOL Announces April 1 Applicability of Final Disability Plan Claims Procedure Regulations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its decision for April 1, 2018, as the applicability date for ERISA-covered employee benefit plans to comply with a final rule (released in December 2016) that imposes additional procedural protections (similar to those that apply to health plans) when dealing with claims for disability benefits. In October 2017, the DOL had announced a 90-day delay of the final rule, which was scheduled to apply to claims for disability benefits under ERISA-covered benefit plans that were filed on or after January 1, 2018.

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Legal Alert – Employee Benefit Changes in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed what is popularly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1) (the “Bill”), overhauling America’s tax code for both individuals and corporations and providing the most sweeping changes to the U.S. Tax Code since 1986. The House and Senate Conference Committee provided a Policy Highlights of the major provisions of the Bill, and the Joint Committee on Taxation provided a lengthy explanation of the Bill.

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Legal Alert – Court Vacates EEOC’s Wellness Program Incentives Rules Effective January 1, 2019

In an opinion dated December 20, 2017, in American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) v. EEOC, the federal court in the District of Columbia vacated, effective January 1, 2019, the portions of the final regulations that the EEOC issued last year under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) addressing wellness program incentives. The current regulations will remain effective for 2018 while the EEOC reconsiders and promulgates new rules.

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Legal Alert – Furnishing Deadline Delayed For 2017 ACA Reporting

On Dec.22, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 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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Legal Alert – IRS Updates Employer Mandate FAQs: Indicates that Penalty Letters are Imminent

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has updated its list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility provisions – also known as the “pay or play” mandate. In particular, questions 55 through 58 provide guidance for employers who may be subject to shared responsibility payments. The FAQs indicate that the IRS will begin sending penalty letters to applicable large employers (ALEs) that owe penalties for calendar year 2015 “in late 2017.” Around this time last year, the IRS had indicated that penalty letters for 2015 would be coming “in early 2017;” however, those letters never materialized. Based on the latest update to its FAQs, it appears that the IRS has worked out the kinks in its systems and is prepared to begin sending penalty letters.

For more information, click HERE to read this important legal alert.

Legal Alert – Start Planning Today for a Stress-free Holiday Season

While the holiday season brings joy and togetherness, it can also bring stress for many individuals and families. Top holiday stressors include staying on a budget, managing multiple commitments and finding the perfect gift. Fortunately, by getting organized and planning out what you can ahead of time, you can help reduce your holiday stress.

For more information, click HERE to read this important legal alert.